NITTO DUNE GRAPPLER Tire Review

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BlueFJ
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Re: NITTO DUNE GRAPPLER Tire Review

#11

Post by BlueFJ » Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:00 am

Hmmm, tire has flames... does well on lava fields... interesting... ;)
-Craig
N6CJW


'07 FJ Voodoo Blue MT6 CQ UR GY
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Blackx
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Re: NITTO DUNE GRAPPLER Tire Review

#12

Post by Blackx » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:16 pm

Good review and always appreciate new products that come on the market for our consideration. However, I have to concur with the other posts. I can't ever see myself buying a tire with flames on them.

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cruiserlarry
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Re: NITTO DUNE GRAPPLER Tire Review

#13

Post by cruiserlarry » Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:29 am

Well, I have an unexpected opportunity for the Nitto Dune Grapplers today, thanks to Mother Nature - something unusual for Southern California:

A Wet Weather Test !!!

Yes, thanks to a rain storm that hit So Cal today, and two others following in it's path, I have the chance to see how the Nitto Dune Grapplers handle the wet, slick pavement of Los Angeles.

The Nittos have a unique tread design, focused on sand performance and mild off-roading, while providing a comfortable street ride. However, one feature is a lack of tread siping, which are the cuts in tread lugs to allow flexibility and better grip. My expectations for wet-weather driving were not high - with no siping, and sideways oriented tread lugs, I figured to feel mild hydroplaning without much braking effort. And thanks to the technical wonder that is the FJ Cruiser, any wheel slippage or sliding should activate the VSC / ABS system, and easily identify any traction issues on the road.

My first trip in the rain tonight was different than I expected - despite multiple quick stops in changing traffic, and relative high speed runs in puddle-filled freeway lanes, I never activated the traction control systems, and never felt any loss of control or hydroplaning. In fact, it seemed that the Nittos had better grip than the tires I was using before. After my experience with the lava-lined roads of the Mojave desert, I know these tires have a unique tread compound that holds up well to rough roads. I didn't think that would translate to good grip, but the Nitto Dune Grapplers continue to surprise me.... :o

Now if we can just ditch the flame sidewall.... :roll: :mrgreen:
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cruiserlarry
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Re: NITTO DUNE GRAPPLER Tire Review

#14

Post by cruiserlarry » Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:46 am

It was pouring for most of the day today, so I got to check out the Nitto Dune Grapplers a little more intently as I made my way to and from work.

It was no illusion - the Nittos have very good grip on the wet roads of So Cal. I drove through huge puddles, at speeds varying from less than 5 mph up to 65 mph plus. Again, there was never any feeling of slippage or any lack of grip at any time.
Hard braking, cornering, lane changes, all accomplished without any feeling of instability. Among the best off-road tires I've used in wet weather street driving.

Maybe those sidewall flames are functional after all... :lol:
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear really bright, until they start talking

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cruiserlarry
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Re: NITTO DUNE GRAPPLER Tire Review

#15

Post by cruiserlarry » Sun Feb 08, 2009 3:02 pm

Well, the all-weather testing is now really complete - yesterday I took my wife and some friends to Phelan, CA , home of the Forever Wild animal sanctuary, and site of the latest Extreme Makeover Home Edition job. We decided to go and see the bus move and reveal the new house and facilities firsthand. The weather, however, was just awful. On the drive there and back, we had hard rain, hail, snow, and wind...with an occasional bout of glare from the sun trying to peak through.

The Nitto Dune Grapplers worked fine on the roads there and back, and had no problems with wet / snowy pavement at all. They were very responsive, and felt secure. Not everyone was so lucky on route 138 near Phelan: On our way home, we were stuck on the road behind several vehicles that had slid off the road, including a double trailer semi. Five incidents over less than a 3 mile stretch, all not long before we arrived there (we offered help, but 911 had already summoned CHP / tow trucks for them all, and snow plows were there to help, so we continued on carefully home).

I remain impressed with the street performance of these Nittos, and fortunate to be home without incident.
Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear really bright, until they start talking

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