Driving Impressions. Michelin Defender LTX M/S

Posted by: Bernard Winkelmann onSeptember 26th, 2015

What was surprising was just how quiet the Michelin Defender LTX M/S is in the Jeep Wrangler. In the Grand Cherokee, it was expected as there is plenty of sound deadening, but the Wrangler is more of a tin can. Carrying on a conversation was easier than expected. The ribbed profile of the tire allows the designers to vary the block sizes so that you don’t create resonance as the blocks strike the ground. We experienced a great deal of control and sure footedness on the gravel roads. What was also impressive was lack of rocks in the tread after spending time on the gravel roads. The blocks must be setup in such a way to eject rocks or not even pick them up.

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Road mannerisms were as expected. The tires held the road well and there was no squish that you might have expected given the amount of sipping. Michelin had explained that the new knives of the new molds are not straight like you would expect for full depth sipes. They are waffle shaped. As the tread blocks shift under load, these jagged edges lock to each other and stiffen the blocks. This is the same type of sipping you would see in a winter tire.

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Once we arrived at the 4×4 center, we were given a Coles Notes education on off-road driving. This included basic understanding of how differentials work, how to hold the steering wheel and what to do if you a side-hill driving and start to lose grip. The instructors used remote control vehicles on a table to demonstrate many techniques and pitfalls on a table for all of us to see.

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