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Cottin and I started Rock Racing at the End of 2004 we have Seen Very many Chenges since then, Both in the Racing Format and in the Cars...

One of the Most Important things that can happen in our Industry is Growth,,

I love going to a place we have never Raced before, seeing new Drivers, New Cars.... I Love It.. Keeps the Blood Pumping..

I know most of your are the same as me and Love it when there is new Product out there..
Having choices Makes a Bigger Playing Field..

To see Company’s Build Product specifically for Ultra4 Racing shows Two things to me,
First That our Industry is still thriving and Moving Forward……and Growing…
Secondly all that Dedication, Heart, Blood, sweat and tears that everybody Involved in Ultra4 Racing is paying off and everybody from Product Manufactures to Media and Spectators are watching and listening…

I feel very Honored and Privileged to be Involved with NITTO on this Project. This post and this Tire mean more to me than just another Tire or a Plug for a sponsor..

If you go to Nitto’s Website and Click on the Navigation “About Us”, Read the First few lines,,,,,it will sum it up…
“ NITTO Tire is Driven by Passion and innovation. We create tires for those who are enthusiastic about their vehicles”

Well this is about my Passion which is Offroad and Ultra4 racing…
And that is how this Tire came about…

Sometime around 1999-2000 I met Conrad Galamgam in Moab Utah at Easter Jeep Safari. He is Nitto’s senior Director of Tech. This is before there was any True Type of Rock Racing, Ultra 4, Just Rock Crawling and Desert Racing.
I was in the outside Vendor section, Standing in a Snow storm, with about a 100 Tires in a UHAUL trying to sale them.
Conrad came over and showed me Photos of the Mud Grappler that they were working on .
I loved the looked of the Tire, but what got me the most was that they were there at Moab EJS asking questions and seeing what people wanted or needed …. I know they only approached me because I was the only Idiot still Standing out in the cold, what kind of Idiot takes a 100 Mud tires to Moab in a Snow storm, I should of brought Snow tires, think I only sold like 3 sets, the whole week…Anyways..This was one of my first experiences feeling that our Industry was growing, Being that I just opened a Offroad shop in a very small town, this was good…

I have always stayed in touch with Conrad and he pointed me to Tim Coltey, Nitto’s Marketing and Event Specialist’s.
Every year at least once a year I would send Tim a Email or stop at Nitto’s both at SEMA and tell them what was going on in the “Competition” Side of Rock Sports..
I have watched as Nitto has made Competition level Drifting tires, Drag racing tires and Got real excited to see them take a Crack at Desert Racing and Offroad Short Course racing.
Last year the shop was selling a lot of Trail Grapplers and noticed when mounting them that the sidewalls seemed really good and beefy.. so when I went to SEMA, Tim and I started Talking…. And….They sent me 37” Desert Dune Grapplers (Trophy Truck Tire) and DOT 37” Trail Grapplers..

I really didn’t know what style to Run, The Rubber seemed a Little softer on the desert tire, but the Trail Grappler looked like I would get better Traction in the Rock..
I choose the Desert Tire, I figured it would be more stable at speeds and the softer compound in rocks would be ok..
Pre-Running I was vet happy with the performance of the Desert tire, Tim Really wanted us to try the Trail Grappler and with running short on time we stuck with the Desert Tire.
During the race, we hit a sharp pointed rock, Dead on.. I grabbed my Harness to release and get out out quick to change a tire, but I could tell it was fine.. I was very Impressed with the side walls of the Desert Tire..
Through Outer limits and up Chocolate Thunder the Tire performed well, there was spots that I knew a 40” tire would have been huge help..but Over all I was very impressed with tire..
After KOH we swapped to the Trail Grappler to use in Pennsylvania, Rausch Creek qualifier.. we swapped cars and went to the Single seater….
The Traction in the wet and sloppy stuff was great.. Cottin Did hit a tree, more than once, actually Breaking her hand and going through some brush and tree’s, limbs.. she lost a tire, but drove a few miles to get to a safe place to change it.. with no air in the tire it held up fine with out disintegrating..

When it came Time for Reno, We wanted Nick Nelson, newest driver to our Factory team to get some seat time… we choose to run the Trail Grapplers..
We were all worried about the 37” tire size compared to everybody else running 40”-42”..and everybody new how crazy Giants Throne was…
I cant say enough, for a DOT Street Tire, 37”… actually here is a video of the Tires Performance..This is Nick Taking some Alternative Routes, to make pass’es and get around some of the Broke Cars..



Ultra 4 Reno Stampede 2011 GTC - YouTube


After Running both the Desert Dune Grappler and the DOT Trail Grappler, I was ready to give my Input to Alan Ngo, He is a Staff Engineer at Nitto USA.
Alan also went to Japan and recieved Input from the Tsuda Brothers, who Ran a sticky version of the Mud Grappler at UROC super crawl.

The New KOH spec 40" Trail Grappler is a combination of the DOT Trail Grappler, the Desert Dune Grappler and the sticky-ness of the comp Mud Grappler..
The sidewall was modified to allow the tire wrap around the rocks for improved traction, applied softer compound for better rock crawling and revised the construction to improve high speed durability and puncture resistance...

Here is a few Pre-KOH Sneek Photos..



















 

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Will these be available to individuals that are not a part of a 'race program'? Getting a hold of BFG 39" Reds w/ decent tread is rediculously expensive and a pain in the ass for us 'nobody's'. (granted, they've proven to be worth it)
 

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HA HA Nice video !! :grinpimp: I'd be interested in testing a set, can ya PM me a price. Thanx RD
 

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Reminds me of an old Mud terrain. Nice to see another option.

X2 on the price and availability please.
 

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Nice looking tire!!!

I wanted to run the Trail Grappler in the modified class. But I could never get an answer from Nitto if they were going to have any support out at KOH. The Grappler looks like a nice mix between a go fast tire and a rock tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That is the Goal to help Create a Tire that performs well and can be purchased by anybody...

I was very, Very Happy with the Trail Grappler..
Idea now is to Take from this tire and create a 40" Trail tire that is in between the current Trail Grapplers and a full Comp tire, to be a production tire.

I think the Demand is High for a Good 40" tire that can be easily accessed by anybody.

It is hard to produce a Pure Comp Tire for Public release because the last thing taken into consideration is to be Street Friendly,
I have asked everybody from Maxxis to BFG to Create a Program through very reputable Offroad shops, such as 4Wheel parts, Desert Rat, TFAB, Jim's Garge, Jimmy's 4x4 ..etc..Control Tire sales on comp level tires..
Hopefully we can see this one day..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nice looking tire!!!

I wanted to run the Trail Grappler in the modified class. But I could never get an answer from Nitto if they were going to have any support out at KOH. The Grappler looks like a nice mix between a go fast tire and a rock tire.
Nitto will have a Full Semi Truck there..
 

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I'm digging these tires. Also would be nice to see them in a 42" version for a 17" wheel. I would like to see how they do out east.
 

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It is hard to produce a Pure Comp Tire for Public release because the last thing taken into consideration is to be Street Friendly,
I have asked everybody from Maxxis to BFG to Create a Program through very reputable Offroad shops, such as 4Wheel parts, Desert Rat, TFAB, Jim's Garge, Jimmy's 4x4 ..etc..Control Tire sales on comp level tires..
Hopefully we can see this one day..
I don't believe that...

Hoosier, BFG, Hankook, Kuhmo all have pure competition tires for sale to the general public.

BFG R1 DOT legal, pure comp tire FS on tire rack.
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=BFGoodrich&tireModel=g-Force+R1

Hoosier R6/A6
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Hoosier&tireModel=R6
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Hoosier&tireModel=R6

Hankook Z214
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Hankook&tireModel=Ventus+Z214

Goodyear, and several other manufactures have tires also that are available through "motorsports" dealers.

Kuhmo V710
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Kumho&tireModel=Ecsta+V710
 

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Good looking rubber. I could see that tire being very popular in a 42" version as well, as long as its only rim choice is not 20" :shaking:
 

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I don't believe that...

Hoosier, BFG, Hankook, Kuhmo all have pure competition tires for sale to the general public.

BFG R1 DOT legal, pure comp tire FS on tire rack.
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=BFGoodrich&tireModel=g-Force+R1

Hoosier R6/A6
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Hoosier&tireModel=R6
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Hoosier&tireModel=R6

Hankook Z214
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Hankook&tireModel=Ventus+Z214

Goodyear, and several other manufactures have tires also that are available through "motorsports" dealers.

Kuhmo V710
http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Kumho&tireModel=Ecsta+V710
How about an offroad tire that's not $900 a tire. Maxxis is the only one that I know of that even offers a sticky that you can accually go and buy. But they are stupid $$$
 

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I would love to get a set of these in the 40" for the new buggy. Have been running the mud grapplers for years with good results, The compound is just a little to hard to be a great tire for the rocks.
 

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How about an offroad tire that's not $900 a tire. Maxxis is the only one that I know of that even offers a sticky that you can accually go and buy. But they are stupid $$$
my point in posting that, is that several tire company's that make DOT competition only tires (both for road racing and offroad racing), (that are extremely "not road friendly"), sell these road race tires through the biggest tire retailer in the US.

So the whole "ehh we don't want to sell DOT comp tires to the public" is kinda BS. They already do.

Others, like goodyear, sell there tires through 'motorsport' dealers.

So what he was/is asking them to do isn't anything crazy, or un-heard of.

With that said, a few (Hankook, michelin, Bridgestone) also sell special tires to ONLY the teams they support. Rules usually stipulate that these tires be available to any teams entered in the race, but that's usually not the case.
 

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How about an offroad tire that's not $900 a tire. Maxxis is the only one that I know of that even offers a sticky that you can accually go and buy. But they are stupid $$$
Interco sell's tires to the public that are sticky's...
 
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