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SEMA, DAY THREE: Hankook is not quiet about its quiet MT tire

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Hankook Tire America Corp. introduced its Dynapro MT RT03 at the Performance Tires and Wheels section of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show.

The latest in the Dynapro family, the MT off-road tire has the most aggressive tread pattern in the Hankook arsenal. It features the following:

* a V-shaped center block for added control and handling.

* side protection block, which extends from the shoulder of the tread to the center of the sidewall. It not only helps protect against shock, protruding objects and potholes, but also is designed to increase traction in soft dirt, mud and sand.

* stone ejectors (embedded in the shoulder grooves).

* a patent-pending "under-groove protector," which helps prevent impact damage.

* nylon cap ply and high tensile steel belts.

According to Marketing Director Bill Bainbridge, about one-third of the tire's 33 sizes are available now. The rest will roll out by the end of the first quarter.

"We've never had an aggressive mud-terrain-type tire before," he says. "It's aggressive but quiet. As we all know, probably 90% of the applications don't go off-road. So noise is an issue."

He says the tread pattern, with its big and little block design, is engineered to keep the noise level low. "It's all about pitch, and the size and shape of the blocks determines the pitch."

The Dynapro MT RT03 will compete against the Toyo Open Country mud-terrain tire. "We consider them the market leader and we're going after them," adds Bainbridge.

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