COOPER TIRES ST/MAXX
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY MARK ALLEN
OL’ BOOTS, HATS N’ TYRES – THEY’RE ALL TOOLS OF THE TRADE AND GET WORKED PRETTY HARD
It’s funny ya’ know; I buy a new hat and am in two minds as to whether to keep it nice and straight or jump on it to make it look well-worn. I buy new work boots and not sure if I should polish them every day or go kick a tuft of dirt to give them that lived in look.
Same goes for the new Cooper ST/MAXX rubber that has just been fitted to the mighty Cruiser; do I keep the tyre black up, or flog ‘em senseless through the mud, flick up some sand and scuff the living daylights out of them on the rocks? I want to keep them looking nice and make them last as long as possible as they’re an expensive accessory, but I want to use them as they’re intended. Oh, the dilemma!
Living on a bush block, our driveway to the man cave (the big shed out back of the house) gets a bit muddy after rain… I found reason to use the front concrete driveway for the first week of owning my new Coopers.
Our local council saw fit to undertake road works on the main drag into town… I took the long cut via the bitumen for 5 days to keep the Coopers clean!
Then came the call to help pull a mates 4x4 out of strife on one of our local tracks. I didn’t even think about the mud, dirt and rocks that I’d just driven over to get access to his stranded 4x4 until after the job was done. Same went for my new Akubra way back then; once it’d been squashed that first time, I never gave it a second chance. Ditto for the Red Backs, scratched them up good time at work and totally dismissed all my worries.
While there is all the latest Amor-Tek technology and extra ply’s included to return (a claimed) 66% increase in sidewall strength and fancy new chemically bonded silica tread compound to improve grip, it all comes down to real life use and these Coopers have a lot to live up to. It seems that once I’ve ‘broken’ a tool in (and that’s exactly what a hat, boots and tyres are) then they feel like they really belong. The ST/MAXX tyres feel at home on the big Cruiser and have so far fulfilled all my expectations; on-road quietness and handling is spot on, while off-road ability (sand, rocks and mud to date) have been nothing short of brilliant.
Sure, there are other treads that would see better grip on the black top, others that will keep plugging away through the goop, but as an all-terrain pattern tyre that will perform brilliant in all offroad situations, as well as safely dropping the kids to school and carting my family around, I reckon the ST/MAXX are as good a fit as any old faithful hat or pair of boots as you’ll ever find.
For more information and pricing on your exact size visit www.coopertires.com.au