BFGoodrich and New Tech Brings More Fun to Off Roading on The World’s Best Trails

Tires are everything on the road, and off road - even more. We trekked Moab with BFGoodrich and their new tire inflation tech (yes, and it's very cool!) and trail navigation app for even more fun off-road.

Rock Crawling Fun Is More Precise, Thanks To The Activair System On Bf Goodrich Tires.
Rock crawling fun is more precise, thanks to the ActivAir system on BF Goodrich tires. Photo: BF Goodrich

I did a happy dance for tires!

Tires are everything, I *might* be known to say. Not simply because I’m an off-road racer who has competed in races around the globe and have been an automotive test-driver in a wide variety of conditions and climates. But also because I drive my daughter, grandchildren, friends and colleagues thousands of miles each year and I am resource to many about auto and tire purchases. I even offer free driving lessons to teens. As I talk about driving, tires are always a big part of the conversation – especially when it comes to off-roading.

When I learned that BFGoodrich Tires was going to introduce its new ActivAir integrated tire inflation system, using Easter Jeep Safari, in Moab, Utah, as the place to demonstrate this technology, and navigate the event with the company’s OnTrail App, I was thrilled to participate – both to see the system and to ride a locale I love.

The event takes place annually during Easter week and attracts tens of thousands of 4WD buffs and a few thousand vehicles ranging from vintage World War II Jeeps to a wide variety of home-built and new factory production off-road models. Everyone participates in trail rides, visits vendors and attends some or all of the nine-day-long event, officially hosted by the Red Rock 4-Wheelers. Auto manufacturers attend to introduce new concept vehicles and aftermarket products, as well as to perform testing and evaluation.

Related: Never mind the trails, Easter Jeep Safari has the best off road concept vehicles 

This Is Where The Caption Goes.

Grand off road adventures begin with great tires. Photo: BFGoodrich

OnTrail App Means Adventure

While in Moab for two days of trail rides, our group motored in vehicles with BFGoodrich MT/R tires and used the BFGoodrich OnTrail App to map our tracks. BFGoodrich says it’s the first-of-its-kind mobile app for off-road enthusiasts – it combines essential trail companion tools with community sharing functions to let adventure seekers communicate and share their trips in real time, if desired.

OnTrail has a number of key benefits that include helping enthusiasts find the best trails in an area, filtering by weather, trail difficulty, length and user reviews; leverage crowdsourced hazards, obstacles, points of interest, offline maps and vital off-road indicators, like elevation and trip distance; capture content and track key data on trail rides and share socially or with specific users; improve your off-road abilities by learning from the pros with helpful how-to and quick-tip videos; and earn points to redeem physical and digital rewards.

OnTrail brings “off-road adventures to the next level, making it easy for adventure seekers to find and share the best trails based on their specific criteria,” said Harold Phillips, global general manager for BFGoodrich Tires. Harold sees “OnTrail app as a digital extension of our commitment to industry-leading performance.” BFGoodrich has supported off roaders for 150 hears, from our the famous Baja race to grassroots garage events and is seen as a leader in enabling exploration of off road trails.

OnTrail also allows users to take on new challenges, such as supporting a trail cleanup or completing a first trail on a new terrain. With the completion of each trip or mission, they earn badges, rankings and points that can be redeemed for rebates and prizes. As the outdoor adventure market continues to grow, OnTrail will evolve with it, says BFGoodrich, expanding to help ATV, UTV and sports bike enthusiasts find their own trails with the same detailed rating systems.

Charlene Bower Demonstrates Airing Down For Us.

Charlene Bower demonstrates airing down for us. Photo: Sue Mead

New Tech Speeds The Off Road Journey- And Makes It Safer

Off-road adventurers know the need to “air down” or decrease a tire’s psi, which increases its footprint and gives you more traction, and to also “air up” when needed. For me, this has always meant getting out of the vehicle and using an inflate/deflate system and making sure that the tire pressure is accurate for driving and road conditions. This can be time-consuming and challenging when temperatures are extremely hot or extremely cold. It can also be a safety consideration when outside of a vehicle and exposed as other vehicles travel past.

BFGoodrich, already well-known for making tires for tough terrain and desert races, like Rebelle Rally, the Baja 1000 and the King of the Hammers, found the Easter Jeep Safari the perfect place to introduce ActivAir, geared toward off-road racers and rock crawlers. It will allow drivers to “conquer road, rock, sand and mud”, says BFG’s spokespeople.

Related: Jeep Gladiator brilliantly conquers off road adventures

Traversing The Trail Feels Good With Activair Tech From Bfgoodrich.

Traversing the trail seamlessly with ActivAir tech from BFGoodrich. Photo: BFGoodrich

This is Magical: How AirActive Works

If you’re off roading, ActivAir is magical. No need to stop what you’re doing and tend to your tires, you can simply do it on the fly – when the tech is rolled out to the mass market, that is.

AirActive is a fully-integrated tire-inflation system that lets off-roaders air up to the tire’s recommended level for optimal performance, and air down for optimal off-road capability without ever leaving their seat. Drivers can even adjust tire pressures to exact specifications on the run. “Our goal is to fuel adventure,” said Harold told us. ActivAir also “reinforces our focus on safe off-roading.” The technology is patented, developed and pressure-tested by top builders of specialized vehicles for extreme terrain. If desired, the driver chooses one of four operating terrains, and the system inflates or deflates the tires. Drivers also have the option to manually select their desired pressures and allow a transfer of all available power to the ground, which maximizes traction; it also works to fill a flat or punctured tire – and this is a use we can absolutely get behind, especially on those days we are ferrying kids or friends around town.

The system has been tested in a number of extreme environments, such as at the rigorous Dakar Rally, now held in Saudi Arabia, and in Ultra4 racing, that takes place in locations across the country. It is also likely to find a home with the ever-growing overlanding community in the US and around the world. This new inflation system is the first to be available in the “mass market,” although it will likely be sold only in small numbers as it comes to the specialty market at the present. I suspect that as it gains popularity, the volume will grow and we might see it grow to encompass a broader swath of buyers and use-cases.

BGGoodrich is rolling out the system and it’s on sale now, though prices will vary depending on the build.

Related: That Beautiful Line in the Sand? It Marks the Rally Jameel – the First All-Female Off Road Rally In Saudi Arabia

The Red Rocks Of Utah Are Mesmerizing, Whether On Foot On Or Bfgoodrich Tires.

The red rocks of Utah are mesmerizing, whether on foot on or BFGoodrich tires. Photo: Sue Mead

Ready to Plan your Moab Adventure?

There are a number of vehicle rental companies and 4WD guide services in Moab. Among them:

Another option is to try out Ford’s Off-Roadeo Bronco experience in Moab; it’s a best of all worlds that might convince you to buy a Bronco and make off-roading a regular adventure. Just don’t forget your OnTrail app!

Have a thought or comment? Share it with us on social media! You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And be sure to sign up for our email newsletter!

Sue Mead, who was among the first women to test and compete in the off-road field, travels the globe... More about Sue Mead