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KN Predator Alloy Wheel Review

The KN Predator Wheels are mean, tough and well priced. Read our review below.

Ben Gribbin

Ben Gribbin

December 23, 2010

Hello, I'm the editor of FunRover. I'm a massive Land Rover fan. Currently own a TD5 90. 2015 MR Blogger of the Year
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Many of you will notice the fancy set of boots our test 90 now sports. The wheels in question are a set of KN Predator's, finished in a gloss Black. These snazzy looking wheels have taken us all over the UK, on and off-road and today we're offering up our thoughts after running them for a few months.

The KN Predator with Cooper STT's fitted and right, the design seen more clearly.

Features

Produced by KN Wheels Limited, the oldest alloy wheel manufacturer in the UK. These Black versions are exclusive to John Craddocks and can be purchased in sets of 4, mounted to the excellent Cooper STT or alloy only - should you wish to chose your own treads. Predators are available to fit many vehicles, with 4, 5 or 6 stud options available, but the Craddocks' Black Predator is offered in a 5 stud pattern, for Land Rovers. The hard-wearing gloss Black Predator wheel is only available in one size - 17 x 8.0. Standard Predators are finished in a satin silver.

Fitted, the wheels fill the arch well

When ordering the alloys from John Craddocks, they include free wheel nuts (with the full set and even single alloys) as the design of the wheel necessitates longer, peg like nuts that actually protrude through the wheel. You also get a matching hub cap, with no badges on to give a clean, standard appearance. Craddocks also stock locking wheel nuts to fit and kindly provided us with a set for the review.

With regards to actual specs, there's not a whole lot of info available. We've fitted these to our TD5 90 no problem and they should fit 110's too, but check with Craddocks first to make sure they'll take the extra weight.

Also, be aware that you will need to alter your speedometer to display the correct speed, depending on the tyre size you choose. Failing to do so will mean your vehicle is not MOT compliant. 4x4 UK have a handy calculator for estimating the difference between your actual speed and the speedo reading.

Fitting

Our Land Rover Defender is a TD5 model, so has disc brakes all around. The Predators may well fit drum braked 90's and 110's but you'd be best checking with the supplier first. Fitting is as any other wheel, apart from dropping in the hub caps which can be a little fiddly. The hub caps feed through from the inside of the wheel and then you can place them over the axles. We like this concept and it does offer some protection to the ends of the axles from mud and water. The hub fits fairly snugly and there's very little play. The only real problem was the size of the wheels.

Getting them in place, one handed and trying to drop the nuts in is a bit of a juggle, but it's made easier if you get down on the floor and use your shins and arms to maneuver them in place. The only slightly tricky part is fitting the first nut. Because the nut actually wraps around the stud and is sandwiched between the wheel and stud, you need to align the quite heavy wheel perfectly. If you're 2 or 3mm out then the nut will not go in and you have to re-adjust. After fitting 4 of these wheels, your arms will likely ache a little. Once the wheels are on, you need to go round and torque up the nuts, following the manufacturers recommendation. Make sure to tighten the nuts in a criss-cross fashion so the wheel is properly aligned and not under tension.

Appearance

Urban chique, make your farm yard Landy into a city flyer

The KN Predators have a very chunky, rugged design and offer an alternative to popular wheels such as ZUs and similar. Complete with 265/70 mud terrain tyres, they raise your Landy up and give it a very beefy, aggressive stance. The black finish really does look smart and people will literally stop and double take your Land Rover with these fitted. That takes a bit of getting used to. A lot of Land Rover owners we've talked to think they look quite similar to the ZU and they have been mistaken for them a few times. We feel that they offer something a bit different, in fact, we only know of 4 Land Rover's with them fitted. In terms of the actual off road handling, the wheels are tough, but probably not to ZU level. Still, we've given them a fair bit of stick on some tracks and lanes and they still look good as new.

Test

Matching wheel on the rear really needs a spare wheel carrier, coming soon!

The Predators have been on the Landy now for 3 months and we are thoroughly happy with them! They look amazing and give your Land Rover a very tough appearance. With no lift alteration required, they fill the wheel arches and just look downright cool. Even though there appears to be very little clearance, they don't catch on wheel arches and because of the offset, and have never needed any bump stop adjustment. We've had the 90 very near it's maximum side approach angle, followed by a sharp cross axle situation and the wheels clear the arches fine. That said, the turning circle of our Defender is noticeably larger.

Not that Defenders are like Fiat 500's, but the difference at first takes a bit of getting used to. Prepare to have to drive more like a van driver i.e. coming up to junctions square on and swinging it wide on tighter corners. However, you do get used to driving like this and it's no real pain. You could fit spacers possibly, but then you'd have to order some wider wheel arches, as once fitted, the tyres only just sit flush to the wheel arches outer edge. If the wheels extend beyond that line, then they become illegal.

We like these wheels because you can fly around town and city streets, in a very modern and chunky looking Land Rover. You can then take your Landy off-road and straddle ruts but still sit comfortably in other vehicle tracks. If you're building a Range Rover Vogue alternative or have a day to day Defender, then these are a very cool, well priced upgrade that makes your Land Rover look mean. People literally do stop and stare as they walk past and you'll see them stood, jaw dropped in your rear view mirror for a while.

Looking good in snow, mud or around town

The wheels are holding up well to abuse given offroad, with nasty, salty grit from roads and scratchy greenlanes trying their best to damage the wheels. If they do get scuff, then you can simply polish them with a bit of car polish and they'll come back as new. These are one set of alloys you don't have to worry about curbing - the sidewall of the tyre is higher than the curb and you tend to just ride up it.

Even on the motorway, the wheels excel. The larger diameter means that once you're up to speed, the wheel is doing less turns per mile and the engine isn't working quite as hard. They've upped the top speed of our Defender a little and made it just about bearable on the motorway. We haven't noticed much difference in the economy, but road noise is noticeably quieter at higher speeds.

For more information, check out the wheels at KNWheels or at John Craddocks

Related items for sale on eBay

Genuine OEM Land Rover Defender Boost 16
Genuine OEM Land Rover Defender Boost 16" Alloy Wheels + Tyres ! Black 90 110
£639.99
7
7"x16" Land Rover Defender Black SAWTOOTH Style Alloy Wheels Set of 5
£456.25
5 X Land Rover Defender Alloy Wheels Sawtooth Style in Black
5 X Land Rover Defender Alloy Wheels Sawtooth Style in Black
£425.00

Verdict

  • Build Quality
    ICON ICON ICON ICON ICON
    4/5
  • Value for Money
    ICON ICON ICON ICON ICON
    5/5
  • Ease of Fitting
    ICON ICON ICON ICON ICON
    5/5
  • FunRover Rating
    ICON ICON ICON ICON ICON
    5/5

5 Comments

  1. Paul says:

    HI Guys

    Just bought a landy for the first time and about to sell my X5. I have been told i am mad, but i really like the look of your Landy.

    Just wondered what make are the side steps on your Landy? Also any recommendations in making the 300TDi engine go a bit quicker?

    I have a few tenants who are based in Huddersfield and work on Landy’s but they havent heard of you. I have also another Landy which is fitted with a snow plough and gritter on the back in Golcar. So i would be interested to know what snow plough you have gone for.

    Cheers

    • Ben Gribbin Ben Gribbin says:

      Hi Paul,

      You’ll love a Landy, especially with the possible winter ahead. Huddersfield was brilliant for snow driving last year.

      As far as we know, the side steps are a standard Land Rover option, such as these (very similar) items from John Craddocks: http://www.johncraddockltd.co.uk/products/vpldp0005_defender_90_side_steps_station_wagon_o_e.php

      We’ve actually designed our own snow plough, we’ve done a CAD design and sent it to the fabricators and they’ve agreed to let us film it. Hopefully it form part of a special episode of ‘Overdrive’.

      Making a 300TDI go quicker is pretty simple, and you can do a lot of it DIY, though there are companies who specialise in making Land Rovers go much faster. Do some basics first, like a service, pop in a K&N (or similar, washable) air filter – these make a slight difference but improve the breathing of the engine. Then consider things like an EGR blanking kit (about £50), fit a de-cat and a straight through centre pipe. There’s even some DIY guides on the net: http://www.loske.org/html/dusty/300tdi/egr/egr.htm

      Let us know how you get on.

      Thanks,

      Ben

  2. Wesley Edgar says:

    Thanks for the article Ben. Well written and gives us a great overview of the improvement these wheels have made to your Landy. Looks great.

  3. Andreas Beronius says:

    Hi

    Thanks for an excellent site. I also want to fit my Landy (110) with the black KN Predator kit from Craddock. Looks great! But, I’m a bit confused about the actual wheel size. When using the online tyre size calculator the Predators should be slightly smaller than the original 235/85-16 I have on now. 806 mm versus 803 mm. The speedometer difference is only 0.47 percent (at 50 MPH). Please help me understand. I’m going on a long trip and what you state in your conclusion suits me perctly (lower noice, better highway handling etc.)

    Hope to hear from you

    Andreas

    • Ben Gribbin Ben Gribbin says:

      Hi Andreas,

      To confirm, the KN Predators with Cooper STT’s fitted are 265/70/R17 if they are coming out as smaller than the 235/85/16’s on the calculator that must be correct. However, it is unlikely you’ll have less road noise than the original fitting tyres you sound as though you have.

      Ben

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