Preview – Transport – Extreme Rock Crawler
Photography By Jorge Nuñez
Falken Designed WildPeak Tires to Conquer Any Terrain If SHTF, and Built a Jeep to Prove It
No warrior likes the idea of retreating, but let’s be real for a second. If there’s a potential nuclear meltdown as in Fukushima, mass looting and lawlessness like after Hurricane Katrina, or an inbound natural disaster similar to Superstorm Sandy, it’s clear that GTFO is often a good option. And for some, the only option. But how do you bug out when the airport’s shuttered, the freeways are clogged, or the streets are littered with downed power lines?
You’ll need a nimble yet powerful vehicle to get you out of an urban jungle quickly if a FUBAR situation arises. But don’t expect your truck with a measly 3-inch lift kit and stock axles — let alone your Toyota Prius — to do the same job. It takes serious engineering, sizeable resources, and the right platform on which to build a reliable bug-out vehicle that runs on four tires.
Enter the JK Recon. This one-of-a-kind Jeep was built by Falken Tire Corporation to be an extreme rock crawler and, more importantly for our purposes, serve as a survival vehicle when SHTF.
The JK Recon can easily pound dirt or pavement, roll over rubble, scramble over fallen trees, cut through shallow streams, or crawl up the steepest rock faces. It can do so thanks to an arsenal of heavy-duty parts and a set of WildPeak A/T Tires (naturally) wrapped around 18×9.5-inch Raceline RT Monster wheels. This Wrangler can steer clear of and climb over almost any hurdle it might encounter.
The JK Recon was birthed when Falken decided to put its money where its mouth was. The tire manufacturer didn’t want to just claim its WildPeak all-terrains provided an unusually smooth and quiet ride on asphalt while offering tremendous traction in mud, rock, or dirt — Falken wanted to prove it. The best way to do that was to build something with a purpose.
About four years ago, the Falken Off-Road Team decided to enter the King of the Hammers, an annual race held in Johnson Valley, California, that combines desert racing with rock crawling. The team needed a pre-runner that could serve as both a chase vehicle and a service truck to support the racers. And Falken needed a platform to prove WildPeak’s worthiness. So, bam, the JK Recon was conceived.
Falken chose to start its project with an already capable four-wheeler — a new Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon. But the company wanted to give the four-door Jeep an extreme makeover to match its future extreme capabilities.
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