Ridge Grappler Review: Striking a Balance with the Ford Raptor
When Ford released the Raptor package in 2010, it was largely celebrated as the closest any mainstream OEM had come to releasing an off-road racing truck for the street. Equipped with a high performance long travel Fox Racing suspension, a widened body, and a beefed up chassis, the truck quickly became a favorite for off-road enthusiasts.
Granted, not every Raptor ended up tearing across the desert at 80mph. At the end of the day, it has the bones of the modern F150, a comfortable, reliable, technologically-relevant pick-up. The specs may read pure performance, but this is still a vehicle that functions as a daily driver for thousands of owners across the country.
Striking the Balance On and Off Road
Owner Jason Lowery’s 2017 Raptor does daily duty, and he wanted to improve the aesthetics without sacrificing any of the off-road performance capabilities of the truck. The Nitto Ridge Grappler was the perfect fit, striking the necessary balance between the daily demands of an on-road driver and an off-road rig.
Making Room for 35s
To fit the upsized 35x12.5x20 tires, the Raptor required at least a minor lift, but Jason went the extra mile to install Eibach’s Pro Lift Kit, which uses springs rather than spacers to raise the truck 2.5 inches for a level stance. The springs also allow the truck to maintain the full range of suspension travel without additional stress on bushings and ball-joints.
Modern Sizes for Modern Trucks
Although the Raptor came stock with 17” wheels, Jason wanted to pull the look a little further into the modern age. He swapped out the smaller diameter wheels for a set of 20x10 Method wheels that match the matte black wrap. The Ridge Grappler is offered in all modern truck sizes, so finding a set that matched this revised vision for the truck was easy.
Visually, the Ridge Grappler only enhances the aesthetics of the Raptor. Jason noted the aggressive sidewall and tread pattern, utilizing the more modern, faceted design of the dual-faced Ridge Grappler.
Tread for Every Road
On road, the Ridge Grappler matches the dual nature of the Raptor with the hybrid mud-terrain and all-terrain tread pattern. The tread also features a variable pitch pattern that keeps the noise low on long highway commutes, increasing daily livability.
The Perfect Match
Regardless of whether a Raptor spends its time on the trails or on the interstate, the Ridge Grappler is the ideal upgrade for Ford’s performance truck. With its all-terrain design that incorporates the best facets of a mud-terrain tire, Nitto offers unmatched synergy that enhances all of the best features of the Raptor.
More From Driving Line
- The new Raptor takes the design of the recently-introduced 2021 F-150 and gives it a heavy dose of off-road muscle.