Tire mini-reviews


rayivers

Well-known member
Location
CT, USA
The following are brief impressions of various tires I've used since going electric in 2014. I'd almost given up finding a favorite rear tire, but I finally did - the F & R tires directly below are my go-to's now. I ride about 50% rocky-rooty single track, 20% hardpack, 10% loam, 10% shallow sand, 10% street. I used to think I could tell how well a tire would work for me by how it looked & that wider was always better, but not any more.

FRONT: Bridgestone M59 (intermediate / soft, 80/100-21)

This tire tracks EX in nearly everything & wears very well, with EX braking & cornering too. Like the MX33 below, it uses mainly the center knobs only during acceleration/coasting for directional stability and resistance to deflection, with the L/R middle knob sets engaging during impacts / cornering / hard braking after the ctr knobs dig in (the side/edge knobs are mostly for hi-speed cornering & really soft stuff). This tire looks like a skinny joke to me even on the wider rim, but I much prefer it to the Shinko fatty or any of the other F tires below for the riding I do.

REAR: Dunlop MX33 (soft / intermediate, 120/90-19)

After the MX31 I've been unimpressed by Dunlops, so I figured this MX33 would be the last one I tried & threw it on to use it up. OMG, it works great - finally another EX Dunlop! Everything stated above for the M59 applies equally to this tire, except under acceleration the tall knobs instantly dig in and grab everything, with little or no wheelspin in WOT mode 3 (if it does spin, it's a brief burst w/o fishtailing or loss of control). Note the 120/90 size (not 120/80); this tire has a huge OD & was @ 10mm closer to the mud flap, a much bigger change than the spec sheet's .36"/9mm OD increase would indicate. It's also available in 120/90-18, with a slightly smaller OD. Wear seems very good so far.

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Here are the rest, abbreviations below:

a/t = all/terrain m = mud s = soft i = intermediate h = hard S-L = straight-line C = cornering Poor/OK/Good/Very Good/EXcellent

Dunlop MX3SF (s/i, 80/100-21)
F: EX traction s/i, fair h/dry, tracks OK, C EX, wears G, pressure fairly critical, OEM Alta MXR

Dunlop MX3S (s/i)
R: 100/90-19 : OK traction a/t, 100 too narrow/wears quickly, tracks straight, pressure fairly critical, OEM Alta MXR
R: 120/80-19: fishtailing on hard acceleration!, sketchy/twitchy feel especially on street, OK grip when new, wears OK

Dunlop MX-31 (s/i, 120/90-18, 120/80-19)
R: VG+ traction a/t, tracks straight, tire old/discontinued so knobs chunking (still lasted a while)

Duro DM-1154 (i, 120/80-19)
R: int. tire, s NG, OK when traction's good :(, skinny / squirrely / chunking / wears P, waste of money

Shinko MX216 'fat' (90/100-21)
F: EX, tracks VG on all sfcs, C VG, handles ruts / rocks / roots G, wears VG+

Kenda K785 Millville II (s/i, soft-terrain dir., 120/90-19)
R: used in 'scoop' mud-tire direction, less traction than MX3S, wears OK

Pirelli MX-32 Pro (i/h, 120/90-19)
R: similar to MX3S, VG traction, stable-feeling, wears VG

CST/Cheng Shin Legion MX-VI (s/i, 80/100-21)
F: VG traction in loam, C skittish in woods, wanders, light track tire, pressure critical (16psi), wears OK

Bridgestone X30 (i, 120/90-19)
R: lots of wheelspin / fishtailing in s/i terrain, G+ on harder soil, corners & wears OK

Michelin S-12 XC (s, 140/80-18, 90/90-21)
R: OK m/s/t, NG i/t: spins, drifts around, skates in C, better after ctr knobs worn, wears OK
F: NG in i/t, OK m, dry / hard / street C squirrely, pointy/grabby side knobs, pressure critical, wears OK

Motoz Terrapactor S/T (s/i, 120/90-18, 80/100-21)
R: VG a/t s-l traction & s/t s-l braking, skaty / power-slides in i/t C, wears G
F: VG s/t s-l traction/braking, poor grip in i/t C, grabby side knobs, pressure critical, wears G

Maxxis MaxxCross SI (s/i, 20/90-18)
R: VG+ traction a/t, tracks straight / corners well, wears G

Dunlop MX32F (s/i, 80/100-21)
F: EX traction a/t, tracks straight, wears well, pressure fairly critical

Still a bunch of tires on deck (M5B, X-20, Gauntlet, Dirt Hoe, XCMS, GT232N, etc.) waiting their turn.
 

CookieMonster

Active member
Location
New Hamphire
You might want to try the Metzeler 6 Day Extreme which was OEM on the Alta endo model. I ride in NH and the tire work very well on local terrain rain or shine. The down side it the it is a directional tire so if you decided to try it pay close attention to the directional markings. I run a 120/90-18 for the rear and 90/90-21 for the front. I weigh 165 and set my tire pressure for the dry to about 6lb for the rear and 13lb for the front. :ricky:
 

Motophyllic

Well-known member
Location
NY
I love the Michelin Starcross 5 on my MXR for the track. 100/90/19
I’ve been pretty happy with the kenda equilibrium 4.50/18 on my EXR for woods riding, but I don’t like it for high speed MX stuff.
 

Oded

Well-known member
Location
Israel
Here is my take on the tires I use on my EX. I ride technical Enduro, not MX.

Metzler 6 days extreme (stock EX) is excellent for hard Enduro but it's life span is very short, that's why I don't use it anymore.

Michelen Star cross was OK in all confitions, and it is very popular around here. I find it too stiff for my needs.

Kenda Equilibrium is amazing on rocks and last long. Not good for sand, loose dirt and mud. It is a trial Enduro hybrid.

Maxxis trailmax (stock on the KTM Freeride) is also a trial Enduro hybrid, but I find it better than the Equilibrium on loose dirt. Love this tire.

Kenda Gauntlet, one of my favorites. Great for rocks and loose stuff. Lasts OK, not too long.
 

rayivers

Well-known member
Location
CT, USA
Here's some gummy tire info from Dirt Bike magazine. They mention Erzberg as an example, which seems strange to me as this year's event was filled with riders getting the worst traction I've ever seen. Maybe it's an FIM-tire thing (13mm max knob length).
 

TCMB371

The Silent Assassin
Forum's Sponsor
Location
Temecula, CA
Check out the new Bridgestone X31. Its fricken awesome. Better than the Dunlop MX33 and MX3S in my opinion. My new favorite tire for the conditions i ride here in SoCal.
 

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