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03/04/2020
A tire for every season

Dunlop

 

Enter the versatile Mutant, the new motorcycle tire suitable for even the most severe climates

Virginia Poli

Is it possible to design a motorcycle tire that can be used all-year-round, in different road conditions and able to adapt to a large number of models on the market? According to Dunlop, the answer is yes. At the end of 2019, the company presented the new Mutant, described by Dmitri Talboom, product manager of Dunlop Motorcycle Europe, as "the first true crossover tire". The new Mutant is in fact equipped with the M+S classification which makes it suitable for use in difficult weather conditions (although, it is worth remembering that mopeds and motorcycles can only circulate in winter when there is no snow and ice on the road or a snowfall in progress, as stated in the ministerial decree dated 16 January 2013), and with 5 different sizes at the front and 6 at the rear the Mutant can be fitted to more than 370 motorcycle models; Dunlop's goal was to extend the range beyond traditional crossover bikes to offer the same performance to a wider range of models. "We observed that more and more scramblers, retro and naked bikes are being used throughout the year, both for long journeys or commuting," said Talboom. “Dunlop's research shows that many riders are looking for a tire that offers excellent performance and safety in all weather conditions," concludes the manager.

Mutant uses what Dunlop defines "4 Seasons Technology", which combines the company's knowledge in both hyper-sport and touring segments, as well as technologies developed in wet racing. This made it possible to create a combination of ply materials, structures and compounds designed to operate in some of the most severe climates. Greater flexibility at low temperatures was the result of using an increased amount of silica in the compound, while the rayon used in the casing structure increases mileage and reduce warm-up times. All tires are made with Jointless Belt (JLB) technology, which eliminates overlaps in the top belt, with evident advantages in terms of handling besides keeping a constant contact patch with the road.

Handling and stability are the direct result of using Dunlop's Dynamic Front Formula (DFF), which optimises the shape of both contact patches, front and rear. The Mutant's tread has a dynamic directional design with aggressive-looking tread blocks, while the high full/void ratio and numerous grooves provide grip and quick warm-up on both tar and dirt roads. In addition, the distinctive tread design, which closely resemble super-motard and dirt track tires, should make Dunlop Mutant a popular choice among enthusiasts, reason for which an appealing design is has been sought without sacrificing performance.

"Mutant offers riders the behaviour and stability expected from hyper-sport tires, combined with superior grip in wet conditions, as well as the durability you'd expect from a touring tire - assures Talboom -. Dunlop has extensive experience with its sports touring tires such as the RoadSmart III, adventure tires such as the new Trailmax Meridian and wet track races in Moto2 and Endurance World Championships achieving the highest levels of performance. Our development team has combined all this knowledge to create a true crossover tire”. If we had to choose just one adjective to describe Dunlop’s latest effort, it would certainly be "versatile", despite the popular opinion that meeting the need of very different riding styles is rather ambitious. But the real test for Dunlop’s Mutant has already begun - the tire has been on the market since January - and judgement now rests upon the users.

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