Articles - Archive

From racing to traffic: the strength of Dunlop tires



Mutant, Trailmax Meridian, SportSmart Mk3 are the British manufacturer's latest innovations designed for every day riding, adventure and racing.

Dino Collazzo

The sense of freedom on two wheels can be expressed in three ways: road, adventure and motor racing. In order to satisfy different riding characteristics, Dunlop offers three different tires: Mutant, Trailmax Meridian and SportSmart Mk3. These are tires designed to adapt not only to different styles but also to all kinds of weather conditions. The British manufacturer's engineers have worked extensively on compounds and tread patterns in order to improve grip and handling on both dry and wet surfaces. The use of innovative technologies has extended the life of these tires and reduced rolling resistance, with great benefits in terms of consumption.


Mutant, the tire suitable for all roads and weather conditions

Mutant has been designed to fit a variety of motorcycle models, whether adventure, sport touring, naked, retro or scrambler, and offer amazing versatility in all kinds of seasons and all types of roads. This tire, available on the market from 2020, benefits from the knowledge acquired by Dunlop in the hyper-sport and touring segment, combined with technologies developed specifically for wet racing. Dunlop calls this “fusion” of innovations "4-Season Technology": a mix of plies, structures and compounds designed to perform in the harshest climates, including extreme winter conditions. This has earned the Mutant an M+S rating, which means it can be used even in the most challenging weather conditions. In terms of its structural characteristics, the Mutant's tread pattern combines aggressive-looking tread blocks with a dynamic directional design, evoking images of super-moto and dirt track tires. The Dunlop Mutant range with 5 front sizes and 6 rear sizes can equip more than 370 different motorcycle models.


Trailmax Meridian, extreme performance tire for powerful adventure bikes

The Trailmax Meridian, which, according to Dunlop, ranks above the TrailSmart Max, was developed to meet the very complex design and needs of some of the most technically advanced adventure bikes. Sales of on and off-road motorbikes, such as the Bmw GS, Honda Africa Twin, Suzuki V-Strom and Triumph Tiger, is on the rise, hence the need for versatility, reason why Dunlop engineers, following an in-depth analysis on the main requirements expressed by riders, worked on a series of innovations for compounds and treads to create the Trailmax Meridian. The study showed that Trailmax Meridian needed the versatility to meet challenges as diverse as off-road adventures and long trips across Europe, as well as the ability to handle the power and performance expressed by new high-end motorcycles. Tests on Trailmax Meridian’s rear tire, showed a 6 percent increase in mileage in straight-line riding and more than 15 percent in 40-degree lean angle cornering. The Trailmax Meridian's innovative tread design was engineered to promote effective water evacuation at high speeds ensuring grip in dry conditions at the same time. The tread’s Dunlop MultiTread technology, which includes a high-silica compound, guarantees grip in the wet and makes the tire more flexible at low temperatures. This technology, combined with a rayon-ply casing, offers the dual benefits of increased mileage and much faster warm-up time, favouring riders who use their adventure bikes year-round. The central band of the rear tire extends all the way under the shoulder compound, helping to increase the overall stiffness of the rear tire offering super handling and increased traction. An adventure bike must also possess the ability to deliver off-road performance. Tests conducted by Dunlop, evidenced how Trailmax Meridian, with a specially designed claw-shaped tread pattern delivers greater traction compared to the TrailSmart MAX on soft muddy terrain. In harder mud or gravel, performance was on par with the TrailSmart Max. The Trailmax Meridian is available in 4 front sizes and 3 rear sizes, covering a wide range of models, including Bmw GS, Honda Africa Twin and Crosstourer, Ktm Adventure, Suzuki V-Strom, Triumph Tiger and Yamaha Tenere and Super Tenere.


SportSmart Mk3, designed for hyper-sport and super-naked bikes

The SportSmart Mk3 is a tire designed to fit the characteristics of today's hyper-sport and super-naked motorcycles. In fact, it comes as no surprise that some of the best-selling mid-size sport bikes from manufacturers such as Kawasaki, Honda and Triumph are among the models equipped with these tires, following the introduction of the 160/60ZR17 rear size. The ability to guarantee performance in all conditions was a key element during the design phase of the SportSmart Mk3. The innovative Multi-Tread technology allows for rapid warm-up and effective water evacuation, while the use of high surface area silica (Hi Silica Area) has made it possible to improve the flexibility of the compound at low temperatures, thus providing wet grip and greater durability. In fact, this silica, combined with a complex mix of compounds, extends the tire's operating range. Riders using the SportSmart Mk3 can also capitalize on Dunlop's Dynamic Front Formula (Dff), in which Dunlop's engineers fine-tuned the front tire's parameters to match the intended use depending on the make and model of the bike. The characteristics of the SportSmart Mk3 are reminiscent of Dunlop's "track to road" philosophy. In fact, the company considers motorsport the perfect platform for gathering useful information for the development of high performance road tires.

back to archive