TYRE 90/90-21 DUNLOP TRAILMAX MISSION FRONT

Adventure-bike tires are always a compromise, so they’re often categorized by their intended “mix of usage,” e.g. 50/50 for a tire that is good for someone who rides 50% on-road and 50% off. Know anyone like that? Neither do I, especially among riders who pilot larger ADV machines. For most of us spending even 10% of our time off-road would be a challenge, but few riders want a “90/10” tire that just barely cuts it in the dirt.

We could just run 50/50 tires all of the time, but the good ones wear out too fast, and the bad ones suck on the street. What we really need is a “60/60” tire, one that works 60% as well as a full-on knobby off-road and 60% as well as a sport-touring tire on the street, with the longevity of 90/10 tire on the rear.

After two years of development—a year spent on the aggressive Staggered Step tread pattern and compound alone—Dunlop has plugged the “50/50” hole in its ADV tire lineup with its new Trailmax Mission tires. Using the criteria I suggest above, these are really 60/60 tires, since they deliver close to DOT knobby-like performance off-road and footpeg-dragging levels of grip and stability on the street. They also promise better wear—Dunlop says independently contracted test riders got 8,000 miles out of a rear on a Suzuki V-Strom 1000.

Designed and manufactured at Dunlop’s factory in Buffalo, New York, the Mission’s start with a rugged bias or bias-belted construction rather than radial, since the tread area and sidewalls are a single tough unit and can be thicker to resist cuts and punctures. Construction varies based on fitment—some sizes have reinforcing belts and others don’t depending upon how much load capacity and/or compliance is required—but all can be used with or without tubes.

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TYRE 90/90-21 DUNLOP TRAILMAX MISSION FRONT