While Dunlop was in town to show off its new Elite 4, it went ahead and dropped its new Adventure bike tire on us too: The new Trailsmart replaces the long-running Trailmax TR91.
Naturally, it’s the most advanced adventure tire Dunlop has ever created, says Dunlop, and is designed to complement the weight and massive power of today’s large-displacement adventure bikes. The new tire was developed over 18 intensive months, after testing more than 400 tires in 52 different configurations. The end result is a tire for riders who place a priority on mileage and wet and dry grip, who ride primarily on the street, but also explore beyond the pavement’s end. If the TR91’s street/dirt ratio was 80/20, then the new tire’s performance brief is more like 70/30, Dunlop says.
The Trailsmart employs Dunlop’s new XGT Cross Groove tread pattern: Intersecting tread grooves rapidly evacuate water in wet conditions, and help to find traction off-road. The grooves also aid in bump absorption, says Dunlop, and help the tires roll over small obstacles for greater off-road traction.
The interaction and orientation of the Cross Groove tread pattern also has advantages on the street: The pattern provides a large footprint and equalizes pressure distribution across the tire, improving mileage and handling, and promoting more even wear as the miles add up.
Like Dunlop’s high-performance Sportmax tires, Trailsmart also employs Jointless Band (JLB) rear-tire construction. JLB uses a continuously wound belt around the tire that supposedly helps maintain a consistent contact patch and reduces distortion and excessive heat build-up, contributing to an enhanced highway ride and higher mileage.
The Trailsmart also gets a new silica-fortified tread compound that enhances traction in wet and dry conditions, promotes quick warm-up on cool days, and helps reduce rolling resistance for better mileage.
So much for the PR-speak. We haven’t ridden on these yet, but if they’re anything like the Conti TrailAttack2s that extricated me from the mud and dust in Death Valley last year, which they look similar to, they’ll be excellent.
Like Dunlop’s PR guy says, these kinds of tires combined with the electronics on modern adventure bikes let you ride on pavement and go places off it you almost wouldn’t think possible. They give up precious little pavement performance in exchange for more off-road traction than you’d expect. We’ll volunteer to try them out when they become available May 15. Dunlop says it has a tire to fit any dual-sporty adventure bike from 650cc on up, past or present.
Goodyear sold its share of Dunlop back to Sumitomo, which now owns 100% of the company, but the Trailsmarts are being manufactured in Goodyear’s European plant.
|Dunlop Trailsmart Sizes|