Putting Dunlop’s Q5 Trackday Tire Through The Ultimate Test
When Dunlop released the Sportmax Q5, and its Q5S sister tire, I was skeptical. To get straight to the point, I wasn’t a big fan of the previous Q4 tire. Yes it warmed up quickly, but it also wore quickly and didn’t have enough edge grip to feel confident on the throttle on a powerful 1000cc-plus bike. Dunlop addressed a lot of the Q4’s shortcomings with the Q5, and after a day sampling the Q5 and Q5S, I came away impressed with the new tire. But that was just an initial impression. I was still skeptical about the tire over the long haul. How quickly does it wear? How does it behave once it’s worn? How much life can I really expect out of these tires? And are they really worth it?
Burning Rubber: Best Sportbike Tires
The job of a sportbike tire is a tough one. Considering the performance – and variety – of today’s modern sporting machines, an ideal tire needs to be able to warm up quickly, offer good grip in both wet and dry conditions, transfer feedback to the rider, and provide good handling capabilities. Thankfully, all the major tire companies work tirelessly to improve their tires to meet these demands. Of course, longevity is a concern as well, but compared to a sport-touring tire a sportbike tire won’t quite measure up with all the other duties it has to perform.
Here, we’ve gathered seven different tires that are great at handling it all. We’ve focused on street-based tires, since that’s where the majority of sportbike riders spend their time, although all of the tires here are more than capable of handling the occasional trackday or two. If you’re the serious trackday/racing type, we’ll have a separate guide for you coming soon.