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?

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MO Tested: Dunlop Q5 and Q5S Trackday Tire Review

The invention of the trackday tire is the single greatest thing to happen to trackday riders since, well, trackdays. Being able to leave the tire warmers at home (or not own any at all!) has a trickle-down effect for those lazy riders among us – myself included. No warmers means the stands can stay home, and so can the generator. Better still, leaving all those things behind doesn’t compromise anything out on track; modern trackday tires provide plenty of grip and more longevity than your average race slick. (But let’s make one thing clear: if you’re actually racing, a slick is still the way to go.)

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Best Motorcycle Touring Tires for Going Further

Pity the poor fool who’s got nothing to do for a week or two but roll around on his motorcycle – no job, no cares, no particular place to be. And if you’re fortunate enough to have all those things working in your favor, chances are you’re carrying around quite a bit of loot in the saddlebags and trunk of your Goldwing, Ultra Glide or big BMW K-bike – possibly even an accomplice. What you want on all of those bikes are tires that stick to the pavement, wet or dry, upright or dragging peg, carry a heavy load safely, and preferably wear like iron. Is that too much to ask?

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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.

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Best Dirtbike Tires

There are a dizzying array of options when it comes to dirtbike tires. From tread patterns, to compounds, to the brands themselves, it’s difficult to decipher what is the best tire. That’s mostly because deciding on the best tire requires a lot of input from the rider themselves. What kind of dirtbike are you riding? What kind of terrain are you riding on? Are you looking for longevity or for the most traction possible just to get through a hard enduro race? These are just a handful of the questions you need to answer for yourself before embarking into the deluge of different off-road tire choices. 

In an attempt to add some sort of clarity to the situation, here we’ve listed some of the top performers from a number of major tire manufacturers that skew toward the “hard” end of the spectrum.

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MO Tested: Dunlop Trailmax Mission Tire Long-Term Review

A long-term tire test is hard to do these days. With the internet’s insatiable devouring of content, it’s hard to be away from the desk while still managing to deliver enough fodder to appease an entire world wide web of curious readers.

My plan for the long-term test of the Dunlop Trailmax Mission tires would involve a daily faux-commute (the MO team was working from home before working from home was cool) and at least a few long trips that would span as many miles as I could cram in, both on-road and off. Well, that plan lasted about as long as it took me to type the previous sentence. Looming deadlines, tight schedules, and what little personal life I manage outside of this gig dashed my plans of consistently putting down miles for this review. After a few months, I still managed to log 1,907 miles over various Southern California terra – and it gave me a reason to keep the Triumph Scrambler 1200 XE in my garage longer. Self-serving? Slightly.

Dunlop Trailmax Mission Tire Review – First Ride

Despite not hitting the mileage numbers I had hoped for, I did manage to use the tires for everything from the odd jaunt around town, to rocky jeep roads and no-trackers through sand and cacti. Overall, I came away impressed after spending more time with the Trailmax Missions, even if my observations over the past few months don’t stray far from my initial impressions.

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MO Tested: Dunlop Roadsmart III Long Term Review

If you’re making a tire in the sport-touring category, you probably have one of the most difficult jobs in the entire tire business. Where racers want the grippiest tire they can find, longevity be damned, and the touring set seek high-mileage with modest grip, the sport-touring crowd wants the best of both worlds. Oh, and it better have good wet weather performance, too. No easy feat.

With the Dunlop Roadsmart III, Dunlop thinks it has created the holy grail of sport-touring tires.  Not only is Dunlop touting the longevity of the tire, but it’s also bragging about the grip and consistency of the Roadsmart III’s performance throughout the life of the tire – an important aspect sometimes overlooked. Our own John Burns got to try a set of the tires when they were introduced in 2017 and came back pleasantly satisfied with the results – even if he only got to ride on the tires for two days. (Click on the link for background and Dunlop’s story about the tires)

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Dunlop Trailmax Mission Tire Review - First Ride

When Dunlop began its presentation of the all-new Trailmax Mission 50/50 adventure tire *insert record scratch*. Wait, what? 50/50? There are no knobs. There are hardly even lugs on this new adventure offering and it has the rounded profile of your typical street tire. What gives? Well, Dunlop says it’s reinventing what it means for a tire to pull double duty both on-road and off.

The Dunlop Trailmax Mission spent two years in development with more than 30 prototypes, and 12 months alone spent developing the unique tread pattern, “The Mission delivers knobby-like performance off-road, has impressive grip on the street, plus great ride quality and stability everywhere it goes.” Knobby-like performance, huh?

Dunlop is making some lofty assertions as to the performance of its new tire, but with the time and energy Dunlop has spent developing such a tire, I’d hold judgement until the day came to test the Mission myself. On a cool sunny Thursday in Lake Arrowhead, CA, I had the chance to do just that.

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MO Tested: Pirelli Supercorsa TD Review

If you’re like me, you love ripping around at trackdays, going as fast as you want without the fear of cops or opposing traffic waiting to ruin your day. That feeling you get when you know your tires are nice and hot and can do no wrong is simply magical and adds to the allure of motorcycling you simply can’t explain to your non-riding buddies. But if you’re also like me, then you’re lazy and too much of a cheapskate to bother buying tire warmers and a generator to operate them. So what’s one to do if excellent grip is the goal, but putting those pigs in a blanket just ain’t gonna happen?

Lazy cheapskates rejoice! Pirelli has the answer. It’s called the Supercorsa TD (bet you’ll never guess what the TD stands for…). Following in a long line of hugely successful versions and iterations of the Supercorsa, Pirelli has once again taken the knowledge it’s gained from competing as the sole tire supplier to the World Superbike series, and applied it to street tires you and I can use. (If all you care about is the riding impressions, scroll down a few paragraphs).

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Dunlop Sportmax Q4 Review

By definition, designing a motorcycle tire is an exercise in compromise. The perfect tire would have ultimate grip in every scenario and would never wear. Whoever can invent this unicorn tire capable of setting lap records and transcontinental travel simultaneously will cash in handsomely. Until then, however, we all have to live with compromise. Here in the real world, tire companies constantly battle with the challenge of balancing grip for longevity, and when it comes to track-worthy – and street legal – tires, the challenge becomes even greater; the tire should definitely provide enough grip to confidently hustle a motorcycle around a track but should also be robust enough to survive the everyday grind.


If you’re Dunlop, you’ve done a fairly impressive job of it lately with the Q line of street/track tires. When the Q3 came out in 2013 (holy crap, has it really been that long?), I raved about its performance and how the marketing buzz words were more than mere hype. Four years on and Dunlop improved upon the Q3 with the Q3+, which John Burns sampled at the Circuit of the Americas. Promising slightly better grip with much greater longevity, the Q3+ was a clear step ahead of the Q3, and like I had done with the Q3, JB also left the test impressed with Dunlop’s latest Q tire.

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2017 Holiday Gift Guide Part 4: $250 And Up

When I was told I would be tasked with putting together the $250 and up category of our 2017 gift guide, I must admit, I smirked on the inside. What an easy thing to do! Motorcycling can be expensive and the parts we pine after generally are expensive. So here is a list of items in the $250 and up category for that someone speciale in your life. The sky’s the limit!

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My Brand New Tire Has a Nail in It!

Dear MOby,

Right, so, on the way home from having new Dunlop Q3 Pluses mounted on my almost-new 2005 GSX-R1000, I ran over a flathead nail which is still lodged right in the middle of the rear tread. I’ve read about plugging tires on MO, but is there a better way since this tire is brand new? Somebody told me I could just put a tube inside, even though it’s a tubeless tire? What’s the deal?

Holey of Holies
Burbank, CA

Do not feel like the Lone Ranger, Holey, this happens to the best of us. They actually do make tubes to fit your 190/50-ZR17 rear, but you definitely don’t want to go that route unless you plan on never going faster than about 70 mph again. Heat is the enemy of the rear tire on a bike as powerful as yours, and an inner tube rubbing against the inside of the tire as it flexes – and radials flex more than the old bias-ply tires – especially at higher speeds, could cause nasty consequences should the tube suddenly decide to exhale all at once.

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MotoAmerica Dunlop Tire Test, Circuit of the Americas +Video

Yo, I made a video! Actually Matt Francis made the video while I walked around with a microphone and interrupted people, since I was already in Texas for the introduction of Dunlop’s new Q3+ Sportmax tire anyway. The MO wheel grinds slow but fine; this took place in April, before the MotoAmerica race season even got started. But I guess you could already sort of tell how things were going to go – much the way they’ve been going since Monster Yamaha and Yoshimura Suzuki became the only serious factory teams. Still fun to watch.

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Sign-Up For Chance To Win A Set of Dunlop ROADSMART III Tires

With a consistently heavy volume of new stories and news items appearing daily on the Motorcycle.com homepage, it can become difficult to catch everything you’re interested in. MO‘s newsletter helps to solve that issue by delivering a digest of the latest bike reviews, comparison tests, and motorcycle news straight to your inbox every couple of days.

Dunlop Roadsmart III Performance-Touring Tire Review

In case that isn’t reason enough all by itself to sign-up for our newsletter, Dunlop Tires has stepped up to potentially make it even more worth your while. For a limited time, readers who sign-up to receive MO‘s newsletter will also be entered to win a new set of Dunlop ROADSMART III sport touring tires courtesy of Dunlop. So what are you waiting for? Get on the list and maybe get your baby some new dancing shoes in the process!

Click HERE to sign-up for the MO Newsletter and to be entered to win a new set of Dunlop ROADSMART III tires!

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Dunlop Sportmax Q3+ Tire Review

“Tire testing” is rapidly becoming my favorite thing to do here at MO. It always involves going on a great ride, sometimes even a race track, and no one can really accuse me of getting it wrong, can they? Especially when the main claim is greater tire longevity. I’d like to hang around Austin and eat more barbecue and put 6,000 miles on these new Dunlops, but oh dear, look at the time…

Dunlop says its current Sportmax Q3 is and has been the best-selling sport tire in America since its introduction four years ago (as well as of course the best! sport tire period), and now the boys from Buffalo have completely overhauled it, producing what they claim is not only a better sport tire – but also one that’ll give 20 to 30% more longevity than the current Q3. That would be the Sportmax Q3+.

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