Product Review: Dunlop Geomax MX51 Tire
It's tough to accept change sometimes, and that's as true of motorcycle tires as it is anything else. From time to time, tire manufacturers will replace their tried-and-true, highly-popular models with new versions. Often, the reaction to this news from riders is simply "why?" as many feel that there's nothing wrong with the old tires.
In reality, motorcycles of all kinds are becoming more powerful every year, and that requires lines of new tires occasionally in order to get the most out of the increased performance. That's definitely the case with the Dunlop Geomax MX51 dirt bike tire, which replaces the ever-popular D756.
Dunlop MX51 Tire Quality
Replacing a model like the D756 is no small task, but Dunlop believes that those who try the MX51 will fall in love all over again. One of the big selling points about the redesigned MX51 is its rigidity. Some characterized the D756 as a "softer" tire, but the MX51 is designed to remain hard even at a lower air pressure. This also provides the tire with improved grip while cornering.
Dunlop MX51 Tread Design
Another key to the new MX51 tire is a completely redesigned tread system. The tire utilizes a pattern called the "Geomax Reinforced Pattern" that uses significantly larger tread blocks than the old Dunlop tires. The arrangement of the tread is also different, with a lot of open space in the center of the tire, and the blocks packed more densely together on the sides and shoulders. Dunlop claims that this decision gives the bike greater grip on corner and ruts than its predecessor. Overall, the tire has a greater "land/sea ratio" in terms of tread design than previous versions.
However, the open space in the center utilizes large sipes in order to stay on track during straightaways. Dirt bike riders know that they have to deal with all types of terrain, and even one rut or bump can throw them off their line. The large open spaces in the center of the tire ensure the MX51 can handle just about anything while keeping the bike straight. Riders may also notice that the tires absorb bumps better than the D756. However, those tread blocks on the side still allow motocross racers plenty of ability to corner.
The idea behind this is to build a tire that allows dirt bike riders to tackle a wider variety of terrain than the D756. The previous tire was most at home on intermediate and soft tracks, but Dunlop is hoping that riders adopt the MX51 on just about any type of terrain they can think of, whether the track is hard and smooth or wet and clumpy.
Dunlop MX51 Track Performance
Hard track performance should especially see an improvement, thanks to the tread's brand-new tie-bar design. This system connects the tread blocks together to ensure that the tire remains stiff and can handle harder terrain. Combined with the tire's aforementioned rigidity, fans of harder tracks should find more to like about the Dunlop MX51.
Another aspect that motocross and dirt bike riders frequently concern themselves with is weight, and that's another significant difference between the MX51 and D756. The newer tire is approximately one pound heavier on the rear, which is likely due to the increased tread and rigidity.
While the tire makes numerous improvements over the D756, riders will be happy to know that Dunlop has kept the price down on both front and rear versions, so motocrossers won't have to shell out significantly more for these tires.