Dunlop will launch two new tyres in 2018 and aim to cover off two of the biggest sectors in the UK motorcycle market; adventure bikes and sports bikes.
The SportSmart TT is the first combined road & track tyre from Dunlop for a decade and relies on the company’s experience and success in the FIM Endurance World Championship. Since 2000 Dunlop have secured a phenomenal 10 World Endurance Championship crowns.
Dunlop claim the SportSmart TT has “been developed to meet the needs of riders with the very latest sports bikes and performance roadsters who want to use the same tyre on track and for road riding.”
The ‘TT’ in SportSmart TT stands for ‘Track Technology’ and is not linked to that tiny island in the middle of the Irish Sea. That said, you can be sure that the data gathered by the likes of Ian Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop over the years will in some way have filtered down into this rubber.
Dunlop SportSmart TT uses a race compound that is claimed to provide consistent performance and a versatile operating range which Dunlop state is “vital for combined road and track use.”
Dunlop also state that an update of their NTEC technology which is imaginatively called NTEC RT, allows the rider to tune the pressure in the tyre to maximise the footprint – lower pressure means a larger footprint and therefore more grip. Dunlop claim that this system means a rider can keep manufacturer advised pressures for the road but when they hit the track a 24% increase in the contact area can be achieved.
The SportSmart TT is going to be released in March 2018 prices and sizes TBC but we should expect them to fit bikes in the flagship sports bike category.
Dunlop’s replacement to the outgoing TrailSmart has been specifically developed for bikes like the BMW R1200 GS and the Honda Africa Twin. The TrailSmart was first released in 2015 and with bikes like the Ducati Multistrada continually pushing the envelope in terms of performance Dunlop has reacted with this more high-tech rubber.
The TrailSmart MAX features a material called rayon in the ply construction which sits alongside the tradition steel belts that give the tyre its rigidity. Dunlop claim, “This gives more precise steering” and that the TrailSmart MAX “gives a quicker warm-up, and much more progressive behaviour in a variety of temperatures and conditions.”
The rear tyre now also benefits from Dunlop's MT or Multitread compound technology. Dunlop state that the mix of compounds has been optimized to give strong mileage performance (a claimed 15% better than the outgoing TrailSmart) whilst offering better cornering performance, particularly on the new generation of higher powered adventure bikes. The TrailSmart Max also features a "Cross Groove Tread" which is designed to improve wet weather performance.
As with the SportSmart TT, the TrailSmart MAX should be available in Winter 2018. Price TBC, sizes can be seen in the chart below.
For more information, see your nearest Dunlop stockist, visit them at Motorcycle Live (18-26 November).