Dun­lop Sports­mart2 Max £261

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Tyre Guide -

Re­vised for this year – and re­plac­ing the stan­dard Sports­mart2, the Max fea­tures a com­pletely new front with a re­vised and stiffer con­struc­tion, plus new com­pounds. The rear tyre’s con­struc­tion car­ries on from be­fore, but Dun­lop say they’ve taken ad­van­tage of new chem­i­cal tech­nol­ogy, al­low­ing the com­pound to be more durable in the mid­dle and grip­pier on the edges. In all, Dun­lop claim the tyre lasts 10% longer than the old one, has sweeter steer­ing and is faster around their test track.

What are they like?

We per­formed a back-to-back test with the old and new tyres on a Suzuki GSX-S1000 on su­per-chal­leng­ing French roads and found that the new tyre feels more nim­ble and play­ful. It also holds a tighter line out of cor­ners and needs less ef­fort to steer. The new rub­ber flat­ters the GSX-S1000 and even makes its badly-con­trolled rear sus­pen­sion feel a lit­tle bet­ter.

The Sports­mart2 Max works well from cool and isn’t up­set by cam­ber changes and poor road sur­faces – but nei­ther is the tyre it re­places. We rode at ev­ery­thing from sen­si­ble, con­ser­va­tive speeds to knee-down crazi­ness on moun­tain passes and the new tyre never was found lack­ing in any sit­u­a­tion. You can re­ally tramp on.

On the track, there is con­fi­dence and lots of feel from the front. We tried the tyres on a BMW S1000R, a Yamaha MT-10, a Suzuki GSX-S1000, a Kawasaki ZX-10R and Yamaha R1 and found the per­for­mance to be good.

If you’re at the front of the track­day fast group on a sports 1000, they’re not for you – that’s what Dun­lop’s

new D212 GP Racer is for (see page 12). But in­ter­me­di­ate-level track­day­ers and peo­ple on slower road bike-only days will be re­warded by their neu­tral feel­ing and front-end grip. The nice tran­si­tion be­tween up­right and full lean gives loads of con­fi­dence, too. It’s im­pres­sive.

But you re­alise the Sports­mart2 Max isn’t a full-on track tyre when you ride ma­chines like the Kawasaki ZX-10R, where the bike is prone to over­whelm the rear tyre on corner ex­its. But it slides with pre­dictabil­ity and a mar­gin of er­ror that means los­ing rear trac­tion is al­most en­joy­able. If you’ve got trac­tion con­trol, that is…

On bikes with more nat­u­ral trac­tion, like Yamaha’s R1 and MT-10 it was much hap­pier – and the re­sult was sur­pris­ingly fast laps. In fact, there is an ar­gu­ment that on bikes like BMW’S S1000R and the Yamaha MT-10, this is all you need – you run out of ground­clear­ance long be­fore you run out of grip. In the case of both bikes the Sports­mart is a step for­ward from their tawdry OE rub­ber, too.

All in all, the Sports­mart2 Max is a good up­grade from Dun­lop. If you’re in the mar­ket for a sporty, do-any­thing tyre which also has the po­ten­tial for strong longevity, then the Sports­mart2 Max is up there with the best.

Sizes avail­able

Front: 110/70 R17, 120/60 R17, 120/70 R17, 130/70 R16 Rear: 150/60 R17, 160/60 R17, 180/55 R17, 190/50 R17, 190/55 R17, 200/55 R17 Q Con­tact www.dun­lop.eu/ mo­tor­cy­cle

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