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Dunlop Introduces DOT Legal Trials Tire: K950


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Dual sport motorcycling is as popular as ever, so the folks at Dunlop decided a while back that it needed to expand its tire line-up by adding a purpose-built trials tire that retained all the characteristics that off-road riders love about them (amazing traction), while also delivering a solid on-road performance (stability, confident braking & long wear). We said, "a while back" because Dunlop development cycles are a bit on the longer side. They set a pretty high bar for themselves to ensure that the end product lives up to what they claim, so if you're thinking to yourself, "It's about time!", there's a good reason why.

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Dunlop K950 DOT legal trials tire

Dunlop K950 Highlights

  • Trials tires are popular among off-road riders who also enjoy a dose of pavement on their rides, and for that the street-legal K950 is ideal. The K950 delivers the kind of performance trials riders and off-road enthusiasts are looking for, with additional durability and on-road capability.
     
  • The K950 features bias-ply construction, and compounds and tread pattern designed to tackle tough single-track terrain and challenging conditions. In both wet and dry conditions, the K950 excels when the course or trail turns hard-packed, rocky, or littered with tree roots.
     
  • For dual sport riding, the K950 provides a smoother ride and longer wear than a traditional knobby tire on the street, while providing a high level of grip and bump-absorbing compliance in the dirt.
     
  • The Dunlop K950 is only available in a 4.00-18 (110/90) size and weighs just over 11.5lbs.
     
  • Made in Japan
     

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Dunlop EN91 DOT front and K950 DOT Rear tire

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Dunlop was kind enough to send a K950 our way for testing, so stay tuned for our full review late spring 2021.  Hit us up in the comments section below if there is anything specific that you'd like us to consider in our testing. We'll do our best!

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Contributing editor @2x1wheeler spoonin' on a Dunlop K950 for testing

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What do you think of the Dunlop K950? Please hit us up in the comments section below with your thoughts or questions.

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Make sure to get into some mud on your tests. Curious as to how it cleans out. 👍

Edited by 00boob
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I'm curious how durable the tire is in general for rough off-road use. They will sell more to the off-road crowd than the trials crowd I'm sure!

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11 hours ago, Oil Baron said:

I wonder how it compares to the Pirelli MT43.

We won't be doing a tire shoot out per se, but there are likely plenty of MT43 reviews out there. Hopefully using our's to compare/contrast will get you the insight you're hoping for. 👊

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I always loved the Michelin Trials tire, until it was turned into the Trials "Light"...."More than a pound lighter than its predecessor". Now it just gets cut and pinched way too easily! Please report on durability Bryan. 

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13 hours ago, 2strokes_rule said:

I always loved the Michelin Trials tire, until it was turned into the Trials "Light"...."More than a pound lighter than its predecessor". Now it just gets cut and pinched way too easily! Please report on durability Bryan. 

@2x1wheeler said that he'll give it hell, so for sure!🤙

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Competition for the mt43.  Has a more crowned profile ( road bias), lighter , 2ply or more nylon? Can it be ridden a short distance on a flat? 

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First week on the trail with the K950 and it was WET! Typical Northeast thaw season.

Going to keep pounding this tire into the ground to see what it is made of!

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Rode for many years with the MT43 rear tire on different Dual Sport bikes. The traction was the main benefit for me. Riding Buddies also claimed high mileage for the tire. Over 1000 miles in some cases.

I rarely got that kind of durability. Always ended up slashing a sidewall down to the tube on rocks.

This new Dunlop has to be better than the MT43 for this easily damaged sidewall issue for me to try one.  Have no idea how to test this. Of course the Dunlop Rep will says it's better, but how to prove it?

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1 minute ago, GPS Dual Sport said:

Rode for many years with the MT43 rear tire on different Dual Sport bikes. The traction was the main benefit for me. Riding Buddies also claimed high mileage for the tire. Over 1000 miles in some cases.

I rarely got that kind of durability. Always ended up slashing a sidewall down to the tube on rocks.

This new Dunlop has to be better than the MT43 for this easily damaged sidewall issue for me to try one.  Have no idea how to test this. Of course the Dunlop Rep will says it's better, but how to prove it?

Our testing is simple: go ride the thing and share what we learned. Of course, we can't test in all positive conditions, but we do our best to get the most range possible for the geographic area we're riding in. Hopefully our review will give some insights, but ours + others over the next several months will really tell the story. It will be interesting to see the different take aways. Where do you ride geographically out of curiousity?

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1 hour ago, GPS Dual Sport said:

Hi @Bryan II,

I'm in the SW USA. Retired and now living in Utah after 31 year in SoCal. So rain is not an issue out here.

If it's like Vegas, after a rain, the dirt turns to thick glue! @2x1wheeler is testing in New Jersey, so definitely not 1:1 for you. But, hopefully he'll still have some take away for you.

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As just a small adjustment to what @Bryan II mentioned about testing location. While some experiential testing will occur in NJ (mostly sandy). The majority will be in the coal country single track (eastern PA). That area offers from mild to wild single track, wet and dry environments. That's where this tire is meant to be. 

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4.00-18 limited sizing is the big problem.  When was the last time you used a tyre this small on a 300 or 450 Enduro bike.   I love a soft compound trials tire on the back of my KTMs and have done for the past 20 years.  But the price of new D803's and the lack of larger sizes puts me off.     These days I run GoldenTyre GT516KX 140 / 80-18 "Gummy" Extreme Rear.   Don't ride the GT516KX or the D803 at low pressure on hard pack for more than a few km - they get hot and start doing weird things.

Screen Shot 2021-04-24 at 8.38.18 am.png

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yep, 4.00-18 is a wimpy thing. Let's get some meat on the ground!

IMG_6798.thumb.JPG.2d1fa41ee9eb47a49bd02efa59f61498.JPG

Edited by 2manyrides

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1 hour ago, 2manyrides said:

yep, 4.00-18 is a wimpy thing. Let's get some meat on the ground!

IMG_6798.thumb.JPG.2d1fa41ee9eb47a49bd02efa59f61498.JPG

 What width rim is that in the photo? The tire looks very rounded.

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23 hours ago, PhilthyX said:

I think the KTM on the cover of May 2021 Dirt Bike Magazine has one on it?

Yup. Jay Clark has a review on it on his Youtube and Instagram.

 

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If you run the Pirelli offroad with 6 or even 4 psi. It has a large and long footprint with the outer diameter being close to your 21” front knobby.  The best part is the tall sidewall gives a cushy ride, but it does raise the bike up a bit. 

Those Michelins are true trials tires with the soft sticky compound. 

What psi are they running the Dunlop during testing?

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16 hours ago, Oil Baron said:

If you run the Pirelli offroad with 6 or even 4 psi. It has a large and long footprint with the outer diameter being close to your 21” front knobby.  The best part is the tall sidewall gives a cushy ride, but it does raise the bike up a bit. 

Those Michelins are true trials tires with the soft sticky compound. 

What psi are they running the Dunlop during testing?

Testing psi will range from 15psi (just for pavement) down to basically flat to feel the sidewall support. 

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🏻... and has there been any mention of a front to match?

 I’m running MT43’s front and rear on an XR650L now.  Got about 4500 mi on the set now, with a new rear ready to mount.  The front will last for two rears it seems.  
 

👊🏻✊🏻 Cheers!

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17 hours ago, mfaoro said:

Any word as to chances for more sizes? 

No word.

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