Rear tire - Dunlop or Maxxis?

I just picked up a "new to me" 2005 CRF450X and the bike is awesome, but of course it came with a rear tire that has seen better days.

I'm not really too upset, b/c it looks like the original rear tire! Not a scratch on the rim from a tire change, and the hourmeter the original owner installed just rolled over 30.

I've been reading and searching the forum, and it seems like guys prefer either the Dunlop D51MX IT or the Maxxis IT for desert riding - Southern Nevada - LOTS of rocks, hardpack sun baked dirt, sand and gravel.

My local shop has 3 options for the same price Maxxis IT, Maxxis Desert IT, and the Dunlop D51 IT.

If the Maxxis was cheaper, I'd go that route in a heartbeat, but for the same price it seems like the D51 might be better value. Guys at the shop didn't know dick about the tires.

I can give up a little traction - I'm more concerned with durability than shaving tenths out in the desert. Which is the right choice for the longest life and fewest flats?

Thanks in advance for all the great advice on this site!

Kenda Parker DT...

I ride hard pack, soft, 4x4 rocky muddy,gravel trails and I prefer the mx 71 rear and mx 51 front

Local shop only has the 3 types, and I need to pick one so I can ride this weekend.

Will the Maxxis outlast the D51?

I run Dunlop MX71 Front and D739 rear.

I've chewed through MX51's pretty quickly and I'm not too fond of the MX71 in anything soft. I would go with the Maxxis Desert IT if that's your only choice. It's known to last a while.

Yea the 71 is meant for mid to hard. It does pretty good in mid not sure about sand that's way I have a paddle too lol

I haven't tried a Desert IT but I've used the regular Maxxis IT for a while now. Just mounted a new one up last week and put about 40 miles on it over some mixed terrain. Couple nasty rock sections, one off the bike tire roasting session to get it over a boulder, and a 2 mile wide open run on pavement to cheat back to the truck. Barely took an edge off the knobs. If the regular IT is as good as what I have experienced then I'm sure the desert IT will wear like iron.

The only negative thing I can say is the last tire I had started to chunk on the edges towards the end. Not sure if its because I ran it longer than most people do or if it was a lemon. Either way it was minimal and didn't effect my riding.

Michelin S12 XC,


M12 XC


or the MH3 depending on riding conditions.


Insane tires all around.

Or Motoz Tractionator Xcircuit or Enduro tires if you can get them.




Anything but the MX51.

I like 120/100 MX71 rear, and Maxxiss 90/100 Desert IT for front, for all overall riding.

I run a set of Desert ITs up here in washington state, its mostly a muddy mess with slick tree roots, some rocks, but mostly soft slick mud. Lots or trail hazards like sharp rocks and tree roots so I like the stiffer carcus of a desert tire. So far (1 month) I love the Desert IT. It even clawed thru some snow the other day. I run them at about 9 psi right now and they rock. Deep lugs on these things too.

2013 KTM 450 XCW. I ran MX71 rear and MX51 front in a desert race a couple weeks back. Eastern WA, dry hard pack on most of it with sand floting on top, OH YUMMY! :banghead: With 15 PSI it was like being on an ice rink in the corners so I pulled off and dropped the air down to around 10 PSI. Much better. I would rather run MX51 in the rear as they track really well for me but they don't last as long. I'm pulling off the MX71 for Michelin M12 and see how that goes. The MX71 did hook up very well in the grass sections but then again, what wouldn't?

The Desert IT got me all the way to Cabo from the US on the rear. They work great for me

Oh no... another tire thread. :D

Tire selection is like... blonde or brunette, chevy or ford, etc

Each tire can do a good job if it's in the right terrain. However, some tires just flat out suck.

I've settled in on the (for sand, hard pack, and loam dirt);

FRONT: Pirelli Scorpion XC Medium Hard

REAR: Dunlop D606

Both are what I need to be DOT compliant (I am street plated).

And both, have hard carcassed sidewalls for help with being resistant to pinch flats, and wear like iron.

Sure I love other tires, and know they have their place. Or don't last as long... BUT, I'm stuck on the above.

....and for the record, MAXXIS feels like I'm riding on ice in comparison to my top 3 preferences (like a Dunlop D739 A/T Desert - rear). I don't care how long they last... I can't stand'em, and they chunk on me.

Edited by JohnnyAirtime

I have tried the Dunlop D606 & the Maxxis IT Desert in southern AZ on the rear. My impressions, D606 lasted 1300-1400 miles of HARD riding, probably 300 of that was on pavement, the rest fire roads and open desert. It didn't hook up as well as I was hoping, a Lot of tire spin. The Maxxis IT Desert is what I'm running now. Only have 300 miles on it. It hooks up MUCH better than the D606 on all desert conditions. It also wears a bit faster. No chunks on either of the tires though. has been the cheapest place to buy tires I have found.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now