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who has used a MT43?

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I used a Dunlop on my 250 but pulled it off when I sold it and bought a 125. I’m going to give it a try on the 125 this weekend and if it works on the small bore I will probably buy a new trials tire since the Dunlop is fairly worn.

I am interested in the MT43 for the stiffer sidewall. I am not sure how a bias ply will work though. I think most of us assume a trials tire works well because it is radial but maybe it is the closely spaced soft rubber that is important?

With the Dunlop I would have to drop below 8psi in clay. Then the tire would flex enough to clean the mud out. With a stiffer bias ply tire will it flex enough to clean out?

Eric K loves the Mitas, he rides the same terrain as me, and he has tried most of the trials tires. Normally this would be enough to make me pick it but most everyone else does not like this tire so I am not sure about it. It is another option though.

Otherwise I will probably get an X-11.

Most of what I ride is loamy mud or greasy clay with lots of roots and rocks thrown in. I don’t get over 30mph too often on our trails.

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Sounds like nobody has. I ordered one anyway since it is only $60. It seems to be the most popular trials tire in other parts of the world. I found lost of good reviews on dirtbikeworld.net.

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I've run Michelin X-11's for years on my enduro bikes. I picked up a couple of MT-43 tires a couple of months ago.

My observations:

The tires track MUCH better than radial trials tires. With the stiffer sidewalls I ran a couple of pounds less pressure. This seems to compensate slightly for the stiffness. The tire compound is not quite as soft as the X-11. This should translate to somewhat longer life at the expense of slightly less traction. So far I see little evidence of ripping around the knobs like some trials tires are prone to do.

Over all at half the cost, I'm sold. Motorcycle Superstore has them right now for $61.

Bye the way, they are DOT legal. :thumbsup:

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I've used them and still do. On a 250f at the moment and previously a 450. They seem to be a fairly hardish compound so wear well.

Our trails combine sticky mud, loose rock and some steep climbs. I tend to run mine at about 4lbs and will leave anyone on knobblies struggling over rocks and loose stuff...they just track straight with no jumping as a knobbly would as it finds grip and then loses it.

When it comes to sticky stuff I always seem to struggle with it but that may be down to my technique/ability or lack of it :thumbsup:

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I tried the tire out. Here is my long winded review

I had used a Dunlop trials tire on my 250 but when I switched to a 125 I went back to a knobby. The snow finally started to melt so I tested the half worn out Dunlop on my 125 and found it actually worked better on a 125 then it did on the 250. I decided to order a new trials tire. I am considerably faster on the 125 then I ever was on the 250 so I was concerned about high speed handling and flats. I decided to give the Pirellis a try. I could not find much feedback from people in the states but from what I read on DirtBikeWorld it seems to be a popular tire in other parts of the world.

The tire was real cheap, $60 from American moto tire. When I received it I immediately had buyers remorse though. I was already concerned that a bias ply tire would not work like a radial but I assumed the knobs would be soft. They are softer then a knobby but not nearly as soft as a true trials tire. My first assumption was that this tire would suck.

It mounted up easy and seated the bead much easier then the Dunlop (took about 30 psi where the Dunlop would take 70. First thing I noticed is this is a huge tire. All trials tires are tall but this one is a good inch taller then my old Dunlop.

The unique thing about this tire is that it has thick rubber above the bead area for pinch flat protection and to run flat. It actually wraps around the outside of the bead so the tube can never pinch against the rim. With this protection, a stiffer carcass, and the really tall profile I figured it would be really hard to pinch flat this tire (more on this later). I also read that people regularly run this tire at 4psi where they would use at least 8 in a normal trials tire.

I went out testing expecting the worse. Unfortunately, for testing purposes, the hills I tested a knobby against the Dunlop trials tire had dried out considerably so traction was much better. It climbed right up everything and I had a hard time even making it spin on purpose with a 125.

I had it at 6psi (I used 7.25 in the Dunlop) but since it was so stiff I decided to go down to 5. After I let out some air I checked it and it was at 6.5. Maybe the tire was warm so maybe I actually set it lower then 5?

Anyway I headed up in elevation to where the snow was melting to find some slick trails. I went through lots of mud and slimy roots and the tire worked awesome. I don’t see how this tire could work as well as a sticky radial on wet rocks and roots but I could not tell a difference. It also allowed me to power up rocky hills without the back end jumping around. This is one of the things I like about a trials tire. For everything a trails tire does well this one seemed to do. At the same psi it might not be as good but you should be able to run this tire much lower.

What is great about this tire is how it handles the situations where a trials tire does not work so well.

Feel – You can not tell you have a trails tire on at speed. It does not wander around at all even up to 60mph at 5psi. The tire is also DOT approved so maybe it can handle sustained speed on blacktop without throwing knobs? I have not tested this though.

Braking – no more sketchy braking! I swear this brakes at least as well as a knobby. I actually like it better because it stays in a straight line in a skid. It seemed like it would brake slide good but I don’t really use that technique so I am not a good judge.

Snow – It seemed equal to a knobby in snow.

Sticky Mud – At least as good as any other trials tire. I wasn’t sure if it would flex enough to clean out but it never plugged up.

Side bite – The tread wraps around the side a little further then most trials tires. You have to really lean it over for the bite to go. I discovered that when trying to spin the bike around 180 degrees from a stop that I had to lean as far as I would with a knobby and it still wanted to grab.

Hard and slick wet clay – I have found that a normal trials tire is not hard enough to bite in this situation. The Pirelli seems much better.

Spinning – Typically a trails tire will grip great but once it starts to spin the traction is gone and you need to back off the power. The traction of this tire tapers off much less when it starts to spin. I had a hard time really testing this anywhere with a 125 as this tire hooked up so well but I did fine a couple really slick spots.

Spin on rim – even at low psi with 1 rim lock the step did not move. I had to run 2 rim locks with my Dunlop.

At the end of the day I found myself flying down a rocky quad trail, jumping all the mounds, and thinking to myself that I have never gone through this section nearly this fast before. Then I noticed my tire was going flat. When I took the tube out I found a slice by the rim lock. Although the tire has excellent protection against the rim pinching the tube the rim lock sticks up higher so this is still a problem I could only find one slice (and I would expect the classic “snake bike” two slices) but it must have pinched. I was using the standard Michelin that came in my bike which must have been stretched as thin as a bicycle tube in that huge tire so I am sure that was part of the problem. I was able to ride it flat for about a ¼ mile to the rode. It made it up a couple small hills and got me back but I would not want to go over 5mph on this tire flat.

I hope I can continue to run this tire at really low pressure because I think that is what makes it work. I am not sure if there are better rim locks available. I can always go to an ultra heavy tube but I hate to add the weight.

I do not know how the long term traction will be either. With a normal trials tire I have found that traction does not diminish much as the knobs wear and round. I think this tire works well because it works like a trials tire but still has hard enough knobs to bite. Once they have rounded some it is possible it will not work so well.

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Sounds better than the Dunlops I tried.

Dwight

Dwight,

You should give it a try and let us know how it works. Since you tore up your Dunlop quickly, we could get a quick read on durability of the MT43.

Eric

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Dwight,

You should give it a try and let us know how it works. Since you tore up your Dunlop quickly, we could get a quick read on durability of the MT43.

Eric

But now my primary ride is a XCF-W 350HT . Not quite the same as the 525EXC that I had my Dunlops on.

Dwight

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I put a full day on this tire last weekend. This time I used a motion pro rimlock and 6 psi since traction was good. We had to do a lot of gravel road to get around snow so the tire got a good workout. Probably 20 miles of 5th and 6th gear gravel cruising. The braking edges of the center knobs all have a small simi-circle chunk forming. The good thing is they look like they are going to chunk in a sharp pattern. My Dunlop developed cracks around the base of all the knobs with less road then this though so I guess it isn’t too bad.

The tire continued to work just awesome on loose rock and rock faces just as any trials tire should. I got in more snow and it seems no worse then any knobby. Like my previous Dunlop is sucks off trail (sometimes we have to go around some downfall and if on ground that is just loose vegetation, fir needles, etc it can not dig down).

The bite when leaned over still feels much better then a normal trials tire. I got in some mud and wet roots and it did great. No squirm on long high speed runs which I really appreciate.

The valve stem is getting crooked but I highly doubt the tire moved. I will mark it next time to make sure. I think the heavy tube I used slid.

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Great info so far.

I am curious as to how well it would do in Central and Eastern Washington and Oregon terrain. This is where most of our events are held.

Do you have to change riding styles with a trials tire?

It is difficult for me because 1/2 the time I run nasty, steep, rocky, rooted, wet Oregon singletrack (1st-3rd gear), but the other 1/2 I ride hard pack Central Oregon terrain (3rd-6th gear).

BTW, Dwight I currently am running the MT16 as per your advice and it has performed well in both of the above situations. But, I have always been curious about the trials tires.

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I ran an MT43 on my YZ450 this weekend in the Shelton Valley enduro which was 80 miles of every type of single track, a little bit of mud, a couple steep-a$$ goat trail hill climbs with zero approach, and two of what are probably the steepest downhills I have ever ridden before. The tire performed flawlessly and here's the kicker...I was running 12 psi! I was running this much pressure as I knew there were several pretty fast sections and ididn't want to worry about flats.

This tire is much, much better with braking than the IRC (the only other trials tire I have used) and I even had it pinned in 5th gear on a couple gravel road sections with no weird feeling at all. Maybe because I had so much air in it.

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