MXA TEAM TESTED: DUNLOP GEOMAX AT81 FRONT TIRE

June 2, 2014
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N-GEOMAX_AT81F_Front_3-4s

WHAT IS IT? Dunlop’s Geomax AT81 front tire was inspired by the much loved, but discontinued, D756 design. However, unlike the D756, the AT81 is made specifically for offroad use. We loved the Dunlop 756, and we never gave up hope that we would find a 756 replacement, which is why we decided to test Dunlop’s offroad front.

WHAT’S IT COST? $125.99.

CONTACT? www.dunlopmotorcycle.com or your local dealer.

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Dunlop Geomax AT81 front tire.

(1) Design. Dunlop should be kicking themselves for discontinuing the D756. It was a versatile tire that many people loved. With an eye toward their customers’ emotional ties, the all-new AT81 was inspired by the D756 design but modernized for today’s demands. The AT81 tire has lateral grooves in the shoulder knobs to provide additional bite while adding flex and impact-absorbing qualities. The construction also includes two plies of nylon wrapped with a third ply of polyester. Dunlop incorporated their proprietary “plush pad design” in the areas between the center tread blocks for enhanced compliance and a more comfortable ride.

(2) Purpose. It is important to note that the Dunlop Geomax AT81 is not a purpose-built motocross tire. Dunlop designed it for the all-around conditions of offroad riding. Dunlop’s motocross specific tires are the new MX52 and MX32. Our test AT81 was a 90/90 size, which is shorter and wider than the typical 100/80 motocross tire. The AT81’s crown is soft for impact absorption on rocks and logs, while the sidewall is stiff to keep the tire from folding over at low pressures.

(3) Performance. In truth, the MXA wrecking crew was on a fishing expedition with the AT81; we are always on the lookout for good front tires, and sometimes the best tires come from the strangest places. Since the AT81 was inspired by the D756, we hoped we would strike gold with it. And we did! The AT81 front adapted well to a wide variety of conditions and worked exceptionally well in a few. It was at its best in intermediate terrain where it had a very consistent feel. We especially liked it in deep ruts, where the side knobs gripped the edges of the ruts and tracked through them. We also liked the tire in hard-packed conditions, as it kept the front planted on blue-groove. In the desert-like conditions it was designed for, it pushed a little on hardpack with loose dirt on top, but even at its worst, it was predictable and consistent. would we choose it over an MX52 or MX32 front? In some condition we would, but on a prepped track we go specific over offroad.

(4) Tire pressure. Every MXA test rider selected 12 pounds as the magic number.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? No major complaints about the AT81 front, but we shredded the AT81 rear companion tire.

4-STARS

If you are looking for a great all-around front tire, you would have a hard time doing better than the Dunlop Geomax AT81. This is a very good front tire, whether it be offroad or on a motocross track.

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