MXA TEAM TESTED: DUNLOP GEOMAX MX52 FRONT TIRE

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WHAT IS IT? The Dunlop Geomax MX52 front tire is an intermediate-to-hard-terrain tire that was built to replace the Geomax MX51 and MX71.

WHAT’S IT COST? $120.89.

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

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Dunlop Geomax MX52 front tire.

(1) Replacement. Instead of it’s three previous tire models (MX31, MX51 and MX71) for different terrain, in 2014 Dunlop engineered two new tires (MX32 and MX52) that do the job of the three. The MX32 was developed for intermediate-to-soft terrain, while the MX52 is for hard-to-intermediate conditions. Dunlop has been developing these tires on the AMA Pro circuit for the last few years.

(2) Changes. Dunlop’s biggest advancement in their new breed of tires is the progressive cornering block technology on the rear tire. It is basically a knob within a knob. Dunlop places a small knobby into an existing one. The MX52’s staggered design of the center blocks enables the tire to spread the load to assist with impact damping and stability. Dunlop designed the MX52 to be directional, so be mindful when mounting it.

(3) Performance. The MX52 replaced the MX51 front, which was not a highly rated front tire because it  seemed to be in a consistent state of looseness. in the same vien, the previous MX71 gripped well on hard dirt but was very terrain specific. As the for the Geomax MX52, it would appear to the casual tire aficionado that Dunlop mated the MX51 to the MX71 with an eye toward taking the best genes from both to come up with the MX52. Or maybe it was the worst traits of both. In hard-to-intermediate terrain, the MX52 performed well. None of the MXA test riders had any major issues—especially in comparison to the MX51. What most MXa test riders liked about the MX52 was that it was very consistent. You always knew what it was going to do—even if you didn’t like what it was doing. If however, you took the MX52 out of its intended range—as in sand, mud, wet dirt, loose dirt on hard pack or deep loam. If this is your terrain of choice, opt for the much better MX32. Compared to the MX32 the MX52 will push the front end when you try to push it. If youy race on prepped tracks, and want the best Dunlop front tire, go with the MX32. If you are worried about tire wear, knob chunking and overall cost—stick with the MX52.
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(4) Durability. There is a reason why the Dunlop MX52 has become the OEM tire of choice for many new bikes. We had absolutely no issues with durability. The tire held its edges for a sufficient amount of time. All the knobs stayed intact with no breaking or cracking. The MX52 wore evenly. The wrecking crew and the product managers were impressed with its durability. With the exception of the 2016 KTMs that are equipped with MX32 tires and the occasional Suzuki or Kawasaki with Bridgestone 403/404 tires, OEM tire choice isn’t based on the best performance as much as all-around usaubility.

(5) Value. With the Dunlop MX52 front, you get what you pay for—which is not the ultimate in performance, but a tire that works adequately in conditions as varied as quarries, farm fields and rock hard tracks.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? The tire is great for the conditions and purpose that it was made for. If you get the MX52 out of its comfort zone, make sure you have an MX32 in your arsenal.

MXA RATING?

3-STARS

The Dunlop MX52 front tire replaces both the MX71 and the MX51, and it is better than both of them, but keep in mind that this is a terrain-sensitive tire.

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