MXA TEAM TESTED: DUNLOP GEOMAX MX14 SCOOP TIRE
WHAT IS IT? The Dunlop Geomax MX14 rear tire is a soft-terrain tire designed specifically for sand and mud conditions, but Dunlop was aware that all its previous scoop tires were single-focus designs for soft terrain, mud and sand only. They were lacking in corner grip and the ability to extend themselves into intermediate-style terrain, so Dunlop designed the Geomax MX14 to provide next-level performance in a broader range of terrain. It got considerable publicity when Eli Tomac elected to run the MX14 during the 2022 AMA 450 National Motocross Championship. And, most other tire manufacturers followed up with more focus on their scoop tires.
WHAT’S IT COST? $150.00 (120/80-19).
CONTACT? www.dunlopmotorcycle.com or your local dealer.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Dunlop MX14 rear tire.
(1) Enhancement. This is the third generation of scoop tires from Dunlop, starting with the MX11 and then the improved MX12, which became more popular over time with its straight-line traction that helped with starts. Its downfall was the lack of lean-angle traction. Impressively, the MX14 has an all-new carcass and tread pattern developed by elite riders around the world.
(2) Soft-terrain performance. When riding in the wet or loamy conditions the tire was designed for, the MXA test riders liked the straight-line pull the MX14 offered. The tire flexed less than the MX12, allowing the forward momentum to be more noticeable, thanks to 18-percent-taller, block-designed knobs that grabbed the dirt to launch the bike forward. The lean-angle traction was greatly improved at the entrance of the turn, thanks to the “Flying V” block angles combined with Flexible Fin Technology (FFT) that allows the outer knobs to flex into the ground for better hard-pack cornering. These tires allowed MXA test riders to set up early in turns and hold an acceptable lean angle all the way through them.
(3) Intermediate-terrain performance. The MX14 has a more noticeably rigid feel on intermediate-to-hard soil. With the new “warped-shovel” shape, the knobs have no problem digging in to find traction. Although the test riders did complain about the wiggly feel the tire gives when the dirt is hard at higher speeds. Would we choose it as a best Intermediate terrain tire? No. You needs to be used selectively based on the softness, wetness or amount of ripping done to the dirt. MXA’s Josh Mosiman almost allows ran a scoop tire in the first session of timed qualifying at the 2023 AMA 450 Nationals, but he didn’t always use it in the first moto and neve rin the second motos.
(4) Durability. The MX14 held up much better than we expected. The carcass broke down before the knobs lost traction. With stiffer sidewalls and 1 pound more weight than the MX12, the carcass’ durability was improved with less wallowing on lean-angle acceleration, allowing us to keep the recommended 12.8 psi of tire pressure longer. The taller blocks on the new MX14 did lose their sharp edges quickly, although the test riders did not feel any loss in performance.
(5) Mounting. Don’t forget that this rear tire is directional. It must go on with the arrows pointing forward. The new Geomax MX14 rear tire was notably stiffer when mounting because of the additional stiffness of the carcass, which has one more ply than the MX12.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? There is a bit more rigidity and harshness on hard-surface tracks. In these situations, it felt like it had too much air pressure.
MXA RATING: Overall, the MXA test riders really enjoyed this tire in soft-to-intermediate dirt. It could handle small patches of hard-pack dirt, like on corner exit, but the outer knobs showed serious signs of wear on high-speed, hard-pack sections.