MXA TEAM TESTED: DUNLOP GEOMAX MX3S REAR TIRE (NEE’ MX32)
WHAT IS IT? The Dunlop Geomax MX3S rear tire, previously named the MX32, is a soft- to intermediate-terrain tire that was built to replace the Geomax MX31 and MX51 rears.
WHAT’S IT COST? $134.04—$149.25 (depends on size).
CONTACT? www.dunlopmotorcycle.com or your local dealer.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Dunlop Geomax MX3S (aka Dunlop MX32) rear tire.
(1) Replacement. The Geomax MX51 rear had been Dunlop’s star player until the release of the Geomax MX32 (which just recently had is name changed to MX3S to avoid conflict with Pirelli’s existing MX32 tire name). The MX51 was a rear tire that held its ground on semi-hard to intermediate terrain. The wrecking crew could not say anything bad about the MX51 rear, but also nothing great. It was a workmanlike rear tire. But it is gone, replaced by the new MX32 (for soft to intermediate terrain) and the MX52 (for intermediate to hard conditions).
(2) Changes. Dunlop’s most ballyhooed advancement on the MX32 is its progressive cornering block technology. It is basically a knob within a knob that places a small knob inside an existing one. Additionally, the MX3S features fewer knobs in the center row to allow the pressure to contour the rubber to the ground for increased traction. The rubber has been upgraded with an innovative anti-rebound formula. Strangely enough, Bridgestone came out with new tires with the same knob-in-knob design at the same time.
(3) Performance. Bottom line? We approve (when used on the proper terrain). The new technology allows the tire to grip the ground better. Any time we leaned the bike, whether under braking or on the gas, the MX3S tracked exceptionally well, outperforming the MX52 by leaps and bounds. Straight-line traction was good, but there was a little wallow on less-than-loamy dirt under acceleration. What the MXA test riders liked best was the MX3S’s versatility. Although designed for intermediate to soft dirt, it performed well on everything above hardpack all the way to muddy conditions.
(4) Durability. By touch, the knobs feel soft and pliable. We thought the softer rubber would break down quickly, but, lo and behold, we gave this tire a lickin’ and it kept on tickin’. All the knobs stayed intact with no breaking or cracking (unless we used it on rock hard dirt). The MX3S wore evenly and lasted a reasonable time for a performance tire. The wrecking crew was impressed that this performance-based tire was so durable. Remember this is an intermediate terrain tire…durability will lessen if you add in hard-pack dirt. For tracks that have some intermediate sections and some hard-packed sections, the MXA wrecking crew thinks that an MX3S front mixed with an MX52 rear is probably the best choice.
(5) MX3S Front tire. When the MXA wrecking crew has to choose a front tire to use on prepped tracks, intermediate dirt, loam or everything short of hard pack, most choose to run the MX32 front. It is a very good front tire when used in the proper conditions (a much better front tire than the MX52). If you run it on hard pack, you run the risk of breaking the side knobs off, but it can easily handle short sections of hard dirt on race tracks.
(6) Value. With the Dunlop MX3S rear, you get what you pay for. The retail price is steep, but this is a high-performance tire that is also durable. If you are a hardcore racer, this tire is worth forking out the dough for, but play riders would be better off with something more affordable.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Suggested retail is almost $150, but you can easily find bargains.
The MX3S is a winner. With it’s versatility and performance, this rear tire is a first class sneaker for intermediate terrain. It is a race tire only, and would only be a good play rider tire for riders using in in pure intermediate terrain or with deep pockets.