MXA TEAM TESTED: DUNLOP GEOMAX MX33 REAR TIRE

WHAT IS IT? The Dunlop Geomax MX33 rear tire is a soft-to-intermediate-terrain tire that was designed to replace the Geomax MX3S tire. 

WHAT’S IT COST? $131.79 (100/90-19), $141.53 (110/90-19), 146.75 (120/80-19).

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

WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand out with the Dunlop Geomax MX33 rear tire. 

(1) Replacement. The Dunlop MX3S front and MX3s rear tires became the most popular premium race tires on the market. The MX3S offered great intermediate-to-soft-terrain versatility. What it lacked was durability. Most hard-core racers were willing to trade durability for performance, but Dunlop wasn’t. The MX3S often ended up in the hands of riders who paid no attention to the fact that the MX3S was designed to work on softer terrain, not hardpack. From the beginning, the Dunlop MX3S was star-crossed. It was originally called the MX32, but Dunlop had to change the name to MX3S after Pirelli complained that the Dunlop MX32 name was too close to the Pirelli MX32 name. After the name change, complaints began to emerge about the side knobs tearing off the front MX3S tire. Dunlop was forced to retire the MX3S and design a new tire combo that would exceed the expectations of consumers. That tire was the MX33. Dunlop wanted users to feel confident that the MX33 would offer improved wear characteristics, work better at steep lean angles and not shed knobs. 

(2) Performance. The MXA wrecking crew loved the Dunlop MX3S/MX32 tire. It had been our go-to tire since its inception in 2014. We didn’t mind that it chucked knobs off the front tire, because we used it in intermediate to soft dirt only where its lifespan was extended. But, Dunlop dropped the MX3S, and the motocross world moved to the MX33. On the MX33, Dunlop added tie bars to support the side knobs and a slightly more rigid carcass to produce a more consistent feel at steep lean angles. Compared to the MX3S, the MX33 had improved grip and didn’t want to step out as much on exit. The feel was quite different from the MX3S, as test riders were able to get on the gas harder coming through and out of corners. 

(3) Durability. The Dunlop Geomax MX33 rear is more durable than the MX3S, as the knobs wear evenly and the carcass holds up better over time.

WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? Two gripes. (1) We did notice that the MX33 has a harsher feel when hitting square-edged bumps. We lowered the air pressure to 12 psi from 12.5 psi to help (we ran 13 psi to 13.5 psi in the MX3S). (2) For tracks with concrete starts, the stiffer carcass lessens the MX33’s ability to squat down to grab traction. 

MXA RATING: It’s hard to be impartial after spending four years adapting to the feel of the previous Dunlop MX3S. But, with more saddle time, we grew to like the MX33. It offered better traction on lean angles, lasted longer and could be used on a wider range of terrain.

 

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