Dunlop MX31 vs. MX51 on a YZ450 in SoCal Desert


31 replies to this topic
  • grayracer513

Posted November 02, 2009 - 11:51 AM

#1

This thread is a sort of a follow-up to an earlier one:

http://www.thumperta...ad.php?t=788939

I did the front tire testing during the desert off-season, and the heat and wind took turns for a while keeping me from doing getting much time in out there. Since then, I've run an MX31 (120/80x19) at two race weekends, and an MX51 (110/90x19) one weekend.

The MX31 performed pretty well, but overall was no better than a 952. This was something of a surprise to me, but nevertheless true, and especially so on the harder surfaces. The MX31 had a tendency to slip out under power on harder surfaces, and didn't bite well on them in a straight line compared with the 952. The big surprise was in the sand. The 952 has significantly more straight line traction in fine sand than the MX31 did. The MX31, on the other hand does seem to hold corners and side hills in the sand somewhat better. The tire also showed a disturbing amount of wear for the few times it's been run. This was more a matter of the drive side block edges rounding over than of their wear shorter, but it was still pretty significant, and it's definitely wearing much more quickly than a 952.

Overall, I'd say the tire is better suited to mud than sand, and probably a good choice for soft to intermediate soils that have a bit more moisture in them, not so good as a desert tire.

The MX51, by contrast works exceptionally well. While I wasn't able to get to the dunes with it, there was some fine sand on the course, and the tire did very well with it. There were also several very loose, silty hill climbs, and the tire was impressive under those conditions, pushing hard versus digging in, even in the powder. Traction on harder surfaces was excellent, and as Wiz636 noted in the other thread, the tire holds very well exiting corners under power.

The course included a lot of very rocky terrain, also, and after close to 100 miles of riding over two days, the tire literally has barely any wear on it. The drive edges of the knobs are not even significantly rounded over, and in fact are hardly roughed at all. The wear, in fact, seems at this admittedly preliminary point, to be somewhat better than even the 952 rear.

The MX51 is so superior to the MX31 in the rear as a desert tire that it has me wanting to try the front now, in spite of the fact that the MX31 front has been my favorite front tire up to this point.

I'm impressed. :smirk::thumbsup:

  • JJRace

Posted November 02, 2009 - 06:59 PM

#2

Funny cause the MX31 is a mud/soft terrain tire as it is labled. The mx51 is an intermediate tire. Where the 952 is now a multi-terrain offroad sport series tire

I like the 952s for the rocks. Works great with a 742FA front.

The MX51s are my new favorite tire. Way better wear than the 756s and better grip also out of the rear. The front is more like a 756/742 hybrid and works well up here. I so far really like it but only rode mud to IT terrain with it. No hardpack yet. My friends that have them up front seem to like the front with about 2 rides on it. Kind of wears off some hard compound or something and starts to really grip.

This is one thing I disagree with MXA. I think the new MX series is far better than the standard 756s. RRs, well different story and budget. But a front 756RR is like cheating!!!

  • Jim813

Posted November 02, 2009 - 07:08 PM

#3

This thread is a sort of a follow-up to an earlier one:

http://www.thumperta...ad.php?t=788939

I did the front tire testing during the desert off-season, and the heat and wind took turns for a while keeping me from doing getting much time in out there. Since then, I've run an MX31 (120/80x19) at two race weekends, and an MX51 (110/90x19) one weekend.

The MX31 performed pretty well, but overall was no better than a 952. This was something of a surprise to me, but nevertheless true, and especially so on the harder surfaces. The MX31 had a tendency to slip out under power on harder surfaces, and didn't bite well on them in a straight line compared with the 952. The big surprise was in the sand. The 952 has significantly more straight line traction in fine sand than the MX31 did. The MX31, on the other hand does seem to hold corners and side hills in the sand somewhat better. The tire also showed a disturbing amount of wear for the few times it's been run. This was more a matter of the drive side block edges rounding over than of their wear shorter, but it was still pretty significant, and it's definitely wearing much more quickly than a 952.

Overall, I'd say the tire is better suited to mud than sand, and probably a good choice for soft to intermediate soils that have a bit more moisture in them, not so good as a desert tire.

The MX51, by contrast works exceptionally well. While I wasn't able to get to the dunes with it, there was some fine sand on the course, and the tire did very well with it. There were also several very loose, silty hill climbs, and the tire was impressive under those conditions, pushing hard versus digging in, even in the powder. Traction on harder surfaces was excellent, and as Wiz636 noted in the other thread, the tire holds very well exiting corners under power.

The course included a lot of very rocky terrain, also, and after close to 100 miles of riding over two days, the tire literally has barely any wear on it. The drive edges of the knobs are not even significantly rounded over, and in fact are hardly roughed at all. The wear, in fact, seems at this admittedly preliminary point, to be somewhat better than even the 952 rear.

The MX51 is so superior to the MX31 in the rear as a desert tire that it has me wanting to try the front now, in spite of the fact that the MX31 front has been my favorite front tire up to this point.

I'm impressed. :smirk::thumbsup:


I've been looking for some solid feedback for a while. Thanks for the write-up!:ride: Be sure to keep us updated on how the tire performs when it starts to wear and how quickly the tire wears:ride:

  • twenty34

Posted November 02, 2009 - 07:34 PM

#4

I've also had great success with performance and wear on the MX track with the MX 51. Only have a few rides on the MX 51 front, but so far, I'll be ditching my Bridgestones.

  • grayracer513

Posted November 02, 2009 - 08:05 PM

#5

Funny cause the MX31 is a mud/soft terrain tire as it is labled. ... Where the 952 is now a multi-terrain offroad sport series tire

That's what makes the 952 such a good tire. They're priced reasonably, and work very well almost everywhere.

SoCal, especially the desert, is a land of soil type extremes. The range runs from sand to DG gravel to hard pack that borders on concrete, but without much in between that can really be called intermediate, unless it's manufactured, so to speak, by good track prep. What makes matters worse is that one usually encounters soft sand/gravel and hard pack during the same ride, so versatility becomes even more important.

But what I'm learning is that even though mud and sand are both soft, they're entirely different as far as tire design goes. What works in mud doesn't necessarily excel in sand, or vice-versa.

  • rickallen124

Posted November 03, 2009 - 06:32 AM

#6

I haven't tried it yet, but I think a mx51 rear/ mx31 front might be the best combo.

  • Davey762

Posted November 03, 2009 - 06:47 AM

#7

Weird.. my experience with the 952 is that it does not work well in sand at all. Have a hard time believing it would be better than a mx31 in sand....

  • grayracer513

Posted November 03, 2009 - 07:44 AM

#8

Weird.. my experience with the 952 is that it does not work well in sand at all.

Compared to what? It certainly outperforms a 756. It might depend on what your sand is like. In coarser sand/fine gravel, there wasn't a great deal of difference. The dune sand I'm speaking of is roughly twice as fine as beach sand, and has many of the physical properties of a fluid. As I mentioned, the MX31 does hold corners better than a 952, but it just doesn't have the forward drive under power.


I haven't tried it yet, but I think a mx51 rear/ mx31 front might be the best combo.

That's what I currently have, and it is great in my conditions, but I'm going to try the MX51 front next anyway, after seeing how well the rear did.

  • Davey762

Posted November 03, 2009 - 09:26 AM

#9

Compared to what? It certainly outperforms a 756. It might depend on what your sand is like. In coarser sand/fine gravel, there wasn't a great deal of difference. The dune sand I'm speaking of is roughly twice as fine as beach sand, and has many of the physical properties of a fluid. As I mentioned, the MX31 does hold corners better than a 952, but it just doesn't have the forward drive under power.


That's what I currently have, and it is great in my conditions, but I'm going to try the MX51 front next anyway, after seeing how well the rear did.



Like you said, the sand you are riding in is different I guess. The sand here is pretty fine too, but from my experiences whether is was dry or just after a rain a 756 hooked up way better than the 952, was faster in a straight line and didnt slide out comming out of corners as much.

I remember riding on hard packed snow in the winter time once, and a 125 with a wore out ms3 and my bros yz250 with a wore out 755 were smoking my 450 with a good shape 952 on there. The 125 was going faster and climbed the hill better than my 450 lol. It wasn't rider either cause he hopped on my 450 and couldnt even make hill.

All that matters is you like the tire, if it works for you thats great. I just know I'd never buy one again from my experinces with it. But thanks for the review nonetheless.

  • Jim813

Posted November 03, 2009 - 10:29 AM

#10

This thread is a sort of a follow-up to an earlier one:

http://www.thumperta...ad.php?t=788939

I did the front tire testing during the desert off-season, and the heat and wind took turns for a while keeping me from doing getting much time in out there. Since then, I've run an MX31 (120/80x19) at two race weekends, and an MX51 (110/90x19) one weekend.

The MX31 performed pretty well, but overall was no better than a 952. This was something of a surprise to me, but nevertheless true, and especially so on the harder surfaces. The MX31 had a tendency to slip out under power on harder surfaces, and didn't bite well on them in a straight line compared with the 952. The big surprise was in the sand. The 952 has significantly more straight line traction in fine sand than the MX31 did. The MX31, on the other hand does seem to hold corners and side hills in the sand somewhat better. The tire also showed a disturbing amount of wear for the few times it's been run. This was more a matter of the drive side block edges rounding over than of their wear shorter, but it was still pretty significant, and it's definitely wearing much more quickly than a 952.

Overall, I'd say the tire is better suited to mud than sand, and probably a good choice for soft to intermediate soils that have a bit more moisture in them, not so good as a desert tire.

The MX51, by contrast works exceptionally well. While I wasn't able to get to the dunes with it, there was some fine sand on the course, and the tire did very well with it. There were also several very loose, silty hill climbs, and the tire was impressive under those conditions, pushing hard versus digging in, even in the powder. Traction on harder surfaces was excellent, and as Wiz636 noted in the other thread, the tire holds very well exiting corners under power.

The course included a lot of very rocky terrain, also, and after close to 100 miles of riding over two days, the tire literally has barely any wear on it. The drive edges of the knobs are not even significantly rounded over, and in fact are hardly roughed at all. The wear, in fact, seems at this admittedly preliminary point, to be somewhat better than even the 952 rear.

The MX51 is so superior to the MX31 in the rear as a desert tire that it has me wanting to try the front now, in spite of the fact that the MX31 front has been my favorite front tire up to this point.

I'm impressed. :smirk::thumbsup:



Do you have any experience with the MX31,MX51, or 952 while riding on a certain dirt that features a slick dry top ( .25"-.5" deep) with a hard, almost concrete base? I apologize if this is confusing, but I couldn't come up with a clearer way to ask:doh:

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  • KtmKramer

Posted November 03, 2009 - 11:48 AM

#11

Do you have any experience with the MX31,MX51, or 952 while riding on a certain dirt that features a slick dry top ( .25"-.5" deep) with a hard, almost concrete base? I apologize if this is confusing, but I couldn't come up with a clearer way to ask:doh:


It's called "loose over hardpack", oddly enough. A 51 or 403 or even 745 works very well. Even MH3. U want something on the softer side of the compound spectrum.

  • grayracer513

Posted November 03, 2009 - 12:30 PM

#12

Do you have any experience with the MX31,MX51, or 952 while riding on a certain dirt that features a slick dry top ( .25"-.5" deep) with a hard, almost concrete base?

Lots of it with the 952. Soil like that is all over the place in the coastal areas of SoCal, and there's some of it here and there around the desert areas. The 952 will handle that "OK", about a 6 on a scale of ten. The MX31, not quite as well, and dirt like that will wear the tire to a nub in no time, from what I've seen. The little bit I encountered with the MX51, the tire did very well with, perhaps enough to rate an 8, but I'd need more time to say for sure.

  • whiskey wheelie

Posted July 20, 2010 - 11:19 PM

#13

grayracer... have you tried the mx51 front yet? What would you recommend for the trails here in N. CA? Some hard pack, and some times wet and greasy... MX51 all around or the mx51 rear and mx31 front?

Thanks.

  • grayracer513

Posted July 21, 2010 - 07:01 AM

#14

Been running 51's front and rear since December. Best combo I've yet used in the deserts here.

If your soil is mostly as hard and slick as you say, you might try the MX71, Dunlop's new hard surface tire.

  • whiskey wheelie

Posted July 21, 2010 - 01:58 PM

#15

thanks. ya, occationally it gets almost greasy, and i do like to hit the track at times too, so am more looking for a decent all around tire. How would you compare the 51's to the bridgi 403/404s?

  • grayracer513

Posted July 21, 2010 - 02:42 PM

#16

When our hard packed white clay gets wet, I don't think that any tire works. Hell, not many shoes work. The stuff around here goes into a mode where it balls up onto your tires until they're too big for the bike. It sticks to the tires really well, but it won't stick to itself, so there ain't no traction. At least with the rear, you can blow it off with the throttle. On the front you have to hit it on something like a rock once in a while to knock it loose, or just deal with it.

I haven't tried the 403/4 series yet. I know I ran a 603 once and didn't really like it except on hard stuff.

  • whiskey wheelie

Posted July 21, 2010 - 09:47 PM

#17

okay... ya, we dont get the stuff that sticks... its more like ice when it gets wet. lol. you'll be moving down a trail until all of the sudden you hit a wet patch and out goes your tires... or you darn near wad up. One other question... I've always stuck with the stock tire setup on my 450's... I've been told by some guys that ride a lot of C.C's that you need to get the taller side wall tire front and rear.. so on my 2010 it came with the 120 rear and basically saying to go with the 110 which isnt as wide but taller... and same wiht the front. There any truth to this about the ability to run lower pressure? I already run a low pressure around 10.5 in mine but I'm also only 160-165 lbs and dont hit every square edge rock in site.

  • dunn2500

Posted July 21, 2010 - 11:36 PM

#18

i used the 51's and didnt like the front............i ran a 31 and a 952 on seperates races out at glen helen for a gp series i do, multiple terrain and i thought the 952 was worthless everywhere, i was surprised at the 31 it was incredible in the loam, sand, and int.......was actually not all that bad on the hardpack ( slides a bit but makes it easy to back into corners).....i pick it over the 51 unless i was primarily on HP, i got decent wear as the knogs are tall........currently running a ms4 and its insanely good but you cant get em and when this wears out i prolly try another mich or back to the 31............so were all a little different and like different tires

  • idahoexcr500

Posted July 22, 2010 - 06:00 AM

#19

Hi All,

I have been running the MX51 front and rear on my 07 YZ450F for a few months now. I have always ran 756s in the past on all my bikes. I grew up in So Cal so I am familiar with the type of desert riding there having spend many days in the Mojave . Here in Idaho we have desert riding that is very similar, a mix of sand and hard pack.

I am very happy with these tires. Compared to the 756s they wear much better, especially the rear. The front I was not happy with until I experimented with my sag. Going to less sag to put more weight on the front end along with a couple less clicks on the comp and rebound on the forks made a huge difference. Now, the front works really well, it sticks better than the 756 and works better in both sand and hard pack. It also wears much better than the 756 up front.

IMO, they are worth a try.

  • whiskey wheelie

Posted July 22, 2010 - 09:46 PM

#20

interesting... still curious on the different sizes for the 450 as far as the side walls? Idahoexcr, i'm actually from Idaho myself originally... heading back to boise tomorrow then up to mccall area.. cannot wait.





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