The Ultimate Trail Tire
Here is what riders are saying about TRIALS
|THE ULTIMATE TRAIL TIRE REVEIW AND SETUP
Review of the
Pirelli MT43 durable great all around DOT rated Trials Tire
and the Ultimate in Traction IRC TR11 each costing only $95, but either work far better than any motocross
Air down to 8 to 10psi and use and Slime in your tubes Read Review for more
Many people have heard how incredible TRIALS
tires are for trail riding, but still have not tried
them. If you ride trails you owe it to yourself to try these incredible
tires. They make make hard trails easy while
being easy on the trails. We think you will be out of excuses after you read the
testimonials from hard core riders like Jimmy Lewis
Dart, as well as Stewards members.
Not only do Trials tires out perform knobbies
on the trail, they are also kinder to the trail and don't make
whoops or braking bumps. So using Trials Tires can help to keep your trails
in better condition, while lasting 2-4 times longer
than knobbies which Saves You Money
Pirrelli MT43 with 1500 miles
There are currently a bunch of Trails Tires to choose from-
- If you do a mix of pavement and trails then the Pirelli MT43 Trails Tire is perfect with a stiffer sidewall to prevent overheating on pavment and DOT approved.
- If you want the ulitmate in traction then the softer IRC TR11, Dunlop D803 or Shenko 255 Trials Tires would be the best choice
Trials Tires start working at 10 psi and less. This allows the tire to flex and grab like velcro. Trials tires have tall sidewalls to allow the tire to be aired down and provide a much larger contact patch.
The Thumb Test-
Most tire pressure guages are not accurate at 10 psi. The thumb test is often better than a tire guage. Just press your thumb in the center of the tire and it should flex in. That puts you in the traction range.
Greater traction is available with pressures below 10psi. Tubeliss or Tube Saddle kits are a good idea to help prevent pinch flats. Run Slime to help prevent pinch flats too.
"For my trail bike, I'll
be running a trials tire for sure"
I don't know who started it, but I'm
copying. I have friends from Hawaii to
Idaho to Michigan running trials tires on their dirt bikes and
most of them
stick with them once they switch, so I had to give it a try. I
least expensive trials tire, the $85 Pirelli MT43 to give it a
work out. The
tire, which is made for tubeless applications, has a
sidewall and gooey rubber, which seems like it
wouldn't last very
long in the slide and shred trail riding world. In actuality the
a harder rubber in IRC's dual compound, radial construction
age-old square block design looks like nothing special.
I was shocked once I started riding with the tire on the rear of
WR250F. First, since it didn't do anything funny, especially in
where I thought it would be much more prone to sliding out.
Second, in deep
sand the tire grips and pulls as good as any normal knobby. It
"moments" like a true sand tire does, yet pulls consistently at
level or wheel speed, spinning or gripping. In fact the biggest
this tire is that grip stays consistent all the time on any
surface, and the
slower the wheel is spinning, the better the grip is regardless
The other thing the tire does, run at pressures between 8 and
15 psi, is
have great bump absorption, making the rear suspension feel even
plusher. We ran it on our gnarliest trails and it
did as well as
any tire we've run, especially in, yes you've guessed it,
It did great on a two-day, higher speed Baja ride even. The tire
prone to spinning from a stop or when getting going on a steep
which means it is good for the trails too. Durability is really
especially considering the soft rubber. It has outlasted regular
about 50%. If there were any disadvantages to this tire it is in
Because if you skid the rear wheel, it tends to slide more and
hence in racing conditions it may not be a good choice. But for my trail bike, I'll be
trials tire for sure.
Bill Dart-"These things are Da
I know that this tire will sound
like a crazy idea to most people on this forum, but almost
everyone I know that has tried them won't use anything else now.
The tire is the Pirelli MT43. This is semi Observed Trials competition tire, with a tread pattern like
an old DT-1 universal tire, but with very different
construction. It is a radial tire with a tall, soft
sidewall and the rubber compound is so soft if feels like you
could twist the knobs off with your fingers.
When you look at the tire and feel it, the first thought
EVERYONE has is there is no way in hell this tire can work
better than any knobby, and if it did, it would be wasted in one
ride. The truth is totally opposite. These tires work FAAAAAR
better than ANY knobby in just about ANY conditions, including
mud, sand, hard pack, loam, rocks, you name it. But where they
shine the most is in nasty, rocky, rooty technical conditions.
On loose rocky trails, rather than spitting the loose rocks out,
it just wraps around them, mashes them into the ground, and uses
them for traction. Not only do they hook up far better than
anything else, the tall soft sidewall gives you a cushier ride,
as the tire effectively gives you a couple inches of very
compliant suspension that soaks up rocks and roots and sharp
The reason these things work so well is the carcass
construction. Rather than relying on sharp knob edges to bite,
the radial design lays down a larger footprint and wraps around
anything on the ground and grips it. They don't want to spin or
break traction, even with bikes like 525's or the 300 2T that I
ride. My 300 used to be tough to wheelie because it would just
spin the tire when you whacked the throttle, now, it is a
As for durability, these things work even after the knob edges
round out, and will last well over 1,000 miles with little
degradation in traction. I put 1,940 miles on one last summer,
and while it was getting pretty loose on steep downhill's, it
still was getting incredible traction under power. The knobs
were down to about a quarter inch high, but they were still
I know this sounds crazy to anybody who hasn't tried one or seen
someone use them, but you just have to try one and you will be
convinced. I have been riding a long time and I used to race for
over 20 years with a modest level of success, plus I ride
technical trails more than most people, and I have tried just
about every tire made. These things are Da Bomb!!!!
Pirllei only makes the MT43 Trials tire in a
4.00x18 size tubeless. Run a heavy duty tube at about 8-10 pounds. The tall
sidewall doesn't pinch very easy, so flats aren't any more of an
issue than any other tire, but if you do flat one, you MUST fix
it on the spot, as the sidewall is too soft to ride it flat unless you use a Tubeliss Kit.
makes the TR-11 Trials Winner and it works almost as well as the
Michelin but with a shorter life.
The only handling
quirk is that they feel slightly "squirmy" on hard surfaced roads
at speed, as the tall sidewall has some "slack" that lets it
move slightly from side to side. Once the slack is taken up, they
hook up on pavement or gravel better than a knobby, but it takes
some getting used to at first.
Read more about Trails tire options from
Stewards members on Trials Tires
Just a note about the rear Pirelli MT43 on my 06'WR 450.I have run
the pressure between 10 and 11psi for over 600 miles with no
problem, using an
MSR 4.00 Ultra Heavy Duty Tube, and 2 rim locks. (Another new
option is the Tubeliss Kit which eliminates the tube and hence
no pinch flats-Editor) I also went to
sprocket on the engine (by 1 tooth) to compensate for the tire's
Myself, I have found that this tire performs superbly, and
better than a
knobby in most of the environments we ride in, including steep,
uphills, low speed rocks, roots and boulders, deep soft sand,
hard packed level and
off-camber and various combinations of all of these trail
conditions. While it
feels good to break it loose and spin it up, you can easily get
out of most
tough spots by using the drive impulses of the engine (low rpm).
However, it does
require some creative traction techniques in snow and really wet
slippery mud if
you have to start from a dead stop. While my body weight (all of
150lbs)probably aggravates this situation, I find that
what works for me, is
literally sitting on the rear fender until the bike gets moving
and then all is
While I usually get around 500 miles out of a knobby, this tire
going strong at 600+ miles. I hear of some riders getting over
2500 miles on
them. If that's the case, it will certainly more than pay for
The question: Would I buy another
I don't think I ever got back to you regarding the Michelin rear
trials tire I put on my KTM 200, all I can say is wow !!!! what
a difference, hugs the trails and rocky area like I was glued to
them, so much better then the knobby, doesn't look as good as
the knobby but performs better.
I might make it for the trail appreciation days at the end of
this month and would love to meet you, you are quite the amazing
guy with all the work you do for this cause.
I'll keep you posted.
last club enduro had shredded my S-12 which had 2 D-37
enduro's and 4 club enduro's. I have heard about trials
tires working well in a wide range of conditions and
threads on this board lean the same way, so I thought it
was worth a try.
I got the IRC TR-11, at ~90 buy shipped isn't much more
than I would have paid for another S-12.
Yesterday I raced our club enduro with the new tire at
10.5 psi. I didn't do so much as a practice ride but
spent Saturday riding around my 6 year old boy, so I was
going in blind. The course offered some of everything
but no real extremes, but still typical SoCal Dez, sand
washes, some whoops, rocks, gravel.
The first loop of the ride had slow speeds but I took
every opportunity of the 3 for free to push to see how
the tire handled. First off I noticed I was overdriving
the front end with the added traction. The added
traction was everywhere, all the conditions listed
above. There was a spot immediately after a check that
turned up a steep loose decomposed granite sand from a
stand still, other bikes were digging away while I just
rolled on the throttle and it walked right up, I was
literally laughing by the time I got to the top. By the
3rd loop speeds were up and I was used to where to put
down the power to rail around the loose corners. What a
blast. It still did brake sliding easily but
predictable, I found myself going in to corners much
faster than I would normally, jam in in a full sideways
brake slide and just roll on throttle and it would grip
smoothly and drive out perfectly.
The only place it *may* felt a little off was in whoops.
But I will add it was a slightly down hill section, I
was behind and trying to make it up. It didn't do
anything worth raising an eyebrow but felt a little
squirrelly trying to slow down on the down hill whoops.
It worked so well, I felt like I was cheating.
Trials tire was the single greatest
change I have ever made to a bike. It was magic. The rear end
never hunts, climbs everything with out wheel spin and it stops
much better. Also, you don't chew up the trail. It was far, far
better than I thought. Rode at Ragdump and trails that were hard
were now easy.
New law - outlaw knobbies!
Thanks for the tip.
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