Dunlop SportSmart TT – one tyre for road and track day use
A fourth product will enter the Dunlop hypersport tyre portfolio early next year. This is the SportSmart TT, a tyre derived from Dunlop’s road-focused SportSmart Range. Developed to “meet the needs of riders with the very latest sports bikes and performance roadsters who want to use the same tyre on track and for road riding,” the SportSmart TT completes Dunlop’s 2016-announced new approach to the segment, which involves a redefinition of its range around the goal of a ‘tyre for every rider’.
The addition of the letters ‘TT’ behind the SportSmart name denote the application of ‘Track Technology.’ With the tyre’s launch, Dunlop returns to a segment of the market where it last competed over a decade ago with the Qualifier RR.
For its numerous competitive appearances, including at the Isle of Man TT Superbike and Senior races and the FIM Endurance World Championship (both the Bol d’Or and Le Mans 24h races), Dunlop developed a new motorsport polymer that offers greater grip and durability. A version of this has been used in the SportSmart TT. Dunlop describes it as a “race compound that is proven to provide consistent performance and a versatile operating range” – qualities that are “vital for combined road and track use.”
To optimise the SportSmart TT contact patch, Dunlop used an evolution of its NTEC technology. The new NTEC RT technology allows a tuning of rear inflation pressure to maximise the footprint on track days. It allows riders to keep the standard manufacturer pressures for road use, but increase the contact patch by up to 24 per cent when riding on track.
“These two technologies are key to the performance of SportSmart TT,” states Andy Marfleet, marketing manager at Dunlop Motorcycle Europe. He also teases about what the tyre’s launch will bring: “When the tyre is fully unveiled in March 2018, we will reveal two additional technologies. The combination of these four innovations have resulted in the birth of a tyre which creates a niche of its own in the Dunlop hypersport portfolio. With four new tyres in the hypersport sector, we now truly have a tyre for every type of rider – whether on road or track.”
Marfleet comments that “no other tyre manufacturer has completely replaced every tyre” in its hypersport portfolio in the last year. He shares that Dunlop has “the youngest and most innovative range in the market after an intensive year of launches.” In addition to the SportSmart TT, in the past year Dunlop has launched the following hypersport tyre lines:
GP Racer D212 – Launched January 2017, this is a tyre for seasoned track riders.
SportSmart2 Max – A tyre for road riders who occasionally ride on the track. Launched March 2017.
D213 GP Pro – For professional riders. Launched summer 2017.
The launch of four new hypersport tyres within the space of 12 months shows, says Marfleet, Dunlop’s “focus on developing new technologies that benefit every type of hypersport rider” and proves “our agility in transferring race winning learnings into our range quickly and effectively.”