Dunlop launches Trailmax Meridian adventure bike tyre
Dunlop has shared further details about its Trailmax Meridian, one of three new Dunlop motorcycle tyres scheduled for release in the second half of this year. Introducing the newcomer, Dunlop declares that a ‘new adventure dawns’ for the adventure bike sector. Sitting in the range above the TrailSmart MAX, the Trailmax Meridian has been developed around the very specific and complex requirements of the most technically advanced adventure bikes.
The tyre was also developed to meet changing rider demands. Sales of on/off-road machines such as the BMW GS, Honda Africa Twin, Suzuki V-Strom and Triumph Tiger are growing faster than the overall market in the UK and Europe, riders are expecting greater versatility from their machines – and tyres.
“Over the last decade we have seen a change in the market. Sports bikes used to be the star of the sales charts, but the main growth area is now adventure bikes. Riders are attracted to the high riding position and long-distance touring ability, but still demand the potential for off-road adventure. After researching these rider needs, we set a tough challenge for our research and development team,” comments Luca Davide Andreoni, marketing manager, Dunlop Motorcycle Europe.
The research Andreoni refers to also made it clear to Dunlop that the Trailmax Meridian required versatility to conquer challenges as diverse as off-road adventures and long pan-European tours, all while being capable of harnessing the power and performance of the latest high-end bikes.
Dunlop is particularly proud of the mileage gains seen in spirited riding. On the rear Trailmax Meridian, internal testing (conducted using a BMW R 1200 GS at the Mireval circuit in France) versus the best performing competitor tyre showed a six per cent gain in mileage in straight-line riding, increasing to over 15 per cent with 40-degree lean angles. Product manager Dmitri Talboom offers further details: “Our research tells us this is exactly what riders need. They need the durability for long commutes or touring rides, with the ability to retain high performance for the twisty roads of a mountain touring holiday or a weekend blast in the countryside.”
Dunlop says an even greater gain was seen in front tyre mileage, the by-product of this being a synchronising of the predicted tyre change time for both tyres. This means only one dealer visit is needed rather than separate bookings for the front and rear tyres.
Grip in wet & dry conditions
The Trailmax Meridian tread pattern is designed to efficiently expel water at speed while possessing a high level of dry grip. Dunlop reports that the ‘magic continues’ under the pattern with MultiTread technology: “This includes a Hi-Silica compound that provides outstanding wet grip and makes the tyre more flexible at lower temperatures.” This, coupled with a rayon ply casing, brings the dual benefit of increased mileage and a much quicker warm-up time – benefiting the growing number of riders who use adventure bikes all-year-round. The rear tyre also features a new centre compound that extends to run under the shoulder compound. This helps promote the rear tyre’s overall stiffness, providing sporty handling and increased traction when power is applied.
Both the front and rear tyres feature a two-layer version of the rayon ply casing. According to Dunlop, the combination of this two-layer casing and the tyre maker’s Jointless Belt (JLB) construction provides “confidence-inspiring” handling.
“Many of these adventure bikes have power that is in the hypersport league and riders expect the tyre to hide the bike’s relative bulk so they can enjoy nimble and dynamic handling. Trailmax Meridian’s mix of technologies achieves this.” adds Talboom.
Off-road ability as standard
Adventure bikes need to be able to perform off-road as well. In Dunlop’s own tests (conducted using a BMW R1200 GS), the Trailmax Meridian showed improved traction over its closest (but unnamed) competitors as well as the TrailSmart MAX on soft mud terrain. Testing performed by Italian motorcycling magazine Motociclismo found the tyre’s performance on hard mud or gravel to be the same as the TrailSmart MAX.
The Trailmax Meridian is available in four front and three rear sizes to cover a wide range of models including the BMW GS, Honda Africa Twin and Crosstourer, KTM Adventure, Suzuki V-Strom, Triumph Tiger and Yamaha Tenere and Super Tenere.