Knowing what gummy tire to put on your dirt bike these days is becoming increasingly more difficult. More brands are developing multiple compounds, tire size and knob height is a debatable topic, and the current crop of gummy tire review videos don’t help a viewer know how to make a decision across multiple options. That’s what I’m trying to help out with. We talk about the variables that come into play when choosing a gummy tire for your dirt bike, whether you’re riding hard enduro or just looking for extra traction.
Don’t take this the wrong way, the gummy tire reviews by the likes of Trailbound, Dirt Bike TV, and Slavens Racing are extremely helpful if you want information on a very specific tire. They start to be less helpful for those looking to learn more about why they would choose a specific tire. This discussion started for me during the podcast episode with Rich Larsen, the IRC Tire Guy. With more manufacturers following the 140/80 tire size, 13mm knob height trend, but not actually being consistent with their manufactured tire size, a rider can question the validity of tire sizing.
Another wrench thrown into the mix is the way riders are supporting their tires. Tubes, Tubliss, and Bib Mousses (or a combination) can affect how the tire wears and gets traction. Running Tubliss with the original mass produced gummy tires (i.e. Kenda Equilibrium, in the States) created a lot of punctures and flexing sidewalls. This created a rush toward Michelin bib mousses, but they were so dang stiff; Out came the drill bits. Now we’re seeing an entire crop of soft and super soft foam inserts to help riders custom tune their rear tire feel. Add in another layer of complexity!
If you’re a rider looking for the best rear gummy tire, you will need to do some research. When watching review videos, make sure the reviewer rides the same type of terrain you do. The 140/80 tire size with a softer bib mousse will wrap around objects and find traction in the wet, rocky, rooty terrain. Due to the lower knob height, it will dig in less to loamier dirt, have a bit less braking efficiency, and may have some shortcomings when really leaning over for high speed turns. A taller knob height on a more traditional (in the States) 120/90 gummy tire will still create traction. The taller knobs will be better in the loamier, high speed trails. A gummy knob will still flex under hard braking conditions, but with more knob to dig in, your braking will be better than a smaller knob height.
Gummy Tire Manufactures
Mitas Enduro Tires
Gibson tyre tech
If you’ve done the research and found a rear gummy tire you love, please share which tire and why in the comments. That’ll help anyone who finds this article fine tune their gummy tire decision making skills. If we don’t get to see you on the trails, we’ll see you on the internet. Enjoy #GettingSeattime.
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