Reviews

Best Dirt Bike Tires: Enhanced All-Terrain Traction

Improve your dirt bike’s performance on the roads and on rough terrain

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BY Nikola Petrovski , Norah Tarichia / LAST UPDATED ON November 13, 2019

A dirt bike or off-road motorcycle requires special tires for optimal performance. Dirt bike tires have a unique knobby design, which isn't typical with other types of motorcycle tires. Our buying guide will help you get the best tires for your bike so that you can enjoy kicking up dirt and mud when you're off-roading.

Best Overall
Dunlop Geomax Intermediate/Hard Terrain Tire
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Summary
Summary
A hard terrain tire with a unique block design for enhanced cornering power and slide control.
Pros
Pros
Great traction. Shock-absorbent construction. Performs well on sand and soft terrain. It offers a smooth ride. Great handling and stability. Enhanced grip on rocky terrain.
Cons
Cons
Noisy on the road. Wears quickly on hard terrain. Compatibility issues may come up with different bike models.
Best Overall
Dunlop Geomax Intermediate/Hard Terrain Tire
Best Value
Kenda Dual/Enduro Tire
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Summary
Summary
A rear bike tire with an aggressive knobby design for high-level grip on off-road conditions.
Pros
Pros
Well-balanced. Offers smooth riding. Deep and spaced-out tread pattern enhances grip. Doesn’t clog with mud. Easily pushes through sand and wet terrain.
Cons
Cons
Has a shorter tread life than other off-road tires. Compromised street performance.
Best Value
Kenda Dual/Enduro Tire
Honorable Mention
Bridgestone M403 Motocross
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Summary
Summary
Another budget-friendly dirt bike tire built for 50cc and 450cc bikes and capable of handling rocks, dirt, sand, mud, and more.
Pros
Pros
The tire is designed for speed and power and features a large knobby tread design and a unique block pattern. It functions well in nearly any weather and is 14 inches in diameter.
Cons
Cons
The tire may be louder on roads and streets. The tread may also wear faster if ridden on more difficult terrain.
Honorable Mention
Bridgestone M403 Motocross

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Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Best Dirt Bike Tires Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Dunlop Geomax Intermediate/Hard Terrain Tire

The Dunlop MX52 Geomax Intermediate/Hard Terrain tire is designed for difficult off-road terrain. Whether it’s rain, mud, or a slick surface, this tire’s robust knob tread design will get you through the toughest trails. 


The unique block pattern makes it better at cornering and improves its handling and power. The tire has a wide amount of traction control, is built with great shock-absorbing power, and performs well on sand and soft terrain. The ride is also smooth and comfortable. In addition, it looks great and measures 100 millimeters wide and 19 inches in diameter.


However, you may find that this tire can be quite noisy if you take it on the road. The tread pattern may also wear quickly if you ride on harder terrain such as rocks. There have also been reports of compatibility issues with certain bike models.

Best Value
Kenda Dual/Enduro Tire

The Kenda K760 Dual/Enduro Rear Motorcycle Bias Tire is a beefy tire built for dirt bike adventures. It is very popular, and there are many reasons why. 


First is the incredibly low price point. At that affordable price, you get a high-quality dirt bike tire with a thick knob thread and wide surface for smoother and more comfortable riding. Another one of the tire’s best features is just how well balanced it is. The deep tread pattern allows for a mightier enhanced grip on just about any surface. Mud and grass won’t clog up the knobs due to their size either. It virtually glides over sand, mud, and water without any issues.


Unfortunately, you may notice this tire has a shorter tread life than other off-road dirt bike tires. It also may not handle well when it comes to asphalt. There have been complaints that the tires get bogged down on the road.

Most Versatile
Bridgestone Motocross

The Bridgestone M403 Motocross dirt bike tire is a great off-road and exploration tire. It is designed with a large knobby tread pattern to ride over rocks, dirt, sand, and other difficult terrain you may encounter.


It’s functional with 50cc bikes all the way up to 450cc machines. The price is quite affordable for a premium dirt bike tire. Since it is built for speed, the tire corners well under pressure and stays flexible no matter how hard you push it. It performs great in the rain, snow, or any other type of inclement weather.


However, you may notice some increased noise while riding on certain terrain. Another not-so-great thing is that this tire may not last that long. Some reports have had it buckling around 4,000 miles, but it isn’t clear what terrain it was ridden on.

Most Durable
Protrax PT1072 Motocross Front and Rear Tires

Replace both your front and rear tire with the Protax Motocross tires that are designed for soft or intermediate terrain. These tires feature large and well-spaced treads to keep dirt, stones, and other road debris from getting lodged on the treads for easy maneuvering on loose surfaces. 


The tread spacing also helps to keep the tires clean when moving on muddy terrain. They are made of a tough rubber compound featuring a heavy-duty, four-ply construction. This creates a tough, puncture-resistant tire that can provide years of reliable service. Also, it’s designed with a stiff sidewall to promote tighter cornering regardless of the weather conditions. 


On the downside, you should know that the tough construction will make this tire a bit noisy on the road, especially on smooth or even surfaces. Also, it’s not the best tire for blasting through hard terrain such as rocky paths.

Honorable Mention
Pirelli Scorpion Dirt Bike Tire

The name Pirelli is synonymous with racing. These Pirelli Scorpion MX32 Extra X dirt bike tires are built for two things: speed and power. 


As a premium-grade dirt bike tire, it is robust and performs at its best when it is flying down off-road courses or trails. It is ruggedly built and looks amazing. Best of all, the tire is built with V-shaped blocks for improved braking, and it’s wider than most other brands, enhancing its stopping power and performance. It can take quite a punishment on the track, rides well, and installs quickly and easily. It also comes with a Pirelli keychain, but that’s just for fun.


As you may have guessed, Pirelli is an expensive brand that makes pricey tires. For a set of two, you will spend a bit more compared to another brand. There have also been reports of the keychain not shipping with this tire.

Honorable Mention
Michelin MH3 Starcross

The Michelin MH3 Starcross dirt bike tire is more than just a standard rubber oval for your off-road bike. The large 19-inch tire (other sizes are available, too) is mighty, strong, and features a big knobby tread pattern, which gives it better traction on both dry and hard-packed terrains, such as dirt paths or muddy trails.


The wide central knobs provide an increased drive and pull the dirt bike over rocks, stumps, and other debris that may get in the way. The tire is tough, durable, and highly dependable for racers, cruisers, or those who just want to get out and enjoy the day. It measures 70 millimeters wide and 19 inches in diameter.


While this tire is by no means expensive, it is set at a high price, at least when compared to a few of our other choices. The tread may also not last that long if you ride more aggressively or ride on difficult trails more often.

Honorable Mention
MMG Off Road Front and Rear Tire

Experience maximum performance when on- or off-roading all year round with MMG’s front and rear tire. They are designed with an all-season compound for excellent performance in all weather conditions.


The tire is made of a thick rubber blend, and features a large, knobby tread design so they clean out easily when moving on muddy surfaces. The treads are grippy to promote optimal traction during all riding conditions, and extend to a section of the sidewall to promote maximum grip and handling when cornering. Both the front and rear tires come with inner tubes. 


While these tires can hold up to almost any riding condition, they aren’t the most durable tires available. The tread may wear out quickly if you are an aggressive offroader. Also, they are not DOT-approved for highway riding. 

Honorable Mention
Michelin StarCross Motorcross Tire

Yet another high-performance tire from Michelin, the Starcross Motocross Tire is a rear tire with central and side blocks that help increase traction on almost all surfaces. It’s designed with self-cleaning treads or “Mud-Phobic Bars,” which help to keep the tire lightweight when moving on muddy surfaces. 


Horizontal tread lines help to expel soil from the tire for maximum traction on sandy surfaces. The tire construction features Michieln’s Comfort Casing Technology (CCT), which includes high-density materials that promote flexibility so it can move easily on straight or curved lines. It also enhances the durability and shock absorption of the tire for rider comfort. 


Much like the other off-road tires, this tire is a bit noisy on the road. This is due to the tough construction and large tread design. Also, it’s not the most comfortable tire on even terrain, and can get somewhat slippery on wet surfaces.

Tips

  • Do not subject your new tires to abrupt maximum power, leaning, or hard cornering. You may end up damaging them. Be gentle on the road and also give yourself some time to get a feel for the tires. 
  • You should get the same tire model for your front and rear wheel. Also, be sure to align them to improve your handling, stability, performance, and safety on the road. 
  • Always maintain the recommended tire pressure (often indicated on the tire sidewall). You risk damaging your wheels if you ride with low tire pressure.
  • Regularly inspect your tires for any cuts or tears that may cause air leakage. Also, remember to secure the nuts on the wheel.

FAQs

Q: What are DOT approved dirt bike tires?

A: Department of Transport (DOT) approved tires are street legal and can be used on public roads. They have a less knobby design but still maintain significant traction on pavement. Knobby off-road tires wear faster on pavements and are therefore unsafe. Confirm that the tire is DOT approved if you will be using your dirt bike on daily road commutes. 

Q: What do the numbers on bike tires mean?

A: Bicycle tires have a cluster of numbers on the sidewall. For instance, a tire may have a number like “M 500 60/100-21 40P 1912” running along the sidewall. M 500 is the model number, 60/100-21 is the tire size (rim diameter), 40P is the load and speed rating, and 1912 means that the tire was manufactured in the 19th week of 2012.

Q: How often should you replace your dirt bike tires?

A: Dirt bike tires can last for about four years from their manufacturing date. After that, the tire should be replaced since it's at the end of its useful life. You should also check for signs of a worn or damaged tire such as missing knobs, cracks, excessively worn-out treads, vibration, and excessive road noise. 

Final Thoughts

Our top pick is the Dunlop Geomax Intermediate. It’s dependable on tough terrain thanks to its tread spacing, which allows for better maneuverability.

If you are looking for a cheaper tire for your mid-sized dirt bike, consider the ProTrax Soft Intermediate Terrain Tire.