Dunlop Motorcycle Tyres

There seem to be a lot of excitement about the Roadsmart IV from Dunlop motorcycle tyres. No doubt there are excellent rubbers but we decided to have a look also at the older version, which are currently around 23% cheaper than the latest model. It’s a weighty difference so let’s have a look to see if we can actually justify it. We cannot forget here about the Roadsmart II, although we think there were not as successful in the field of sport touring as the original ones.

Dunlop motorcycle tyres have been around for over 120 years and continue with their passion for innovation and continuous improvement to bring control, efficiency and pleasure to the rider. Motorsport was always at the heart of Dunlop since the very beginning of pneumatic tyres invented by John Boyd Dunlop in 1888, in Northern Ireland.

With years of experience and passion to push the boundaries they continue to lead in tyre technology. These include Multi-Tread Technology (MT), JointLess Belt Construction (JLB), Carcass Tension Control System (CTCS), Progressive Cornering Block Technology (PCBT) and others. Read more on Dunlop tyre technology here.

dunlop roadsmart tyres

“Looking back, we’ve always looked forward”

RoadSmart - Dunlop Motorcycle Tyres

Introduced in 2008 it has quickly gained popularity as one of the best sport touring tyre. Many years have passed and they still prove to be reliable and confident in all weather conditions. Nowadays Dunlop Roadsmart is a great value for money. They feature Multi-Tread technology that balances the cornering ability with extended millage as well as JLB construction for good road feedback and enhanced linear steering properties. We also simply like the look of them. The tread is distributed nicely around the whole circumference of the tyre so it makes it easy to monitor the wear at the centre. What is also important with this deep tread is that it provides high level of wet grip and millage.

All Roadsmart Dunlop motorcycle tyres use dual compound, longer wearing at the centre and softer on the sides for the grip needed when cornering. 

dunlop smartroad

As you can see on the image, the longer wearing compound serves as a base layer with the softer side compounds laid on the top. Dunlop claims that this structural design allows better heat dissipation, which simply means uniform heat distribution (cooling) without localised overheating. 

On a heavy bike you should expect to get not less than 6000 miles from the rear tyre and with a push about twice as much for the front. 

dunlop smartroad

This will depend on your riding style and the type of bike you ride. Many won’t get two rear tyres out of the front one so will change both at the same time. This is probably the best practice as ideally you want to have them fresh as a pair. Offering a decent grip in a dry and wet condition, no wonder the original Roadsmart has been the choice for North Yorkshire Police riders for many years.

2012 - Dunlop RoadSmart II

On the first impression, they look as if the rear had much less of the tread cuts and a very different pattern too that of the front tyre. The front seems to be better equipped for the wet with deep and long tread. On the rear the pattern on the centre of the tyre doesn’t cross which makes more rubber contact with the road in dry condition but not too much for the grip at the centre in wet. This can also be problematic in monitoring the tyre wear at the centre.

However, things get kind of better at the rear when leaning. The revised profile provides bigger contact patch on corners which makes the rear definitely sportier. They were made stiffer and claimed to be more wear resistant than the original RS. However, we find that after riding approximately 4000 miles they seem to square off rather quickly at the rear.

Today, the price remains only around 13% cheaper than the RSIII.

dunlop smartroad 2

2016 - Dunlop RoadSmart III

With Roadsmart III of Dunlop motorcycle tyres and employment of nano particles of wear resistant compound in the polymer material, we expect higher millage gained on these. Although we cannot confirm the gains claimed by some of 40% higher millage, we can vouch that, thanks to the new tread pattern designed to disperse more water, the performance on wet seems better. Perhaps not as good as the best wet tyre on the market, Pirelli Angel GT, but they are very close.

Also, the important feature of the RSIII is that the profile on the front has been optimised to gain more response and effortless steering. That in our opinion deserves a massive applause to the Dunlop team as it gives the riders of heavy motorcycles the feel of precision and lightness.

dunlop smartroad 3

They remain pricy though but they surely outperform their predecessor RSII and the extra price is well justified. Comparing them to the original Dunlop Roadsmart we hesitate with decision on what would be the choice really for an average sport touring enthusiast. 

Dunlop RoadSmart IV

Introduced in 2020, the Dunlop Roadsmart IV is the latest version of the Roadsmart tyre range, has several notable improvements over the previous version:

dunlop smartroad 4
dunlop smartroad 4

Courtesy of

Improved wet grip: The Roadsmart IV has a new compound formula that provides even better wet grip than the Roadsmart III, ensuring greater safety and stability in wet conditions. The claimed improvement is quite considerable (10% front and 25% rear grip increase on low-grip surface).

Increased mileage: The Roadsmart IV has a new compound formula that provides up to 28% greater mileage than the Roadsmart III, giving riders even more value for their money.

Enhanced handling: The Roadsmart IV has a new tread pattern that provides even better handling and maneuverability in dry conditions, while still offering excellent grip in wet conditions.

Optimised cross section shape: for improved steering precision and optimised stability. This increases the contact patch by 7% at 20deg angle from the previous version. 

Reduced warm-up time: The Roadsmart IV has a new compound formula that reduces warm-up time, allowing riders to experience improved performance and responsiveness, boosting their confidence right from the start. This also reduces the breaking distance. 

High Silica content: The Roadsmart IV has a high silica content that further enhances wet performance, as well as reducing rolling resistance for a smooth, comfortable ride.

Overall, the Dunlop Roadsmart IV offer a significant improvement in performance over the previous version, making it an excellent choice for riders looking for a high-performance sport touring tyre.

In Conclusion - RoadSmart Dunlop Tyres

Sport touring tyres become more and more popular even for people who use their bikes to commute or for owners of sport bikes who recognise their benefits. With continuous improvement they perform better and better in all weather conditions so it’ll make sense to switch to sport touring tyres these days.

As for the Roadsmart Dunlop motorcycle tyres we maintain our trust in the Roadsmart tyres as the greatest value for money. On the other hand what drives us to the Roadsmart IV is the tyre ability of much more precise steering capability. The performance on wet is also a big advantage over the RSIII. Here is a summary chart for Dunlop Sport Touring range from the manufacturer website.

Dunlop sport touring tyres - summary chart

Dunlop Mutant Crossover Tyre

dunlop mutant crossover tyre

Although this tyre doesn't fall under the sport touring range, we could not overlook it because Dunlop makes some big promises for this crossover tyre, and would this be possible?

  • Thy offer excellent handling and stability comparable to hypersport tyres.
  • They provide fast warm up, superior grip in wet conditions, similar to that of racing wets.
  • They are highly durable like touring fitments and are incredibly versatile and instil confidence in riders in all weather conditions throughout the year.
  • The tyre contours have been developed using DFF (Dynamic Front Formula), resulting in sports tyre-like handling and stability.

To achieve Dunlop's goal of creating a tyre with the grip of a hypersport tyre, the wet-weather performance of a racing wet, and the durability of a touring tyre, they have employed advanced technology, though the specifics are not disclosed. However, we do know that the Jointless belt construction provides a more stable contact patch between the tyre and the road. The use of Rayon belts, high silica, and a well-considered carcass construction enable faster warm-up in all weather conditions. Additionally, the dual-compound technology allows for softer edges for better grip and a harder middle for longer life. This is because most tyres these days wear out due to the profile becoming square rather than the tread balding.

The claim that the Mutant tyres offer the performance of a racing wet tyre while maintaining the longevity of a road tyre was a little hard to believe. However, many have now tested the tyres in wet conditions and found that they performed exceptionally well, not only in terms of grip but also in terms of steering. Riding smoothly in wet conditions is crucial for finding grip, and that many sports tyres can negatively affect steering in slippery conditions. However, with the Mutant tyres fitted, riders found that the motorcycle was able to easily steer into slippery turns. Dunlop Mutant longevity is very impressive too with tyres looking as new after 1000 miles and despite the use of dual compound at the rear they don’t to seem to square off even after 4000 miles.

Delivering on the promises made for tyres that provide fast warm-up, grip, predictable steering, long life, and wet-weather performance across a wide range of motorcycles is undoubtedly a challenging task. However, Dunlop's Mutant tyres actually deliver, and many have been impressed with their performance in both wet and dry conditions.

Overall, these Dunlop motorcycle tyres are a great choice for riders looking for high-performance, all-weather tyres that can handle a range of riding conditions, on and off-road surfaces, while still providing exceptional handling and stability.

Which tyres are your choice and why?

We invite you to share your opinion on the sport touring tyres that you have found to be the best for your needs. Your feedback could help guide others in their search for the perfect tyre, or even help manufacturers improve their products.

So whether you have a favourite brand, specific model, or some insider tips on what to look for when selecting sport touring tyres, we want to hear from you! Simply leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

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