Dunlop RoadSmart Tyres

There seem to be a lot of excitement about the new Dunlop Roadsmart III motorcycle tyres. No doubt there are excellent rubbers but we decided to have a look also at the older version, the Dunlop Roadsmart 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 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.

“Looking back, we’ve always looked forward”

Dunlop RoadSmart

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

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. 

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.

2016 - Dunlop RoadSmart III

With Dunlop Roadsmart III 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.

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. 

In conclusion

Sport touring tyres become more and more popular even for people who use their bikes to commute or for owners of sport bikes. With continuous improvement they perform better and better in all weather conditions so it’ll make sense for sport bike riders to switch to sport touring tyres these days if they offer the same grip, more confidence in wet and more millage.

As for the Dunlop Roadsmart version we maintain our trust in the Roadsmart tyres as the greatest value for money. On the other hand what drives us to the Roadsmart III is the tyre ability of much more precise steering capability of heavier motorcycles. The performance on wet is also a big advantage over the first version. If you consider Roadsmart II the price difference isn’t that substantial but the RSIII well outperform the RSII in our opinion so no brainer really.

At the end though, it is going to be a personal choice.

What would be yours?

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