If you’ve been involved in overlanding for some time, you may still find yourself having to think long and hard to name a Dunlop tyre that’s available for a range of adventure tourers. Dunlop has certainly been there with the Trailmax and Trailsmart ranges, but the sizes have often been limited and their dazzling sub-category nomenclature has meant nothing stays in the mind long. Now they are taking a punt on their new ‘Mutant’, which they say is “an incredibly versatile tyre… providing all-season, all-roads versatility for over 370 different bike models… combining the knowledge of award-winning hypersport and touring tyres with technologies developed in wet-weather racing.”
As all of that sounds like the kind of thing you’d read in a bike magazine, I thought I’d just try them out the way we always do at Overland; by piling a load of miles on them with and without pillion to test durability. And because they are supposed to be able to perform off road too, I thought I’d head down some tracks and trails as well. Nothing too knarly, just what you might come across when travelling and the tarmac ends.
The Dunlop Mutant is all about crossover technology, and not survival in a post-apocalyptic beyond-Covid world, but it does have a striking appearance and is good-looking in a ‘Mad Max’ way. Since the Team Overland Honda CrossTourer had just been fitted with Maxxis Detours I thought I’d try the Dunlops on my streetfighter. After all, you can tour on any bike.
Apparently combining construction ideas from trail, supermoto, racing wets and sport touring tyres, the Dunlop Mutant is a whole new type of tyre. The M+S pattern delivers a unique combination of superior cold and wet grip, sports handling and touring durability yet for a range as broad as popular middleweights such as the Honda CB500X and big adventure bikes like the BMW 1250GS.
A mixture of the latest compounds and resins in the Mutants are supposed to enable the combination of rapid warm-up and durability to ensure rider confidence throughout the year. I’ve only managed 1280 miles and a dry gravel track so far, but the feedback and sense of attachment to the tarmac is pronounced. White lines provide no deflection, changes in direction are seamless and the way they maintain direction through bumpy bends is very impressive.
Now that the weather has turned autumnal and there are some very cold mornings I’ve had a chance to really notice that ‘rapid warm-up’ which makes the early part of the commute a delight and whether dry, damp or really pouring down I am yet to sense any nervousness.
First impressions are very favourable and it seems that Dunlop really have produced stable ‘all-roads versatility’ with this new tyre, but we’ll only know about durability after a load more miles!
Review: Paddy Tyson