Dunlop’s Trailmax Meridian has proven itself a monster-mileage tyre!
I recently booked the Overland VFR1200 CrossTourer pool-bike in for an MoT and got a genuine shock when the guys from ‘Behind Bars Motorcycles‘ in Kenilworth called me in for a chat.
They are my local friendly Dunlop dealership so it is here that I’d had a pair of Dunlop Trailmax Meridians fitted just over a year before. It seems the big Honda had already travelled a whooping 10,200 miles on the Meridians! Even though the rear has squared off, it’s still got loads of life left in it, which is incredibly impressive on such a heavy bike.
The Meridian sits firmly on the ‘road’ end of Dunlop’s Trailmax range, which stretches through the intermediate Trailmax Mixtour to the more aggressive and dirt-biased Trailmax Mission.
With a mix of compounds to ensure rapid warm-up but improved mileage overall, Dunlop seem to have absolutely nailed their goal of achieving ‘substantially increased mileage… compared to competitors’.
What has impressed me just as much as the distance these tyres have already covered, is the way that I have completely forgotten about them. Wet or dry they’ve never caused me a moment’s concern in general use and no-one using this big Honda has ever mentioned the tyres when they’ve had reason to ride it. That in itself, when everyone seems to be wondering “what’s the best tyre for my adventure bike”, must surely speak volumes.
If there are no complaints, and you don’t give your tyres a moment’s thought, they must be good.
The unconventional ‘ice-axe’ style tread pattern certainly disperses water efficiently. Dunlop claim it also improves traction on unmade roads, which I don’t doubt, but this is never going to be a dirt tyre so I’ve only used it on gravel fire tracks and the like.
However, combining the Rayon-ply casing structure with the mixed compounds to give a soft and grippy shoulder and a much harder centre, while at the same time enabling rapid warming but not overheating, is what makes this tyre so special.
When you consider the CrossTourer tips the scales over 300kgs with fluids and (empty)luggage and can be flung around with abandon, switching direction with ease and ignoring white lines and over-banding, it is truly remarkable that a rear tyre can manage 10,000 miles.
Sadly the CrossTourer needed a set of front wheel bearings to pass the ‘test’, but the tyres caused no problems.