Dunlop Introduces New MX53 Motocross Tire

The MX53 replaces the MX52 as Dunlop’s intermediate-to-hard-terrain MX tire.

Dunlop’s newest intermediate-to-hard-terrain motocross tire is the Geomax MX53.
Dunlop’s newest intermediate-to-hard-terrain motocross tire is the Geomax MX53.Courtesy of Dunlop

Just under a year and a half after launching its Geomax MX33 tire, Dunlop has unveiled its newest intermediate-to-hard-terrain motocross tire—the Geomax MX53. The MX53 is designed to offer performance in a wider variety of terrains. According to Dunlop, it excels in hard-packed track conditions while also offering greater versatility in intermediate riding conditions. Dunlop claims this tire offers more of everything over its predecessor, the MX52, including more durability, performance, versatility, knob flex, blocks, bump absorption, and slide control. It is also offered in a new size (120/90-19) and fits more bikes as well.

The MX53 is designed to offer performance in a wider variety of terrains. According to Dunlop, it excels in hard-packed track conditions while also offering greater versatility in intermediate riding conditions.
The MX53 is designed to offer performance in a wider variety of terrains. According to Dunlop, it excels in hard-packed track conditions while also offering greater versatility in intermediate riding conditions.Courtesy of Dunlop

A new pattern on both the front and rear tires allowed Dunlop to improve the range of performance across multiple terrains while also achieving additional performance goals.

The front tire features a horseshoe-shaped cluster of knobs. This horseshoe pattern acts as a giant claw to dig into the ground and give the rider even more traction on hard-packed terrain and maximizes braking grip. This new pattern features hollowed-out portions of the center of the tread. The hollow area of this horseshoe cluster is said to decrease stiffness in the center of the tire, giving the rider better feedback and more compliance. The MX53 also has a taller profile than the MX52, which was done to provide gentler handling, a higher lean angle, and better maneuverability. Additionally, each of the blocks are 1mm higher. This extra height is what is said to allow the MX53 to perform better in intermediate terrain.

The front tire features a horseshoe-shaped cluster of knobs. This horseshoe pattern acts as a giant claw to dig into the ground and give the rider even more traction on hard-packed terrain and maximizes braking grip.
The front tire features a horseshoe-shaped cluster of knobs. This horseshoe pattern acts as a giant claw to dig into the ground and give the rider even more traction on hard-packed terrain and maximizes braking grip.Courtesy of Dunlop

The rear tire enhancements include a reemergence of Dunlop’s Tornado Wave block distribution. The staggered placement of the rear tire blocks is said to provide a more linear land ratio for more ride compliance. The consistent placement of knobs along the shoulder of the tire is designed to increase rider confidence at greater lean angles as well. However, the interior blocks have more separation, which allows loose soil from softer terrains to clear the spaces more easily, while also exposing more surface area of the knobs to the dirt when more traction is needed for harder surfaces.

The rear tire features Dunlop’s Tornado Wave block distribution. The staggered placement of the rear tire blocks is said to provide a more linear land ratio for more ride compliance.
The rear tire features Dunlop’s Tornado Wave block distribution. The staggered placement of the rear tire blocks is said to provide a more linear land ratio for more ride compliance.Courtesy of Dunlop

Senior test engineer Clark Stiles commented on the new tread pattern. “When testing new tires, the very first thing I notice is handling and compliance. It is extremely important to me that the MX53 tire maintained the well-known Geomax handling characteristics, while also excelling in a wider variety of terrain. The new tread pattern we developed allowed us to accomplish both.”

The Block-In-A-Block technology on the front tire allows for enhanced flex on each knob, resulting in ultimate grip and even more biting edges.
The Block-In-A-Block technology on the front tire allows for enhanced flex on each knob, resulting in ultimate grip and even more biting edges.Courtesy of Dunlop

Another feature on the MX53 is Dunlop’s patented Progressive Cornering Block Technology. A smaller block within the traditional knob, commonly known as Block-In-A-Block, has been incorporated into Dunlop’s rear off-road tires for many generations of tire patterns. Dunlop continues to evolve this traditional block into altered shapes to increase durability and tire performance.

The compound for the MX53 tires has a higher number of molecular polymer particles. According to Dunlop, this results in a higher fracture strength and is intended to provide more durability.
The compound for the MX53 tires has a higher number of molecular polymer particles. According to Dunlop, this results in a higher fracture strength and is intended to provide more durability.Courtesy of Dunlop

The Block-In-A-Block technology on the front tire allows for enhanced flex on each knob, resulting in ultimate grip and even more biting edges. The tie bars connecting the base of the knobs add heightened durability to enhance performance in harder terrains. The individual flex of each knob is said to improve linear tracking and aid in steering, as the block can now flex around various terrain elements.

Advanced Apex Design technology is present in both the front and rear tire and is said to increase ride compliance by spreading the forces of weight on the tire across the breadth of the profile.
Advanced Apex Design technology is present in both the front and rear tire and is said to increase ride compliance by spreading the forces of weight on the tire across the breadth of the profile.Courtesy of Dunlop

The Block-In-A-Block technology on the rear tire incorporates the Diamond Block design that was introduced on the MX33. The diamond shape of this altered knob increases the surface area of the block, which is intended to enhance stability and slide control. Two additional angles increase the number of biting edges to dig into the dirt. The updated Block-In-A-Block shape has also been added to the rear tire along the shoulder. This wider knob provides a steady base to maximize traction along the outer edge of the tire’s surface.

Multiple Block Distribution increases the number of knobs and varies the height and angles within the placement.
Multiple Block Distribution increases the number of knobs and varies the height and angles within the placement.Courtesy of Dunlop

Technical support manager Brian Fleck, who has worked for Dunlop for 32 years, spoke about the Block-In-A-Block shape. “After seeing how well the updated Block-In-A-Block shape performed on the MX33, it was clear that we needed to introduce that same updated technology to the MX53 front and rear tires to maximize performance for hard-packed track conditions and allow the tire to also work better in a more intermediate terrain.”

The MX53 rear tire is offered in a new size—120/90-19.
The MX53 rear tire is offered in a new size—120/90-19.Courtesy of Dunlop

The compound for the MX53 tires has a higher number of molecular polymer particles. According to Dunlop, this results in a higher fracture strength and is intended to provide more durability. They also added more fine carbon particles, which are responsible for grip.

Broc Glover, senior manager for the off-road motorcycle division, shed light upon the importance of the tire compound. “The compound is an instrumental aspect of how a tire performs. Striking the optimal balance between durability and performance is the key to bringing a tire to market that works for the majority of riders.”

In the construction process of the MX53, Dunlop added Advanced Apex Design technology. This component of the tire’s construction is present in both the front and rear tire. The apex of the tire previously consisted of a small strip of material wrapped around the apex of the bead. By extending this apex further into the tire’s natural construction, Dunlop claims to have been able to increase ride compliance by spreading the forces of weight on the tire across the breadth of the profile. Distributing the force in this manner is said to increase bump absorption and allow for more flex and better ride compliance. Incorporating this element is intended to strike an ideal balance between a plush ride and a firm feel.

Dunlop’s amateur motocross support manager Rob Fox commented on the use of Advanced Apex Design on both the MX53 and MX33. “Although it’s under the surface of the tire and something that isn’t visible, our Advanced Apex Design technology is one of the most important elements of the tire and is directly related to rider comfort. People have noticed the difference in the MX33, so it made sense for us to add this same component to the MX53, where people will be using this tire in even harder terrains.

Helping to contribute to the aggressive look of the MX53 is a change to the distribution of knobs on both the shoulder and the interior of the front and rear tires. This new feature, Multiple Block Distribution, not only increases the number of knobs, but also varies the height and angles within the placement. This translates to more corners to dig into the dirt, creating excellent grip and increased handling performance.

“We know how important it is to our customers to come to market with a strong lineup that supports all of our riders,” Dunlop’s senior VP of sales and marketing Mike Buckley said. “When you see the next generation of a tire, and hear how well it performs, you don’t want to have to wait to try it yourself.”

When Dunlop introduces a new tire, the development timeline spans across years. Different compounds are paired with different tread patterns and tested across the United States on different tracks until the tire meets every one of Dunlop’s performance goals. The MX53 was tested on tracks from Florida to California to ensure that the performance enhancements were universal.

With the starting gates at every AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross race filled with Dunlop riders, the company has the advantage of calling on top names in the industry to provide guidance on performance characteristics. Team Dunlop Elite riders were also consulted during the testing process to ensure that the upgrades in the tire’s performance also spanned into the mini size lineup.

Dunlop MX53 Front Tire Availability

Sizes
60/100-10
60/100-12
60/100-14
70/100-17
70/100-19
80/100-21

Dunlop MX53 Rear Tire Availability

Sizes
70/100-10
80/100-12
90/100-14
90/100-16
100/100-18
110/100-18
120/90-18
100/90-19
110/90-19
120/80-19
120/90-19