For this week’s trip to Baja, we had an unusual situation. We had six bikes show up with six different rear tires. Four different tire makers were represented in the group. I figured it would be interesting to see just how each tire held up. While we did not set out specifically to test tires. We had six open class bikes that rode a little over 500 miles of identical terrain. That is probably about as scientific as any tire test can get anyway.
The six tires were-
Kenda Trak Master
Mefo Sand Master
The one caveat to this test is that the Kenda Washougal on my bike has twice the miles on it as the other tires. It has done the same basic ride twice. The lesson is that the second half of the knobbie wears at a considerably slower rate than the first half. It really did not show too much drop in performance on the dry hard pack conditions.
Here are the photo results.
Bridgestone M604, Honda CRF450X
Kenda Trak Master, KTM 450exc
Mefo Sand Master, KTM 450EXC
Kenda Parker, KTM 450xc (2007)
Dunlop AT81, Husaberg fe650
Kenda Washougal, KTM 450xc-f, aprox 1,100 miles of use
I have to say that there was an outright winner for durability. The Bridgestone M604 displayed the least amount of wear overall. It was also on the bike with the most aggressive motor, the Honda. After that it was a tie between the Dunlop AT81 and the Kenda Trak Master. The Dunlop held up much better than the one we used a couple of months ago. I suspect the 650 Husaberg does not spin the wheel very much.
The Mefo and Kenda Parker showed more wear, but would both be capable of doing the same ride a second time I think. The Washougal was not very good looking when it started its second trip. But showed very little additional wear over the four days of riding.
There are not any real performance considerations to talk about. For dry weather Baja trail riding, nearly all tires perform about the same. Therefore, durability is the only real concern.
None of the bikes suffered from flat tires. The only bike running a Mousse in the rear was mine with the Washougal.