BUFFALO, N.Y.— Dunlop Motorcycle Tires — a business unit of Sumitomo Rubber North America — has added a line of radial DOT street-certified tires for drag racing to its motorsports tire portfolio.
The new line, the Dragmax, was designed to handle the demands of the Pro Street Bike class, "where horsepower and speeds have achieved new levels in recent years."
The new tire debuts in one size, 190/50-17, which Dunlop said is the most popular size for drag racers on metric and V-Twin motorcycles.
The Dragmax uses Dunlop's exclusive N-TEC construction, similar to that used in the company's rear road-racing slicks. N-TEC combines the benefits of cut-breaker construction, which increases stiffness, with continuously wound aramid Jointless Tread construction.
This design allows racers to run very low pressures, Dunlop claims, increasing the footprint for maximum traction. The compound is also the softest street compound Dunlop has ever produced in its Buffalo plant.
The Dragmax also features a profile that's wider and flatter than a typical hypersports tire, a design feature that helps lay down a bigger footprint. The tire's construction minimizes centrifugal growth to keep that footprint as consistent as possible, which also reduces the risk of de-beading, Dunlop said.
There are several sanctioning bodies that organize races under the Pro Street Bike category, including the American Motorcycle Racing Association; Canadian Motorcycle Drag Racing Association; International Drag Bike League; National Hot Rod Association; International Hot Rod Association; Professional Drag Racers Association; and Professional Motorcycle Racing Association.
Dunlop is entering a market segment that has only a few competitors, led by Mickey Thompson Tires and including M&H Racemaster and Shinko Motorcycle Tires.
While this is Dunlop's first foray into drag racing, the Buffalo-based business is active in other forms of two-wheel motorsport, including flat-track racing, where it is the official tire for the American Flat Track (AFT) series. as well as the series' spec tire supplier.
In addition, SRI's Falken brand recently struck a deal with AFT to make Falken the series' official light truck tire. Falken said it will leverage its partnership with AFT in order to reach AFT's audience of automobile enthusiasts and light truck owners.