Mutant tires. Just the name makes you want to try them. But what exactly have they mutated from or to? According to Dunlop, the Mutant combines unique components to create a premium, versatile performance street tire. The ingredients in this rubber gumbo include a high silica ratio, rayon ply casing, Jointless Belt construction, Apex sidewall technology, 4 Seasons Technology, and Dunlop’s exclusive MT Multi-Tread compounding.
Dunlop says the lightweight radials provide high mileage, nimble handling, a compliant ride, and excellent grip in both dry and wet conditions. To test those claims, I had my local shop, Ventura Harley-Davidson, spoon a fresh set onto my Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250.
Once on the road and scrubbed in, the Mutants provided good feedback on various road surfaces, with predictable, stable turn-in. Once pointed in the right direction, they held a steady line without any tendency to fall in or stand up.
The Mutant’s unique tread pattern looks almost like a dirt-track tire, but the tire is billed as a sport-touring tire that’s suitable for everything from big GT tourers to sportbikes to adventure bikes. I felt comfortable attacking paved roads at speed, even over those nasty tar snakes that are common on California’s backroads and get greasy on sunny days.
Though not intended for off-road use, I couldn’t help myself. The Mutants performed admirably on a few dirty, rocky roads I ventured down, but where they really shine is on backroads, where pavement can range from smooth to rough, wet to dry, clean to dirty.
I took my Mutant-shod Pan Am on a 2,000-mile trip to Oregon in April, where I encountered one of the worst snowstorms on record. While I wouldn’t recommend riding on sub-freezing roads with blowing snow, I felt reassured because the Mutants provided confident grip until conditions deteriorated beyond what I deemed as safe.
As far as longevity goes, I usually get about 5,322.8 miles (but who’s counting) out of a set of tires, changing them in pairs when either the front or rear wear bar begins to show. When new, the Mutants had 5/32 inch of tread depth up front and 9/32 inch of tread depth on the rear. After 3,000 miles, the tread depth was 3/32 inch for both front and rear. The Mutants are on track to hit the average mileage for my admittedly aggressive riding style.
Dunlop Mutant tires are available in multiple sizes to fit more than 250 motorcycle models, and MSRP ranges from $187.95-$290.95. For riders who enjoy riding on a wide variety of roads, they’re a solid choice.
For more information, see your dealer or visit dunlopmotorcycletires.com.