It was just a few weeks ago that we told you how Pirelli was making purpose-built tires for the 300cc racing category, and now we get word that Dunlop is doing the same.
Creating the all-new KR448 front tire, and KR451 rear tire in sizes and compounds for bikes in the 300cc to 400cc range, Dunlop its making sure that it has a firm grip on the small-displacement categories that are filling grids on race tracks around the world, but especially in the United States.
Accordingly, Dunlop has the front tire sized at 110/70R17, and available in an extra soft compound. Meanwhile, the rear tire is sized at 140/70R17, and is available in both an extra soft and medium compound. All of these tires are made in Dunlop’s Buffalo manufacturing facility.
“We were looking for something to add more grip for the small bikes, and there was a lot of excitement about having a slick tire from the guys at my local track where I race my 300, so it seemed like there would be a broad appeal for a small slick,” said John Robinson, the Tire Design Engineer behind the project.
“We chose the 140/70 profile versus the 150/60 after testing because the shorter 150 profile lacked the cornering clearance we wanted for high lean angles. Even though the 140 is slightly narrower than the 150, the transitions are quicker because of the height, and since we patterned the profile after the 200/60, we were able to get a bigger footprint at maximum lean with the 140/70.”
It should be noted too that Dunlop has an all-new website for orders on its racing tires, which we have been very impressed by since its debut a number of weeks ago. Not only does the new site have an easy to navigate layout, but it is full of technical information that helps you select the right tires you want, and how to get the best performance out of them on the track – including hot and cold tire pressures.
Like many things in life, it is the small things that matter most. We hope other tire manufacturers follow suit on this often overlooked technical piece for consumers.