Dunlop Mutant

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In what will probably be my last long ride for the season (it snowed just north of here yesterday), I racked up around 1,000kms this weekend.

Early Friday morning I left in the midst of some strong winds and heavy rains. The roads were alternating mats of wet leaves and pine needles with the occasional dead tree thrown across for good measure. I wasn't pushing things by any stretch under those conditions but never felt the bike was loose as I twisted and turned around the hills and never had any issues when hit with strong gusts of cross-winds.

I did goose the throttle briefly twice -- once on leaves, once on needles, bike upright and straight both times -- and unsurprisingly managed to break traction and spin the rear. For anyone who has not had the pleasure, riding on pine needles is like riding on thousands of roller bearings.

Saturday the riding was drier, and I took the 407 to try the grooved concrete. Speed varied from, umm, faster than the billing camera, to keeping pace with other traffic. Accel, decel, throttle locked at a steady speed with hands off the bars: never any sign of headshake or instability whatsoever.

The only unexpected event happened this morning. I'd been on the road (city streets) perhaps 5 or 10 minutes so the tires were still cool (ambient temp 10°C). The road was damp from a light overnight rain and slightly downhill, so no standing water. I was approaching my next turn and had just changed to the right lane but was pretty much fully upright. I was braking firmly, but not especially hard when the front end seemed to wash out to the left momentarily.

I reflexively released most front lever pressure and increased rear pedal pressure but don't know if that stopped the slip. I doubt it, things happened too fast and I think it was over in less than my reaction time. I can say the ABS never kicked. I'm not sure if that's because I was already off the lever pressure by the time the computer could compensate?

I have no idea what caused it. Possibly a spot of oil on the road but despite the street and head lights it was still dark out and the road was shiny from the light rain.
 
I'm a little late in posting this, but here's an update on the Mutants. After a long weekend to west Virginia in the begining of October, with one day of rain and mostly cool temps, 50 to 55°, mostly all back roads, I took some measurements. Tires have 2290 miles. I used calibers in center of tire, and about an inch and 1/4 off center. I then went to my local dealer and did the same measurements on a new set. The new ones were not mounted, so I don't know if the numbers would change if there was pressure in them. If someone gets some mounted, let me know if you can replicate these numbers. Front: center .120" on mine .180 new. Off center .155" mine .185" new. Rear: center .190" mine .270" new. Off center .270" mine .285" new. Both tires are still decently rounded, with only minor flat spots.the front has cupping only on the tips of the diamonds, which you cannot feel, but can hear as a slight roaring sound cornering over 50 mph.Most of my riding is "spirited" on two lanes. Tires still feel great, and I have hit some grooved and scraped and gravel roads with no adverse effects.IMG_6967.jpgIMG_6968.jpgIMG_6978.jpgIMG_6977.jpgIMG_6970.jpgIMG_6973.jpgIMG_6976.jpg
 

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7,000km update:

I did try them out for a short ride in the snow back in March, and can confirm that as a snow tire, they suck. No real surprise there, I'll stick with the 4wd pickup and studded tires for winter use.

I'm still happy with the grip and feel of these tires, especially on the post-winter sand coated excuse for roads we have around here. I've never had any surprise slips on patches of sand. But: I don't think these are going to go the distance compared to the Michelin R series.

The rear is holding up better, perhaps about 50% life left. Just starting to see some flattening of the centre section. But that would suggest a life of perhaps 14,000kms -- still well short of what I got out of the R5s which would go closer to 18,000 or 20,000kms (on the rear).
KIMG2893.JPG

As with the R5s, the front is wearing faster (I found the R5 fronts wore 2:1 compared to rears). I have distinct cupping resulting in notable tire noise when cornering. I'd estimate the wear at at least 2/3 right now -- the centre section is still pretty decent but it's wearing fast were the front matters most. (Maybe I corner too much? -- Nah, no such thing!) Not going to get much more out of this:

KIMG2892.JPG

Debating if I should throw another Mutant on the front and run the existing rear out, possibly staying with the Mutant's due to their superior grip on sandy roads, or buy a matched pair of R6s for the longevity and wet grip. The Mutants are a lower initial purchase price, but the Michelins seem to be cheaper per mile.
 
7,000km update:

I did try them out for a short ride in the snow back in March, and can confirm that as a snow tire, they suck. No real surprise there, I'll stick with the 4wd pickup and studded tires for winter use.

I'm still happy with the grip and feel of these tires, especially on the post-winter sand coated excuse for roads we have around here. I've never had any surprise slips on patches of sand. But: I don't think these are going to go the distance compared to the Michelin R series.

The rear is holding up better, perhaps about 50% life left. Just starting to see some flattening of the centre section. But that would suggest a life of perhaps 14,000kms -- still well short of what I got out of the R5s which would go closer to 18,000 or 20,000kms (on the rear).
View attachment 7056

As with the R5s, the front is wearing faster (I found the R5 fronts wore 2:1 compared to rears). I have distinct cupping resulting in notable tire noise when cornering. I'd estimate the wear at at least 2/3 right now -- the centre section is still pretty decent but it's wearing fast were the front matters most. (Maybe I corner too much? -- Nah, no such thing!) Not going to get much more out of this:

View attachment 7057

Debating if I should throw another Mutant on the front and run the existing rear out, possibly staying with the Mutant's due to their superior grip on sandy roads, or buy a matched pair of R6s for the longevity and wet grip. The Mutants are a lower initial purchase price, but the Michelins seem to be cheaper per mile.
Or try the Dunlop Roadsmart IV...
A bunch of tests done for a series of on-line articles.
Who knows if it is real or a paid promotion but the comparison between R6 and RS IV was carried out by two riders riding together with identical bikes from installation to end-of-life. Bikes swapped back and forth. Note: VFR800, so a lighter bike than the FJR. Nice to see a tire test where it is more than a weekend of riding on new tires. (I just put a set on a week or so ago.)

As they say, YMMV

Summer Tire Shootout- Dunlop Roadsmart IV vs. Michelin Road 6 (roaddirt.tv)
Dunlop Roadsmart IV vs. Michelin Road 6: Dry Handling Comparison (roaddirt.tv)
Dunlop Roadsmart IV vs Michelin Road 6: Wet Handling Test (roaddirt.tv)
Dunlop RoadSmart IV vs Michelin Road 6- Long Term Handling Test (roaddirt.tv)
Dunlop Roadsmart IV vs Michelin Road 6: Final Results (roaddirt.tv)
 
I saw their first test, interesting to see the follow-up. Oddly, in the earlier installments they gave the Roadsmart a "slight edge" in handling over the R6, but in the concluding installment they said the RS handling was "lightyears ahead" of the R6. I wonder if the perception changed, or if it reflects the changes due to wear.

I also find it interesting that there was no mention of one tire wearing out faster than the other. They are apparently cornering pretty aggressively, I wonder why they seem to have balanced wear while I go through fronts so fast. FJR's additional weight, perhaps? It is about 10% heavier than the VFR, but I wouldn't have thought that to be enough to make such a significant difference.
 
They did say that both were vastly superior to the Pirelli Angel. Between the two tires (R6 and RS IV), I think either would be satisfactory. I don't see that there is likely to be a huge difference so pricing and available rebates might come into play. (Dunlop has a new $40 rebate going for two tires and $60 if you include installation.) (In-person purchase, not on-line. From a Dunlop "Pro Dealer".) Not sure what Michelin has going right now.
 
My favourite on-line Canadian motorcycle tire dealer isn't advertising the price, but is privately offering the RSIV front for about 60% of the cost of the R6 version. And the Mutant for a few dollars less than that. No mention of a rebate though, so I guess it's "in lieu of".
 
My favourite on-line Canadian motorcycle tire dealer isn't advertising the price, but is privately offering the RSIV front for about 60% of the cost of the R6 version. And the Mutant for a few dollars less than that. No mention of a rebate though, so I guess it's "in lieu of".
The Dunlop rebate definitely applies to RS IV and Mutant, but they are very specific that purchase must be made in person at a Dunlop "Pro Dealer". On-line purchase does not qualify. Even a "Pro Dealer" such as Pete's only works if you shop in person. The link is for Canada and I think there are similar rules for US customers.

https://www.dunlopmotorcycletires.com/offers/mayjune-pro-dealer-2812-2/
 
Thanks for the update torch! I'm always open to trying different tire(s) on the FJR.

Had a set of Scorpion Trail IIs on the Super Ten that I loved, and got close to 11k miles. Ran a set on the FJR, liked them a lot and got right at 9k miles. Decent tires. For the FJR I have a set of RS3s waiting in the wings that go on next. Also picked up (stole) a set of RS4s from a local dealer and snagged the Dunlop rebate.

BTW...Mounted a set of RS4s yesterday for Niehart and they go on as easy as Michelin's. Much more pliable tire verses 'stones or RS3s.

~G
 
I like the RS4 ‘s that I have on the Fjr. Zero complaints. I could not justify the extra money for the R6. The RS4 are round, black and comfortable riding tires that handle well.
 
Update: Another few thousand kms and the rear is really starting to flatten off fast. I suspect the main carcass is the softer compound and now I've worn through a harder wear layer in the centre. Can definitely feel the rear break traction when transitioning into a lean while accelerating. So Friday afternoon, I ordered a set of RS4's.

11:30pm Friday night, I got a call to go rescue my son. He had a catastrophic failure of his new-this-season Mutant rear with only a few hundred kms use.

It was late, it was dark, it was on the side of a busy highway. We just loaded it onto the trailer and I haven't had a chance to really examine it yet. But by flashlight there's some strange deformations of the tread blocks which make me think one or more belts let go.

According to him, he checked the pressures before heading out and the rear was at 37psi cold. He was 1-1/2 hours into the ride when he hit a tar snake and felt the rear end start squirming, even after the tar snake ended. He was decelerating to pull over at the next exit when it blew out.

Not sure what the warranty process is, but it looks like his bike will be wearing an RS4 before mine will now! <lol> I'll just have to ride the Seca for a bit till I get a second RS4 rear delivered.
 
I got it unloaded from the trailer and into the garage yesterday. Put some air to it and revised my assessment: I don't think a belt broke, I think air got between the layers of rubber.
 

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My first set of Mutants will be a year old this August. They have 3K miles on and slightly flattening on the rear. They still handle very well, there is a noticeable noise increase when leaning over and that is all. There is a little cupping in the front. There are some curvy roads in WI, not enough for me. I am not a very aggressive rider as I normally have the wife along. 40/42
 
They still handle very well, there is a noticeable noise increase when leaning over and that is all.
Yes, the front definitely got noisy in the curves as it wore. Can't say as I'm surprised; given the tread design, I kind of expected it.

And yes, handling is still pretty good at the end of useful life. A little more effort to hold it down in the corners, but far less change than the Michelin R5 over it's lifespan.

Overall, I was impressed with the grip on dirty roads and in wet weather. I really like the handling and ride characteristics. The only negative is the short lifespan. I put them on last August, but around here that's only 6 months of actual riding. Not much more than 10,000kms on them now.

In other news, the RS4s that I ordered Friday night from Pete's arrived yesterday afternoon. They weren't wasting any time shipping those out! And the price was pretty reasonable -- roughly $55 to ship 4 tires (trying out the BT-46 on my old Seca). So Pandora is now wearing an RS4 on the rear and I have another on the way for my bike.

Normally I prefer to keep the same make and model tires front and rear but I took Pandora out to scrub in the tire yesterday and it seems to pair well with the R6 on the front.

(In other other news, scrubbing in the tire reminded me how much sportier the Gen I feels. Sometimes I think I gave the kid the wrong bike... <lol> )
 
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