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When you think of trials tires, you probably assume that they’re for trials bikes. If so, you’re right – and wrong! Trials as a riding discipline has been around almost as long as motorcycles have, and the unique requirements of trials competitions have bred tires that are designed for a high level of traction. But just because trials tires work incredibly for trials bikes doesn’t mean that other dirt bikes can’t harness their traction as well. For years, off-road enthusiasts have been putting trials tires on their standard dirt bikes instead of traditional knobbies.
So how do you know whether you should use trials or knobbies? If you ride trails in the mountains or woods, you should definitely consider trying out a set of trials tires. They hook up where knobbies can’t. They really excel on difficult hill climbs and technical areas of the trails. When you’ve got trials tires installed on your bike, you’ll have the confidence to tackle obstacles that your buddies would never even think of trying. Another great thing about trials tires is that the tread pattern is relatively gentle on trails compared to knobbies.
Trials tires are also popular among enduro or hare scramble racers. The superb traction they provide can give your bike an edge in an off-road race. Some trials tires are also DOT approved, so there’s no problem if the course travels across public roads.
The one type of riding that isn’t as great with trials tires is motocross. In loamy track soil where traction is already optimal, trials tires won’t give the same performance that knobbies will.
Because trials tires are built a little differently, there are a few other considerations you’ll need to make when using them on your bike. You might want to switch to a heavy-duty tube (or even better – an ultra HD tube) to help prevent flats. You also need to be aware that since the tire profile is shaped differently than other types of tires, your handling won’t be the same at higher speeds or around sharper turns.
One advantage that trials tires will give you is their ability to soak up small obstacles, providing a more comfortable ride and making it easier to handle your bike.
There’s only one way to discover the difference that a trials tire makes – you’ve got to try a set for yourself! We’ve got an excellent variety of tires available from several brands and in multiple sizes. Check out the product description for more details on an individual tire, and don’t forget that you can rely on customer reviews for first-hand experience about how a specific tire worked out for other riders. Don’t put it off any longer; pick up a pair of trials tires for your dirt bike today!
don in OH
I've used knobbies like everyone else. Wanted to switch to a trials but without the trials tire drawbacks. This Kenda hybrid trials tire is great. Very good traction just about everywhere. It will spin if you give too much throttle in certain situations but so will a knobbie. Slow steady rocky climbs are great. Side knob grip is good. Doesn't wear much, cause not spinning. Not great in very soft loom or deep mud, but will still get thru. Great tire.Read All Reviews
RUSS in CO
Love the Pirelli P43 Trials tire except in sand and braking. Was anxious to try MotoZ Hybrid but have found it to be about average. Great sidewall, so you can run lower than 10 psi. Doesn't like wet conditions. Doesn't stick to Utah slick rock like a trials tire. Hard compound loses traction easy. Average wear, but does chunk out in rocks. Braking is average at best.Read All Reviews
TIM in BC
Full disclosure I have some trials experience. This tire is incredible if you know its limits, muddy/cruddy braking you need to compensate on the front brake as the rear tread can pack up which, if even you're not a skilled racer this is still totally controllable. Tubliss works great, I ran 6 PSI on an XR400 in Moab and hooks up like a trials bike, in wet/rooty and muddy BC (on the same bike) this tire still works fantastically . As many have posted , if you want to roost buddies, tear up dirt and spread cow pies, have poor clutch/throttle control this is not your tire, but if you can drive a trials tire or if you want to know how to use a trials tire to better your skills - this is the cats whiskers!Read All Reviews
Erik in NV
It looks too skinny but it works. It finds traction where you don't expect it and it really hooks up on rocks, loose or planted. It does surprisingly well in sand, about as well as a worn knobby. The only terrain it does not excel in is mud, snow, and deep sand/silt. The reviewer who said it doesn't work on loose shale rocks had a much different experience than I did. It absolutely loves rocks, loose or solid. I started at 10 psi and over several rides went down to 6 psi with an ultra heavy duty tube. At 6 psi it was extra special, making the suspension feel very plush. 4 stars not 5 because it's not perfect in mud/snow/silt.Read All Reviews
Marcus in OH
I have ran this tire at hattfield mckoy, Moab, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and a lot of places in between. This is a great tire for hard pack and rocks. It even works well on slimy hard pack. So if you're the guy that's out for the trail ride on good established trails, this tire is all you need. But if you do venture off to some fresh single track it will get you there. Just may have to put some extra effort into it.Read All Reviews