Know Your Tires: Maxxis Motocross Line up

Maxxis is a household name when it comes to off road tires. What set made me first fall in love with the brand? It was an old set of Maxxis Minion DHF mountain bike tires that I had on my Downhill bike. Man did those things ever grip! Ever since using those, Maxxis has proven themselves to me and now I like trying every tire that I can get my hands on. I thought, “If the mountain bike tires are good, then the dirt bike tires must also hold their own”. I was right. Once trying the motocross tires out, I realized Maxxis dirt bike tires would compete with my other favorites.

Although I could tell personal stories about tires for hours, that’s not what this article is about. This is about you learning which Maxxis dirt bike tires will work for you, so that you can decide if they are worth trying, or if you would rather stick to other brands. Maxxis seems to position themselves as more of a cross-country or Enduro brand in my brain, but don’t let that confuse you because their motocross track tires are of the same caliber. So without further ado, let’s talk about Maxxis dirt bike tires:   

Maxxis Dirt Bike Tires

MAXXCROSS SI Dirt Bike Tires

Maxxis dirt bike tires Maxxcross SI tireAlright, here is one of the most popular Maxxis dirt bike tires out there. It is a soft to intermediate terrain tire that is designed for cross country racing. If you have ever been to a GNCC (grand national cross country) race in America you have seen quite a few. This is because the tire was designed for this racing circuit specifically.

The tracks range greatly from deep Florida sand to more packed rocky surfaces such as at Snowshoe in West Virginia. The tire features firm side knobs for precision handling which really shows its roots as a XC tire. However, don’t let this fool you, it longevity and grip will serve you well on a loamy motocross track too. 

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MAXXCROSS IT Dirt Bike Tires

Maxxis Maxxcross IT dirt bike tireLet’s talk about long tire life for a second. If you are racing long distance races or spending hours on end training on a motocross track, you need something that will last. That’s where this intermediate to hard terrain tire comes in.

It is really well suited to a variety of riding conditions. This is not the type of tire that I would say is excellent at one thing, instead it is good a just about everything. Good thing that is exactly what a ton of riders want. The knobs offer a little less precision than the MAXXCROSS SI but I would say that it makes the ride more forgiving on a motocross track. 

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MAXXCROSS SM Dirt Bike Tires

Maxxis Maxxcross SM dirt bike tireFor those days where it gets slippery, there is the MAXXCROSS SM. These tires are designed specifically for sand and mud races. Typically you will see the motocross guys use these on really deep sand tracks where the cross country guys will use them when the race is pure muddy sloppy goodness.

The silica rubber compound used is great at shedding dirt and the large spacing increases the tires self-cleaning properties even more. The coolest thing to me is that these Maxxis dirt bike tires have a tread pattern was designed with the help of computer simulation. Overall the tires are a pretty standard set of sand tires, but are still good none the less. 

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INTERMEDIATE Dirt Bike Tires

A classic tire for the classic motocross style of ridding, this intermediate tire is a sure favorite among track goers. It is another middle ground tire that can be happily ridden just about anywhere. The bead is reinforced and the 6-ply rating means the chances of getting a flat are not too high.

I know some weekend warriors that love this tire for cross country as well because it just seems to hold up. The knobs are also quite deep to start with which helps dig further into the ground, but also allows for more wear before the tire is no good. 

MAXXCROSS DUEL SX Dirt Bike Tires

Maxxis Maxxcross SX dirt bike tiresDo you race Arenacross? What about Supercross? If neither of those you might still ride hard packed motocross tracks. All of these circumstances will suit the Maxxcross Duel SX tires down to the tube (or mousse, or tire balls).

This tire is all about creating contact. The lugs are a bit more tightly spaced than most Maxxis dirt bike tires, and the rubber is quite soft. This aids in providing the tire with a large foot print that grips the ground and provides awesome traction. The center knobs are even a bit softer than the side ones to ensure that the tire still feels precise.

Overall the weight of the tires is quite light as well. I would not recommend this tire for cross country racing though as it is not a tear resistant as a lot of the Maxxis line up is. So for the sake of flat prevention, keep this tire on the track where it really shines. 

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MAXXCROSS MX IT Dirt Bike Tires

Maxxis Maxxcross MX ITMotocross racers rejoice, here is a tire just for you. This tire has some real thought put into it and the results are clear if you have ever ridden one of these Maxxis dirt bike tires on a track. The knobs on the front tire have a standard Maxxis tire compound for the majority of each knob, but are capped with a softer compound which helps to make a larger footprint for braking and cornering traction.

On the rear tire, the side knobs are the stiffer standard compound for longevity but the center knobs are softer so that the power can be better translated to the ground (AKA, traction). This tire is designed for intermediate terrain which means it is quite well rounded. It is also quite lightweight, similar to the Duel SX tire.

The nice thing is that the sidewall is also absolutely solid. I couldn’t roll these sidewalls in a corner even if I tried. To sum it up, this is a sure footed motocross tire that won’t leave you without traction. The only downfall is that they do not last as long as some other tires due to the softer rubber compounds in certain places. However, the tires are designed to perform on race day and that is exactly what they do.

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Endurocross

MAXXCROSS EN

Here is an Endurocross specific tire. I like this because traditionally we don’t see a tire dedicated purely to this stadium based rough terrain style of racing. The thing is, when the tracks are so unique, the tires should match and that’s exactly what this set does.

The tires are designed to ride predictably and allow the rider to be as precise as possible. The large knob spacing keeps the tires clean so that the rubber (very gummy rubber) can grip on the obstacles like crazy. The thing is, you have to be a relatively good rider to use these tires well. Something that grips this precisely can easily send you into the bushes, rocks, or trees if you aren’t lined up correctly.

This is not to scare you away from the tire, but to let you know that sometimes a little give may suit your riding style better. This tire will also wear down more quickly than a lot of other options due to its super soft compound. 

 

Desert Racing

MAXXCROSS DESERT IT

Maxxis Maxxcross Desert ITPeople who take on desert races amaze me. The conditions are grueling and it takes some serious bravery to ride at that pace for extended periods of time. Those riders deserve a tire that will not just survive in the desert, but thrive. For that reason, Maxxis created the Maxxcross Desert IT tire.

The knobs are long to dig into the sand and find traction wherever possible. The carcass is stiff, which isn’t always the best thing. However, when racing at high speeds in the desert, it helps to assure your tires won’t be pinched, and also takes away flex. Yes usually some flex is a good thing, but it’s not when desert racing.

You might notice similarities in tread when comparing to the Maxxcross IT tire because the pattern works well. However the compound this desert tire is made of is much more resilient to chipping and tearing, and will hold up to the immense heat that is created during desert races. This is a thoroughbred desert racing tire that stands up to its hype.     

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Dirt Track Racing 

DTR-1

This is a simple tire that will provide dirt track racers with traction and control. There is not too much to say about it as it is relatively basic. You can get this tire in a soft or a medium compound though which allows racers to choose what is best for the day. Thanks to the simple design riders can also carve out their own tread pattern for the ultimate race suiting ride. 

 

Final Thoughts 

Maxxis has certainly come a long way when it comes to creating better and better tires. The latest models prove that they mean business and the teams that run the tires sure back up that statement well. Is Maxxis the best tire company? I cannot answer that as it is purely based on opinion. What I will say though is that their XC and Enduro tires especially impress me, and I wouldn’t surprise myself if I choose Maxxis for the next time I go out playing in the woods. 

Do you want to learn more about dirt bike tires? I have a full specter of reviews about the most popular dirt bike tire brands like Michelin StarCross motocross tires; Bridgestone Battlecross dirt bike TiresPirelli Scorpion MX tires;

Martin