by Spencer on 07/16/2010
Amongst all the costs of motocross, there is one constant, sometimes tedious (at least for the beginner) and fairly costly maintenance aspect of off-road motorcycles. The tires.
Because I am relatively new to the sport of motocross, I can’t state this as a fact. Although I’ve heard tire technology has changed a fair bit over the years, there is a wide selection of off-road tires available to the public.
This is good, as we get lots of competition (Now where do we need more competition?) which pushes tire technology, and drives down tire cost for the buying public.
Taking all of this in to consideration, I began looking for a new set of tires. Being the ‘New to motocross’, ‘Spend all his money on motocross’ type of kid, I had a budget, and decided to search online. What I found sounded really good at the time, but I soon found out you get what you pay for.
Enter the Motosport.com “Artrax 125/250f” tire combo. The picture on the web site, shows a deceiving shot of a front and rear tire. When I say deceiving, I mean, the picture makes you think the back tire looks ‘beefy’. Like it could easily offer all the traction a motocross rider could want.
To my surprise, when I received my rear tire, the knobs were relatively small. I did not think much of it until I saw a friends brand new Bridgestone tire. When compared, there is a clear difference. The rubber seemed to feel like rubber (I hoped it would).
When it came to mounting the rear tire, the Chinese manufacturing comes into play. The tire shredded when I tried mounting it. While some of you may say, “Well, he is new to motocross, he did not know how to mount the thing”. I’ll admit I’m new to this mx tire mounting thing, but in this case a friend of my Dad’s, who’s mounted quite a few ‘name brand’ tires before, has NEVER seen a tire harder to mount than this Artrax .
I finally decided to bring the tire to the local Yamaha shop for mounting, and they had trouble with it as well! Once the mounting was complete, I began to worry about the wear and handling part of the tire.
The handling, well… it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t anything amazing, you could tell the tire was of lower quality and a pro would never consider it. Wear was a different story, after only a short amount of riding time there was already noticeable tire wear. The riding done using these tires was in relatively soft terrain riding areas with absolutely no road riding.
The rear tire is just not acceptable.
Now the front tire turned out to be a pleasant surprise. Comparatively, the knobs on the front tire were acceptable and didn’t look tiny compared to a name brand tire. The tire mounted fine with the bead fitting nicely.
The front tire hooks up good in the turns with no signs of wear thus far. Overall, the front tire was a good deal. While the front tire may not be top quality, and would not be an ideal choice for a professional, this tire definitely works for the poor, ‘addicted to motocross’ 16 year olds out there.
Now what about the entire combo? Well… I just can not recommend that someone buys the combo. The rear tire just caused me way too many hassles, and didn’t really perform well. On the other hand, the front tire was very good for the price.
So, if you find your front tire a bit worn and your wallet low on funds, maybe you’ll consider the Artrax front tire. While not for your race bike, it could work great for your practice bike or as a spare. Overall it’s a good inexpensive tire.