After several years of success in European motocross racing (including several World Championships with Stefan Everts), Pirelli has set their sights on the American motocross market. The ever-popular Ryan Hughes will run Pirelli tires in the AMA Outdoor Nationals this season, and Arenacross champ Darcy Lange will carry the Pirelli banner for 05 as well.
In addition to sponsoring more big-name racers, Pirelli has released a new front tire, the MT32F, which is intended as an intermediate/soft terrain tire to complement their existing MT32 rear. Pirelli claims the MT32F was developed through direct feedback from Stefan Everts, Mickael Pichon, and Andea Bartolini during the 2005 MX1 season. The design targets for this tire were to provide “superb grip, steering precision, and rider feedback on soft to intermediate terrain”.
MD test rider Russ Somers had the chance to try the MT32F (along with an MT32 rear) on his 2004 YZ250 at Competitive Edge MX Park in Hesperia, California last month. Competitive Edge is a new facility which features mostly soft, loamy dirt which does tend to pack down and harden on the racing line as the day wears on.
Russ felt that the MT32F leans towards the “soft” side of the intermediate/soft terrain equation, with excellent performance in the soft, loamy dirt at Competitive Edge. Unfortunately this excellent grip gradually lessened as the lines became harder-packed, and the front end started to feel less planted while cornering. Pushing the bike through a corner on a hard-packed inside line, the front would tend to slide to the outside until it encountered the softer loam, where it would hook back up.
Russ was also impressed with the MT32 rear tire, and felt that the combination would be a good choice at a very soft track that stays loamy for most of the day. If that sounds like a good description of your local track, consider the MT32F next time you need a new front tire.