Want a trials tire, but you want to be street-legal? Dunlop has you covered, with the new K950 DOT-friendly trials tire, now available in the US.
You’d see trials tires on duallies and scramblers a few decades back, during the era of the Yamaha DT175 or Honda XL250 or similar machines. There wasn’t much else available for a mix of offroad and street riding. However, trials tires weren’t ideal for bigger bikes, at least not in those days, so riders moved to proper dual sport tires once they became more widely available. Still, some people wanted trials tires for various reasons, and now there’s a new street-legal offering on the US market.
What’s the new tire all about? Dunlop’s website says “The DOT approved K950 trials tire K950 delivers the kind of performance trials riders and off-road enthusiasts are looking for, with additional durability and on-road capability.” The tightly-packed knobs are supposed to offer decent wear on pavement, lasting longer and running smoother than a standard knobby.
Off-road, the K950’s compound and tread design is supposed to be optimized for tough going. Again, as per Dunlop’s website, “The K950 features bias-ply construction, and compounds and tread pattern designed to tackle tough single-track terrain and challenging conditions. In both wet and dry conditions, the K950 excels when the course or trail turns hard-packed, rocky, or littered with tree roots.”
At this point, Dunlop’s website only lists a 4.00-18 rear size. Will a matching front become available? You’d think so. Dunlop says it matches the D803GP front tire, and that certainly isn’t DOT-friendly.
So far, we haven’t seen an MSRP listed for the new K950 tire.