The Dunlop D605 dual sport tire is now available in North America.
Dunlop is best-known for its street tires, not its dual sport rubber, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a good rep for making excellent on-offroad tires—specifically, the D606.
As with any other tire, user satisfaction varies with the D606, but it’s reckoned by many to be an excellent tire for off-road grip, while still offering good on-street performance. Alas, they have a reputation for burning off very quickly at highway speeds, even on a relatively mild 650-class duallie. And, they’re loud at highway speed, even on a 250-class bike.
Now, Dunlop’s bringing out a new tire for the North American market that should still offer a decent amount of grip, but might be a little more comfortable on the street. They’re calling it the D605, and it looks like it follows a familiar pattern.
For years, the go-to tire of the KLR crowd and other assorted cheapskates has been the Shinko 244 or Kenda K270; they have pretty much the same tread pattern, with tighter-spaced knobs than the D606 and other big block tires. The K270 and 244 are still considered decent offroad tires, particularly in gravel, although everyone says the D606 is better in the dirt.
Looking at the new D605, it appears the tread pattern is similar to those tires, and appears to be intended for the same market. The marketing copy says it’s “aimed at small and mid-displacement bikes, and is targeted at value-oriented customers.”
The presser goes on to say the D605 is “designed for rigorous off-road use, and offers excellent traction on everything from hard-packed fire roads to soft single-track trails.” So, maybe the compound is a little more grippy than the cheaper Asian tires, but still, it sounds like it’s designed to be a fairly universal tire.
According to the wizards of Google, the D605 appears to have been available in other Euro and Asian markets before now, but there’s not much information on it.
Head over to Dunlop’s site, and you can get fitment information. At this point, there’s no option for a 19-inch front, maybe because Dunlop doesn’t want customers putting these tires on litre-class ADVs that can overpower the carcass (remember, the market is “small and mid-displacement bikes”). Or, maybe 19-inch tires are coming in the near future?