This test took several months to complete, and that isn’t because I was dragging my feet. Pirelli’s MX Extra tires almost wore me out, and that was with just one set of tires on a Yamaha YZ450F!
When I got the tires they looked good with substantial knobs, generous spacing and a solid feel to the carcass of the meat. Pirelli claims the tires mount easily, and they do. I measured the rear tire, since it looked tall to me, and it turned out to be an inch taller than a Dunlop D952 of the same size. On the first ride I felt that tallness as quick and light steering-a lighter feel than the YZ had ever displayed.
Traction on the track was quite good for a long-life tire compound. It isn’t like a premium motocross tire, but very good, and better the closer the dirt stayed to intermediate surface conditions that let the knobs sink in a little. The poorest traction was on dry, hard dirt with loose sand or gravel on top. Over the duration of this test I hit every type of terrain from near sand dunes to snow on rocks. The real story with these tires, though, is the lifespan. Traction is good, not great and not all-encompassing. But durability is off the charts.
I kept careful track of miles and the track days. The four days at the motocross track imposed next to no punishment to the edges. The tires looked new, but that wasn’t too unusual with the prepped and watered surface. I knew life wouldn’t be so nice to these meats after 60 miles in the Jawbone Canyon area. The place tears up normal tires, and after my jaunt the edges still looked sharp enough for MX! So, the tires stayed on. In all I got more than 400 miles of hard desert, motocross and trail riding with these tires.