First Impression: Dunlop AT82 Tires

At this time, no other off-road motorcycle tire manufacturer even comes close to having the same brand recognition and popularity as Dunlop in America. They cover nearly every factory team in the Supercross pits, are used by a good majority of amateur racers and weekend warriors alike, and for good reason. They support the sport and offer a good product. However, it’s nearly impossible to create something as critical as a tire that can please everyone. Dunlop’s older generation “off-road” tire, the AT81, saw mixed reviews from us and the consumers alike. The tires had a stiff carcass feel, especially in the front, and traction wasn’t all that great across the board.

Dunlop’s newest off-road offering in the AT82 represents the next iteration and after a couple rides in different conditions, we feel they hit the mark. Starting with the front tire, which is very similar to the famed MX3SF front tire (there are some slightly different rubber compounds for longevity and use), the tire is much better at soaking up hits without giving feedback to the rider. The AT81 front would deflect, feel harsh, and simply didn’t have great traction in really any condition. It was one of the very first things we changed on our off-road test bikes after the initial riding impression. We tested these tires on both a 2024 Kawasaki KX450X and 2024 KTM 350 XC-F with mousses and on a KTM 300 XC with tubes. Recommended tire pressure is 13-13.5 psi, and we ran 13.5 psi with a 110/100-18 tire on the 300 XC.

The AT82 offers a more compliant and stable ride, provides good edge grip in corners, and thus far we haven’t had any issues with the edges of the tires grabbing in rocks or ruts. Under braking, the front tire has been predictable and stable across a variety of conditions.

Out back, the AT82 rear tire is now a multi directional rear tire with a mini scoop-like pattern for softer terrain and a more traditional squared edge for harder pack terrain. So far, we’ve only ridden it in the soft direction, but down the road we’ll try it in both directions to see the nuances of each.

In the soft direction, the tire has very good forward bite in anything remotely soft or with traction. We found ourselves nearly looping out more than a few times on our KX450X at the start of the Glen Helen 6 Hour, not accustomed to the amount of traction we were receiving. Both lateral and at lean, the AT82 rear tire maintains good traction and is less susceptible to spinning and sliding like the old AT81 rear. We did feel the sidewall was a tad on the stiffer side running a 120/90-18 and a 110/100-18 may be a little more comforting – something we’ll try later on with more time on the tires.

After the first days of riding, we’re really impressed with Dunlop’s newest offerings and feel these may be the best overall tires they make. We weren’t huge fans of the AT81’s – we could live with the rear but hated the front – and not all of us here at DBT are sold on the MX34’s being an improvement, but the AT82 front and rear look very promising and will likely be our go-to tire of choice from Dunlop moving forward.

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