First Impression: Maxxis Maxxcross MX-IH Tires

First Ride On Maxxis’ New Tire

Story by Trevor Hunter, Photos by Mark Kariya

Maxxis is no stranger to the powersports world, and anything wheels really. Apart of Cheng Shin (a popular tire manufacturer back in 1960’s and 1970’s), they’ve been on the higher end of performance off-road tires for decades and in recent years have made a bigger push into the dirt bike market with the help of Jeremy McGrath assisting in product development and as a brand ambassador.

Maxxis’ new tires, the MX-SI and MX-IH (the tire tested here), were developed by Jeremy McGrath with new tread patterns and rubber compounds as a premium offering to compete with the likes of Dunlop, Pirelli, Michelin, etc.

We’ve put about two hours on the new MX-IH, Maxxis’ Intermediate-Hard terrain tire, at Glen Helen with some time on the motocross track, off-road trails, and SRA GP race course, as well as in Ridgecrest, CA for the NGPC race. Recommended tire pressure for this tire is 12 psi in the rear, and 12.5 psi in the front which is what we ran on our outings thus far. To note, we did run these tires back-to-back with a set of tires we are more familiar with to get a better comparison on performance right off the bat.

First thing’s first, these tires were pretty easy to mount. Some tires are more difficult than others to install, but these were some of the easiest tires we’ve changed in quite some time – something that usually comes from a softer carcass tire.

The first thing that impressed our riders with this tire in the dirt is the bump absorption. Immediately upon hitting the first set of braking bumps and accelerating through a minefield of square edges, the tire offered a very forgiving, comforting feel – almost as if we had just softened up our clickers front and rear after switching from a different brand of tires. We felt less harshness through the front end and had little to no deflection. We’ll play around with different air pressures to see if upping the air pressure hurts the tire’s performance here, or even helps it as we don’t feel a stiff sidewall in these tires, but the bump absorption is about as good as any that we’ve felt as of late. 

Likewise, on flat, hard-packed sweeping corners where we’re really leaning on and trusting the side knobs, we didn’t have any fears of loss of traction. IF we were going to lose traction, we could feel it coming and had time to correct it before being too far gone. The tire didn’t ever just break free with little-to-no warning, something that can really diminish a rider’s confidence in a tire. Like the rear, the front end has felt solid under lean angles in ruts and dry corners, typically finding traction when we would least expect it. 

Under braking, both front and rear tires have so far been predictable and stable, tracking straight and feeling connected to the ground. We haven’t felt any excessive tire roll from the front on decel, and even in slightly softer conditions, the front has proven its versatility with good performance across the board.

Overall, we’re very impressed with Maxxis’ newest tire offering and are looking forward to spending more time on the tires in different terrain, on different bikes, and experimenting more. We feel they’ve taken a big step up in performance here and we’ll track durability and try some different tire pressures to see what works best with the new MX-IH tires. 

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