Our “Intermediate-to-Soft-Terrain Buyer’s Guide” covers the gamut of tires targeting soft dirt, sand, mud and some hard-packed surfaces. “Intermediate to soft” is the most popular designation, since these tires’ versatility gives the rider some leeway in varying conditions. This guide covers the highlights from the manufacturers. Pricing is either suggested retail (if the company offers one) or online pricing (where we pick a range of prices from popular websites). Some of the popular websites, such as Chaparral (www.chapmoto.com), have great prices, and if you live locally, you can order items online and pick them up at the store. Many websites offer free shipping if you spend enough. Of course, if you have a great dealership in town, you can grab your tires and go shredding the same day. Import tariffs are in effect for many Asian-made tires, so prices can vary dramatically, depending on import date. Expect prices to increase in the near future.
BRIDGESTONE BATTLECROSS X30
Bridgestone calls its Battlecross X30 a do-it-all tire, as the intermediate-terrain tire is durable and offers predictable handling. Specialized lug patterns on the convex tread blocks grip in terrain ranging from soft to hard.
- Large, raised tread bars spread around the center belt of lugs support weight and extend tread life
- Cooling fins improve heat dissipation in the tire, so the psi won’t climb during a race
- Design increases the contact patch and provides high-contact pressure to enhance traction
Sizes: 100/100-18, 110/100-18,100/90-19, 110/90-19, 120/80-19
Prices: Online pricing ranges from $75.88–-$87.88
Goldentyre designed its GT333N to offer both flexibility and structure. The exclusive rubber compound focuses on even wear and traction throughout the lifespan of the tire. It has self-cleaning knob spacing for mud and sand and is DOT approved.
- Open tread pattern with optimized rubber compound provides excellent traction in soft/intermediate conditions and exceptional wear characteristics
- Reinforced carcass design allows for maximum traction without sacrificing feel and rim protection
- Relieved center knobs with “G” logo provide outstanding grip on concrete starts and hard base conditions
Sizes: 100/90-19, 110/90-19, 120/80-19, 110/100-18, 120/100-18
Price: Online pricing starts at $108.86 Contact: www.goldentyrewest.com
This is a new tire from Dunlop that replaces the MX3S. It is designated as a soft-to-intermediate tire and features an altered block-in-a-block design that helps with grip and stability. The new MX33 has more blocks in the rear tread compared to the MX3 for a larger contact patch.
- Advanced Apex Design improves shock absorption by diffusing shock through a taller, thinner apex inside the sidewall
- An all-new compound in the front and rear tires enhances durability without sacrificing the legendary grip of the Geomax line
- Carcass Tension Control System allows even flex throughout the tire for increased bump absorption
Sizes: 100/100-18, 110/100-18, 120/90-18, 100/90-19, 110/90-19, 120/80-19, 120/90-19
Price: Online prices start at $89.95 Contact: www.dunlopmotorcycletires.com
CST SURGE S
CST’s Surge S features widely spaced knobs that will shed mud and sand while providing grip in loose conditions. CST builds its tires for maximum durability using a rubber compound that stands up to tough conditions.
- Good gap between knobs for clean-out in loamy conditions
- Rubber compound is durable
- Side knob design is great for cornering
Price: $94 suggested retail. Contact: www.csttires.com/us
HI-POINT M-15, M-16
Hi-Point M-15 rear and M-16 front tires have widely spaced knobs that are reinforced at the base for reduced flex and tear. Durability is considered above average. Hi-Point tires are among those affected by current import tariffs, so pricing may increase in coming months.
- Tall, widely spaced knobs
- Mini sizes available
- Stiff casing
IRC MOTOCROSS IX-09W
IRC’s iX-09W is designed for prime traction on intermediate soil. The tire offers good versatility as the terrain gets more hard-packed. Both the knob height and the carcass design target grip on high-speed straights and traction in corners.
- Hard knobs offer durability
- Lightweight via Mono-Flex technology
- Versatile; optimized for good traction but performs well on hard-to-soft terrain
Sizes: 100/100-18, 110/100-18, 110/ 80-19, 110/90-19, 120/80-19
Price: Online prices start at $71.70 Contact: www.irc-tire.com
KENDA WASHOUGAL II
Kenda’s Washougal II features a dual-compound design that offers enhanced grip, feel and traction. The standard compound used in the center offers durability, while the soft race compound used in the shoulder of the tire provides cornering stability and traction.
- New rear tread pattern for improved efficiency in a wider variety of course conditions
- Durable tread composition and design, flexible carcass for feel and traction
- Available in dual comp or sticky composition
Sizes: 110/100-18, 120/80-18, 100/90-19, 110/80-19, 110/90-19, 120/80-19
Price: Online pricing from $60.88–$67.88 Contact: www.powersports.kendatire.com
MAXXIS MAXXCROSS SI
The Maxxis Maxxcross SI targets durability and traction in soft/intermediate conditions. The tires are tested on the GNCC circuit and in the WORCS races where both grip and knob life are important. The knob pattern is designed for self-cleaning in thicker soil conditions.
- Race rubber compound targets middle-ground conditions for both MX and off-road
- Anti-flex knob bridges on the side lugs offer stability
- Knob height and compound are designed for aggressive cornering
Sizes: 100/100-18, 110/100-18, 120/100-18, 100/90-19, 110/80-19, 110/90-19, 120/80-19, 120/90-19
Price: Online prices start at $78.50 Contact: www.maxxis.com
MOTOZ TRACTIONATOR ENDURO I/T
The MotoZ Tractionator Enduro I/T is a heavy-duty, enduro-based tire that has MX-like grip in all varieties of enduro terrain. It was developed for enduro/dual-sport being DOT-legal and super durable. The natural rubber compound and unique tread design dig in conditions that range from mud to sand and in more intermediate terrain.
- Hybrid compound, sticky, flexible and durable
- DOT legal
- Heavy duty, resists wear and targets intermediate-to-soft conditions
Sizes: 110/100-18, 120/90-18, 130/80-18, 110/90-19,
Price: Suggested retail $119.95–$139.95 Contact: http://www.pacificpowersports.com
METZELER MC 360 MID-SOFT
Metzeler’s MC360 offers wide, curved center knobs for enhanced braking, traction and directional feel. The diamond-shaped side knobs offer cornering efficiency and durability, while the large gaps are self-cleaning in mud and thick dirt, which is also effective for braking. The side spacing between knobs offers focused flex for feel and self-cleaning.
- Rear center knobs are alternately divided in sections. Their function is to maximize comfort and to enhance the performance both entering and exiting turns
- Diamond-shaped shoulder knobs along with the lateral-cut sections of center knobs ensure grip at any lean angle
- Self-cleaning knob pattern
Sizes: 100/100-18, 110/100-18, 120/100-18, 140/80-18, 100/90-19, 110/90-19,
Price: Online pricing from $69.99–$91.99
MICHELIN STARCROSS 5 SOFT
The Michelin Starcross 5 tire features a combination of technologies that are lightweight and help with maneuverability. The key is its carcass, which is considerably more flexible. Its performance on loamy straights is optimized, providing your motorcycle with improved traction and steadier handling in corners.
- Fifteen percent lighter than the previous version
- Comfort case technology for a plush ride and increased contact patch
- Self-cleaning tread design with center blocks that enhance braking performance
Sizes: 100/100-18, 110/100-18, 100/90-19, 110-90-19, 120/80-19
Price: Online pricing $76.99–$98.99
PIRELLI SCORPION MX32 /XC32 MID-SOFT
Developed on the MXGP circuit and used by world champions, the Pirelli MX32 is a versatile tire that is designed for mud, sand and loam but retains grip when the terrain transitions to harder surfaces. It only comes in a 19-inch for the rear. For enduro and off-road, Pirelli has the XC32 Mid-Soft. It uses a polyester carcass, smaller blocks and a compound that is durable yet offers good grip.
- The MX32/XC32 uses a V layout of blocks for stability in traction and braking
- The MX32 uses a double-layer compound for resistance to heat and dynamic stresses
- The XC32 features MX-style rubber, long life and strong performance
Sizes: 110/100-18, 120/100-18, 100/90-19, 110/85-19, 110/90-19, 120/80-19
Price: Online prices: MX32, $92.88–$97.88; XC32, $76.88–$77.88
STI TECH 2 PRO INTERMEDIATE
STI’s Tech 2 Pro tire is fit with a varied-pitch tread in a pattern with fewer center knobs and a concentrated shoulder that provides performance in both loose and packed terrain conditions. The tire carcass and knob compound are tough and resist wear.
- The Pro 2’s lightweight carcass is manufactured for optimum balance of stiffness and flex
- A newly developed compound maximizes tire hook-up as the track/trail hardens
- The four-ply carcass and durable rubber compound target durability
Sizes: 110/80-18, 120/100-18, 100/90-19, 110/90-19, 120/80-19
Price: $80.99–$83.99 Contact: https://stipowersports.com
SHINKO 525 SERIES
Shinko’s intermediate rear tire features long and spaced lugs that target loam, mud and sandy conditions. With its wide, self-cleaning tread pattern, the 525 rear offers strong rubber mated to a carcass that is durable.
- For soft-to-intermediate terrain
- Wide self-cleaning tread pattern
- Reinforced knobs resist tearing and chunking
Sizes: 100/100-18. 110/100-18, 120/100-18, 100/90-19, 110/90-19, 120/90-19
Prices: Suggested retail from $80.95–$99.95
A price-point tire, the Sedona MX880ST’s design targets sand and muddy terrain. The open-tread pattern cleans itself out in sand and mud for strong traction and braking power. The tire compound is both flexible and durable, offering grip and reliability.
- Open Cross Block-supported tread pattern
- Side knobs with eight biting edges offers excellent cornering performance
- Rigid four-ply-rated carcass design
Sizes: 110/100-18, 120/90-18, 100/90-19, 110/90-19, 120/80-19
Prices: $89.95–$90.95 (MSRP) Contact: www.sedonatires.com/product/mx880/212397
VEE VRM 140 F/R
This tire was created for long-wearing performance with a tread design that embraces a variety of environments. The VRM 140 is an intermediate tire engineered to take on soft-terrain conditions and comes in standard or Tackee compounds.
- Available in the Tackee knob compound to improve performance in harder environments
- Long-wearing rubber compound
- Specially designed shoulder knobs for improved traction in ruts and flat corners
Sizes: 100/100-18, 110/100-18, 120/100-18, 100/90-19, 110/90-19, 120/90-19
Price: Online prices from $87.95–$103.35 Contact: www.veerubberus.com/off-roadmx/