The “Frankenstein” of Motorcycle Tires
Ripping down rustic back country roads, commuting to & from the office, hitting up local bike nights, & riding through rainstorms as summer comes to a close. Safe to say that you’ve experienced similar riding conditions? I think we all have. Riding a motorcycle is a feeling like no other; just you and the open road. The ability to go anywhere and do what you want… at least… for the most part. More on that later.
For the last 5 years, I’ve consistently ran Continental tires on my Kawi. Cheap, readily available, and they’ve never failed me. Don’t fix it if it isn’t broken right? While they worked fine on dry, city streets, I’d often wondered what it’d be like to have a more capable bike. But did I really need a new bike, or did I just need a different tire? Enter the Dunlop Mutant tires: designed for riders like myself that “brave the elements”. As a Midwesterner with a single bike and a desire to experience the world, versatility is a must. No matter what the road ahead looks like, I need to know “I can”. Fortunately for me, Dunlop gave Road Dirt and I the opportunity to see what their Mutant tires are all about and sent me a pair for my 2009 Kawasaki ER-6n 650 (the streetfighter variant of the parallel twin 650 Ninja).
New shoes- My 2009 Kawasaki ER-6n getting a pair of Mutants.
To sum it up, the Dunlop Mutants are an everyday rider’s dream “do it all” tire. I had the tires installed at Moto-Fied Cycles here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a shop owned by my buddy Nick Petterson. Moto-Fied specializes in powder coating, spoked wheel refinishing, suspension rebuilds, and fabrication services. While the shop serves much of the Milwaukee riding community, some of their most impressive builds grace the streets of Milwaukee via the members of the Milwaukee Supermoto riding group. In fact, while waiting for him to finish my install, Nico, a member of the Milwaukee SUMO riding group was also at the shop and stated, “The Mutants are a dope, all-around tire that are becoming pretty popular in the SUMO community because of how capable they are on wet streets and doing light, off-road riding through dirt, gravel or grass.”
In thinking about my conversation with Nico, I can’t say I wasn’t surprised as his remarks backed up all the research I had done online. As the name suggests, the Mutant is a “Frankenstein” tire that reminds me of a cross between a sport tire, dual sport tire, and a flat track tire. In fact, Dunlop describes them on their product information page as, “A mutation of unique components that create one of the most versatile street tires Dunlop has ever produced.” Marketed as Dunlop’s Multi-Tread Technology, they feature a harder compound in the center which provides extra tread life, alongside a softer compound on the sidewalls to provide increased handling capabilities. While I’m no track riding extraordinaire, I certainly appreciate a tire that will last longer & handle better. On top of its capability enhancing features, the styling cues are very aggressive giving my street fighter Kawi a mean look.
The Moto-Fied Cycles shop, a local favorite for downtown riders.
Now several hundred miles later, I’ve put the Dunlop Mutant tires through some of Wisconsin’s trials and tribulations and I’m proud to say this might be my new go-to tire from here on out. My first weekend out on these tires, I rode 40 miles north of Milwaukee to Washington County, Wisconsin and rode Wisconsin DOT’s Rustic Road 52. This road is paved along the first half mile stretch but quickly turns to a gravel road for the next several miles. And yes, as soon as I hit gravel, I sent it, rooster tail and all. I knew I needed to put these tires to the test. That’s why we wear “all the gear all the time” right?
During a roadside pitstop shortly after, I texted Rob at Road Dirt and mentioned that despite my lack of experience on gravel, the Mutants were confidence inspiring and easily capable of doing 30+ MPH on gravel. Going back to my comment about my need for versatility, they proved exactly that. My street fighter Kawi is now acting as if it’s a dual sportish adventure bike similar to the likes of its cousin, the Kawasaki Versys 650. I can now ride with extra peace of mind, knowing that I can truly go almost anywhere and do what I want.
Paved, gravel and dirt, these Dunlop Mutants are confidence-inspiring.
But I didn’t stop there. Over the next couple of months, I commuted to and from work, did several spirited weekend rides (highways and more Rustic Roads), hit up local bike nights and events such as the Milwaukee Rally, and even laid the bike down on an urban Supermoto trail during a rainstorm. Wait, what? That’s right, click on the video link below to see me drop the bike off a ledge as I filmed our 1st impressions video.
Long story short, I took advantage of a midwestern rainstorm to film our video as I saw that as the most opportune time to prove to what these Dunlop Mutants are all about. During the shoot, I rode through puddles that came as a result of a light rainstorm and as I filmed, I figured I’d do some urban exploration. Let’s just say, there wasn’t a “no trespassing” sign posted but it may not have been the wisest decision on my part! Despite my mishap, these tires lived up to exactly what they are marketed as and then some.
“A little mud on the tires” the ER-6n after my off-road excursion, and at a local H-D Rally. Just had to juxtapose the Kawi between the letters!
All in all, I plan to continue riding with the Dunlop Mutants into the foreseeable future. I may even try them out in some snow this winter! They may very well be my new go-to tire. Thanks Dunlop! I am truly impressed by the versatility and capability that the Mutants provide. What do you think of the Dunlop Mutants? Let me know what you think in the comments below and don’t forget to check out my personal YouTube channel: @GenZBiker & Instagram where I post weekly Moto-Vlogs, bike reviews, industry news, and reviews on the latest moto gear!
Nathan “Gen Z Biker” Baron
*For Nathan’s full ride/review video, mishap and all, click here without ever leaving this page: