Dunlop introduces multi-compound Sportmax GP at Daytona

Press Release
March 10, 2005

Daytona, FL - March 10, 2005 - Dunlop Motorcycle Tires announced today its new Dunlop Sportmax GP tire, a multi-compound DOT-approved racing tire. The tires are debuting on the AMA Supersport machines competing at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) this week.

With the introduction of the Sportmax GP, Dunlop has accomplished a feat totally unprecedented: produce a multi-compound tire that matches the rock-solid stability and predictability of the legendary D208 GP-A, while also enhancing the cornering grip necessary to exploit the full potential of today's Supersport racing motorcycles.

"What we've done with the Sportmax GP is produce a tire that, all things being equal, is faster around the race course," said Dunlop's Motorcycle Racing Manager David Watkins. "Our goal was to increase the performance of the D208 without sacrificing wear or stability, and we succeeded. We know we've succeeded because we have perfected these tires in the crucible of racing, and there is no more demanding development environment than the track."

The Sportmax GP multi-compound rear tire design is so distinctive that Dunlop has received an international patent for their effort. The first layer is a continuous tread that spans the face of the tire from edge to edge. A second compound is then layered radially on top of the first compound to form the main running surface around the circumference of the tire. The first layer, called the lateral-grip compound, makes contact with the pavement whenever the motorcycle is leaned over, and therefore incorporates a rubber compound developed specifically to enhance cornering traction. The second layer, which contacts the pavement when the motorcycle is upright, uses a tougher, cooler-running compound that maintains straight-line stability and traction when the motorcycle is accelerating or braking in a more or less upright orientation; it is called the traction compound.

The genius of the Sportmax GP's multi-compound design is the Intertread Fabric (ITF), a gossamer-thin rubberized nylon ply seated between the first and second layers. The ITF is an engineered system that, when bonded with the two tread compounds, allows Dunlop's engineers to fine-tune end-result characteristics to achieve an ideal blend of stability and wear as the tire transitions between upright and cornering attitudes.

The second significant feature of the Sportmax GP is its new tread pattern. An extension of Dunlop's FEA (Finite Element Analysis) cosecant-curve design first introduced on the D207 and perfected on the D208 GP, the tread grooves continuously coincide with the forces running through the tire. As the curving tread pattern travels across the tire to the shoulder area, it keeps the driving and braking forces aligned properly as cornering forces come into play. The newer tread pattern of the Sportmax GP has more longitudinal elements in the center of the tread for enhanced wet-surface grip, yet sacrifices none of the D208's excellent dry-surface wear performance. It is visually distinguishable from the D208 GP tread pattern by the V-shaped chevrons that are molded into the tread grooves in the middle portion of the tread. The Sportmax GP front tire is a single-compound design that features the same new tread design as the Sportmax GP rear tire.

Availability will initially be limited to licensed racers through Dunlop distributors.

Proof of the Sportmax GP's performance was demonstrated at the AMA tire testing session at DIS in January 2005. Sportmax GP-equipped Supersport competitors chopped nearly a full second off of their laps times compared to D208 GP tires. More than just a Daytona special, the Sportmax GP stands ready to rewrite the lap records at race tracks across America.

About Dunlop Tires

Dunlop Tires is the largest supplier of original equipment and replacement motorcycle tires in the U.S. and the only manufacturer of motorcycle tires in North America. With North American operations headquartered in Buffalo, NY, Dunlop has been making and selling high-quality tires in the U.S. since 1923. For more information, please visit

Source: Vreeke & Associates

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