Maxxis Tire Review

Title: Maxxis Tires–Long Term Review–4/23/02
Alternate Title: Oh Crap!
Title if news headline: “300 Pound Biker Dude Shoves Maxxis Tire Down Maker’s Throat. Tire Maker Comments “MMgghhtttrrrrrBBLLAT”.”

Well, I am disappointed, and somewhat annoyed.

Some of you may recall I installed Maxxis Kevlar V-rated tires on Well Oiled Machine last summer. I was immediately impressed with the handling characteristics of these tires. Well Oiled Machine handled crisply and with the combination of braided stainless brake lines, gave me excellent braking feel and superior stopping power. The tires also thoroughly attach Well Oiled Machine’s horsepower to the ground so you can go from zero to sixty in NEGATIVE 3.6 seconds (that pesky speed of light and relativity thing again). This bike will out-zip the “zip-splats”.

With a friend accompanying me on Bunnie his ’81 ‘Wing, we immediately set out on a 2000-mile saga across Texas. We had an absolute blast and left a trail of Castroil across the state just in case we got lost (see SPI BikeFest). On the way down to Brownsville (Downbound? Outbound? Hell and gone bound?) we encountered some pretty severe weather at one point in the trip (and I have encountered more since) and have been very impressed with the wet-weather handling of the tires.

Essentially, these tires do nearly everything well. The Kevlar belts are to make them hold their profile at speed, and provide very nice high speed handling . . . not that I would ever drive fast or anything . . . The bike is extremely stable at high speeds, and corners nicely at any speed. Peg dragging turns are not a problem. In braking, accelerating, and cornering, you can feel the “fine edge” of control, knowing exactly what the limits of the bike are. This enables some aggressive yet safe motorvating in varying conditions.

Tread life looks very good, with no significant visible wear at 5000 miles or so. I fully expect the tread life to go well over 15,000 miles, and I am an aggressive “throttler”.

“So what’s the problem?” the astute reader may ask.

Apparently they can’t take the heat here in Texas (or maybe anywhere).

The rear tire is cracking inside some of the tread grooves. These are serious cracks, being quite deep. The tire is coming apart. So far, it has not lost its shape or balance, “Well Oiled Machine” is still smooth and vibration free. It also still holds air fine. The cracks or beginnings of them are present in about 70% of the tread grooves on the left side of the tire. There are very serious ones in about 25% of the tread grooves on the left side. In some of the serious cracks you can see what appears to be the belts of the tire. Cracks are much less prevalent on the right side. The cracks were apparently extremely rapid in their formation, as they were not there the last time I serviced/inspected the bike (500 miles or so).

Note that I take extremely good care of my tires, I have never run this tire on low air, and the weight distribution of “Well Oiled Machine”, even with me on it, is well within the specs of this tire.

The “V” rating insures that I have not run it too fast . . . even on “Well Oiled Machine”.

The last thing a motorcyclist needs is for a tire to come apart . . . that can generally make your day much more . . . ur . . . interesting . . . than is required (especially when you are using that “V” rating), so the Maxxis tires have got to go. So far there is no sign of the same condition on the front tire, but I am disinclined to trust it now.

NOT the sight you want to see in your nice expensive tire.

The cracks are deep enough to see the belts in places, and in about 70% of the left tread, and 30% of the right

I will see if I can find a web address or other way to pester Maxxis about this. But I am annoyed, not only about the wasted $$$, but now I have to find, order, and get new tires mounted right at the beginning of everybody else’s riding season (my riding season is all year long). So many people are working on their bikes right now that vast numbers of ill-prepared dealers are screaming “We’ll have to order it dammit!” at you the moment you walk in the door.


(note: I was never able to get Maxxis or my dealer to do anything about the tire. Maxxis insisting the dealer had to take care of it, and the dealer insisting Maxxis was at fault. Both eventually quit returning emails or phone calls…so much for customer service, all I wanted was a replacement tire.)

Daniel Meyer

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