<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT"%> ROCKCRAWLER.com - Dunlop Raidal Mud Rover Tires
Dunlop Radial Mud Rover Tires
Ultra Wheels Type 50 Rims

By Cole Ford

The Gauntlet! (The real world testing)
Since this is where the tires spend most of their time, how they perform here is of great concern. Our first day of testing began on the track, while we also tested the Superlift Rock Runner suspension. The tires stuck amazingly well to the road surface. We tried to push them to the point of sliding on the dry surface with very little success. While the Dunlops stick great, the soft sidewall does not allow them to react very crisply when turning into a corner. But this is pretty typical of a large tire, so this is more of an observation than a complaint. The soft sidewall does help with overall ride comfort, though.

The tires have been run at every tire pressure imaginable on the street. We have tried everything from 32psi for highway running to 8psi on the trail. Using a tire pyrometer we found that 27psi seems to be the best pressure for our test Jeep. This gave us a nice, even wear all the way across the tire.

You can do your own testing just by feeling your tread surface with your hand after a drive on the highway. If the tire is warmer on the edges and cool in the middle you need to put more air in the tire. If they are warm in the middle and cool on the edges you should let some out. You can do this until the temperature is even across the tire. If you get an inside or outside edge that is hotter than the others then you may want to check your alignment.

Dunlop Radial Mud Rover
The Mud Rovers performed wonderfully in our slalom testing on the track.
Dunlop Radial Mud Rover
We heated up the tires a bit to check whether they had proper inflation.

Living in Colorado has given me plenty of testing opportunities in the snow. I even had a chance to take it out on a closed course and play. We ran the Jeep through a slalom and braking course to see how it responded in the snow. The large lugs and soft rubber compound seemed to make the tire grip very well in the snow. The large channels let any water shed out quickly.

Snow can vary greatly from area to area in its depth, consistency, and adhesion factor. The tires have worked very well in the conditions that we have encountered with it so far. They tracked nicely through the deep snow on some early spring trails. The large gaps between the tread lugs let the snow clean out of the tread very well, helping to keep the tire in contact with the ground underneath the snow.

Dunlop Radial Mud Rover and Ultra Wheel Type 50 Rim
The tire and wheel setup has worked great for us both on the trails and as a daily driver.
Dunlop Radial Mud Rover and Ultra Wheel Type 50 Rim
The Mud Rovers have proven to work quite well in the Colorado snow.

I'm not talking the occasional patch of ice here. We took the Jeep up to Georgetown Lake in Georgetown, Colorado for some ice racing. We ice race every year in the "Bare Rubber" class and air the tires down to around 10psi for the best grip. The ice changes from race to race, sometimes being so slick the wind blows the Jeep across the lake. Other times you could swear that you were driving on asphalt. These tires worked very well on the ice, judging our position against our competitors.

While driver skill has a lot to do with it, having tires that don't grip means you are going nowhere fast. With the Dunlop's I was able to accelerate much faster then some of the other competitors, and it seemed to grip in the corners better, too. I was very happy with them on the ice. At one point the tires gripped well enough on the ice to cause a power steering failure on the track.

Dunlop Radial Mud Rover
Dunlop Radial Mud Rover and Ultra Wheel Type 50 Rim

Well, here in Colorado it is more like "wet dirt." We really don't get the thick slimy mud like some other parts of the country get. But every time we spotted some wet dirt we dove right in for a test. After a steep, muddy hill climb at the end of Carnage Canyon we compared the tires on all Jeeps present. The lugs on the Dunlops are spaced out more than many of the tires we compared them to. The only tires that were cleaned completely out and not packed with mud were the Dunlops and a set of Interco Swampers. There were three other popular brands on hand, but all of them were packed with mud and caused a loss of grip while climbing the hill.

Dunlop Radial Mud Rover
The Mud Rover did well in the mud, as expected, in fact, better than others out with us that day.
Dunlop Radial Mud Rover and Ultra Wheel Type 50 Rim
The lugs cleared themselves as well or better than most mud terrains.

This is what it is all about, right? The soft, sticky rubber compound has been a joy on the rocks. The tires really stick well, although the side walls seem a bit on the soft side. The tire gives lots of squat at only 13-15psi. I normally run my tires at a lower pressure, but have been concerned with ripping a hole in the side wall. When the tire is aired down and on a rock, the side wall comes dangerously close to the sharp rocks. This concerned me but has not proven to be a problem. The side walls have proven to be extremely durable thus far.

These tires have been torture tested on everything from the sand stone in Moab, Utah to the hardest trails in Colorado. To date I have run over 30 trails with them and have not had a single problem (knocking on wooden desk).

Dunlop Radial Mud Rover
The sidewalls proved to be plenty durable and had quite a bit of squat when aired down.
Dunlop Radial Mud Rover and Ultra Wheel Type 50 Rim
On the trails, the Mud Rovers have proven to be a great addition to the Cross Trainer.

Buick, Yes I said "Buick"
The BuickLess than a month after mounting the Dunlop tires on the Jeep, a guy in a Buick tried to drive through me at an intersection, attempting to go straight in a right turn only lane. This took him right into the front wheel on the TJ. The Jeep survived without a scratch. The only noticeable sign was the paint from the Buick on our nice shiny Ultra wheels and some scuffing on the Dunlops, which cleaned right off. The Buick, however, looked like it had just finished a NASCAR race when it was done fighting with the TJ.

Are they worth the price of admission? The answer is YES! We called our local Discount Tire shop and compared some tire prices. The Dunlop Mud Rovers were $130 each and most of the popular brand names of equal size hovered around that price. Some were much more expensive.

In our testing, the Dunlop Mud Rovers worked as well as, or better than all the other tires on the trails. The noise on the highway is acceptable for a mud terrain tire and the soft, unprotected side walls still makes me bit nervous on the trail but have proven to be plenty durable. 40,000 miles is a long way to go without damaging a tire that gets to see the amount of trails these tires have. For straight out "bang for the buck" the Dunlop Mud Rovers are a great choice.


Cole Ford

Cole Ford is a staff writer for ROCKCRAWLER.com and resides in Littleton, CO. Cole is the owner of Project Cross Trainer.

Contact Ford at xtremjeepn@rockcrawler.com


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