Dunlop sees increasing segmentation of hypersport market.
- Dunlop portfolio completely refreshed for 2017
- ‘A tyre for every rider’ – claims Dunlop
- SportSmart2 Max replaces SportSmart2
Dunlop have taken a new approach to the hypersport market in redefining their range around the goal of a ‘tyre for every rider’. Dunlop have seen increasing specialization at the sporty end of the market, with riders choosing tyres with a specific type of riding in mind.
The overall European market trend has seen continued sales of versatile Sports Touring bikes, where Dunlop launched the innovative RoadSmart III last year. However, the hypersport sector remains buoyant and has recently seen the launch of some highly focused superbikes and sports bikes – and Dunlop have developed their range around the specific riding needs of buyers.
To do this, Dunlop took the approach of understanding the rider needs first, before developing their successors to the well-regarded SportSmart2, GP Racer D211 and GP Pro D212 tyres.
“This ‘rider first’ approach was designed to bring more clarity to customers and ensure that the all-new range was developed to match current and future market trends, rather than being a simple upgrade of existing products” stated Andy Marfleet, Marketing Manager, Dunlop Motorcycle Europe.
Professional Rider, Seasoned Track Rider and Street Rider
“Dunlop’s segmentation resulted in three distinct categories for hypersport riders. Even though, in many cases, the bikes may be the same models, the rider requirements are distinctly different” added Marfleet.
For the type of rider who has race team technical support and will have a full race set-up on their sports bike, Dunlop are in the final stages of developing the successor to the legendary Isle of Man TT winning GP Pro D212. The replacement will feature a raft of new technologies and will be launched Autumn 2017.
Seasoned Track Rider
For riders who are serious about trackdays, to the extent that they may use tyre warmers and adopt a track-focused set up on their bike, the Dunlop GP Racer series has long been a favourite choice. Last month,
Dunlop’s new GP Racer D212 went on sale across Europe following its successful introduction in race events last year.
The first production-spec GP Racer D212 was used in the final round of the French Superbike Championship helping Lucas Mahias (GMT94 Yamaha) win both Supersport races. Prototype tyres had already been validated in the FIM Endurance World Endurance Championship.
The GP Racer D212 introduces Dunlop’s latest Heat Control Technology ( included in 190/55ZR17 and 200/55ZR17 rear Endurance versions) increasing the tyre’s resistance to tearing, by allowing a very strong and enduring outer compound, whilst at the same time offering race-like levels of grip with heat generated by the softer base compound.
Occasional Track Rider
This is the segment where Dunlop have launched the latest Dunlop SportSmart2 Max. This is a direct replacement for the SportSmart2 and mixes technologies taken from Dunlop’s World championship winning endurance racing programme with innovations from the revolutionary RoadSmart III. The front tyre features a radical new construction, whilst the rear features a revolutionary new compound which is able to expand the contact patch to optimise grip in wet and cold conditions.
The new SportSmart2 Max has been designed for the requirements of the demanding road riders that use their bikes in a variety of conditions. Compared to the GP Pro and GP Racer products, the tyre has a wide operating range and does not require any specialist set up support to optimize the performance. The new technologies also offer confidence building cold and wet weather performance. Despite a clear street focus, the tyre does not shun away from occasional track day use.
Fresh line up
‘Although the names may be similar to their predecessors, all three products have significant new technologies which have been driven by our ‘rider first’ segmentation approach. Our ability to launch three new hypersport tyres in one year has been greatly helped by the immense amount of testing and development of the new technologies in our FIM Endurance World Championship campaigns. We now have a tyre for every rider’ concluded Marfleet.
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