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Maxxis MX-SI and MX-IT Tires | Track Tested


Maxxis MX-SI and MX-IH Tires

Maxxis dropped two new motocross and off-road tires this week: the MX-IH for intermediate- to hard-terrain tires, and the MX-SI for soft- to intermediate-terrain tires. Both tread patterns have been in development for years and pre-production versions have been raced by our very own Alex Ray and Pat Foster for some time now. We’ve also seen Jeremy McGrath hard at work with the Maxxis R&D team on several occasions at Cahuilla Creek MX and Lake Elsinore MX Park over the past year or so. Needless to say, we were excited when Maxxis invited us to Perris MX earlier this week to finally try out the production versions of both new tires!

The Maxxis MX-SI is designed to best traction for soft terrain, with a tread pattern and compound that delivers consistent grip in rough conditions and corner exits. The redesigned tread pattern on the front tire is designed to provide lean angle grip, stability, and predictability. Furthermore, the front MX-SI has a new carcass that is designed to provide more compliance and better grip. A complete range of sizes is available to accommodate all bikes.

70/100-17 Front MX-SI $48.00

90/100-14 Rear MX-SI $56.00

80/100-21 Front MX-SI $97.00

110/100-18 Rear MX-SI $102.00

110/90-19 Rear MX-SI $115.00

120/80-19 Rear MX-SI $117.00

The Maxxis MX-IH is the newest category offering from Maxxis and it was designed by Jeremy McGrath. Thanks to a purpose-built tread pattern, carcass, and rubber compound, the MX-IH is designed to offer predictability, stability, and traction in intermediate- to hard-terrain conditions.
70/100-19 Front MX-IH $55.00
90/100-16 Rear MX-IH $64.00
80/100-21 Front MX-IH $97.00
110/100-18 Rear MX-IH $102.00
120/90-18 Rear MX-IH $106.00
120/80-19 Rear MX-IH $117.00
110/90-19 Rear MX-IH $120.00
120/90-19 Rear MX-IH $127.00
Maxxis teamed up with Perris Raceway to provide the best conditions to test both sets of tires in. In the morning, the track was disced deep and watered heavily, which left the track soft, loamy, and smile-inspiring. These were perfect conditions for the MX-SI. After lunch, the track was left dry and it hardened up in the sun: perfect conditions for the MX-IH!
We are already big fans of the existing Maxxis MX-ST soft-terrain tire, as it works great in soft conditions, but also quite well in harder conditions, too. The problem with the old MX-ST, though, is that the front required higher air pressure to resist rolling, and it just wasn’t as trustworthy in flat corners as we’d have liked it to be. The rear, meanwhile, when ridden in harder conditions – and especially by aggressive riders – would suffer cracking in the side knobs.
Maxxis engineers took these issues into consideration when creating the new MX-SI, and we must say that the new front and rear tires are head-and-shoulders superior to the ones they replace in the Maxxis lineup. The new front MX-SI enjoys excellent traction in flat corners and in ruts, and most notably provides a predictable ride in soft, loamy corners. The MX-SI inspires confidence when leaning into corners with a compliant sidewall that offers comfort, yet is firm enough to hold up and resist rolling.
The rear MX-SI, meanwhile, hooks up great and claws for traction, even when the bike is leaned over. The tire seems to have superior side bite than the old MX-ST, and we know that it holds up better in harder conditions, too, as Ray and Foster have been riding on them for months. 
After the track dried up and hardened, we had Maxxis slap on the MX-HI hard-terrain tires. In recent years, we’ve tended to run the old MX-ST in all conditions, as it works great when the track gets dry, too. No more! Running a true hard-terrain tire in the proper conditions is shocking! The MX-HI rear tire hooks up shockingly well in hardpack and has a soft feel that yields both comfort and compliance in hard chop. Though Perris did dry up, it would be unfair to judge the MX-IH and its hard-terrain performance solely there, as the track still had loose dirt on the surface that gave the front MX-IH a vague, wandering feel. Both Ray and Foster, though, report that at Lake Elsinore MX – which is known for its blue-groove hardpack conditions – the front and rear MX-IH are unbeatable. 
All in all, we are very impressed with both new offerings from Maxxis, and especially so by the MX-SI tires. We look forward to logging much more time on the MX-SI and MX-IH in the coming months and can report with confidence that when buying your next set of tires, you should give Maxxis serious consideration.
Donn Maeda

Donn Maeda is a 30-year veteran in moto-journalism, having worked at Cycle News and Dirt Rider before launching MXracer Magazine and TransWorld Motocross Magazine. Maeda is the Editor-In-Chief at Swapmoto Live and you can catch him on a dirt bike or in the saddle of a mountain bike on most days.

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