Also, this year the fateful moment of the tire change has arrived, a bit late with the times, however, since the so famous lockdown for the Covid-19 emergency forced me to keep the bike stationary for more than two months, concurrently with the season in which you usually travel many kilometers, spring. More here
At the tire dealer, I ask what “footwear” he had available for assembly. He who knows very well that I only ride sports Dunlop offers me three types of tires. Dunlop TT, Dunlop MK3, and Qualifier2. I, who have always been looking for a tire suitable for my sporting needs, but not exasperated, immediately exclude the TT regardless of the price, even a bit high, well 300 euros. The TT is a very performing tire, but extremely sporty and dedicated to those who also do the track, not just the road, moreover the duration of the TT is shorter than the other two sports proposals. The Dunlop MK3 and the Qualifier2 remain. The first of the two I know well since they were the ones I had finished, and I was going to replace and on which I wrote an article that you can find. The price of the MK3 is 280 euros. I didn’t know much about the Qualifier2 even though I knew the model. In any case, they were offered to me for only 200 euros and I said and convinced myself that for a nice saving like this it is worth at least a try and for once put aside the desire to always have the latest cry. Rather. It also intrigued me a lot, and so I decided to mount them.
The Sportmax Qualifier2 , as the name suggests, is very sporty tires on par if not more than the Mk3. They are still in production and available in the Dunlop catalog even if it is a tire that came out even in 2009. To give an example, while the Sportsmart2 max released just in 2017 have already been replaced by practically two models (TT and MK3), the Qualifier2 at all. ‘today they have no real heir. The fact that they are still in production after so many years can only be a good sign, they are probably still in demand and appreciated, or have been left to give the user a low-cost alternative to the more expensive Mk3 but with still valid technological contents.
The Dunlop Sportmax qualifier 2 all in all already boast the most modern construction technologies of the house, that is, the JLB belt (Jointless belt) which eliminates the overlapping of the top belt and offers a more homogeneous behavior in addition to a more stable contact area and MT multi-thread (multi-compound) harder in the center and softer at the sides to allow maximum grip at every lean angle.
Aesthetically they are very beautiful, the lines of the carvings very “old school”, simple, curvilinear with very wide grooves. Today we are used to straight and faceted lines with narrow notches, often very elaborate in the designs, see Michelin Pilot Power 3, Pirelli Diablo Rosso III but also the Dunlop MK3 itself, to give an example with the same types of tires. Another thing that I really like and that gives the tire that racing image is that the rear is practically a slick for about 3.4 cm from the shoulder, interrupted now and then by a small notch. The front tire on the other hand is very rounded and chubby, even more than the Mk3s not to mention the Sportsmart2s which were literally pointed.
HOW ARE THEY DOING
After a bit of running in at a cheerful but very cautious and gradual pace in going down the bend, after about 60 km I started to push a bit, now sure that I have removed that layer of “wax” that protected the tire. The first impression was of a very precise and rigorous front, but a little less quick in the changes of direction than above all the Sportsmart2 (very fast on the front) and the Mk3 (extraordinarily adaptive), it pushes a little more in insertion, it seems to have a heavier front end. To tell the truth, this impression also increases the feeling of stability and grip on the front so much that it seems more planted returning truly excellent safety feedback. I also noticed, but with negligible reactions, a slight self-righting effect if you enter the corners very braked. What Qualifier2 does not seem to lack at all is grip, the bike never seems to break down and the rear does not slip even if you use the gas in a reckless way (remaining in a context of good asphalt and out of town).
After about 400 km of curves in a couple of days, I got an idea. The Qualifier2 despite the seniority of the project are tires that are worth buying, clearly, at a reduced price, you save a lot of money but you still have a fully satisfactory product, they are still Dunlop and do not betray expectations. Each tire has its own characteristics and peculiarities, often difficult to distinguish clearly, given the technological level that all the manufacturers have reached but in Qualifier2 they are recognized quite clearly.
What remains to be seen of this Qualifiers2 is how they will behave as they wear out, how they will wear out, and if they will stick to their characteristics even when worn, which is perhaps the most important factor, on which a huge step forward has been made with the latest models. I will also update you on their mileage.