If you are like us, you have seen tons of hype around the new Hoosier racing tire. After seeing it around the track and talking to a few people, we decided to give it a try over Vet Fest weekend at Red Buuuud! It definitely gets a 10/10 for aesthetics, plus it is made in the U.S.A. The white Hoosier logos on the sidewall makes it stand out from the crowd and looks super trick in the pits. This tire screams 'Merica!
Upon initial review, the tread layout appears to be fairly similar to a Dunlop MX33 rear tire; which is also designed for soft/intermediate terrain. The knobbies are really soft and can be flexed with your hand when installed on the bike. I'm assuming this is to provide flex and traction in the soft dirt.
Another interesting fact is that this tire weighs 1.7 pounds less than a competing Dunlop tire. That's a lot of weight savings for just changing a tire.
When it came time to race, the track was pretty beat up with a ton of ruts and bumps- like typical Red Bud terrain. I happened to draw moto 14 and 16 out of 18 total. So, the track was about as rough as it could get for all my races. Track preparations were also doing some testing for the Des Nations race. So, a lot of new sand was brought in. Normally, in these conditions, I would be running a sand tire (Dunlop MX11), but opted to stick with the Hoosier.
The overall performance of the tire did about as expected for a new tire given the circumstances. Did it work well? Yes. Would a sand tire have been much better on this day? Definitely, yes. I ended up racing 4 motos at Vet Fest and did end up dropping the bike over a couple of times due to it washing out. Washing out may have been due to tire slip from sand, but the other was probably just rider error/fatigue from riding through a minefield of holes and bumps.
I did notice that the edge of the tire was showing signs of wear after 4 motos (16 laps) as I did not have this on in practice. As I mentioned above, the rubber compound is soft- meaning it wears very quickly. Overall this tire is designed to race and perform on a high level. If you feel great on this tire and don't run them very long, then this is a nice tire to check out.
On the flip side, if you plan on running a set of tires for most of the season, this will not be the best tire for you. At $125 for a rear tire, this is definitely not for the budget consumer.. If you are looking for more affordable soft/intermediate tires, I would recommend a Pirelli MX32. It will offer similar [if not better] performance for a lower price point, and it should hold up a little longer.