Track day specific Dunlop Sportmax Q4
62° lean angle the best every for a street-legal Dunlop
Dunlop have unveiled their new track oriented tyre, the Sportmax Q4, which utilises technology shared with their road race tyre technology found in the MotoAmerica series, and naturally made in the USA, in Buffalo New York. Only Dunlop makes sport tyres in America.
The Q4 is not a Q3+ replacement, but is instead designed to add depth to the Sportmax lineup to accommodate track-day-level riding like no other Dunlop DOT street tyre has before, with greater overall performance and grip than the Q3+.
The Sportmax Q4 will be sold through all Dunlop retailers, as well as race distributors, so as to be easily accessible to all riders.
Utilising special molds, Dunlop was able to create bold on-tread branding for the Q4 and the sharply defined new tread pattern with low groove density puts more rubber on the ground at all lean angles. With far more land area and fewer tread grooves than the Q3+, the Q4 puts down a massive footprint, especially during maximum lean angles.
Despite this significant performance advantage, the Q4 is also as user-friendly as a street tyre—it performs well in the wet, warms quickly, does not require tyre warmers, and is engineered to run on the track at close to street pressures.
The Q4 was also designed in new sizes such as 180/60ZR17 and 200/55ZR17 to work on sport bikes with sophisticated electronics packages. Those new sizes also offer a more aggressive profile option for track use for many sport bikes.
Racing technology drove the Q4 design. The rear tyre compound has no silica—it’s all carbon black like Dunlop’s racing slicks for maximum grip. Construction also follows Dunlop’s race tyre protocol: The rear tyre tread features Dunlop’s Jointless Tread (JLT) technology.
Using the same process as Dunlop’s racing slicks, production machinery in the Buffalo plant winds the tyre tread compound over the carcass in a narrow, continuous strip. This continuously wound strip allows Dunlop to optimise placement of the compound in specific areas of the tyre to achieve the ideal stability, flex, and grip where it’s needed most across the tyre’s tread profile.
JLT helps increase tyre stability and reduce flex, and helps create a larger more consistent footprint during braking, cornering and acceleration. Another benefit of JLT construction is the rear tyre is up to one pound lighter than the same size Q3+, so there’s less mass.
Both front and rear tyres also utilise Dunlop’s proprietary Carbon Fiber Technology (CFT) in the sidewalls for greater stability. CFT places a carbon fiber reinforcement element in the tyre sidewalls. This delivers cornering stability especially at high lean angles, responsive and precise steering characteristics, and predictable and smooth transitional-steering performance for more confidence-inspiring handling.
Carbon fiber’s high stiffness, high-tensile strength, low weight, high-chemical resistance, high-temperature tolerance and low-thermal expansion make it a great match for application in the Q4.
The Q4 also features Dunlop’s proprietary Intuitive Response Profile (IRP) for linear and responsive steering. This profile design allows for a taller tyre profile along with sides that taper in more aggressively for remarkable turn-in response and feel. Cross-sectional analysis demonstrates this design creates a larger contact patch when cornering.
According to the newest HPG test rider, Taylor Knapp, the most apparent advantage of the new Q4 on the track is grip and predictability. “It’s like a slick, handling is really predictable, you can brake later and get on the gas harder and earlier, and that chips away at the lap times all the way around the track.”
The Dunlop Sportmax Family
The Sportmax Q4 will be available in an expanded size range, including
120/70ZR17 front, and 180/55ZR17, 180/60ZR17, 190/50ZR17, 190/55ZR17, and 200/55ZR-17 rear to cover a wide range of Japanese and European sport bikes.
With the Q4, Dunlop’s expanded Sportmax line now includes the GPR-300, an
affordable tyre that features performance in a broad range of sizes to fit everything from sport bikes to naked bikes, from small displacement machines to big bikes; the hypersport Q3+ that combines top-level grip and performance for the street with MT Multi-Tread technology for extended mileage; and the performance-touring Roadsmart III that offers sport performance with high-mileage for riders.