Published on February 13th, 2013 | by Joe0
ITP QuadCross MX Pro Lite Tire Test
Less weight and a true race Compound.
There are quite a few motocross tire options on the market for good reason. No one tire can work perfectly in all conditions which is why you often see many racers with several tire options in the trailer at the Nationals. When building up our Kawasaki KFX450 for motocross racing, we had some pretty specific needs we wanted to fill. After browsing the offerings of all the major manufacturers, we decided to rely on a tip from test rider, Dave Trimble, and went with a set of ITP QuadCross MX Pro Lites. These tires already had a number of pro wins under their belt. Still, we wondered how they would serve the needs of the average racer.
American workers at ITP’s plant in Tennessee manufacture the MX Pro Lites and most of ITP’s tires. It’s always a plus when the products you purchase support your fellow riders and countrymen.
Motocross racers are often faced with hardpacked, sometimes blue-grooved, conditions. The original QuadCross MX Pro tires were designed specifically to perform on these types of tracks. The MX Pro Lites feature a revised, softer rubber compound to further enhance traction.
Our KFX450R featured only bolt-on motor modifications, so we didn’t want to lose any more power than necessary through rotating mass; for this reason, weight was a serious consideration when choosing a tire. Thanks to their revised two-ply carcass, the QuadCross MX Pro Lites are one of the lightest motocross tires on the market. Compared to the original QuadCross MX Pro tires, the 20×6-10 fronts weigh one pound less each, while the 18×10-8 rears weigh two pounds less. A six-pound reduction in rotating mass and unsprung weight is significant.
The tread is comprised of dimpled rectangular knobs front and rear. The rear tire’s tread looks like that of the famous ITP Turf Famer under a magnifying glass. The rear tread’s dimples are rounded, promoting better cleanout, should you find your way into an over-watered section of the track.
The new, two-ply carcass features what ITP calls their “sidewall apex design” which is claimed to reduce sidewall flex under hard cornering without sacrificing traction or ride quality.
At most of our local tracks, the MX Pro Lites are an ideal tire choice. They are right at home on tracks ranging from moist and tacky to dry and rock hard. Under these conditions, the front-end feels hooked up and consistent, letting you drive hard into corners. The rear end hooks up well under acceleration and braking. The rear tire’s new compound will hold a line more consistently under harder acceleration than the original QuadCross MX allowing for faster corner exit speeds.
Hard, dry tracks, where you’re dependent on having a tacky rubber compound to grip the surface, is where the MX Pro Lites have a significant traction advantage over the standard MX Pros. The Pro Lites do wear faster under these conditions, as does any softer compound premium race tire.
Our test riders point out that these tires also work especially well in the slick conditions found when the track is watered after being packed in. The knobs’ rounded, dimpled centers help prevent the thin mud coating from packing up, keeping all of the edges penetrating to the dry soil beneath.
Due to its hardpack specific design, the MX Pro Lites are left looking for traction on muddy or heavily tilled tracks. Precise clutch control is necessary to get the holeshot in these conditions. You’ll notice some front end push in soft conditions and the front tires will pack up easily in the mud.
Inflated to around 9 pounds front and 8 pounds rear, we felt the MX Pro Lites offered optimum traction. Their ride quality is good in rough sections with little bounce, helping you hold a line better in whoops and choppy sections. In acceleration out of corners, we really appreciated the tires’ light weight, which didn’t feel at all taxing to our KFX450Rs lightly modified engine.
With a suggested retail of around $99 front and $105 rear, their premium price is accompanied with premium performance. Shop around, and you may find them for a bit less. We were thrilled with the light weight of these tires, which let us go faster with less motor work.
We’d keep a set of ITP Holeshot MXR6 tires on hand for the occasional deeply tilled or muddy track. If you’re looking for a long-wearing practice tire, or one you can race for half a season, you may want to look into the original harder compound QuadCross MX Pro tires. If a super light tire that will give you an edge on the competition on hardpacked tracks is what you’re after, the ITP QuadCross MX Pro Lite tires deliver!
Product: QuadCross MX Pro Lite Tires
Sizes Available: 20×6-10 front, 18×10-8 rear
Suggested Retail: $99 front $105 Rear
ITP, QuadCross MX Pro Lite Tire Test
Summary: Their premium price is accompanied with premium performance. If you’re looking for a long-wearing practice tire, or one you can race for half a season, you may want to look into the original harder compound QuadCross MX Pro tires. If a super light tire that will give you an edge on the competition on hardpacked tracks is what you’re after, the ITP QuadCross MX Pro Lite tires deliver!