We are always on the hunt for an alternative to the Bridgestone M59/Pirelli MT 16 combination that work so well here in New England. The rest of the country has a wide variety of tires and combinations to choose from but in New England, not so much. Brian DeVries of LDA racing sells the Vee Rubber tire and offered up a pair of the VRM 300 Tackee GNCC for testing, feeling that the Tackee was a viable alternative for handling the rocks and roots of the region.
The Tackee line is a dual compound tire in which the carcass, sidewall and knobby are constructed of a harder compound that is then coated in a thick, soft, tacky rubber. When you twist the knobs, the exterior feels like their trials tire but with a firmer interior. For this test, I used heavy duty tubes and ran the tires on my KTM XC-250.
The first lesson learned is that the front tire needs to run at about 16 psi or it tends to fold in the corners. Once that was figured out, the front tire performed much better. Both tires offer enough flex to allow for a wide footprint and provide fine traction under typical conditions. We then ran the tires over several large tracts of steep, exposed bedrock where the softer compound hooked up exceptionally well – as good as the Pirelli MT 16. When condition were dry, both tires worked well in the rocks and roots with the rear tire edging the front in overall performance. The front tend tends to transmit energy from rocky terrain. The rear tire is on par with MT-16 when conditions are dry but for some odd reason, the performance wasn’t as good when wet.
I put about 150 miles on the tires and wore through the softer compound on some the rear knobs at about 80 miles. Overall both tires worked well in dry conditions with the rear tire edging the front in overall performance, at least in the rocks and roots. Outside of the rocks and roots, the tires worked quite well. Cost is about the same as the Bridgestone/MT-16 combination but can be had for less.