Product Review

Product Review – Pirelli Scorpion MX Mid Hard 554

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Posted:

We have spent most of our time riding our KTM 350 SX-F with Pirelli Scorpion MX Mid Hard 554s wrapped around our rims.

In fact we have spent nearly the past 19 months riding on Pirelli rubber after running the Pirelli Extra X tyres for the majority of 2012 before making the switch to the Mid Soft for Hattah and few races later in the year.

Receiving our KTM 350 late last year, while most of the tracks around South Australia where at their hard pack best, and with some racing planned early this year, we approached Link International, the distributor of Pirelli motorcycle tyres in Australia about running a couple of sets of the MX Mid Hard 554s for the upcoming season.

We first fitted the Mid Hard Pirelli's early this year and spent a lot of time running them around some dry hard tracks around S.A, from the dry clay of Tea Tree Gully, the slightly softer soil of Gillman and the hard pack and sand combination of Murray Bridge.

The tyres hooked up well on all surfaces and gave good feel for what was going underneath the bike, though to be honest the tyres did prefer a bit of moisture in the a track, though so do I personally! But early on I felt that the Mid Hard Pirelli's had me feeling more comfortable when there dirt was slightly loamier to even light sand, compared to a full hard pack surface.

It is something that I still found to ring true after my last couple of rides.

The one other thing that has been noticeable about the MX 554s is how durable they have been. The original set that we ran and are still occasionally running, were used for mainly practice days, where tracks are at their worst and normally pretty dry, along with a few early season club-days. Even now between race meeting Ill swap out the set of wheels I have with the new set of tyres and run the older tyres.
The Pirelli Mid Hard MX 554, works well across a good variety of surfaces, and when the surface has just a little moisture in it, they are the perfect tyre to be on - Credit: Full Throttle Images - Liz Shaw
The original set are still in good condition and no way near the point of being thrown away. The knobs no longer have the square edge on them, but there has been no tearing of the knobs and they have just rounded down and worn away a little.

The newer set that we have used for about six race meetings and also a couple of practice days in the last few weeks have been looking pretty much new up until Wednesday, when I spent the afternoon on a hard pack surface, again the knobs have just rounded off a little but the tyre is in very good condition and will be used to race on this weekend.

In terms of trying the tyres out in just about every surface type possible, the last few months have thrown us quite a variety of surfaces to ride and race on, but the last two weeks of riding have pretty much thrown up every surface type possible!

From a wet sloppy track at Port Pirie for the King of the Gulf at the start of the race season, to a perfect black loam surface at Mount Gambier that turned to a slick ice rink after a down pour in the afternoon, to a perfectly loamy Gillman Motocross track, to the sand of light sand around the Port Gawler enduro loop, the deep sand of the sand track at the same venue, the slosh to perfect surface conditions at Swan Hill on the weekend just gone to the Dry Hard pack surface back at Gillman Wednesday night, the only surface we have not ridden the MX 554s on is snow!

The Pirelli scorpion MX Mid Hard 554s handled most of the surfaces perfectly, probably the biggest surprise was the slick surface at Mount Gambier when the rain came down. I am not a fan of slick tracks, be it hard pack or a flat wet surface, but I can say the tyres continued to offer plenty of feel and kept me feeling confident in the very slick conditions.
The MX 554 surprised with how well it worked in loose sand and also in wet slick conditions - Credit: Full Throttle Images , Liz Shaw
The other thing that surprised a little was how well they also worked at my local ride park that is mainly sand based. While in the deeper sand track the Mid Softs certainly would have come in handy though the Mid Hards still more than done the job, on the Sand based enduro loop that still has reasonably deep sand, the tyres hooked up well and again gave plenty of confidence tipping in to corners and holding the throttle open on the long sand straights.

Last weekend at he Swan Hill round of the Victorian Motocross Championships, we were greeted on Saturday with a thick deeply ripped track that had a Sand/Clay surface. Again a Mid Soft would have been handy in the morning, but as soon as the track dried a little and the surface firmed up, the Mid Hard once again was the perfect tyre to be on.

Wednesday afternoon it was back to a track that consisted of some great loamy corners, but also some rock hard dry corners with a slight loose dust covering. Again I struggled to feel comfortable on the surface, while the rear felt good and would hook up and drive me forward, I struggled with confidence in the front.

Overall the Pirelli Scorpion Mid Hard 554 has been a great tyre and really has worked very well across a variety of surfaces and in some cases better than I thought it would on surfaces that it probably is not really designed for.
We have been running the Pirelli Scorpion Mid Hard MX 554
The tyre wear has been great and lets face it for the majority of riders out there, we are looking for a tyre that will last and also offer some good grip, the 554 for myself has not only lasted very well, but also hooked up very well on most surfaces.

While we have been running the mid hard for all of this year, this weekend will be the last race on the mid hard for a little while as we make the switch back to the Scorpion MX Mid Soft 32 for the AORC round in South Australia and for Hattah with both venues offering up plenty of sand.

What we are Running: Pirelli Tyres
Type: Scorpion MX Mid Hard 554 Front and Rear
Colour: Black
Size: Front 90/100-21 - 110/90-19 Rear
RRP: Front tyres start at $99, with rear prices starting at $119.
Australian Distributor: Link International



Disclaimer: Link International who distribute Pirelli Tyres in Australia are a current advertiser with fullnoise.com.au

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