Best Dirt Bike Tires for Trail Riding

As an Amazon Associate earns from qualifying purchases.

When it comes to dirt biking, your tires need to match the terrain. That said, having the right tires for different kinds of dirt biking is really, really important. This is especially true for trail riding.

Intermediate terrain dirt bike tires are the best for trail riding. These tires work well on a wide variety of terrains because the rubber that they’re made out of is both stiff and flexible. Trial tires are also a great option for rocky trails.

Keep on reading to learn about the best intermediate terrain dirt bike tires that your money can buy!

What Are Intermediate Terrain Dirt Bike Tires?

When buying dirt bike tires, you’ll notice that they’re categorized by what terrain they will run best on. The most common categories of dirt bike tires are soft terrain, intermediate terrain, or hard terrain.

Soft terrain includes things like loam, loose gravel, and other terrains without heavy structure to them. Dirt bike tires for soft terrain have tall lugs and widely spaced tread patterns. The rubber that is used for soft terrain dirt bike tires is hard so that the lugs can keep their shape even against the soft terrain.

Hard terrain is the exact opposite: tightly packed soil or other hard surfaces such as rock. Hard terrain dirt bike tires have tighter tread patterns so that the tire can touch as much of the ground as possible at once. These tires have rubber that is softer than soft terrain dirt bike tires so that the lugs can grab onto the terrain and increase traction.

Intermediate terrain dirt bike tires are somewhere in the middle, as the name suggests. They bring the best features of both the soft and hard terrain tires together to produce a tire that is simultaneously stiff and flexible.

These tires are common purchases for dirt bikers because they are so diverse. I have intermediate terrain dirt bike tires because I love riding anywhere and any time I can, so these tires make it easy for me to switch things up!

Designed to be used on a wide variety of terrains, Intermediate tires are perfect for trail riding where the conditions can be wildly different depending on location, weather, trail traffic, and more.

Dunlop Geomax MX52

I won’t say that this is the absolute best intermediate terrain dirt bike tire because all of the ones I’ve listed are great. But they’re the tires that I have on my dirt bike, so… It’s at the top for a reason.

Fun fact about Dunlop tires: the knob pattern on their tires is patented. What that means is that Dunlop has an exclusive right to the pattern on their tires, and nobody can use it without their permission. That’s pretty legit.

The knob pattern on this tire is unique because it is a block within a block. This pattern makes for awesome traction and great stability, especially for cornering. Cornering is something that I was anxious about for years because I used to slide around a lot, but these tires helped my confidence skyrocket. I never have to worry when these tires are on my dirt bike.

This tire honestly is the epitome of what an intermediate terrain dirt bike tire is because they work literally anywhere. These tires are great on rocky terrain, sand, mud… You name it! This tire can do it.

Because trail riding can be so different on any given day and you never know what you’ll run into, these tires are an awesome choice.

Maxxis M7312 Maxxcross SI

Another tire that is what intermediate terrain dreams are made of is the Maxxis M7312 Maxxcross SI. This tire is an all-around winner in my book.

First of all, this dirt bike tire has awesome traction. You will not slide on your dirt bike when you have these tires regardless of the conditions, which is great for trail riding.

This tire is also super durable and diverse. No matter what terrain you take these dirt bike tires onto, they will perform well. One of my brothers had them on the dirt bike that he rode literally any place he could (I’m not even kidding, this guy took it in truck everywhere he went, just in case an opportunity to dirt bike presented itself) and they held up on every terrain he rode on. These tires work great when the terrain is soft, hard, and in between. There is no wrong place for these tires.

Bridgestone Battlecross X30

This tire has a nickname: the do-it-all tire. I honestly think that the nickname is well-deserved.

This tire grips the earth in any terrain you ride it on, which is exactly what you want in a tire for trail riding. What makes the traction so great on this tire is that the lug pattern is specialized on the convex tread blocks. The tread bars are large and raised around the center of the lugs, which gives them great grip as well as durability. The design also allows for increased pressure on the tires, which increases the traction as well.

These tires also have awesome gap absorption as well as contact feel. This is important for trail riding because it helps the dirt biker a lot with cornering and avoiding obstacles.

Artrax MX-Pro

This is a tire that is as good for trail riding as well as it is for your wallet. A budget-friendly intermediate terrain dirt bike tire, this tire is pretty popular among dirt bikers in the rural college town that I live in.

If the low price of these intermediate terrain dirt bike tires alone is not enough to convince you of how great Artrax MX-Pros are, let me tell you a little something about how durable they are.

One of my buddies has these on his dirt bike and told me he’s been on about 6 rides with them, and they still look new. He says that these tires are better than some that he’s spent double the amount of money on because of their durability.

I’m also told that these dirt bike tires work great on trails because of the tread pattern that excels on terrain that is anywhere from soft to intermediate terrains. (Hard terrains give these tires a harder time, so avoid that.)

These tires also have awesome traction that allows for easy cornering and breaking.

If you’re looking for tires that give you the most bang for your buck, buy these ones. You won’t find anything better for cheaper!

Bridgestone M204

Another Bridgestone? I think YES! These tires are another great, affordable choice for people searching for intermediate terrain dirt bike tires for trail riding.

These tires have extra traction and side control, so they are awesome for cornering. These features also allow for greater speed. If you’re the kind of dirt biker who loves trail riding because it’s all about the unexpected that you will encounter when you get around a big wind or curve, this is a great option for you. You can get around trails fast and powerfully when you have Bridgestone M204’s on your dirt bike.

These tires hold up fairly well as long as you’re not consistently riding them on hard terrain. But trails usually aren’t consistently hard (or consistently anything) so you’ll get good use out of these tires.

Goldentyre GT333N

I’ve never personally seen these tires in action, but my dad (who has been dirt biking for 30 years) says that Goldentyres are all the rage with his dirt biking buddies on the trails. I did some research on my own, and I’ve gotta say… I’m convinced that these tires are some of the best out there.

As I’ve said a million times already, trail riding is never consistent or predictable in any way. The terrain can be different in a million different ways all in one ride, depending on where you are. Most commonly, though, you can be on the dry ground one minute and mud the next. That said, dirt biking on trails requires you to have tires that can handle just about anything.

These tires can. Dirt bikers with these tires love how versatile they are. They can find something to grip onto and keep you moving on your dirt bike no matter what. What makes this awesome traction possible is the open tread pattern with an optimized rubber compound. The carcass is reinforced as well, which adds to the great traction that these tires are known for.

I’ve also found that these tires wear down super evenly, which extends their longevity. Who doesn’t love that?!

Michelin StarCross 5 

This tire makes this list not only because it’s good, but because I appreciate what Michelin did to create this tire.

Michelin spent 3 years developing this tire based on feedback from both amateur and professional riders. Here’s what that fact tells me: this tire was created specifically for anyone. I know that sounds silly. But it really was designed for the purpose of serving any dirt biker in any dirt biking situation. AKA, it’s a diverse tire that you can ride anywhere. Perfect for trail riding.

The tread pattern on these intermediate terrain dirt bike tires has a great grip to it. The center blocks are large, giving a straight line performance. The lugs on the side give the tires grip for cornering. These tires are designed to keep you moving steadily and confidently.

Pirelli Scorpion MX32

These tires are pricey, but well worth it. These tires literally give you everything you need for a safe ride on the trails.

These tires have a large block size, which helps a lot with the contact patch and durability of the tires. They also have optimized lateral blocks. This feature is great because it increases and ensures precision when you’re riding with them.

On the front tires, the blocks are laid out in V shapes. This shape increases stability. The traction on the front tires also helps with the transmission of power.

On the rear tires, the side blocks are designed so that you can maintain stability even when you’re cornering. The rear tires are also what give these tires what it takes to be a trail tire: good tread spacing and crown radius profile. These things make the tires perfect for riding on any terrain that you might encounter on those unpredictable trails.

Kenda Washougal II 

When I asked my dirt biking buddies what tires work best for them for trail riding, one of them insisted that Kenda Washougal II tires are amazing and underrated. After hearing her out, I had to look up what other people are saying about them. For a brand that I feel is not as popular as others, these tires seem to be killing the game. So, I had to bring them into this post!

The coolest thing about these tires is that they’re dual-compound. This design increases not only the grip and traction but also the feel! The center of the tire is made with a standard compound that makes the tires super durable. The soft race compound that’s on the shoulders of the tire gives both traction and stability.

All of these awesome qualities put together into one tire make it work beautifully on literally any terrain, which is why I think it’s an incredible choice for trail riding on a dirt bike.

Another great thing about these tires is that they have good longevity. My buddy who initially told me about these tires says that she’s taken them for at least a dozen rides, and they are still holding up very well.

Making Your Decision

I know I gave you a lot of information and options, but choosing dirt bike tires for trail riding honestly depends on so many different factors.

Intermediate terrain dirt bike tires work well for just about anyone, which is why I’ve so adamantly recommended them. However, different terrain tires might work better for you and for where you plan on riding your dirt bike, so make sure you choose the tires that do exactly what you want them to do.

Have fun out there!

Jim Harmer

I'm the co-owner of Dirt Bike Planet. I live in Star, Idaho and enjoy dirt biking with my wife and two boys throughout the Idaho mountains.

Recent Posts