Vittoria's New Mota Tire - Review

Jun 29, 2017 at 18:47
by Mike Levy  
Staff Rides - Mike Levy s Rocky Mountain Element


When it comes to the most aggressive tires on the market, those aimed at downhillers, all-mountain types, and enduro racers, there are currently only three, maybe four, options that are widely accepted. And it's probably fair to say that the Vittoria name isn't currently on that rather short list, but they're aiming to be a contender in the 'big meat' category with their new $69 USD Mota tire. ''The muddiest DH course conditions possible have inspired the Mota DH tire,'' the description says on Vittoria's website, although it's pretty common these days to see a tire with tall, widely spaced lugs like the Mota be used for all sorts of conditions and terrain.

Vittoria Mota Details

• Intended use: downhill / all-mountain
• Designed for soft conditions
• Sizes: 26'' x 2.5'', 27.5'' x 2.5'', 27.5'' x 2.35'', 29'' x 2.35''
• All-mountain and downhill casing options
• APF bead insert protection
• 4C G+ compound
• Weight: 813-grams (29 x 2.35'')
• MSRP: $69 USD
www.vittoria.com
The Mota is available in four versions and two different casings to suit riders' needs, one of them being a 26'' x 2.5'' model (yes, you read that correctly) with Vittoria's dual-ply rTNT DH casing that weighs a hefty 1,400-grams. The 27.5'' x 2.5'' version with the same casing is 40-grams heavier, and both sport a rigid bead, APF inserts, and 4C G+ compound makeup.

If you don't quite need that kinda of burliness, there are the 27.5'' x 2.35'' and 29'' x 2.35'' options that feature a lighter duty all-mountain casing, are tubeless ready, have the APF insert, sidewall protection, and the same 4C G+ compound. The weight of the 29'' x 2.35'' Mota is a respectable (for its intended use) 813-grams, and all four tires retail for the same $69 USD.


Staff Rides - Mike Levy s Rocky Mountain Element


Design

Vittoria has put a lot of their know-how into the Mota, as evidenced by the lineup of acronyms on the tire's sidewall. Here's what they all mean.

4C G+ Compound - This one's easy to figure out. Vittoria uses four different rubber compounds in the Mota's construction, which is one more than some other brands tout. If three is good, four must be better, right? Probably. This lets Vittoria put different rubber makeups to use for the base layer, surface, center portion, and side lugs. Stiffer side lugs with a softer durometer top layer can provide grip and support in the corners, while a softer base compound combined with a more durable top layer in the center of the tire can improve braking traction without harming durability.

G+Isotech - Vittoria is also using Graphene in their rubber mixture, which is an extremely thin sheet of carbon that the company claims helps to improve rolling speed and grip while decreasing the likelihood that knobs will fold and tear.

TNT - This one stands for ''Tube/No-Tube'' which, as you can probably guess, means that the Mota's casing is ready for sealant if you want, or you can run tubes if that's what you're into. That said, pretty much any tire can be run tubeless these days, regardless of if its casing has been designed for it. The Mota features Vittoria's mid-weight casing that's lighter than the downhill version but still employs their APF (anti-pinch-flat) insert just above the bead.



Staff Rides - Mike Levy s Rocky Mountain Element


Performance

Who remembers the days when installing a set of tubeless tires required counseling and a group hug afterward? Rim and tire design have, thankfully, largely made that pain a thing of the past, and it was no different with the Motas. I installed them on a set of DT Swiss' aluminum XM 1501 Spline wheels (30mm internal width), using a Bontrager Flash Charger floor pump and Stan's sealant, and it was a painless task where I didn't even need to scream at the tires and wheels to seat. They both mounted up instantly and sealed around the bead in mere seconds. With its sturdy mid-weight casing, I could run pressures as low as 16 psi for slow, technical trails, especially when it was raining. More often than not, though, I went with 19 psi up front and 21 psi for the rear tire. I'm just under 160lbs and found that any higher than 24 psi made the tires feel a bit too stiff and unforgiving.

The 30mm internal rim width is probably close to the limit of most 2.35'' tires, but the relatively round cross-section and high volume casing of the Mota seemed to perform just fine, without the rim's width making the tire too square. I probably don't need to tell you what model of tire the Mota resembles (hint: it rhymes with Schmagic Schmary), but does that mean that it also performs the same? In some ways, yes, but not in others.

Rolling speed is about what you'd expect for a tire like the Mota; not great but it is what it is. You don't run a tire like this if how quickly you can coast is your main concern. You probably also don't run a tire like this if climbing is your thing, but the Mota does provide bucket loads of drive, especially if you're on dirt instead of roots and rocks. The tall and widely spaced lugs don't like rock all that much, especially if said rock is shiny with water, but climbing traction isn't really what the Mota is all about, so let's move on.

What this tire is all about, however, is delivering traction. All of it. And it does that in a lot of scenarios, especially when the dirt is soft enough for the Mota's tall lugs to grab ahold of the earth. The grip is immense and, just as important, it's also very predictable. You can lean as far as you dare and the Mota will hold, and as a front tire I never once felt it push across the ground and get skittery, even when it was dusty and loose enough that riding behind a buddy felt like being in the middle of a sandstorm. Braking traction is anchor-like, and the rear tire didn't toss up any surprises, even when braking hard while leaned over.

I think I was most impressed with how well rounded the Mota feels which, given the tall and widely spaced lugs, came as a surprise to me. Usually, a tire like this is a revelation when conditions are right, but the enemy is often hard-packed ground that sees the lugs fold over, or wet roots and wood that ask for more rubber contact. But the Mota was also impressive on those settings, likely due to the rubber compound and copious siping. Zero flats, zero burping, zero cuts, and also zero issues when it comes to how fast they wear to boot.



Pinkbike's Take:
bigquotesWhile the Mota might look like it weighs more than the rest of your bike, its reasonable 813-gram weight and impressive all-around performance makes it a winner in my books. It's also less expensive than some other high-end tires. Mike Levy
Must Read This Week

58 Comments

  • + 35
 looks like a tire
  • + 2
 No way. That was my exact first thought looking at it!
  • + 28
 There's Mota this than meets the eye.
  • + 12
 I 4C Vittoria in my future
  • + 18
 @mikelevy, where is it better/worse than a Magic Mary?
  • + 3
 Does it measure a true 2.35 wide?
  • + 14
 I don't own the Mota but have purchased and installed ( painlessly ) a set of the Mezcal with the G+ plus rubber compound. These will be my summer tires for my home turf. My trails are clay based and they polishes out to a hard pack blue groove after everything dries up. Great tires. Yes there is something special about that rubber formula. Kung Fu grip and appear to wear like iron. Moving forward I'm thinking Vittoria will be my new favorite brand.
  • + 7
 Until they hit anything remotely wet then that Kung Fu grip becomes Kung poo grip.
  • + 5
 @Beez177: I've actually had pretty good luck with a Morsa out back in this season in New England. It has dealt admirably with soggy roots and slippery rocks. It does slide a bit when leaned over on roots... but what doesn't?
  • + 1
 @bikekrieg: I ran a Vittoria Morsa for a while, found it very unpredictable in the wet.
  • + 1
 @sam264: I agree it isn't the ultimate wet-weather tire, but it does well enough that I won't go through the hassle of changing it for shoulder seasons.
  • + 1
 @Beez177: I've been testing these tires for a few months along with a prototype martello in 29" flavor and the wet traction of these 2 tires is greatly improved over the morsa etc.. I'm just as confident on the mota as I have been on the minion. As far as XC tires go... I don't think any company can touch vittoria, xc tires are just fantastic. They are pressure sensitive as well, I find with vittoria I can run a couple lbs less psi vs other brands like maxxis and schwalbe
  • + 19
 Yo Quiero MOTA!
  • + 8
 Mota Rolla in the backwoods
  • + 15
 This is gonna be popular in Mexico
  • + 1
 And those in the know! ????
  • + 8
 YEEES 26 WHEELS AND TIRES FOR LIFE !!!
  • + 1
 26!!! RRRrrrraaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!
  • + 3
 I run the older Vittoria Morsa 2,35 TNT (without graphene) - bought secondhand, 35e for both. They have around 800g. Cheap Sentinel wheels from Superstar (21mm internal width) with shoddily installed Stans tape and the installation couldn't be easier - mounted them without sealant using cheapo Giant floor pump and added the sealant later (they were able to hold the air several hours without the sealant). They are fast compared with Hans Damps i've used before. They don't like slick roots, that's for sure. But trails here are mainly root free and I don't ride when its raining. So far 100% happy with them. Smile
  • + 3
 I find the morsa isn't terrible on roots. Hans dampfs are definitely better... but you can run the Morsa twice as long.
  • + 3
 this tire has a lot of appeal, it looks to be right in the sweet spot for a hard charging trail tire. is the volume 'generous' or 'skimpy', and does it wear and tear slower than say the DHR in 3C max terra? rear tire longevity in a grippy tire is a real selling feature.
  • + 5
 I ran a set of Morsas for an ENTIRE season last year with the same compound and they held up AMAZING. Vittoria has really nailed longevity and durability with their graphene compound.
  • + 1
 I can't exactly vouch for the Mota, but I ran a morsa all winter and it's every bit as big as the new specialized butcher 2.6. If not bigger. Really liked the volume of that tire.
  • + 1
 @Trudeez: yeah vittoria tires measure out well. Put a 2.5 Martello in my 2015 pike and its pretttttay tight clearances in there.
  • + 5
 26 ain't dead!!! But this phrase is.
  • + 2
 Do you even ride 26 bro
  • + 2
 Do you even 26 Bro?
  • + 4
 I twenty six twenty four seven
#26aintdead
  • + 3
 I have been on the Vittoria Martello tires for a few weeks and have been wildly impressed. I am with @Fattylocks I think I have a new favorite brand.
  • + 6
 Looks like a Magic Mary
  • + 1
 I don't know why you got neg-propped for this. There are definitely similarities. In the siping and the outward angle of the knobs. The knobs just look bigger and there center/intermediate patter is different.

Phucking PB'er's!
  • + 2
 @BDKR: I think its because it was already stated in the article, but I agree fully with chri92´s statement
  • + 1
 @daweil: Kinda have to admit that depending on your first language "Schmagic Shmary" may not make sense or ring a bell as a rhyme. Judging from his other posts English is not his first language.
  • + 3
 Vittoria tires are killer, make yourself a favor and try the morsa. maxxis no more.
  • + 1
 Does anyone know a webstore in europe which has the 2.35 version on stock? I'm sold on the graphene tyres! currently riding the morsa 2,35 back 2,5 front and they're awesome, but i want something grippier up front.

cheers
  • + 5
 Mota boy
  • + 1
 While I'm quite happy with my Goma and Morsa combo at the moment, the amount of flats with Vittorias I've seen this year at local races is quite concerning....
  • + 4
 I used to run the 800g all mtn versions of the Morsa, love the grip so much but I did pinch flat at the bead at certain venues all the time. Made the switch to their DH casing Morsa/Martello combo, yeah they weigh a ton more but no more issues. Vittoria tires provide great traction and really suit my riding style, really love em with the DH casing.
  • + 1
 @richsoffar: Oh I agree, I am really happy with them overall and they definitely roll faster than my Maxxis setup. That being said, the last enduro I was at I personally saw 8 flats with Vittoria and no other tires. 8! And sadly, many of them were by folks in podium contention. Just nervous to see an aggressive tire like this Mota weighing so little without serious compromises.
  • + 2
 I recently pickup a set of Morsas and Mezcals for my AllMnt and XC bikes and both tires perform very well, roll fast and seem like they are going to wear very well.

But these do puncture fairly easy in the tread zone. I gave up running the Morsa in the rear after puncturing 3 times in 7 rides (tread zone punctures not pinch flats).

The Morsa would be a awesome tire if Vittoria would toughen up a bit, maybe offer a Maxxis like "Double Down".
  • + 1
 Would love a comparison between the Mota 2.35 (non dh) the Nobby Nic, and Specialized Ground Control. All 800-ish midweight tires with lugs.
  • + 2
 As Manu Chau once stated, "me gusta la mota!"

Why did Vittoria choose this name? Are all aggressive riders stoners? Yes...!
  • + 1
 Guess how you say mud in Italian?
  • + 2
 If it's painful to mount ANY tires with a flash charger pump you've gotta be doing something wrong..
  • + 1
 sometimes wire bead tires can be finicky, especially if the tire gets squished in a way at all during shipping or something.
  • - 1
 The second you said 'You probably also don't run a tire like this....[unless] you're on dirt instead of roots and rocks" I stopped reading.
Unfortunately it was right near the end.
Where I live it's only rocks and roots, in the summer they're dry, in the winter they can be wet.
Stating terrain suitability at the beginning of the review would, in my mind, be more useful than available widths, weight etc.
Cheers.
  • + 1
 I don't know what is your problem, this tyre clearly works very well in most conditions. All you need to know: not too tall square edged knobs, sparsely placed, channel between center and side knobs. Soft compound. That's all you need. Everything else is rubbish. This tyre checks all the boxes before you even ride it.
  • + 1
 Been running them for weeks now. I've settled on having a magic mary upfront and a Mota on rear.
  • + 2
 What's the approximate durometer across the tire build on the 29x2.35?
  • + 2
 Neat!
  • + 1
 With 4CG+, now tires can help you order replacement tires on CRC??
  • + 1
 2.35" only in adult-sized tires?
Wish they made them for mtb-ing.
  • + 1
 Looks good, just square up the side knobs pls (a la Rock'R2 or TRS)
  • + 0
 it's krazy how much tires cost these days.
  • + 4
 @DH6 If you choose to drive a Toyota Corolla, by all means put retreads on it. But if you're going to ride the equivalent of a high performance sports car, it's probably going to be a good idea not to skimp on tyres, suspension or brake.

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