shinko dc tire

The Shinko 520 DC is almost like cheating, in that this off-road rear tire provides most impressive levels of grip across a wide range of riding surfaces. From slick clay mud to silt, and on rocks of all flavors from basalt to sandstone, this tire just plain hooks up, giving the rider the confidence they need to devour miles of single track or to stick scary hard enduro lines. For the better part of a year, we’ve been putting a few of these tires to the test all over the western United States. We’ve logged thousands of miles on single track, rocky mountain pass riding, dual sporting, hard enduro, and desert riding to see what these tires are like in some of the best places for riding dirt bikes. Long story short – the 520DC is outstanding.

DC stands for Dual Compound, and that’s what makes this tire unique compared to most other “gummy” type tires. On the crown of the 520 DC you’ll find a soft “gummy” rubber compound that helps give this tire its impressive traction. On the shoulders of the tire, you’ll find a harder compound that resists tearing and chunking and gives the tire great cornering bite. Combined, these two unique compounds work together to give the rider the best of both worlds in one rear tire: gummy tire levels of straight line traction, and MX tire levels of cornering traction. Coupled with a carcass that has stiffer sidewalls and a soft crown, you’ve got a tire that doesn’t want to fold over or pinch flat, yet conforms very well to obstacles, further improving traction.

shinko dual compound 1
shinko dual compound 2

In testing, we’ve run the 520 DC with heavy duty tubes, Nitro Mousse, and with TuBliss. All of these options work well, but maximum levels of traction will be found when using TuBliss, enabling the rider to run ridiculously low tire pressures. Doing this significantly expands the contact patch of the tire which makes all the difference when it comes to sticking to a surface. If you want trials tire levels of grip without the downsides of running a trials tire on your dirt bike, set one of these 520 DCs up with TuBliss and go nuts.

Speaking of downsides, the only real drawback to the 520 DC is that it’s a heavier tire. However, the performance that this tire provides makes it worth every ounce of its more than 14 pound weight in its only size: 120/100-18. Other reviews out there have stated that this tire wears out quite quickly, but that hasn’t been our experience for the types of riding that we’ve been doing. Keep in mind that tire life is highly dependent on the bike that the tire is mounted on, as well as the rider’s ability and style. I’m sure there are riders out there who could kill any tire in short order, but we’ve been happy with the life we’re seeing out of the 520 DC across the spectrum of off-road riding that we’ve been doing.

Last fall we rode hundreds of miles of Rocky Mountain single track and high mountain passes with this tire. As the snow closed these areas down, we sought lower elevations like the Sonoran Desert where we rode even more rocks in both slab and sand form. We also made sure to sample plenty of sandstone and limestone during trips to our other winter riding locales. This last spring, we ran this tire for the Nevada 200 and for a number of long dual sport missions. Please note that this tire is rated NHS, meaning it’s not for highway service. With summer finally melting the snow out, we’ve been back to riding in the mountains, where we are once again playing hard enduro on all of the big rocks. Not once during any of these rides did this tire let us down or feel like it was holding us back.

The Shinko 520 DC is an outstanding rear tire. It provides great grip whether you’re trying to climb a gnarly hard enduro line, or you’re trying to blow past your riding buddy mid corner. When combined with TuBliss, it provides truly impressive levels of grip, without the drawbacks of using a trials tire. With tubes or a mousse, the tire still provides top shelf traction across a spectrum of surfaces, making this tire a great choice no matter how you want to mount it. For riders who want a great off-road (not rated for highway use) tire, the Shinko 520 DC should be the next tire you try. For more information go to