Product Spotlight: The Maxxis MT772 Razr MT
Every now and then a tyre arrives that redefines standards. It stands out from the competition. It’s talked about in huddled masses around the muddied wheel arches of 4x4’s in backwaters and off-beaten tracks. Outside the local Four Square, you’ll wonder what’s going on as you see folk staring at the parked Hilux with these knobbly tyres, oblivious to the fact they’re blocking the parking spot you’re trying to pull into.
The Maxxis MT772 Razr MT is that tyre. It has been on the market for a while now, since early 2018, slowly making a name for itself. During this time the sizes offered have been expanded to fit more utes. Given all of that, we thought it about time we cast a spotlight on this bit of radical rubber.
Maxxis: Born In The Dirt
First up - you need to know the Razr (as we’ll refer to it from hereon in) is from Maxxis. No ordinary tyre company, they were ‘born in the dirt’ and have played in it ever since. A long time favourite of the 4x4 community and in the rural sector, they have built up an enviable reputation for durability and hard-wearing performance. Their suitability to New Zealand conditions being the stuff of legends.
One of the reasons for all of this is their heritage in 4x4 racing. That’s where they first made their name and where they continue to play. As a proving ground for tyres, you can’t get much better. Indeed, the Razr was two years in testing before they made it onto ‘civilian’ vehicles. So, what makes it so special? For that matter, is it really so special or just new and shiny?
Razr Sharp Looks
It’s ok to admit it. Sometimes how a tyre looks is just as important to you as how it performs. After all, you didn’t spend all that money on a sweet looking 4x4 just to put it in ugly shoes. So the good news the Razr is no slouch in the looks department. It has an understated appearance, with the raised lettering In matt black adding a bit of meanness to it. It says, ‘I’m tough and I know it, so I don’t need to shout it with white lettering’. Then there’s the rugged tread pattern. It just looks the business. Stick it on your 4x4 and be prepared for young boys to stare in wonder.
Flexing its Muscles
One of the first things we noticed about the Razr was its ability to flex. Built with a nylon cap ply, the Razr is lightweight and avoids the ‘bulking up’ some other tyre manufacturers go for. And let’s be honest, bulking up a tyre is no real advancement in tyre technology. Adding mass for toughness doesn’t necessarily increase toughness. Indeed, the added stiffness of the tyre carcass can make it more susceptible to punctures. A bulked up tyre will struggle to absorb sharp edges. So the Razr’s ability to ‘fold’ its tyre over sharp objects, thanks to its ‘Flexion’ layer, is quite astonishing. It means fantastic puncture resistance.
This Tyre has Armour
One of the things Maxxis like to talk about with the Razr is the all new ‘Armour ply’. It sounds the business, so kudos to their marketing team. Don’t be too hasty with your thanks though. The real gratitude needs to be reserved for the boffins in lab coats. Because what they have created is a monster. The intertwined fibres create a casing strength that feels like it’ll resist a gamma ray (we made that up..it may not). What we have here is a seriously tough tyre. It’ll churn up coal and spit out diamonds (ok, we made that up too. We may be getting a bit carried away about this tyre but it really is very good).
Raise the Shields
Just to make double sure they’ve developed a super-tough tyre, Maxxis adds their ‘DebriShield sidewall’ into the mix. This is their special shoulder block design. It’s job is to keep sticks, stones and other stuff, from making it through to the sidewall. Think of it as the first layer of defence. And it’s a goody.
If you think we’re getting carried away with this tyre then the lab boffins were worse. That’s because they weren’t content with the toughness levels already achieved so decided to throw in an all new tread compound with filler, to resist tearing and chunking. No more will lugs be easily damaged.
Is it sticky?
Like chewing gum to the underside of a school desk. Which isn’t surprising really given this is a mud tyre. That said, not all mud tyres perform. Thankfully, this one does. The deeply sculpted tread blocks feature a two-stepped design, providing exceptional self-cleaning. This is a tyre that can get messy and clean up after itself. We found mud and clay to be no issue for the Razr.
Let’s Not Shout About It
We all know mud tyres come with a problem. A very noisy problem. Whilst you may like the drone of a mud tyre on tarmac, as it drowns out the kids in the backseat or the driving ‘instructions’ from the passenger seat... it can still be very annoying after a while. So you’d expect a double tough tyre with lots of knobbly rubber to sound like a rhino stepping on burning branches (yeah... we’re not totally sure what that sounds like but imagine it to be not entirely nice). To our great surprise, with the Razr the opposite is true. This is more like a mouse doing ballet whilst gently humming to the music. Get out onto the highway and you’ll see what we mean. This has to be the quietest mud tyre we’ve come across. Maxxis seem to have picked up on the conversations a lot of people have:
“I was thinking of these mud tyres for the ute”
Taming the Tarmac
The final test for the Razr is on-road performance. This tyre may have been ‘born in the mud’ but it’ll need to live on asphalt as much as the dirt. This could easily be the tyres undoing. We’ve seen mud tyres perform well and we’ve fallen for them, only to realise they’re a downright liability on the highway. Well... to round out the Razr is a performance on the tarmac that simply works. Wet or dry, you get great traction. Meaning you just go about your business and drive like normal. Easy.
Who Needs It?
By now you’ve likely picked up we like this tyre a lot. Sure, there’s a lot of good mud tyres out there but the Razr seem to have this...erm....cutting edge to it. Who will it appeal to? The answer should be anyone. For those hardcore 4x4 enthusiasts, it performs better than most anything else. But it all also appeal to those who have a ute and normally use All Terrain tyres. They’ve probably coveted the gnarly looks of a mud tyre but been put off by either the noise or on-road performance drawbacks. The Razr solves both issues. It works on the road as well as most All Terrains and is just as quiet. But you get those looks. So now there are no excuses for not putting a mud tyre on your 4x4. Your ute will thank you for the big boy shoes. We promise.