You can have one but you can't have the other.
Or can you?
Better yet, why would you want to?
What are you talking about?!
Riding your dirt bike legally on public roads then transitioning straight to the Motocross track.
This requires a wholly different set of tires albeit ones that look nearly identical to what you ride on the track already. Traditional dirt bike or Motocross tires do not have Department of Transportation (DOT) approval for use on public roads. However, a few dirt bike tires do have DOT approval along with the traction needed to ride a Motocross track.
However that doesn't mean a race ready dirt bike simply needs a set of dual sport tires to legally ride public roads. Herein lies the problem. A street legal dirt bike requires (depending on state) additional parts like mirrors, lights and of course a license plate, among other possible accessories.
A difference also exists between dual sport tires and a DOT approved dirt bike tire. Most dual sport riders look for something a little more street and a little less dirt that does not wear quickly on the street but functions on the trails. These true dual sport tires generally have more tire tread spread out and less grooving similar to a normal motorcycle tire without the chunky knobs you need for riding track.
Best DOT Dirt Bike Tires
Also, we know of very few reasons why you would want/need a dirt bike tire that affords you the luxury of riding public roads while keeping you upright and gripped on the track. Dual Sport tires work very well for highway travel and off-road trails but not so much on the track, so forget those. Don't mistake dual sport motorcycles with a dirt bike as these machines vary greatly and dual sport motorcycles don't hit the track – at least they shouldn't.
All of this to say, on the rare chance of seeing a street legal dirt bike throwing whips or hitting a triple at the Motocross track - take a picture, it will last longer. It does happen just not often. In many respects though, how cool would it be to ride to the track, pay your fees and rip some laps without all the cumbersome and time consuming loading and unloading.
Seeing as this actually appeals to some of those in the dirt bike crowd and a Motocross track exists nearby, understand you need the appropriate DOT approved dirt bike tire. Unfortunately, good DOT approved dirt bike tires exist but they mostly suck to use on the street. You can also get a good DOT approved street tire that works on the track but not very well.
Michelin AC10s on a dirt bike - Photo at top courtesy Honda Powersports
But one DOT approved dirt bike tire stood out among all others that works quite well for riding to the track and very well once on the track. And, it looks like a traditional Motocross tire! We introduce to you the Michelin AC-10. Consider this tire 90 percent dirt and 10 percent street. This means spend 10 percent of your ride on pavement while hitting the dirt for the other 90 percent.
The Michelin AC-10 will degrade quite fast on pavement so the longer you ride on the street the quicker it needs replacing. Once on the track (or trails) the Michelin AC-10 provides excellent traction on most terrain and the bi-directional knob pattern makes them a solid choice for recreational off-road and Motocross riding.
We would not recommend this tire for true racing, at least if you want to make a run at the podium. But all things considered the DOT-approved Michelin AC-10 certainly gets you and your dirt bike to the track via public roads followed by an enjoyable day spinning laps and then back home the way you came.