WHAT IS IT? Nitromousses differ from typical offroad
mousses used by desert and Baja racers in that the
Nitromousse’s tube-shaped elastomer foam is charged with
nitrogen instead of air. The nitrogen provides a livelier
and more predictable feel than the typical mousse. Most
important is that a Nitromousse can never go flat.
WHAT’S IT COST? $124.95.
CONTACT? www.nitromousse.com or (608) 301-6764.
WHAT STANDS OUT? Here’s a list of things that stand
out with Nitromousse elastomer foam tubes.
(1) Purpose. The reason that racers choose to run
mousses instead of air-filled tubes is to eliminate the
chance of flats.
( 2) Installation. We wish there was an easier way, but
expect to sweat, swear and simmer trying to squeeze a
mousse into a tire. We used a Kauritmoto TMT3 tire-chang-ing tool, five tire irons and a Bead Buddy. It helps that you
can’t pinch the tube during installation, but you can snap
the tire’s bead if you get too forceful. We know ISDT riders
who can change a mousse in under five minutes—not us.
Nitromousse does provide a how-to video on its website.
( 3) Air pressure. In the first 30 minutes, the Nitromousse
feels like it has 15 pounds in it. Once broken in, it delivers
the same feel as a tube with 12 psi in it (this can be confirmed by a squeeze-test comparison against a tire with a
tube). Once it gets to 12 psi, it holds that pressure through
many motos. The lifespan of a Nitromousse depends on
how you use it. It will certainly last longer than the knobs
on a motocross tire in normal racing. But, and this is a big
but, the longer you use a mousse, the softer it gets. We
used our rear Nitromousse for three rear tire changes. We
estimate that it got down to about 8 psi at the end of the
third tire’s knobs (and because it can’t go flat, it actually
performed really well at this low pressure).
( 4) Performance. Compared to a standard-issue
offroad mousse, the Nitromousse was a champ. It wasn’t
as dead feeling or wallowy as most mousses. But, MXA
wasn’t interested in comparing it to another mousse as
much as to an air-filled tube. We started with Dunlop
MX3S tires—one set with tubes set at 12 psi and one
with Nitromousses. In back-to-back tests, we came to
these conclusions: (a) If fear of flats is a major concern,
you can run the Nitromousses without worrying about
washing out or sliding around. They deliver a different
feel, but it’s not a deal-breaker. (b) The front tire worked
best in good dirt where it could be pushed. It was at its
worst in off-throttle entrances to turns, where the front tire
rolled over when not being pressed against the ground by
power. The air-filled, tubed front tire was much better in
these situations because you could vary the air pressure
to meet the track’s demands. (c) The Nitromousse rear tire
was a hit. Although not better than the air-filled tube, it
wasn’t far off the mark. Plus, it can never go flat. (d) The
phrase most commonly used to refer to mousses is “dead
feeling.” Guess what? The Nitromousses do feel dead in
the bumps. Every test rider said the same thing: “The
tires worked okay, but the tires thud through braking and
square-edged bumps. I could feel every thud in my hands
and arms.” (e) Would we run them? Nitromousses work
best for riders who can’t afford a flat tire. Virtually every
FIM Grand Prix rider runs mousses. These racers don’t
want to fly all the way to Indonesia only to get a flat tire.
AMA National riders will run mousses on rocky tracks, but
as a rule, they stick with tubes. The MXA wrecking crew
was surprised by how well the Nitromousses performed,
but the big draw is their flat-proof capability. Given their
druthers, the test riders preferred air-filled tubes.
WHAT’S THE SQUAWK? We have a few: (1) They are
expensive at $124.95. ( 2) They are heavy (about 4-1/2
pounds for the rear and 3 pounds for the front). ( 3) If
you have trouble changing a normal tire and tube, the
Nitromousse will scar you for life.
The Nitromousse is the first mousse that
NITROMOUSSE ELASTOMER FOAM TUBES
can be used in motocross without having to
make too many compromises. The one
compromise that you’ll never have to
make is nursing a flat tire back to the pits.
MXA TEAM TESTED