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Old 12-06-2014, 08:56 PM   #1
doc47 OP
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Clarksdale, MS, and Kafountine, Senegal
Oddometer: 85
Tire Profile - How does it affect handling?

In preparation for my move back to Senegal, I'm readying the F650GS/Dakar for shipment. Part of that is to buy some off-road tires that can do both pavement and sand. I've run knobbies on the F650GS I have over there and like them. Tourances just couldn't cut it in the sand.

That said, I'm looking at more off-road-oriented tires and the profiles seem much narrower than the 140/80-19 I run on the rear and the 90/90-21 I run on the front. How would a narrower rear tire affect handling? A narrower front? Seems to me they wouldn't be able to float over sand very well.
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:37 AM   #2
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Joined: Dec 2007
Location: Delaware Ohio
Oddometer: 8,154
True off road knobbies have a weird sizing code, but still you're right. The dual sport tires come in wider sizes, where the off road tires don't. You might find a 5.10 knobby, which equates to about 130, but not much else. I'm thinking in sand some dual sport tires would be better, like the IRC GP110 in as wide as possible on the back. On the front I'd see if there is a 100/90 or a 3.25-21 to be had. Maybe even consider lacing up a 19 or 18 to get a fatter tire.

Wide tires slow road handling, but can definitely help with sand. Narrow tires knife in.

What would be really interesting for your bike would be if the Yamaha TW200 wheels could be fitted with those wide "meats". The back is a 180/80-14 and front is 130/80-18. They'd float on the sand if they'd fit.

Or maybe look at using the TW front tire on the rear of your bike, seems they make a variety of treads.
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