|07-09-2013, 03:17 PM||#1|
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Canada eh?
Need some opines on tires for dirt/ gravel noob
Yes, I have read a ton of posts/ threads about tires here. And the more I read,the more confused I am. But anyway.....I will leave that for now.....
A bit about me.....my first year on a 2003 f650 GS. Previous 3 bikes were all hayabusa's,no wait, I still have my Busa, I will never,never sell her,she is the love of my life.
So now I have decided to explore the whole ADV thing( of course being somewhat known for bravely off- roading the Busa) and I am not feeling terribly confident about the whole gravel/dirt road thing. I did a dirt bike school last year and I think I was the only one there who wasn't going at the end of the day....hey!!that was the most fun ever!!!....I was..meh....
I have been doing my best to look for a ride gravel roads in my area and while I am on them I talk to myself in my helmet..." Relax,hang on with knees,ect,ect" but I can't help heaving a great sigh of relief once I am on Tarmac.
I haven't crashed out yet.
Now, I am NOT a new rider by any stretch,two race schools and track days ect,ect. And the dirt bike school.
So ,finally, my question....the GS has Tourances on now. If I go to a more aggressive knobby tire will that give me more confidence to ride the dirt stuff?
Or should I stick with the Tourances as a nod to what I really will be riding most,Tarmac, and just keep plugging away at the whole dirt thing on newTourances?
I just hate that feeling of being a bit wound up on dirt and I know like everything seat time on the loose stuff will get me there eventually.i just......am not enjoying the dirt thing as much as I thought I would but I feel like I HAVE to do it because I have this dualsport.
And I don't want to throw in the towel yet, I don't want to feel like a wuss,but I have been giving it a pretty good go. But,on the bike in loose stuff I am like.....fuuuckkkk.....arghhh,I am frustrated with myself!!!!!!
Anyway, I figured I would just get the Tourances again,I am always tentative to try new tires,I hate throwing away money. Is there a tire anyone might suggest to me?
I do realize that ANY tire I get will be a compromise one way or another,as I still am true to many years of road riding and love to hit the corners( although why those pegs don't fold up when they make contact, I am sure I don't know...well, they do fold but not easily) but I really want to build my confidence on the gravel.
As an aside, I do a ton of touring,so wet weather handling is right up there.
Maybe it will take me all summer to get some sort of comfort level on loose,geez, I am so so on the straights and go so slowly around corners, I hate myself! Arghhhh......
So,in all of my very public soul searching and current riding identity crisis,did I actually ask anything or make any sense?....
|07-09-2013, 05:51 PM||#2|
Trans-Global Chook Chaser
Joined: May 2004
Location: Rotoiti, New Zealand
Get yourself a set of TKC 80's or similar. They will help lots while you are getting a feel for gravel. Once you get in the groove you may find you can go back to a road tyre without so much stress but knobs really are nicer off the tarmac. Just take it a bit easier on wet roads.
'03 KTM 640 LC4 Enduro
The wilderness, the desert - why are they not crowded
.................................................. .....with pilgrims?
|07-09-2013, 11:09 PM||#3|
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Boise, Idaho
I was in the same position, and decided to try Karoo 3s for my second set on my 1200gs. I was doing fine on the dirt (20% of my miles) but wanted to see what I was missing. When these wear out, I'll have more data to make a better choice.
|07-09-2013, 11:33 PM||#4|
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
I've been right where you're at on a newer version of the same bike.
Part of the problem is that the Tourances are really stiff tires. Great on pavement but they tend to slide offroad.
I switched to an Anakee II for the front and immediately noticed the difference in the softer compound.
The other problem is tire pressure.
I was riding with some more experienced guys offroad in Arkansas and was having trouble keeping up. Once they lowered my tire pressure to 25psi my comfort level increased 10x.
I knew to lower it I just didn't know to where. Lots of them were riding with Heidenau K60s which is a true 50/50 tire as opposed to the Anakee and Tourance being closer to an 80/20 tire.
So now I'm running the K60s and I've found that they feel good on gravel even if I don't air them down but are even better if I do.
Try some different tires but on your next ride drop your pressure, turn off the ABS so you can slide the rear wheel, stand up and work on your counter balancing in the turns.
|07-10-2013, 11:19 AM||#5|
Joined: Sep 2005
Location: Eastern Washington, USA
Good advice so far.
You can drop pressure to 15-18 without worrying about tire rotating on the rim or pinch flats. It makes a world of difference but pressure up when back on pavement, especially if riding aggressive or higher speeds. An accurate gauge and bicycle pump is all you need. Try that first because it's free.
The front end washing out is the usual problem on these heavier bikes. I suggest a real knobby up front if you want to actually enjoy dirt and gravel. Something like the Pirelli Scorpion Rally. You will be surprised how well they stick on pavement in the twisties once you get used to the slight movement from the knobs flexing. The back doesn't make as much difference so long as your not talking mud or actual trail riding. Big block knobs are sufficient and stick well on pavement. Something like a Conti TKC or Michelin T63 or Pirelli Rally works great on and off pavement.
Body position matters a lot too. If you watch off-road racers it's easy to see the basics. Weight the front tire for more secure traction. Slide forward towards the tank. The inside leg out front is not to catch a fall, it's to put more weight up front. Weight the outside foot peg and lean the bike into the turn (opposite to hanging off for pavement).
You don't have to get fully into the MX position to feel the difference. Coming into a turn slide forward toward the tank, put weight on the outside foot and butt cheek, leave the inside foot on the pegs but unweighted, and tip the bike in a little. An observer would not notice the move but the rider will feel the difference.
Getting comfortable with a lighter bike's movement in dirt and gravel will also make you a faster rider on you Busa. You gain the ability to use a slide instead of avoiding them.
Edit: I just re-read your intro. All the tires I mentioned work very well on wet pavement. Also, you might reconsider your approach to buying tires for your dual sport. Tires are relatively cheap and don't last that long. Try different types. Don't sweat it. If it wasn't quite right it will be worn soon and you can try something different.
Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 2
Sparrowhawk screwed with this post 07-10-2013 at 11:39 AM
|07-11-2013, 11:38 AM||#6|
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
What Sparrowhawk says
The only thing I can add to that is give first priority of decision to how you're going to use the tires.
There are too many options, for sure. Try something different, they'll wear out soon anyway.
For those that fight for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.
|Thread Tools||Search this Thread|