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Old 09-23-2012, 05:46 AM   #1
JustBob OP
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DRZ400S tire size options

Just picked up this sweet, stock 2009 DRZ400S with only 1900 miles on it. Never been in the dirt (until yesterday) and is totally stock. Been looking over better tire options than the Trail Wings that came on it and notice that the exact OEM sizes are not available in some pretty good 50/50 tires. The OEM sizes are 80/100 - 21 front, and 120/90 - 18 rear.

So my question.....how far can I stray from the OEM size to get the tire I want? For instance, the Michelin T-63 looks good but comes in 90/90 - 21 for the front. The rear options are even wonkier. Comments, recommendations, please.

(Apologies for not using the DRZ thread but it's so deep it could take me weeks to dig through.)
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:12 AM   #2
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90/90-21 F and 130/90-18 R work fine, and are available in a much greater selection.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:17 AM   #3
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I put T-63s on my DRZ last month.

90/90-21 on the front and a 120/80-18 on the rear. I was going to use a 130/80-18 but they were sold out.
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Old 09-23-2012, 10:08 AM   #4
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Would a 140/80-18 rear be too wide? I like the TKC80 and it starts here.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JustBob View Post
Would a 140/80-18 rear be too wide? I like the TKC80 and it starts here.
That depends on the actual width of the tire. Another thing to keep in mind is that when you put a taller tire on the rear it's going to quicken the steering up. You may have to drop your fork tubes down a bit farther in the triples to even it back out. Especially with a 90/90-21 since that's a shorter tire than a 90/100-21.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:59 PM   #6
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I talked to a girl today who was running Dunlop D606's on both ends. 90/90-21 front and 130/80-18 rear. She's run through several sets and likes them alot. Comments? Right now I'm thinking either D606's or T63's in those sizes.
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:31 PM   #7
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I typically run maxxis desert it.

100/100 110/100 typically though I run a 120/100 for dirt.
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustBob View Post
I talked to a girl today who was running Dunlop D606's on both ends. 90/90-21 front and 130/80-18 rear. She's run through several sets and likes them alot. Comments? Right now I'm thinking either D606's or T63's in those sizes.
I've run D606 rears in both 130/90-18 and 120/90-18 sizes on my green DRZ400S. I don't think they make a 130/80-18 rear, at least a quick check on rockymountainatv.com does not show that size. I actually prefer the 120/90 size. The bike feels more balanced when leaning over with the 120. With the 130, the rear seems to stay upright a little more, while the front rolls over or 'flops' more. Most prefer a wider rear tire, but I like a bike that feels more balanced on curvy pavement.

I've used the D606 front. Some like it, but some hate it because they claim it is no good in sand or loose stuff. However, neduro used a D606 front on the 2012 Dakar Rally, so what do those critics really know? A popular combo in Colorado is the D606 rear and MT21 front, although this front lasts about 2700 mi. while the rear can go 3500+ miles. Actually, with 25,000 miles total on an XR650L and my green DRZ, I've used nothing but a D606 on the rear. I did have a TKC80 front and D606 rear on my XR650L once, and it improved pavement riding and front braking performance noticeably, but it was not as good in the dirt. I was afraid it would wash out in the loose stuff, so I went back to the D606 or MT21 front.

Front tire size doesn't seem to matter much. Not that there is much choice, since the fronts usually only come in one size. If one has a choice, go for the larger section width.

My $0.02.
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Old 09-23-2012, 05:54 PM   #9
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I'm on my third set of D606s, mostly because I keep getting great deals on them. Good knobby for the street, but there are DOT-compliant tires that are better off road. Just depends on what your riding preference is, how much off road you do, and the dominant terrain. A Pirelli Scorpion XCMS front and a D606 rear is a tough combo to beat.
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:16 PM   #10
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A quick check reveals there is a Pirelli Scorpion XCMH front in 80/100-21. Since this is the original spec for this bike maybe it's the best? Reading the size, is the 80/100 not as tall but a tad wider than the 90/90? Would it be something I notice at 35 mph on a fire road?

Reference the D606, I looked at the tire and pretty sure it said 130/80-18....could be wrong. So many numbers.

What I'm taking away from this discussion is that moderate differences in size don't make an enormous difference, so we have some flexibility choosing. So I should find a tread pattern that fits the terrain I ride (north Georgia forest service roads) and be happy.

I have street bikes so am less concerned with pavement riding, although I must say that the bike with Trail Wings handles the pavement twisties up here pretty well.
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:22 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JustBob View Post
AWhat I'm taking away from this discussion is that moderate differences in size don't make an enormous difference, so we have some flexibility choosing. So I should find a tread pattern that fits the terrain I ride (north Georgia forest service roads) and be happy.
Exactly, especially if street manners are not a huge concern.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustBob View Post
Just picked up this sweet, stock 2009 DRZ400S with only 1900 miles on it. Never been in the dirt (until yesterday) and is totally stock. Been looking over better tire options than the Trail Wings that came on it and notice that the exact OEM sizes are not available in some pretty good 50/50 tires. The OEM sizes are 80/100 - 21 front, and 120/90 - 18 rear.

So my question.....how far can I stray from the OEM size to get the tire I want? For instance, the Michelin T-63 looks good but comes in 90/90 - 21 for the front. The rear options are even wonkier. Comments, recommendations, please.

(Apologies for not using the DRZ thread but it's so deep it could take me weeks to dig through.)
In an 80/100-21 size, the 80 is the width of the tire, in mm. The 100 is the profile of the tire, expressed as a percentage of the width (100 means that the profile is 100% as much as the width...so it's also 80mm. The tire carcass sticks out 80mm from the rim.). The 21 is the diameter, in inches, of rim that the tire is designed to fit.

In tires, if it fits without rubbing anything, has enough of a speed rating, and has enough load capacity, you can pretty much use it. Some bikes have a lot of clearance to go up a few sizes. Some bikes don't even fit their stock size well. The DR-Z will typically take a width 1 or 2 sizes wider than stock in the front or rear without an issue. If you increase width, you need to be careful not to increase profile too much, or the tire will be considerably taller than stock.
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:33 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Starchamp View Post
I'm on my third set of D606s, mostly because I keep getting great deals on them. Good knobby for the street, but there are DOT-compliant tires that are better off road. Just depends on what your riding preference is, how much off road you do, and the dominant terrain. A Pirelli Scorpion XCMS front and a D606 rear is a tough combo to beat.
Do you use the XCMS as a dualsport tire? If so, how many miles do you get out of it? Others say the MCMH (med-hard) is a DOT tire that can be used for dualsporting. Does the med-soft XCMS also work?
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustBob View Post
I talked to a girl today who was running Dunlop D606's on both ends. 90/90-21 front and 130/80-18 rear. She's run through several sets and likes them alot. Comments? Right now I'm thinking either D606's or T63's in those sizes.
my experiences...

FRONT:

the 606 front is horrible in dirt. it handles very well on the pavement for a DOT knobby, but cups pretty quickly if you use your front brake a lot (i.e., like you should).

the pirelli XCMH front is an awesome dirt tire. it is not quite as good as the 606 front on pavement as far as handling, but it does last twice as long.

REAR:

the 606 rear is OK in hard packed dry dirt, but sucks in mud or loose stuff. it is a good street tire. handles well and lasts a fairly long time.

the kenda trakmaster II is an awesome dirt tire when new. but, it rounds off very quickly on pavement (and completely wears out pretty quickly on pavement, too). once rounded it is still better than a 606 in dirt, but not really any better than an XCMH rear at that point. the TMII doesn't handle all that well on the pavement (not terrible, but not good).

the XCMH rear is a pretty good dirt tire in all types of dirt. not as good as a new TMII, but much better than a 606. it is about equal to the 606 in pavement handling and also last about as long (though maybe not quite as long).
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:20 AM   #15
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A quick check reveals there is a Pirelli Scorpion XCMH front in 80/100-21. Since this is the original spec for this bike maybe it's the best?
the size difference really does not matter at all.

you can't really compare sizes between manufacturers anyway. manufacturer A's 90/90 tire could be very different in size from manufacturer B's 90/90 tire.

(if you ever have the chance, stand a 120 pirelli XCMH next to a 120 Kenda TMII. you will swear there is no way those tires are--supposedly--the same size. the XCMH dwarfs the TMII.)

Quote:
Would it be something I notice at 35 mph on a fire road?
you will notice a difference from one tire to the next, but not because of the size per se. the tread pattern, stiffness, etc. all factor in more.

Quote:
What I'm taking away from this discussion is that moderate differences in size don't make an enormous difference, so we have some flexibility choosing. So I should find a tread pattern that fits the terrain I ride (north Georgia forest service roads) and be happy.
exactly.
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