990 Tires for the TAT

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by vfabrizzi, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. vfabrizzi

    vfabrizzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Tampa
    I have a 990 R and are planning to do the TAT this summer. Any suggestions on the best tires for the trip? I've gotten conflicting reports. Some feel the stock rear Scorpion wirh a nobby on the front would work best. Others say replace both with a true off-raod rally class tire. Any suggestions on best brand - Mefo, Pirelli, Continental, Heidenau? Any feed back would be appreciated.
    #1
  2. Cactus Dave

    Cactus Dave Born to Argue

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    695
    Location:
    Talking Rock, Ga
    Dunlop 606 front (90/90-21) and Dunlop 908 rear (140/_ - 18). 4 of us rode from Clayton, NM to Port Orford, OR last Summer on the TAT. 9 days. I was on a 990R; a friend was on a 990; another on a 950SE. I changed tires in Nevada because I had spares available and there's nothing like fresh shoes. They used a single set each to the coast. They were completely shagged. We ran ultra HD tubes and 25 psi. 0 flats in 2,700 fast, hard miles. YMMV, but I'd use the same set up again.

    Cheers,

    Dave
    #2
  3. wpbarlow

    wpbarlow Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Oddometer:
    11,795
    Location:
    Central NJ
    +1 it's a tough and durable combo that works well enough everywhere.
    #3
  4. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,556
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    How do you feel about sand/silt? Green River to Salida (Utah) has quite a few deep sand washes. The valley section just North of Eureka NV can be deep mud after rain, onviously when it's dry that mud is silt. Possible some of these are bypassed with the big bike route, if you plan to do that? Battle Mountain to McDermott has a few sandy stretches also. For the CO sections and OR sections you'll be fine with the rear Scorpion. TKC-80 might be a compramise. The big 950 would be great for the run into Baker NV :D
    #4
  5. vfabrizzi

    vfabrizzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Tampa
    Thanks for the feedback. 300 miles per day on average. You guys were cranking!
    #5
  6. vfabrizzi

    vfabrizzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Tampa
    Living in Florida, were stuck riding in sand for almost all off road adventures. Can't get away from it, very few trails offering hard pack. This weekend, I tried running the stock Scorpions on the sand and it wan't fun. The 990 is too heavy and the stock tires were a joke. If we can get away from sand, we will. Thanks.
    #6
  7. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Oddometer:
    15,380
    Location:
    Returning likes on redemption road.
    The Wan's like the Pirelli Scorpion Rally Pro for the front, I tried one on the front of my 1150 with a 21 and really like it too. Hooks really good in sand too.

    I've run the 908 on a lighter bike and hated it, no traction. I've heard that it's okay on the heavy bikes.

    Your first set ought to be shot by Moab, look for a Dunlop MX71 for the front and a Maxxis Desert IT for the back(don't worry that a 120/100 is the biggest size, it's a massive tire)...awesome pair of tires for the west.
    #7
  8. Seth S

    Seth S Will _____ for _____

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,842
    Location:
    sanity?
    From TN to Arkansas the Pirelli Scorpions work well enough because its mostly paved, dirt roads, or mild trail. I ran a 606 front and a michelin desert rear from Arkansas on...flatted the Pirelli in the Ozarks and switched then. Changed to the 606 a day or 2 later.
    #8
  9. Tidsy

    Tidsy n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Urenui, New Zealand
    HI There, We did the TAT August 2012 two up on a 990. We had already done Route 66 from LA to Chicago so put new tyres on in Knoxville. We put a TKC80 on the rear and a Karoo on the front for the first half then put a fresh set on in Moab. Another TKC on the rear but for the sand a 606 on the front. I wouldn't like to try on the scorpions, asking for trouble. As one other guy said new shoes make a world of difference.:D
    #9
  10. Carnage

    Carnage FKR!!!

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    Heart of the Australian Economy
    There's only one combo to run!!! Pirelli MT 21 & MEFO Super Explorer....
    #10
  11. vfabrizzi

    vfabrizzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Tampa
    As a new owner of a 990 R, I'm curious about the ride comfort over long stretches. Surely you didn't do it on the stock seat.
    #11
  12. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,556
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I stood for probably 70% of the TAT from CO to OR. Yes, that;s a lot of miles. Only time I'd park my ass was the long straight stretches, heading into Baker NV as one example. Maybe you'll only stand 50% but that's plenty to ease the pain of the stock seat.
    #12
  13. knobbyjoe

    knobbyjoe knobbyjoe

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    556
    Location:
    N by NW of The Biggest Little City
    I like that!
    #13
  14. Cactus Dave

    Cactus Dave Born to Argue

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    695
    Location:
    Talking Rock, Ga
    Stock seat isn't bad. A little soft perhaps, but on the TAT, you'll spend plenty of time standing, and when you want to sit, you'll be too tired to be particular. I have a Renazco now, and it is the shizzle. But, you'd better place your order now for June 2013. I'd be more concerned about planning your gas stops than I would the stock seat. And, add a steering damper. You'll thank me in the deep sand washes and the long sandy sections. I made the conscious decision to not install one, and I regreted it. The 990R is a big ol' girl, and in the sand, you really need to keep the speed up and stay on top. As a result, like any bike, she'll want to dance. Difference is she ain't an XR650R or a KTM530 dancin'. She's a 500 lb monster that is a real handful when she gets a mind of her own. You still have to stay atop the situation, but at least a damper will reduce the effort somewhat, and it will definitely take the violent snaps out of the equation. You'll be able to dial it back completely when you want to pick your way thru the rock gardens such as Black Dragon Canyon in Utah - a beautiful, horrid place that started out fun and ultimately kicked my ass.
    #14
  15. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    8,556
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Is Black Dragon on the list of big bike bypasses?

    I actually found it easy but I was on my 450. I bet it would be a lot more of a challenge on a fully loaded 950. I've seen a few videos from people on smaller bikes where they really struggled, but they are always sitting, not going fast enough and looking at the ground just in front of the wheel.

    That whole day from Green River to Salida is just epic but I can still remember this stretch of narrow single track silt, it sucked on the smaller bike. That whole day is not one where you want to get injured.
    #15
  16. Cactus Dave

    Cactus Dave Born to Argue

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    695
    Location:
    Talking Rock, Ga
    It was an epic TAT day: started in Moab, lunch at Ray's in Green River, lesson in picking up a 500 lb moto repeatedly in Black Dragon, sand washes thru Cat Canyon, under the I-80 bridge and up the steep climb out of Independence (?) Canyon, finished the day in Richfield, UT. I slept well that night. :freaky
    #16
  17. vfabrizzi

    vfabrizzi Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    Tampa
    This is vey helpful. I have a YZ 450 and riding the sand in Florida kicks my ass. I can't imagine what its like riding the 990 on sand for extended periods. Ill definetly take you up on your advice.
    #17
  18. guns&coffee

    guns&coffee Gnarly!

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,312
    Location:
    watching downrange
    Heidenau K60 is about the best all round tire for the 950. Check with Craig at CJ Designs.
    #18
  19. tmckenz

    tmckenz Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    21
    Location:
    Rogers, AR
    Like many before, I have to say the stock tires suck offroad. I've been running TKC front and 908 rear for a couple of years now and really like that combo. I've ridden the TAT from TN to Salida UT with that setup and didn't have any issues with any part of the trail. Black Dragon wash was probably the most challenging section, but even that wasn't too bad. I've been getting about 4000 miles out of the 908 and 8000 on the TKC.
    #19