Another thread about tires 90/10 vs 50/50

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by TastyPants, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. TastyPants

    TastyPants Harasshole

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    Hey everyone,

    I know it is tired topic (:lol3) but indulge me. The age old dual sport question...

    So I currently only have the F800GS and ride everything from twisties with my sport bike friends to getting out to some dirt trails this spring/summer. I need a new set of tires.

    I went from the stock battlewings (which in retrospect were terrible) to the Metzeler Tourances which I liked a lot on road and for fire roads and easy single track. However I am looking to ride with some guys on smaller 'Dual sportier' bikes soon and thinking about getting something more aggressive. I think we may get into trickier terrain and I don't want to hold them up too much. I am worried about sacrificing street performance though.

    Yes I have read through the many tire threads here, but still don't know what to look for next. Curious to hear everyones thoughts on what they have. Their solutions. etc.

    Avon's look about the same as my Tourances, so both are an option but it isn't more aggressive offroad. I could just go with this choice again and suck it up on my occasional dirt trips.

    Heidenau's look good but sound like they are kinda squirrely from the reviews, and really are a pain in the ass to find.

    TKC's great offroad but not so good on the street and frankly probably wont suit most of my riding commuting here in the city and my shorter trips to the asphalt curves.

    I am starting to think I just cant avoid buying two sets and running TKC's or Heidenau's for dirt trips and switching back to a 90/10 the rest of the time. Is that the best option?

    What say you? Do similar riding? Found a balance you like, or are you switching? Dirt front, 'streetier' rear?
    #1
  2. Bayner

    Bayner Long timer

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    Well, I've tried a lot. Basically, you straight-up aren't going to be able to have both.
    I decided to stick to more dirt-oriented tires, since I ride very, shall we say, mellow when on asphalt anyhow. Lately I have been using a TKC up front and a Mitas E-09 on the rear. They work well enough and don't melt off like some of the other rubber I have tried. If you want to hang with sport bikes during the week, and 450 class enduros on the weekend, you're going to have to swap tires for the conditions. No one I know of has found a way around that yet.
    #2
  3. markymcd

    markymcd Been here awhile

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    I'm running the E-09 (dakar) rear and TKC front too. This combo also is great on the road. Of course some yahoo is going to say they're buzzy but of course they are compared to a road tire. If you're not comparing they're great.

    I don't think the Heidenau's are squirelly at all. I had them on and loved them. the TKC's are also amazing on the road, but wear out quick (mostly the rear. the front does quite well).

    cheers,
    Mark
    #3
  4. sturgeon

    sturgeon Long timer

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    TKCs might surprise you with their street-worthiness.
    #4
  5. bodhizafa

    bodhizafa How hard can it be?

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    TKC's have been much better on the road than I expected. They do wear fast though (at least the rear does)
    #5
  6. TastyPants

    TastyPants Harasshole

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. I know I am not going to find some holy grail tire that does it all.

    Yeah I may try the TKCs but most trips to the dirt are seeing some highway to get there. I've got two planned in the next month that will probably be about 1.5k total, not including commuting and weekend riding in that time frame. I will be through 3-4 sets by the end of the summer. :cry

    I will try a set out and see what kind of wear I am getting, and how I like em on the road.
    #6
  7. bxr140

    bxr140 Flame Bait

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    There is no best option.

    As noted, if you don't necessarily need a street tire for the streetiness aspect, that makes it easier to choose a 50/50 instead. Most 50/50 you can find that fit an 800 will range from tolerable to surprisingly streety when it comes to the twisties. But...at the cost of a shorter life span. As with anything, its a tradeoff.

    One option to consider is a 90/10 rear (Tourance, Anakee, etc.) with two front tires. A matching street tire for your "most of the time", then a knobbly alternate (606, Desert, etc.) that you swap over just for the dirty trips. I've found that my tolerance for a 90/10 out back is good up until VERY long sandy stretches or wet stuff...but I need significant dig up front since I've always been a front end rider. YMMV.

    Two full sets of tires is an option too, though the annoyance of swapping a 150 tubeless carcass (with a tube) multiple times a month would wear thin on me right quick. So...best then to just get another set of wheels. Consider it an investment. :deal
    #7
  8. chadams

    chadams Been here awhile

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    I'm back to running d606 all the time.... They are cheap, the last ok for me (8000 to 12000km) oh and they are CHEAP...
    I was considering a 2nd set of wheels, but by the time I add discs, sprocket/carrier, bearings and rubber I'm up around $2500. That's eleven sets of d606, worst case 88,000km best cases 132,000km.

    For me I'm sticking with the the knobbies for now, they are very easy to fit and repair in the bush.
    #8
  9. DonHS

    DonHS Adventurer

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    Chadams - Are you running a 130 on your OEM F8 rims? If so hows that working for you? Seems like it would be a sketchy setup. No?

    I can't seem to find anything wider - am I missing something?
    #9
  10. chadams

    chadams Been here awhile

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    Yeah the d606 is a 130/90 where most of the other 130's are only a 80 profile.
    So far on this setup I've done about 40,000km with no issues. What ever the tyre combo is, it will always be a compromise on the f800gs.

    In the past I've always had several bikes, one of each occasion. With the f800gs I bought it to be my only bike, so during the week it's my commuter (700km/week). Weekends its my play bike, either road or offroad. Other then the up front purchase prize the bikes been great :D
    I reckon I'll aim for 200,000km and I've got my moneys worth :rofl
    So far 61,000km down...
    #10
  11. johnparjr

    johnparjr Been here awhile

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    #11
  12. sealteam4

    sealteam4 Adventurer

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    I tried different setting, but at the end I just put the TKCs on my bike. They are pretty good on the street, a lot better that what I was expecting. Soon enough though, I realized my f800gs is not a dirt bike so I stop buying parts to make it more dirt bike like. And I saved up for a used Honda CRF 250X. And I use that bike for "extreme" off road and my f800 for everything else.
    #12
  13. picard

    picard engage!

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    5000-8000 miles on D606s??? Wow you must be gentle - the rear lasts about 2000 miles on my 250 :dunno
    #13
  14. cathulu

    cathulu Been here awhile

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    Can we explore this thread some more? I am in the same quandry, I like spirited road riding and I used to take the tire right to the edge when I road raced, but I have backed off a bit from those days. I still want to get the bike down in the corners on the road et al and I want to ride and do FSRs (of which some can get pretty gnarly here in BC) and single track suitable for the F800GS. Basically C+ to B riding.

    I am already doing some C+ stuff on my Bridgestones which have let me down and got me in trouble a couple of times: once on a gravelly descent where I was on marbles and once on a sudden stretch of mud where I seemingly lost the handlebars for an eternity yet stayed upright - but nearly shat my pants. Plus I can't go as fast as the guys on the knobbies.

    So, I am thinking of the Heidenau or the TKC, with the Heidenau I probably won't be able to wait for the 150 size though. Also I think the TKC sidewall pattern seems pretty decent, a reasonable amount of tire on the road.

    Every single 50/50 tire photo I have seen has basically been mostly straight up and down riding and nobody is really getting her down.

    So has anybody really wrung their 50/50s on the road? Has anybody dragged their pegs with the 50/50 - I recall someone said they did? Can they roll over 160kph real good for a brief wring of the neck?

    So lets hear some more please... youtube videos and photos appreciated.
    #14
  15. Ducksbane

    Ducksbane Quaaack!!!

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    I currently have my favourite combination of tyres for the 800 which is a TKC on the front and a Heidenau 140/80/17 Scout on the rear. They seem to work pretty well on the road and off road and rarely surprise you by doing something you don't expect! :eek1

    I have tried the front K60 Heidenau and don't like it off the bitumen ... too unpredictable. I have tried the Dunlop 606 on the front ... too much wear and road noise on the bitumen. I have tried the rear TKC ... to much wear. I have tried the 150 Heidenau ... can't get them and its more unpredictable than the 140.

    So ... pretty happy with what I've got ... works everywhere quite well, but! I have recently gotten a XChallenge as well and I might try a more road orientated tyre on the 800 ... probably the Michelin Anakee, or the Pirelli Scorpion trail.

    As far as higher speeds ... someone I swapped bikes with on the weekend hit 180Km/hr on mine and didn't seem very worried.
    #15
  16. Lounge

    Lounge Been here awhile

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    I run Heidenau's front and rear and I'm very surprised and pleased with their on and off road performance. That said, I also have a 3.5x18 rear and a 1.85x21 front so availability isn't a problem.

    I haven't taken them on serious single track but I do expect the front to wash/plow a bit when I get there.

    Like many stated before, there's just no perfect tire for squeezing max performance from the bike on both surfaces short of running two sets of wheels.

    $0.02
    #16
  17. greenthumb

    greenthumb b00b

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    I'm pretty much in the same boat. I have used the Battlewings, TKC's and E-09's and have all but given up trying to get K60's. I just installed a new set of TKC's.

    IMO, they are best suited all round tire I have used on this bike; the trade off being cost and durability. They stick to the asphalt remarkably well and offer satisfactory off road performance. I would say their performance shortcomings are more apparent off road than on depending on your riding style. It is often noted that they get squirrelly at very high speeds, but then again, they are only rated to 160kph.
    The E-09's, at almost half the cost are great for a more off road oriented rider. I find the rear significantly better than the tkc, especially in mud and wet singletrack, while the front only marginally better. Road performance however, is pretty limited. The braking performance of the front is surprisingly bad, and they don't like wet asphalt. I don't have nearly the confidence in the corners as I do with the tkc's.

    I go with the theory that I would rather burn up an overly knobby tire on the street, than be underprepared for a spontaneous off road jaunt and smash up the bike.

    Here is the best spirited riding on a tkc photo I have. While I cannot claim that this photo reflects some peg dragging action, I would say it is pretty close.
    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. TastyPants

    TastyPants Harasshole

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    Checking these out now.

    What are some more 25/75 tires? I am actually ordering new tires this week.
    #18
  19. cathulu

    cathulu Been here awhile

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    Now we are getting somewhere! Nice photos Green / Chi. Lets see some more leaned over action on 50/50 or so... or worn tires near the sidewalls!
    #19
  20. cathulu

    cathulu Been here awhile

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    I guess that it... :cry

    :lol3
    #20