Dualsport Tire Combination for more Dirt

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by mikem9, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. mikem9

    mikem9 Wanderer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,251
    Location:
    North Georgia
    Looking for discussion on the best combination of dualsport/offroad tires for more dirt oriented dual sporting on smaller thumpers. Ones that will last longer, but still give good competitive grip.

    Depending on the areas, I live between 15 - 40 miles from my closest local trails. Ride an EXC 400. I like to explore the backroads asphalt looking for new trails. Our trails here in georgia can be rocky, sometimes full of roots, very slick with mud or dry with dust. When dual-sporting we normally run intermediate offroad racing type tires like Pirelli XCMS, Dunlop 756, or Geomax 51, or Michelin S-12/M-12 combo. These seem to be some the best options for optimal grip around here. Regular dual sport tires don't give very good grip for the kind of riding we normally do, especially on the front.

    Has anyone tried a dual-sport tire on the rear and offroad tire on the front combination? Like maybe an MT-21 on the back and a Pirelli XCMS on the front? Or some kind of longer lasting dual sport tires that give decent grip in the serious dirt that I don't know about?
    #1
  2. CJBDRdude

    CJBDRdude Dirtyrider

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    279
    Location:
    Upstate NY.. rockin it in Valatie!!!
    Pirelli MT 16 (at least for the rear) Great in all types of terrain and DOT legal as well! They wear really well including extended pavement use. I use them on my KTM 350 rfs coupled with a Bridgestone M59 up front. My rfs KTM sees a lot of tough, rocky offroad stuff mixed with occasional pavement. Give them a try.
    #2
  3. Yooper_Bob

    Yooper_Bob Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,886
    Location:
    Da UP, eh! (Marquette, MI)
    I have been using Kings tires on my KTM 640 Adventure, and I love 'em!

    They last a really long time, provide excellent traction, and are low priced (I should be riding a KLR). They are also DOT approved.

    http://www.kingstire.com/KT-963Rear.htm

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. wawarides

    wawarides where's Laura0107?

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,221
    Location:
    SC Midlands
    Rear: Kenda Trakmaster II
    Front: Pirelli Scorpion Pro

    Love that combo for SE trail riding on my DR350SE, which is probably about 270 lbs (dry weight) + fluids + 140 lb rider + gear.
    #4
  5. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,403
    Location:
    Spacecoaster FL
    I often run a $22 AMS Sand Snake knobby up front, and a custom-grooved $60 Kenda K761 on the rear. This combo works fine in the Florida sand, but this knobby is definitely not a street tire. The K761 lasts at least 6K miles for me on a DR650SE, and I don't run them smooth. I'm considering the Kings rear tire posted above, as well as a Kenda K270 rear. I'm looking for something I don't have to groove, that lasts a long time, handles decently on both sand and pavement, and doesn't cost a fortune. Some people are getting 10K miles or more out of the 2 Kenda tires I've mentioned. I currently use a Shinko 244 front on the pavement, and it works well as a dual-duty tire. It's definitely no knobby in wet clay or mud though.
    #5
  6. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    19,507
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    of course a mullet. knobby up front and 50/50 tire in the rear

    tkc-80 fr - mefo or k60 rear
    tr8 fr - shinko 242 rear
    #6
  7. CJBDRdude

    CJBDRdude Dirtyrider

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    279
    Location:
    Upstate NY.. rockin it in Valatie!!!
    Kenda K270 is the worst tire I've ever put on a motorcycle..neither good on road or off! Cheap yes, but after the first 100-200 miles worn like you won't believe. Absolutely no traction offroad! And, they were mounted on a DR650.
    #7
  8. C/W

    C/W Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Seems every day I see a new tire that would be cool to have. :lol3

    I'm currently running Dunlop D606 on the rear and a TKC-80 on the front. I'm happy with it, however I've heard the TKC-80 doesn't do well in mud do to close together knobs.

    Previous tires were Pirelli MT-21 front & rear. I didn't like the MT-21 on the front, it felt very unstable.
    #8
  9. Gryphon12

    Gryphon12 Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,352
    Location:
    Carnation, WA USA
    Interesting. Most reports of inmates running mullets love the bite of the MT-21 up front.
    #9
  10. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

    Joined:
    May 29, 2002
    Oddometer:
    19,507
    Location:
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    i was happy with mine. wore funny at the end but i switched when rear was toast. great match with mefo or k60 rear.
    #10
  11. Ride Now

    Ride Now Graybeard

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Yakima, WA
    Pirelli XCMH on the front, MT43 on the rear with Tubliss both ends. Very little sign of wear after 1300 miles on an '07 KLX250S. About the same mileage to the dirt as the OP. YMMV. :D
    #11
  12. Wallachian Spikes

    Wallachian Spikes Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,002
    Location:
    Somewhere between the sacred silence & sleep
    My KLR had Perelli Skorpions on it when I bought it. Great street tire that sucked in dirt. Put over 7,000 miles on those tires & JUST changed them yesterday. They've still got another 1-2 thousand miles left on them. I went with a Dunlop D606 up front & a Heidenau K-60 Scout on the rear. Haven't had a chance to get them dirty yet but, that should change soon & I'll give an update.

    I've heard the K-60 sucks in mud but, the KLR sucks in mud & I usually avoid mud anyway. Dirt, sand & rocks are what I usually ride when off road.
    #12
  13. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard I have no soul

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,950
    Location:
    Sunny Northern Cuba (aka: South Florida)

    Weird, I swear by them. I have ridden them all over the south east and even road through GA during a tropical storm with a fully loaded bike and they worked great. I also get around 5k out of the rear and 2-3 times that out of the front ( I change tires at about 25% tread remaining. Buddies K270 equipped KLR650 has had similar results). Spent a week at Highlands Park and during a hard rain only a handful of riders were out on the trails.I was on a K270 rear and K760 front which has been my go to setup for 100% off-road for years. Even in the GA clay with wet rocks and roots I never had a problem other than rider skill :lol3. An hd rear tube and 10-15lbs of air and the K270 just seems to dead hook in the dirt. 25-28 on road and they ride fine (not great on road but they do their job). They also seem to shed mud like Teflon. I have a pair waiting to go on my Sportster build as well.
    #13
  14. mikem9

    mikem9 Wanderer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,251
    Location:
    North Georgia
    Thanks all. Never heard that term "mullet" for tires but I assume you mean more aggressive dirt tire on the front and longer lasting dual-sport tire on the back?

    I've tried MT-21's and Dunlop 606 before. They just don't seem to offer enough grip (on front) for the kind of riding my buddies do. It's kind of an Enduro or Harescrambles, almost race pace type of riding on trails. I'm wondering if I could run a more dirt oriented tire on the front (XCMS Pirelli, Michelin S-12, Dunlop Geomax 51) and then run a little less agressive dirt tire on the back: MT - 21 etc maybe? For those who ride the more race oriented dirtbikes have you tried something like this?

    Or maybe i need to go with more dual sport, longer lasting tires and just become a better rider in the slop! :D

    thanks for your thoughts all!
    #14
  15. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,536
    Location:
    Collingwood, Ontario
    Pirelli MT 16 rear isn't DOT, only the front.
    #15
  16. 35xj

    35xj Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    954
    Location:
    asheville, nc
    xcmh font/mt 43 rear on both my husaberg 450fe and my ktm 250 xc

    favorite combo for pretty much everything from dualsporting my husaberg to racing the snowshoe GNCC on my katoom
    #16
  17. mikem9

    mikem9 Wanderer

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,251
    Location:
    North Georgia
    Some of the guys in my group are running the trials tires on the rear - some are racing offroad with them around here and doing well. But, those tires look like they are a challenge when it's muddy and slick. We had an extreme hill climb the other day on a trail ride and the guys on trials tires couldn't make it - and those riders are typically good hill climbers.

    Question - If you run the same exact dirt tires front and back, how much longer do you think the front tires last compared top the rear?
    #17
  18. JTucker

    JTucker Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,270
    Location:
    West By God Virginia
    I normally run a scorpion pro up front and a mt43 on the rear.
    The trials tire lasts way longer than a knobby and works until its wore down where a knobby is done long before its worn out.
    An mt43 generally lasts me around 2k miles, the only knobby I've had do that was a Mitas c20. Most of them a few hundred and they're done.
    Normally at least two two one ratio on tire wear with knobbies.
    #18
  19. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,403
    Location:
    Spacecoaster FL
    Even the Sand Snake lasts a few pavement miles on the front, even if it squirms in turns, and it makes a D606 front look like a touring tire. Focused tires like this BITE into the terrain they're designed for. I definitely notice a difference when the ground gets soft, compared to the stock TW41 or the better Shinko 244 compromise tire.

    As long as you're not racking up huge pavement miles, use a front that is aggressive and appropriate for the offroad terrain you typically ride, and then just take it easy when on the pavement. Even a gummy knob up front can last a while if not abused on pavement, while a gummy rear vaporizes quickly. The rear also seems easier to control if traction isn't exactly the best, while poor traction in the front can put you down almost without warning, so don't compromise on front traction. Focus on the most appropriate front tires, for your terrain, that are still in your comfortable price range.

    For the rear, just find an affordable and long-lasting tire that can propel the bike in your terrain of choice. A K761 may not have much lateral traction offroad, but it'll push my DR through some seriously soft terrain if I can just stay on the gas. In contrast, most mild treads don't self-clean well in mud, even when spun up. Other terrains can be more forgiving of mild rears. For these reasons, I focus more on miles/$ when buying rear tires.
    #19
  20. ruppster

    ruppster Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    983
    Location:
    Marietta, OH
    Just starting to get into off road, but based on some questions and a bad experience with a MT43 trials tire in the mud, I have a Trakmaster rear and Sedona MX887IT front. The Sedona is not a DOT tire. This is on a WR250R.
    #20