Dunlop D908RR vs Michelin Desert Racing vs Mitas vs MotoZ tire

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by DRZCamping, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. DRZCamping

    DRZCamping Adventurer

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    Need help getting feedback from people who have used these tires (preferably from people who have used both) on mid-weight enduro bikes both onroad and in dirt. Riding is varied: Overall 30% street/70 % dirt (is percentage miles or hours!?). Mine is hours.

    Also, might as well make this interesting and ask for the best tire to pair up front. ;-)

    Trying to answer a lot of questions you might ask adding a lot of detail up front, if you like.

    Have a 2017 KTM EXC-F 500 that I'm building up as an adventure/enduro-type bike.
    • Four-gallon fuel tank
    • 35 pounds of luggage
    • My 210 lbs self plus riding gear.
    • Rims are Excell A06 21x1.6 and 18x2.15
    • Bike without add-ons is 240 lbs at 63 HP.
    • Total bike weight (wet with me and tools, repair parts, water and camping gear of 320#) = 560# gross vehicle weight.
    Purpose:
    • I also have a BMW R1200GS that I use for the 80%/20% dirt trips, so the KTM is more for trips no more than 200 miles on pavement to dirt.
    • My riding consists of two types:
      1. Weekend getaway. Ride up to 100 miles on highway to get to good dirt. Dirt means anything from dirt roads to truly off road, cross country with rock, weeds, briers. Some challenging 4WD tracks with drop-offs, steep hills, rocks and other stuff I probably have no business riding.
      2. One- to two-week trips. Trailer the bike then ride 100-200 miles on pavement (including streets in Mexico with massive pot holes and other surprises), then riding mostly dirt roads and some trails and some sand in Mexico including mountains, low-lands, river crossings, and then reverse same route back.
    Features of a great tire for me:
    • Tough and reliable...
    • Yet ability to spoon off a tire unassisted when hot, tired and trail side. If it requires a machine to change tires, we'd don't have a solution.
    • DOT-approved
    • Pavement speed (with the heavy load) up to 85 mph intermittently, and 70 mph sustained.
    • Works with tubes
    • Safe enough on wet pavement - not scary slippery and unpredictable
    • Predictable - gives fair warning
    • Mostly dirt roads, also a mix of rock, mountains, some sand, low water/river crossings. Only rare clay mud or roots.
    • Adequate sidewall for running 10 psi with rim locks and still offering protection from pinch flats and to protect rims from rock, log and similar strikes
    • 1500 mile tread life (a long, single trip on dirt and pavement)
    • Performs under high heat; Texas summers, desert, Mexico, high road speeds under load.
    • Readily available and of consistent quality
    Extra points: Optionally works with EITHER tube OR Mousse.

    Am willing to pay the premium price of a race tire.

    It's okay to mention other tires.

    I've used TKC 80's in the Colorado mountains and in southern Africa, mostly in dirt. They're pretty good, but wanted to explore options for improved dirt road/endure performance.

    What's your experience? What should I know? What do you recommend and why do you think so?

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience!
    #1
  2. Jan from Finland

    Jan from Finland Been here awhile

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    Do you ride on wet pavement? Do you like canyon carving? If you do, the Michelin T63 might be better option than the Desert.

    By the way, did you mean the 908RR? I have never seen the 609RR.
    #2
  3. DRZCamping

    DRZCamping Adventurer

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    Well, of course you're right! Thanks so much - I've updated the thread title. Thanks for catching that and pointing it out.

    I'll check out the T63 - not sure which size I'd run on my wheel. And on the front?
    #3
  4. Nowwhat

    Nowwhat I'll Go Second...

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    The 908 is too much tire for the 500....any DOT knobby will handle your needs..

    That much pavement + weight = not a good idea to run a mousse....
    #4
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  5. DRZCamping

    DRZCamping Adventurer

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    When you say "too much," can you please tell me more about that. E.g. sidewall too stiff causing... " etc.?

    Good point on the Mousse - just for local stuff; when not camping, etc.
    #5
  6. Nowwhat

    Nowwhat I'll Go Second...

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    The 908 is a big heavy tire designed for heavy v twin bikes....in most cases it is too much tire for the 690s...

    take a look at a pirelli xcmh for a DOT knobby...some people enjoy a 606 on the back for less gnarly riding...
    #6
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  7. Sethro303

    Sethro303 Master of Disaster

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    I've run both the Desert Race and the 908RR. The Desert Race didn't last as long as the 908RR. The 908RR was very stiff, and changing tubes was difficult, but not impossible.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #7
  8. Bitingdog

    Bitingdog That's not my dog

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    Best according to your listed requirements~

    Rear: Michelin Desert Race Tire

    Front: Mitas C-21 yellow stripe


    Honorable Mentions~

    Rear: Motoz Mountain Hybrid

    Front: Goldentyre "fatty" DST 216aa 90/100/21 with reinforced compound


    The life expectancy of the rear tire is in your (right) hand :-)
    #8
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  9. fseybert

    fseybert Adventurer

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    I've run a couple of D908RR's on my 690. Very tough tire. Getting 4,000 miles out of it riding 50/50. Runs decent in all terrains I've run. However, NOT spoon/trail friendly. VERY stiff sidewalls, even when warm. I use a TMT4 and it's fine. With spoons on a concrete garage floor, bring a friend, a very large one at that! I don't see a Trail Side repair as an option. However, I did pick up a nail and ran flat rear at 50 MPH for about 25 miles with two bead locks. Replaced the tube with the help of the TMT4 and ran the tire another 2,500 or so miles without issue, so it has that going for it..... Yes, if I was riding my 525 XC in a 50/50 role, I would consider it. By the way, I run opposing bead locks on the 690 front and rear for balancing purposes.
    #9
  10. Motomochila

    Motomochila Moto Scientist and time traveler

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    Amazing how many opinions, so here's one more. I just sold a 2014 500EXC set up exactly as you listed. I've ridden both the UTBDR, and the AZBDR on my 500 with 400 plus miles slabbing it back to my truck. Talon hubs and A60 wheels. I'm 220 without a stitch on. Bike is the same.

    The tire I've used with excellent dirt and road use is the Maxxis Dessert IT's. I always install the Michelin Ultra heavy duty tubes and bring a stock new tube as a backup.

    The Michelins are a great tire. I use them exclusively on my 690 for the same routes, but way too much tire on my 500. No need.
    Here's my bike the day I sold it. Proof I've done the miles is listed on ADVRider.

    IMG_5409.JPG
    #10
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  11. DRZCamping

    DRZCamping Adventurer

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    Okay so that's a very interesting parallel, for sure. As I look at your bike, I'm doing many of the same mods. Light, muffler, armor, sprocket, tank, etc -- even the same brands of components. I'm using Haan hubs - pretty much the same. Wow.

    I will check out those tires given the use-case is pretty much identical. How are you getting them to balance with that heavy tube? How are they at 80MPH on tar?

    Any not to start another thread on myself, but I like your dash... If you;re using a Garmin Montana I'd be interested in seeing a photo of how you set it up with the names of the parts makers.

    And Max, looking at your web page, here's a blog you might enjoy (and I don't recommend things easily). Hope you like it:
    http://therollinghobo.com/


    Also, what gearing are you using on your front and rear sprockets?

    THANKS!!!
    #11
  12. Motomochila

    Motomochila Moto Scientist and time traveler

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    Garmin bracket-custom made by me connected to a HWDB top clamp and a Touratech Montana holder.
    Gearing 48 rear works perfect. Enough low end to get you over the roughest sections in 2nd gear and 70 on the highway without screaming the motor. Make sure you buy brass wheel weights for front and rear.
    Balance is everything and the stick on or the lead sucks.
    45FBD8D2-0F31-40CB-BFF1-3E14302E5EAA.JPG 176B3572-0957-4748-845B-68750E97373E.JPG

    HWDB clamps have two threaded holes in the top that will support a fabricated plate to hold the Touratech bracket.
    #12
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  13. Motomochila

    Motomochila Moto Scientist and time traveler

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    You need this too...

    B3814237-0301-4CEE-98A9-FBF747D75F22.JPG
    Yep I went all out, but sold the bike to build another 690. Building a strip down EXC version of the 690
    #13
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  14. DRZCamping

    DRZCamping Adventurer

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    Its actually on my list-- too funny.

    Brass wheel weights? New one on me. Woodys Wheel Works is building the set for me. Will they know?

    So let me guess is your Myers-Briggs type indicator ENTP?
    #14
  15. Motomochila

    Motomochila Moto Scientist and time traveler

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    ENTP? Not sure what that is.
    #15
  16. Bitingdog

    Bitingdog That's not my dog

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    Sweet bike! I absolutely love the way you set it up:-)


    One thing: IIRC the Maxxis Desert IT's aren't DOT rated, right? Not sure if that matters to the OP or not. Based upon the tires he was enquiring about, I suspect that being road legal was a priority for him
    #16
  17. Motomochila

    Motomochila Moto Scientist and time traveler

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    Not very many CHP's or other Constable's on Patrol will ever notice or mind a non DOT tire. The purpose is to run a tire that works for the intended purpose. I run my Maxxis at 28 psi rear and 24 psi front on the highway and 16/17 in the dirt. With this setup, I've done both the UTBDR and the AZBDR with one tire set. 1,800 miles one way. Granted the tire is just about bald by the time I'm finished, but slabbing it back to my truck 400 miles later was no problem. The only other tire that lasted that long was a Trellborg for the 80's, but that was a dog in the sand. the Dunlops don't last a thousand miles, and the Michelin's cost twice as muck. I do run the Michelin's on my 690 since Maxxis doesn't make a 140
    #17
  18. Nowwhat

    Nowwhat I'll Go Second...

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    The problem with a non dot tire is if you get into an accident. You can be denied insurance coverage for non dot.
    I run non dot but just for full disclosure. ..
    #18
  19. MJS

    MJS Long timer

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    On my bikes. 908RR on the HP2, XCMH on the 500. I also like the Scorpion Rally Pros (used on a 650 and front of HP2).
    #19
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  20. DRZCamping

    DRZCamping Adventurer

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    That is actually a good point.

    I posted a new thread on that subject here. While the thread won't change the law, I am interested in peoples' personal experience with this.
    #20