Finding the right tires

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Chompa, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. Chompa

    Chompa Adventurer

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    I love getting off-road and deep in the mud... however, because i live in the city I have to ride highway to get off road... I'm looking for good tires that are real aggressive off-road but also hold up to a lot of highway..

    any suggestions or input would be appreciated.. thanks :D

    Bike is a BMW 650 x challenge.. need something with an S rating
    #1
  2. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I'm in the same boat, trying to find a set of street legal knobbies for my Honda XL600. I'm a bit limited, because my front wheel needs a 110/80-18. Your choices might be less limited.

    In my searches, I have found:

    -Continental TKC-80 (durable for pavement, not the best for mud)
    -Michelin T63 (similar to the TKC-80, but with different size selections)
    -Pirelli MT21 (not very durable, but OK in the soft stuff)
    -Dunlop D606 (pretty good all round off roader, 10% pavement)
    #2
  3. Chompa

    Chompa Adventurer

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    I'm not even sure what size tires I need because this is my first time getting new ones. Bike isn't with me right now and neither is my owners manual lol... Bike is a BMW X challenge though and definitely need something that is more street friendly than what I currently have :(
    #3
  4. CA Stu

    CA Stu Tremendous slouch Super Moderator

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    Not an ad, moved to Thumpers.
    #4
  5. Chompa

    Chompa Adventurer

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    looking for:

    Front tire: 90/90-S21
    Rear tire: 140/80-S18

    This is the specs I pulled off line for the bike
    #5
  6. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Been here awhile

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  7. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    "Real aggressive" for mud, and "more streetable" are opposites.:cry

    Personally, I am too cheap to keep buying soft compound tires for partial street use. I figure I'll get a hard compound knobbie, and just deal with the less than ideal traction. I'm probably not a good enough rider to notice the difference anyway, so either way I'll end up tipped over in the mud.

    [​IMG]
    #7
  8. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Flamed out

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    I found two serious dislikes for MT-21's even though I have been running them for years and they were my favorite tire. One: they are to soft for riding in rocks. I have gotten more front pinch flats with them than I have ever gotten on ever other tire combined. Two: they are too soft for 650 power. The rear evaporated on my LC4E.

    The T63's are OK but I couldn't find a 140/18. I don't like any of the others. The ones I settled on as a replacement for my formerly favorite MT-21's are the Pirelli XCMH. I have a set in the mail right now. Not sure how they will hold up. But the MT-21's are definitely not suitable for big power and heavy bikes. They held up great on my smaller bikes though.
    #8
  9. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I think the TKC-80 and the Kenda Big Block both come in 140/18.
    #9
  10. LittleRedToyota

    LittleRedToyota Yinzer

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    you aren't going to find a rear tire that is good in mud and holds up to a lot of highway. i've tried.

    the best i have come up with is the pirelli XCMH.

    the front XCMH is a no-brainer, imho. it is the best DOT knobby front tire ever made. handles like a real dirt tire in dirt and, for some reason i don't understand, lasts a looooooong time on pavement (and actually handles decently on pavement as well)--twice as long as dunlop 606 (which do handle a little bit better on pavement, but are horrible in dirt and cup very quickly on pavement).

    in the back, the XCMH is OK all around. it is not as good as the kenda trakmaster II in mud, but lasts wayyy longer on pavement. the TMII is the gold standard for DOT knobbies in dirt. but, they wear out very, very quickly on pavement.

    the dunlop 606 lasts longer than the XCMH on pavement, but absolutely sucks in mud (or anything loose off road). it is a good hard-packed dirt tire, but sucks in loose stuff.

    those are my experiences anyway.
    #10
  11. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    You can do what I did for the sand...Run a knobby up front, and a long-wearing DS tire out back...custom grooved.

    That Pirelli XCMH front sounds interesting...good manners offroad, and long-wearing onroad. I'd try something like that up front, and a custom-grooved Kenda K761 out back. I get over 6K miles out of a rear K761, and it'll propel my DR through some pretty nasty stuff, while having limited lateral stability, with just basic grooving. With involved grooving, I can make it a bit better offroad, while giving up little onroad.

    If you look at a pic of a rear K761, you can picture the grooving I do. Basically, what I do is cut the half-depth cross-grooves in the center to full-depth. Then I cut the half-length circumferential grooves in the center blocks the full length of the blocks. Then I make the left and right sides identical, and add an extra paddle channel in the center of each outer block. Air it up for pavement, but not too much or you'll square it. Air it down for offroad and the side lugs can assist better. The tire then has better offroad drive AND lateral stability than before, while still lasting a LONG time. It also works better in the rain onroad.

    I use grooving blades that are about the same width as the original grooves of the tire. For the 130/80-17 size I run, I use #3, #4, and #6 blades. A different tire size may have grooves of different sizes, BTW. The K761 runs me about $60 in the 130/80-17 size, so it's typically a bit cheaper than the D606 or MT21.
    #11
  12. 2handedSpey

    2handedSpey bunned

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    Wha...? Really? I had much better opinions of the D606. Coming from a metzler tourance to the D606 on a KLR was amazing in deep mud, deep water, snow, sand, dirt etc etc.

    Fwiw, I thought it to be a decent off-road tire for mud. This is certainly not a full non-DOT mx tire but, geezers, for a heavy KLR it was excellent offroad.
    #12
  13. rotten

    rotten LOST AGAIN

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  14. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day.

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    Aren't we all..........:freaky
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  15. rotten

    rotten LOST AGAIN

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  16. RyanR

    RyanR Been here awhile

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    I've only tried the Kenda Trakmaster II and the Dunlop D606 so far. The D606 is a great street knobby IMO. It sticks like crazy and the ride is pretty good. The Kenda is more aggressive and works better off-road and it's ride is OK. The biggest thing I have noticed is the compound on the Kenda is not nearly as grippy on the pavement as the D606. I can make the TM II step out pretty easily where the D606 has quite a bit of bite on the pavement and holds a line very well. Then again the D606 is no nearly as grippy off-pavement as the Kenda.

    After my current set wears out I am going to try a Pirella MT-43 trials in the rear. Still searching for a new front tire to try. I may have to give that Pirelly XCMH a go.
    #16
  17. rotten

    rotten LOST AGAIN

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  18. Chompa

    Chompa Adventurer

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    Need tires rated for S speed
    #18
  19. Grreatdog

    Grreatdog Flamed out

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    The only "S" rated true knobby that I know of is the T-63. Dropping down to "R" will open things up a bit more to include Karoos and TKC-80's. I doubt you do much cruising at the 106 mph "R" rating much less 112 mph anyway.
    #19
  20. Chompa

    Chompa Adventurer

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    Very true.. i shouldnt be driving that fast anyway :evil:freaky
    #20