Newbie Tire Choice Help!

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Manuelsv, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. Manuelsv

    Manuelsv Traveling South

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    Hello fellow inmates! :freaky

    Long time lurker... First time poster!
    Well I have a 2004 R1150GSA, recently purchased it and loving it.. Coming from a K1200RS.. finally decided to explore the dual purpose world and well trying to learn the ropes! :ear
    So I just recently got invited to do an Arizona to Denver trip by a couple of buddies one with a 650 Dakar, and the other a KLR I think it's a 990 Arventure? Anyhow both have offroad knobbie type tires.. They are both experienced on the arts of trail riding.. Me.. Ill be on the R1150GSA.. that is currently wearing Metzeler Tourance street tires... So What would you recommend for a 1000Mile about 60% offroad trip? As far as I can gather the TKC80's are loved by some hated by others.. Some swear by the Heidenau K60
    So most important consideration for me.. Is not wear.. or cost (within reaon) what I am looking for is the most offroadable tire for a newb to dirt
    :p3rry
    #1
  2. Bill-66

    Bill-66 Hencho in Kansas

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    TKC's will be the most confidence inspiring...and will do way more than a thousand miles easy..

    If you're an experienced rider..just on your first Adventure Bike..you'll be fine on the Tourances..if you question your ability..or think you'll get in mud..TKC's may be a wise investment. I've run most the high passes of Colorado on Avon Distanzias or Anakees...never had knobbies on for a trip there..

    I just took a Coach Ramey class on 8000 mile old Anakee's..and the rear had a...:eek1 plug in it..

    YMMV, my $.02, worth every dime you paid for it..
    #2
  3. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    hard to beat a TKC80 front tire in my opinion, they last me 10,000+ miles ( I turn them around aabout half way through)

    they work well offroad, and great on road too.


    the rears are good tires offroad, onroad dry they are surprisingly good, on road wet, they are surprisingly bad, and they wear fast on the road ( 2500-3500 miles for most)

    If your trip is less than 3000 miles, Id put a fresh set of tkc80s on it and have fun
    #3
  4. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Wasted Rock Ranger

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    TKC 80 or Heidenau K60 if you want them to last a long time. Personally, I never liked the K60 on wet roads, but if you're from AZ, it doesn't rain very often :D
    #4
  5. Manuelsv

    Manuelsv Traveling South

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    Well As for the rain.. for the 2 or 3 times it rains here in AZ.. I can use my K1200RS.. that handles great on rain! :evil

    So consensus seems to be the TKC80?? Taking into consideration the no rain here... would that sway me more to the K60's?
    I do question my off-road abilities.. I've probably got well over 100K miles of on road riding under me on various cruisers sport bikes, and the K12RS... But < 50 miles of dirt riding all on my R1150GS since I bought it 4 months ago ... So definitely a little afraid of the dirt :uhoh ... This will take place in about 5 weeks so if I move quickly get the off-road capable tires within a week.. I can run some trails over the next few weekends and get some experience. :wink:
    #5
  6. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    tkc80 front for sure, then decide if you want more traction and better handling ( tkc) or longer lasting ( K60) on the rear.
    #6
  7. Hikertrash

    Hikertrash Wasted Rock Ranger

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    I had K60 tires all around on my 1200GSA and I found they suck offroad because of the flat strip in the middle of the tread. It's great for prolonging tire life, but like riding a slick tire in the dirt. That's on the 150 size. The 140 doesn't have that flat strip. The front K60 is also very loud. I switched back to TKC front and rear. Burned through a rear tire riding from Phoenix to Montana, but it was expected as it was all highway riding. The set before that lasted 6000mi rear and 9000mi front. My next set will be a set of the Metzler Karoo 3 to test out.
    #7
  8. Manuelsv

    Manuelsv Traveling South

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    Humm... Seems if I get the TKC80 front and K60 Rear... That would be the best combo? :dunno
    #8
  9. Okie Preacher

    Okie Preacher Long timer

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    That is what I'm running. Yes they will spool up in the dirt when the torque comes on...but not as bad as a regular Tourance or any other 80/20 tire.

    A TKC80 rear will obviously stick better, but they melt like wax on summer asphalt.
    #9
  10. Manuelsv

    Manuelsv Traveling South

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    "melt like wax on summer asphalt" with Phoenix.. Asphalt temperatures.. that means they would last me from the tire shop to my house! :knary it's EFing hot out here! Makes it really hard to go ATGAT...
    #10
  11. JM

    JM Been here awhile

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    If you're trying to figure out how to ride a 800-1000 pound loaded dual sport bike off road give yourself every advantage you can. Get the TKC80's. You will burn through them faster than the K60's but it doesn't take much in the way of not replacing broken plastic to pay for the extra rubber you'll burn off on the freeways. If'n I were you I'd plan on going through several sets of TKC80 before switching to a tire that gets better life at the expense of less traction off road.
    #11
  12. gsweave

    gsweave Yinz, blinkers are on, JACKWAD!

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    TKC front


    K60 rear but use a tread cutter on the centerstrip


    Done and done


    You know your buddies are going to torture you right???
    #12
  13. Manuelsv

    Manuelsv Traveling South

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    Yeah.. I'm expecting a beating on the off-road..... I might have to think of a way to get back at them :krusty :evil
    #13
  14. Jabba

    Jabba "HOLD THE LIGHT!!!"

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    What this guy said-

    Couple of other things for you to consider. Air them down a little bit for dirt and carry a compressor to bring them back up when you hit the slab.

    Bring WATER- it's hot and very dry here now. Altitude will KICK YOUR ASS if you're working hard- don't get dehydrated- and that means drinking so much you're sick of it. Camelback is a good idea for a trip like this at altitude in the summer.

    Get some larger footpegs if your bike still has the utter shit BMW oem units. And then learn to stand up offroad.

    Be sure you're ready to watch your baby crash to earth... repeatedly. It's just a reality of the trip you've laid out. Have good boots if you want to finish the trip- these things eat ankles off road like nothing else.

    Good luck!
    #14
  15. mudmullet

    mudmullet Been here awhile

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    +1 Heat, dust, altitude, exertion, etc., help bring on the fatigue, and you may lose a bit of your edge. You'll get better at keeping it up.

    TKC 80s IMO. I've never had the K60s, but the TKCs are completely dirtworthy and do a pretty good job on the street.

    Lower tire pressure really, really makes a difference, no matter what you end up running.

    Adjust the shocks to their stiffest when you get offroad. You'll still bottom out from time to time, but it makes a difference.

    When the pig and her blankets get beyond five degrees of vertical, spend the next 85 degrees making sure you don't wind up underneath. The bike is tough to break on a tipover, but she'll do a number on you.:deal
    #15
  16. Bill-66

    Bill-66 Hencho in Kansas

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    :stupid....

    Jabba speaks truthiness. :deal

    :freaky
    #16
  17. JM

    JM Been here awhile

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    Let me add something to my first post in an effort to clear up a point I was trying to make.

    You get by on almost any tire. During the learning process you will drop the bike. Having the traction advantage of the TKC80 may prevent a few of those spills.

    The traction advantage will also help your confidence level as you learn. Without confidence you hesitate and once you hesitate on a big dual sport you're lost. Give yourself every advantage you can during the learning process. Make sure to drop the pressure in the tires when you're in the dirt. It makes a world of difference.

    Plan on buying your friends a few rounds during the trip. Chances are they will be helping you pick up your bike. :evil
    #17
  18. Spaggy

    Spaggy Long timer

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    I just put Mitas E-07 tires on my 1150. So far I really like them, although I've never had TKC or K-60 before. The Mitas tires are about 60% of the cost of those others so if the Mitas keep making me happy, I never will.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    Not in the USA, unless something has changed recently?
    #19
  20. gsweave

    gsweave Yinz, blinkers are on, JACKWAD!

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    Easy, Last Man to Bourbon Street buys Hookers, Hurricanes and blow, for the group:deal
    #20