The 800GS tire thread (oh, no you di-'nt!)

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by PackMule, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. MikeK-DBX

    MikeK-DBX Mike UAE

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    Dubai - UAE
    Seems like I need to do a bit better googling to get a better price :eek1 ... even though shipping to UAE is usually expensive.

    But I am going to go for the TKCs again... I really liked my first set and I assume the higher rear wear rate is an indicator of better grip on road, which is something I am happy to pay for.

    Thanks all,
    Mike
  2. Mark or Jack

    Mark or Jack BMW F 800 GS

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
    How do you guys find the F800 in soft sand?

    I am running Mitas E09;
    Rear 150 70 R17
    Front 90 60 R21.

    I recently did a trip to Cape York, 2600km.

    I found the front to be a sand plough, it just kept digging in and I couldn't get back on the bike far enough to make it easier.
    There was probably 25kg of luggage on the back of the bike and it was worse when that wasn't on there.

    Is my front tyre too narrow?

    Apart from the sand I have found he Mitas E09 to be excellent.
    The rear tyre almost needs to be turned around but that was very hard terrain the whole way.
  3. Motoriley

    Motoriley Even my posing is virtual

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,738
    Location:
    Deepest darkest burbs of Montreal
    We don't have miles of soft sand here but recently did quite a bit and I think a heavy bike will always be more of a handful in the sand. I was running a D606 aired down to 22 in front and it was OK. Also have a steering damper and that helps. No one really seems to be a big fan of the E09 front. I've used the rear a few times and liked it except on wet tarmac where I scared myself a few times and I wasn't going that fast.

  4. Mark or Jack

    Mark or Jack BMW F 800 GS

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
    Thanks mate.
    I did put some of it down to the bike being heavy along with the fact that for it to be as good as it is on road it must be very well balanced so being a bit front heavy is probably a compromise.

    I haven't ridden with the E09 on road much yet and not at all in wet conditions.

    They do seem pretty good on road in the dry, up there with the Hidenau K60 which were my previous tyres front and rear.
  5. Captain Excellent

    Captain Excellent +ll+

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    427
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    I spent some time in the spring in Death Valley this year. Lots of sand there. I had a set of K60 front and back and aired down to maybe 24 psi front and 22 back. No steering damper.
    Had a hell of a time till I learned what to do in sand. It sounds a little cavalier to say this, but your throttle is your friend. When it feels like it's all going south, and the bike is about to plow in on you, give it more gas.
    On the road the Saline Valley were were hitting stretches of soft sand 400 to 500 ft long between graded gravel sections at 60 to 80 km/hr. The bike will dance around under you, but she handled it well, unless I went slow which would test my ability to swallow my heart every time.
    I don't have experience with other tires, but I found that I was more of an issue than the bike.
  6. Mark or Jack

    Mark or Jack BMW F 800 GS

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    129
    Location:
    Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
    I agree with your tips for sand riding, I have done a bit before on lighter bikes.
    However I found the F800 ploughed in so quickly that sometimes the throttle wasn't really an option.
    On long straights it was okay but where I was riding was 4WD tracks, mostly twisty windy wheel ruts filled with soft sand making it difficult to maintain momentum.

    I have been warned off going to lower pressures on the rear because the is no rim lock.
    What are your thoughts in this?
  7. Captain Excellent

    Captain Excellent +ll+

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    427
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    Ha, rim lock. Funny you should mention that. I had a front tire blow out at 100 km/hr this year. Managed to hold it up, but a rim lock might have let me use the front brake. Fortunately I didn't and so I didn't go down.
    Never have had a rear tire issue, but I'm using a K60 which is known to be robust, and dam hard to spoon on so it sure hangs on to the rim on its own, even at low pressure.
    Some of the riding in DV was slow speed canyon riding. Even then I found it was possible to manage the bike with the pressure additional throttle would apply to the sand through the front wheel. Scary none the less, but the bike wasn't the issue again. It had more to do with the chosen line and if I was accelerating or decelerating.
  8. Captain Excellent

    Captain Excellent +ll+

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    427
    Location:
    North Vancouver, BC
    BTW, it comes to mind that I was keeping my weight way back to lighten up the front wheel. I think that makes a big difference.
    Motoriley has ridden much more sand than I. I'd be interested to hear his comments on style over rubber.
  9. xrotivx

    xrotivx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    30
    Hi guys, iam having a real struggle here.
    I need new tires and i really dont know what to get.
    I manly ride the street but i want to have something thats capable off tackling some light off road, something like a 60/40 tire.
    Any advices?
  10. Motoriley

    Motoriley Even my posing is virtual

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,738
    Location:
    Deepest darkest burbs of Montreal
    K60 that is all.


  11. IckyBob

    IckyBob BroManiac

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,035
    Location:
    Canada
    +1 great tire long tread life. Well suited for light to medium off road, and fantastic on the street.
  12. machinebuilder

    machinebuilder Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,263
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    I like Karoo 3's better than the K60's for the riding I do. I get more life out of them too.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. GeeK_InsiDe

    GeeK_InsiDe Moore Gas!!!

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Oddometer:
    414
    Location:
    Switzerland
    :huh
  14. Indy Unlimited

    Indy Unlimited Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,604
    Location:
    Parker, CO
    How noisy are they on the tarmac compared to the K60s or Mitas E09s?
  15. machinebuilder

    machinebuilder Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,263
    Location:
    East Tennessee
    They are are bit noisier than the K60's, but there isn't any center rib, I haven't tried the E09's.

    I think I have about 5-6000mi on the rear and about 8000mi on the front, it's getting time to replace them.

    I put a PR3 on the back for an extended road trip to explain the difference.

    With the K60's I found them to get really slick at about 5000mi, when I started skidding the rear 30-40ft with moderate braking on pavement I wasn't thrilled.

    I also HATED the original scorpians, IMHO the worst tire I've used, I took them off before they were worn out.
  16. Merlin32

    Merlin32 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    369
    Location:
    North East US

    Solid choice- I have them too
  17. xrotivx

    xrotivx Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Oddometer:
    30
    Anyone for the tkc70? Arent the k60 kind of bad in the wet?
  18. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,390
    I did Cape York and covered 3000km on my DR650 about 2 years back.

    I had no issues at all on it, was a complete let down in a way. Much easier than I thought. Did the South and North section of the Old Telegraph Track with a break at the falls, all in about 3 1/2 hours. I was chasing a mate who used to run trail bike tours up there, and he has one default speed...100kph. Every where. I was amazed at how he did it. Literally, he'd slow down for creek crossings etc, but the rest of the time he was sitting down, flying along, looking for all the world like the farmer he used to be before he was head instructor at HART.

    I've done plenty of similar work on the F800, and for a Cape Trip I'd be running a Pirelli Rally front and a Mitas E09 rear.

    I'd be dropping the forks in the triples as far as they'd go and running the preload softer than normal for the soft sand sections. If you have compression adjustment, make that harder than normal. Depending on what shock it is, I'm talking about 6-8 clicks on an Ohlins. If you have compression adjustment on the forks, then stiffen those up too.

    The Mitas will go down to about 15psi without issues, as long as there are no nasty rocks around.

    Preparation for the DR involved putting stiffer springs in the front end and having a Racetech rear shock built. Getting the front end geometry right made all the difference. It rode deep sand like I was on the highway. No wobble, no digging the wheel in, steered straight and true no matter how soft it was. Even on soft beach sand. My other mate on his XR650R didn't listen and wouldn't play with the suspension setup, and he struggled in the sand. He had the longest crash I've ever seen, he started tank slapping while riding just in front of me in the other wheel rut on the Old Telegraph track, and while I was sitting on 60 watching him, he went lock to lock, from one side of the track to the other, off into the scrub, still slapping lock to lock, back onto the track, still going lock to lock...and about 400m from the beginning he gave the thumbs up to say he'd regained control, and speared in as the front wheel dug in.

    You want a lazy fork angle, more like a chopper than a track bike. Forks all the way down in the triples, and the rear end lower than normal. Job done. It makes all the difference.

    The E09 comes in a 140/80-17 and a 150/70-17. I have both versions here, and they measure up so close to identical there's nothing realistic in it.

    The 140 version is $30 cheaper, and in my opinion lasts longer. The 150 has extra belting, but softer compound rubber.

    The Pirreli Rally front is a 90/90-21 if I remember correctly. You want the widest front you can find. I've had great results with the Pirreli, and love them up front.
  19. Rider 101

    Rider 101 Highly paid idiot

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,595
    Location:
    Having a laugh
    +1 for the EO9 - Pirelli choice. I have been using the MT21 but will try the Scorpion Rally next time round. Recommended by Quirky and now Snowy.
  20. IckyBob

    IckyBob BroManiac

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,035
    Location:
    Canada
    I am currently running the Rally scorpion front and rear. Absolute beast of a tire off road. When the back runs out of tread I may try the E09.