The Final Word on 950 wheels

Discussion in 'Crazy-Awesome almost Dakar racers (950/990cc)' started by Paul Clipper, Mar 8, 2005.

  1. Paul Clipper

    Paul Clipper Adventurer

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    Okay, I'm working on my own bike as well as a story in Trail Rider, or a series of stories in Trail Rider. I need to know real experience from folks who have tried it, and here's the question:
    Is anyone in the forum riding a KTM Adventure with a 17-inch rear wheel and 19-inch front wheel? And if so, how's it working?
    I know the factory infomation is full of dire warnings to not fit 17-inch rims to the 950, but they're very vague about the 17/19 combo. I've heard rumors and speculation about terminal high speed tank slappers, but I haven't heard any first-hand knowledge. So what's the scoop from those of you who know?
    One reason I ask is that I'm building a second set of wheels for primarily street use. And if smaller works better, why not do it? Thanks.
    #1
  2. Greg Minor

    Greg Minor The Trespasser

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    I have a set of 17/19 they work great on the street with Anakee tires but I do not like them offroad at all
    #2
  3. Gaserman

    Gaserman Adventurer

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    I haven't heard of these high speed tank slappers. I'm just about to order a 17" for my rear to go with my 21" Excel. Anyone heard of any problems with this combo? Buchanan doesn't seem to think it's a problem.
    #3
  4. KTMax

    KTMax Ninth of the Nazgul

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    I've thought about this too. This gives you a wealth of tires to choose from. There shouldn't a technical problem but keep in mind that the rear end of the bike drops at least half an inch (depending on the tire size). This might not seem much but it will affect the handling and steering of the bike.

    You could (or should) drop the forks through the yokes to compensate for the lowered rear.
    #4
  5. BlueSkies

    BlueSkies Skydive&Moto-Ride

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    is your excel front rim a 2.15 or a 1.60... i'm still looking for a 2.15by21 front rim???

    and if it is a 1.60.... how well does it work???
    #5
  6. Renazco

    Renazco Formerly AKA Boejangles

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    Hi Paul :wave
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  7. Paul Clipper

    Paul Clipper Adventurer

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    Hi James. Didn't get my seat yet, it's scheduled to arrive tomorrow--can't wait! I'll let you know about it when it gets here.

    Greg--what kind of tires do you have in the 17/19 combo? And why don't you like it in the dirt? For that matter, why do you like it on the street? Your input is appreciated! I have another set of hubs coming,a nd I can lace anything I want to them. Right now, I have Buchanan/Sun rims and stainless spokes and nipples with a 1.8 front and 2.75 rear. Works great with Metzeler Karoos on it (so far).
    #7
  8. Gaserman

    Gaserman Adventurer

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    I have a 1.6 x21 Excel on the front and have 10,000kms with lots of off roading. Works fine and no more taco shells!
    #8
  9. Greg Minor

    Greg Minor The Trespasser

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    If I had it to do all over again I would have kept the stock setup for street and built a new set of offroad wheel which I ended up doing anyway I have a 2.5/18 rear and a 1.6 front for my regular DP wheels and the 17/19 that I ran anakees on which caused the front end to tuck in the dirt I just bought a brand new set of BMW spec TKC's right before my accident that I was going to use for my ride to DV Daze but I never got the chance. The problem I had with the 17/19 setup was that if I was street riding I would alway seem to find a new offroad opportunity and the 19" wheel took all that nice handling away in the dirt. The 17" with the big 150/70/17 is a big tire. I think its a better set up than the 140/80/18 that is available. I'll bet it will last longer too. With the 21" wheel I would raise the fork tubes to accomadate the drop in height in the rear. I think someone has done this. I planned to test it but it will be several months before I can ride
    #9
  10. Flanny

    Flanny Flanny-it-up!

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    I'm really beginning to think the 17/21 setup is going to be the way to go until we can get some decent 150 spec DOT knobbies in 18" (Karoos don't count as decent....I need tires that last more that 500 miles thanks).

    I'm really not all that happy with the traction I'm getting off-raod with the conti 140...the wheel spins up pretty fast, and when pushing hard into corners, the bike will break-loose and "slide-in" a little too quickly--even when not under power. I don;t think it's the make/model of the tire at this point...I think it's just that with all of that weight and power, the 150 spec rear really is necessary to get enough contact with the ground.

    I just don't think I'll be able to switch to a 17" rear any time soon...

    Hmmm...If only I knew someone with a 950 that couldn't ride for a few months, I could possibly try the 17" setup...but alas.... :deal

    Sooooo..anyway, has anyone heard if the romours about a 150-18 TCK80 has been validated anywhere yet?
    #10
  11. Greg Minor

    Greg Minor The Trespasser

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    I'm getting lots of offers on my wheels. If you want to ride out here I'll be glad to let you try it :rofl
    #11
  12. Flanny

    Flanny Flanny-it-up!

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    Bastidge...
    #12
  13. Rbott

    Rbott Been here awhile

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    Flanny,
    Have you tried the Michelin Baja or Desert? I have the Baja rear and it has about 600 miles on it and it still looks great. Probably half of that on asphalt(very scary!).

    Ryan
    #13
  14. Flanny

    Flanny Flanny-it-up!

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    Funny you should ask. I have a brand spankin new one in my basement waiting on my '05 to arrive to install for the spring.

    I'm eager to try it out.
    #14
  15. sakurama

    sakurama on an endless build

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    Bump...

    I just put about 1000 miles on the new 19" front and 17" rear and I have to say that KTM made a HUGE mistake by not making this the stock wheel size on the bike. I think they should offer the 21" and 18" wheels on the S as an offroad biased bike but on the street that size isn't as good as it could be.

    I think the 17/19 combo is so much better since it puts a quicker steering and wider front tire on the pavement. The bike turns in quicker, transitions much faster and easier and feels more planted. There are also many more tires available for this size and it takes about an inch off the seat height.

    I'll keep the set of wheels that Woody made for me that are beefed up in the 18/21 sizes for when I plan on doing some serious off roading but if I'm going to do any long trips I think the smaller wheels are much better suited. I'm thinking of putting a set of TKC 80's on the new rims and doing the 1-State Dual Sport coming up in May just to see what they're like off road but I did a few gravel roads on them and it wasn't bad. I'm running Avon Distanza's right now so that's a more street oriented tread but it wasn't bad.

    I think the improvement of handling on pavement (where 80% of these bikes will spend 80% of their time) is more than worth the small trade in off road ability. If this bike had been tested with these wheels against a GS, Multistrada, Buell or V-Strom it wouldn't even be close. This is the perfect middle ground between motard 17's and the full offroad wheelsets and it makes the bike a real pleasure on the pavement.

    I spent a lot of time on small twisty back roads with these wheels and I can't think of any full size bike that I've enjoyed flogging as much. It's a complete transformation.

    Clipper - you'll have to try it to believe it.

    Gregor

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  16. Stephen

    Stephen Long timer

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    Interesting to hear that, Gregor, because while watching KTM develop this bike, I just assumed they'd put the 19/17 on to exploit all the oilhead tires out there, as Suzuki did with the V-strom. I would certainly expect that combo to work well on pavement; I've ridden oilheads and stroms on tar, and the wheels and tires sure weren't a problem, whereas I have felt the KTM's 21 seem a little, well, skinny from time to time.

    Nevertheless, I have a little trouble with the comparisons presented here on advrider -- not that I don't appreciate them, indeed, I enjoy and cherish them. The problem I have is that folks take off the 21/18 Mich Deserts and put on 19/17 Tourance and say, "wow, they work on pavement a lot better," to which I can only say, "no shit." Same thing happens to all of us when we ditch those threadbare Scorpions and slap on a sharp-edged set of TKC's and say "damn, these things are hardly any worse on tar AT ALL!"

    One more example, and what really got me started on this was my recent experience swapping bikes with Neduro. Our bikes felt really different, so different that we could hardly stop laughing when we pulled over to compare notes, but the only differences were his newish TKC on the front and his stiffer fork springs. His bike fell into turns like it wasn't gonna stop until it hit the ground; my bike felt like a freight train on rails.

    I guess I'm just sayin' that there may be a lot of ways to change the feel of the bike. And I'd still love to have a second set of wheels in 19/17 for road work. :thumb
    #16
  17. sakurama

    sakurama on an endless build

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    Yeah, I know what you mean since just swapping out a cupped Scorpion will make a big difference. FWIW I'd ridden these same roads before on a Ducati ST2, a BMW R1100S, a BMW R1100GS and a KTM Duke II (and with the stock Scorpions on the stock wheels) and with the exception of the Duke II in the very tight stuff the 950 (17/19) was head and shoulders above them all. I've spent a long time road racing so I'm pretty sensitive to suspension set up and tires - this is a pretty wholesale character change and took the bike from being fun to being one of the best backroad bikes I've ridden. It rails like a super motard but it wheelies off the top of hills at 75mph like nothing else - I couldn't stop smiling for the whole ride. I would never consider taking the stock 950 to a track day but this bike would make a track day a real fun time.

    I think the thing is to try it but not many have made the switch. Hopefully Clipper will give my bike a go and be able to give a good opinion.

    Gregor
    #17
  18. Doug Matson

    Doug Matson Long timer

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    I really like the 17/19 sealed set Woody built. The bike is more stable and with the Tourance's on, the normal dirt road feels fine, even soft gravel felt ok. I checked the speedo today with the GPS. With the speedo on the 19" setting, a 40.1 (GPS) mile ride the odo is off 3 tenths 40.4 and the speed is 2 to 3 mph fast. One thing I really noticed compared to the 18/21 stock is the braking, it feels much better(even with good Scorpions on).
    #18
  19. wsmc99

    wsmc99 Been here awhile

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    Are those the stock widths?
    #19
  20. sakurama

    sakurama on an endless build

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    I went with the stock BMW GS sizes: 2.5 x 19 front and 4 x 17 rear which are close to the stock 950 widths - the stock front is 2.15 and the rear is the same at 4. I wanted to be able to take advantage of the wealth of tires that are available in those sizes. As mentioned also, the braking is pretty amazing even with only one (320mm) rotor. I thought I'd want to add another disk but it's more than enough.

    Gregor
    #20