Tire advice?

Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by DakotaDakar, May 5, 2002.

  1. DakotaDakar

    DakotaDakar Soil Sampler

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    Sorry if this is a lame old subject, but I have browsed around a bit and can't find any threads where people argue the merits of tires. (That's one of those topics that you do not bring up in polite conversation: Religion, politics and tires.)

    BUT my Dakar's stock Michelin Sirac tires are a little too mild-mannered. I want something more dirt oriented. Not for chugging through deep mud or sand whoops, but fast-paced gravel, fire roads, two-track, mild trails... while still retaining some highway poise and acceptable life. (I'm not asking for much, am I?)

    What's the advice here? Any input on a couple I have looked at:
    -Metz Sahara?
    -Conti TKC-80?

    What is the new Conti that they use on the GS Adventure?

    What do you serious rally guys use? DHP, Jinx, any wisdom?

    Thanks...DakDak
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  2. Scotty

    Scotty Adventurer X

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    Hey man, my 01 Dakar came with the Saharas and they where fine "on road" but as soon as you got to the loose stuff " they felt alot like running on a tread mill thats made out of banana peels"'
    I have been runnin TKC 80's for around 1800 mi. now and love them!!! Dirt and gravel roads, mud, sand, rock?? No Prob!!!
    On the road they are fine as well although they take some getting used to as far as cornering goes........
    As far as the wear?? Mine are starting to show some wear but I would think that "on road" wear is gonna somewhat be determined by how you ride "on road"!!
    Hope this helps!!!!!!!!!
    Cheers,
    Scotty
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  3. RedMenace

    RedMenace Adventure Sidecar

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    check the Kenda Trackmaster 2 thread
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  4. four-up

    four-up Distracted

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    TKC80s are great off-road, and handle the pavement well, however, they do wear! If you can get 2500 miles, you're doing well. Bridgestone Trailwings are much less agressive, but wear well and handle mild off-road a bit better than the Tourance, IMO. I've also done a set of Mich T66's on an F and got over 6K out of them, though they were sloppy in anything sandy or soft. The only other tire I've used is Dunlop, and though patterned after the Trailwing and Tourance, they wore odd after a 1000 miles and were weird in the corners.
    #4
  5. fish

    fish Banned

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    I just don't see how the TKC80's are viable all-round tires. You pretty much need two sets of rims. But when do you swap 'em? What if you need to slab 1000 miles to get to where you want to use 'em?
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  6. RedMenace

    RedMenace Adventure Sidecar

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    If you need to slab 1000 miles to get there, use the street oriented tread on the way and pick up the knobs at a shop nearer to your destination.
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  7. fish

    fish Banned

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    Same rims? Leave your tourances at the shop, pay to have the swapped for the TKC's, then when you're done in the dirt, go back and pay to have them swap back for the tourances, then have the TKC's shipped back home? :confused
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  8. RedMenace

    RedMenace Adventure Sidecar

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    Yeah. 'Course with the sidecar, what I've done is strapped the extra tires to the deck and taken them with me. Who was it that was poken fun at all the shit I'd packed in the picture I posted after I did the Rat Dog? Don't remember now, but thats the reason why.
    If you order or buy the knobs at the shop they should cut you a deal, maybe change em for free. Shipping the extras home is still going to be cheaper than ruining a new pair of Contis on the slab and perhaps the price for having a decent tire in the dirt?
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  9. fish

    fish Banned

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    Is that what you do? :ear
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  10. RedMenace

    RedMenace Adventure Sidecar

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    :lift

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  11. fish

    fish Banned

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    redmenace, that rig totally rocks. :thumb
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  12. DakotaDakar

    DakotaDakar Soil Sampler

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    I'm afraid the two-sets-of-wheels strategy sounds like a perfect solution, but it's not practical for me. Has anyone actually DONE this? Hate to think what the cost is. You could probably chew through a lot of TKC-80s before reaching the break-even point on the initial investment.

    And for some of the long-distance work I have in mind, there is no convenient place to ship them for changing. (Hell, you get halfway out into western South Dakota and it's hard enough to find GAS, let alone someone to ship a set of wheels or tires to.) And I've changed enough dirt bike tires to know that I DO NOT want to do that job any more than I absolutely have to.

    But...I fear I am in a bind. I have two distinct types of riding I want to do with this Dakar, and maybe no single tire will satisfy both:

    DAY TRIP: The "trailhead" where I can pick up the first gravel road is about a mile from my driveway. From there, my riding is 90% gravel or dirt -- maybe just a mile of tar here and there to link up the route. For this, something like a TKC-80 might be ideal.

    LONG TRIP: Trips that will involve 500 to 800 miles of highway getting to and from remote areas. Gravel and fire-road riding at the destination.

    I think what I want is something that is a little more aggressive than the Sirac, but not the full-tilt, fast-wearing knobs like the TKC-80. Is there such a thing? Is the Sahara any more toothy than the Sirac?
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  13. RedMenace

    RedMenace Adventure Sidecar

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    I don't know if there is a good compromise tire. You might look for a cheaper DOT dirt tire; try it and see if it works for you. I suggest Kenda from Chaparrall or one of the other discount mc distributors- the K270 and Trackmasters come up on sale for under $50 or there about. They can wear out twice as fast as the $100 dualsport treads and you still break even. You should be able to do your long trip on them, just figure on replacing them sooner. I like em. You can do some pavement runs with them. They do wear out quicker than the street oriented treads, but, while they last, they are a blast in the gravel and dirt. THe real question, to me, would be do they provide you with a safe and confident ride on the pavement. You'd need to try them yourself to answer that.
    If you do find a good compromise tire let me know!
    #13
  14. Grt Wht

    Grt Wht Adventurer

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    I'm not the most experienced rider on dirt or road, but I have gone through 3 sets of tires in the past year and a half on my Dakar. I didn't get off road with my Stock Metz Sahara's much. I took my T66's on many miles of dirt roads, fire roads, and also a little on some trails. NOT real confidence inspiring. My current set is Dunlop 604 Trailmax. The seem to have alot better grip. Can ride faster on the fire roads with the 604's and have more control.

    P.S. I have 4500 miles of mostly road time and they show very little wear. My Sahar's rear was gone at 5000, the T66 lasted 8000.

    P.P.S. DakotaDakar if you wan to you can come down and try out the Dunlops I'm in south MS. :smile6



    JMHO
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  15. DakotaDakar

    DakotaDakar Soil Sampler

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    Hey thanks, I'll be right over. You gonna be around this afternoon? Let's see ... South Dakota to southern Mississippi ... maybe it won't be till after supper. ;-)
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  16. four-up

    four-up Distracted

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    If I was riding a Dakar, I'd do the TKC's. It wasn't until I started cruising at over 85 that they really started to vanish. I hated the T66's in the soft stuff on my F. I've got Trailwings on the F now and they're a decent 80-20, but no better than the T66 in loose stuff.
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  17. Grt Wht

    Grt Wht Adventurer

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    I'll keep some food warm for you.


    I'll be in Witchata Falls, TX the next 2 weekends if that helps:smile6
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  18. DakotaDakar

    DakotaDakar Soil Sampler

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    If you read back through all these posts, it seems the TKC-80 gets the most votes... with the caveat that they won't live long.

    When compared to the Sahara, there is a cost difference, too: About $162 for the TKC set vs. $240 for the Metz (Tires Unlimited prices). Still, if the Saharas get twice as many miles, they are the bargain.

    Soooo...bargains aside...I think I might try the Conti and see what the lifespan really is with my actual usage. Put the existing Siracs on the shelf while there is still some life in them, and swap back if needed.

    Now -- any hot tips on where to buy these cheap?
    #18
  19. Oscar

    Oscar Curmudgeon

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    Up until my Dakar purchase most of my adventure riding was done on Xr's with full on knobbies - sealed/unsealed and off roads. So the fact that I can get 4-5,000km out of a set of TKC80's seems fantastic to me.

    They grip well on the road - to the extent that my mate Headbutt in Wellington can scrape footpegs on the road whilst cornering hard on his DR650 (this is not a manoeuvre I have either attempted or recommend on a Dakar).

    I have run the Conti’s in gravel and they are great - no difference really from a knobbie (note I am using the US “knobbie” as opposed to the English “knobblie” in the interests of world peace and understanding). In off road situations a radical reduction in pressures is required, last ride in loamy long wet grass/ clay tracks saw 15psi front and 12psi rear working fine (I have rim locks fitted).
    Cheers
    Oscar

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  20. DakotaDakar

    DakotaDakar Soil Sampler

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    I've always wondered about that. Here in the colonies, there are knobs on our knobby tires. Does a Brit tire have knobles on it instead? And in England, is the front part of the hotel the lobblie? Do they collect coins for a hobblie?

    O! The slings and arrows of cross-cultural understanding!

    ;-)
    #20