Tire Advice?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Mtl_Biker, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

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    Please forgive what might be dumb questions from a newbie to off-roading...

    I have a perfect pure road machine (K1300GT) but I've just ordered a 2013 F800GS as a second bike. I recently sold my Tiger 800 (road) and the GS is going to replace that.

    I really want to get into at least some gentle off-road riding, but the main use of the GS is going to be to commute to/from work daily, rain or shine, on paved roads. On my Tiger 800 I started with Scorpion Trail tires but switched after the first set to Anakee 2's. I found them adequate for the use I gave them, but I doubt they are a good choice for any real off road riding. Yet I don't want to give up safety, particularly in the rain, on the highways.

    The bike I saw in the dealer's showroom had Scorpion Trails on it, and the salesman asked me what I wanted for tires and I really didn't know what to tell him. If I go with knobbies I fear they would not be as safe on wet pavement as the Scorpion Trails or Anakee 2's, and those are also a far cry from the PR3's I've got on my K1300GT (fabulous in the wet!).

    Am I wrong in thinking that knobbies wouldn't give me the traction (cornering, braking) in the wet that something like the Scorpion Trails or Anakee 2's would?

    If I get serious about off-roading I see the possibility of getting a second set of wheels with tires best suited for that. So if needed, I could change back and forth.

    I just don't know what to do about tires. Maybe best option is to let them put whatever they want on the bike for the first set and then see?

    What advice can you give me?
    #1
  2. OrcasKen

    OrcasKen Beastly Adventurer

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    First, click the search button. Really. There's tons to read on here on this exact topic.

    Second, it all depends. Traction in the wet and cornering are dependent on contact patch, rubber compound (hard versus soft), sidewall stiffness and a ton of other variables. Yes, knobbies have less contact patch, but many are also softer (stickier) and thus they wear faster. I can't do corners like a street bike with knobbies, but I still have a ton of fun in corners.

    TKC-80s are a solid choice for knobbies that do well on the street. K-60s are a longer wearing tire that many use offroad and provide a tread pattern that puts more rubber on the road. IMHO, the TKC is a good 70/30 tire (trail/street) and the K60 a 50/50 tire. You can go more knobby or more street, but these are two good solid choices that should work well for you in commuting and on the trail.
    #2
  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks House Ape

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    Well, you'll probably get some people chiming in with their opinions about tires and on your farkle thread. But if you're really interested in getting answers to your questions, you may want to start by reading the relevant threads in the sticky at the top of the main page titled: "BMW F650GS, F700GS & F800GS “Twins” Thread Index & Links."

    There's a wealth of wisdom there, all neatly arranged by topic, and I bet you'll find 99% of your questions answered there.

    But my short answer to your question: Anakees or Tourances. Very good on-road, more than adequate for light off-loading.
    #3
  4. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

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    Thanks very much, Ken!

    If the K60 is a 50/50 tire, what would the Anakee 2 (or Pirelli Scorpion Trail) be? I think one of those is what's coming with the new bike unless I make another arrangement.
    #4
  5. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

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    Thanks David... I'll check out the stickies.

    I guess the Anakees would be fine for the majority of my use, offering the best compromise. I wouldn't want to have only knobbies and then have to ride on the highway in the rain. I've had bikes with tires so bad in wet conditions that I've been scared stiff and ended up riding like a little old lady probably more unsafe than if I'd been confident and riding more briskly. Now I have no fear of the rain when I have proper tires on the bike.

    Do many GS owners keep two sets of wheels with different tires on each? If my budget could stand it, that looks like the best option to me. Something like the Anakee 2's for 85% of my riding and a real knobbie for the fun weekends in the woods.

    Cheers!
    #5
  6. Endurodude

    Endurodude Been here awhile

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    I use the Pirellis on my 800, and I'd have to say 95% on road / 5% off. I wouldn't ride off road with them, really, at all. I'm off to Morocco next summer, and it's the K60's for me (possibly with the TCK front).

    I think, like the others have said, the search button is the way to go . . . . . . no substitute for a good root, if you pardon the expression. :evil
    #6
  7. picard

    picard engage!

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    I had that setup for a while after having wheels built by Woody for O/R riding. I ended up selling my stock wheels - I just found it too much trouble to have to change over the wheels and decide what type of riding I would do.
    I run TKCs now - they don't last too long but they work amazingly well on the tarmac and are excellent O/R.

    However, I don't use my 800 for commuting.

    The other posters are right - it's a very personal thing really - everyone is different.
    #7
  8. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

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    The problem I'm finding is that the K60's aren't available in the right size in a TUBE version. The stock spoke wheels on the F800GS are tube type. And the TCK-80's are available only in the front size as tube type, not in the rear.

    Some R1200GS owners I've spoken to are very surprised that these wheels are tube type. On those bikes the spoke wheels are tubeless.
    #8
  9. picard

    picard engage!

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    No worries about tubless designation.
    There are very few tube type tires for the GS - but any tubeless tire can be used with a tube. The OEM tires on your GS will be tubeless type tires, but with tubes in them.
    #9
  10. OrcasKen

    OrcasKen Beastly Adventurer

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    My bike came with the Anakee II and I put maybe 500 miles of mixed street and gravel roads on them. They were fine for both, but I find the TKCs more confidence inspiring. To answer your question, my impression was that they are a 90/10 street/dirt tire. There are lots of opinions on the Anakees up here though, so encourage you to search/read. If you are primarily doing street riding and occassionally will be heading out for forest service roads, they should be just fine for you. When you get the itch to do more aggressive riding, learn how to change your tires yourself and spoon on some TKCs. With the experience of the Anakees under your belt, you'll quickly see the difference. And since the rear will only last 2-4k miles (depending on how you ride and how much of it is on pavement), you'll get the chance to spoon on something new soon enough.

    All the best,
    Ken
    #10
  11. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

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    Thanks very much, Picard. I didn't know that you could use tubeless tires with a tube. That opens up a whole lot more possibilities for tires. Good stuff!
    #11
  12. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

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    Thank you, Ken!

    When you say the TKCs are more confidence inspiring, just to be clear, you're talking about off-road stuff, right? With my Tiger 800 (road) I started with Scorpion Trails and when I wore those out, got Anakee 2's. I liked them fine, but the most extreme off-pavement use I subjected them to was the occasional gravel or smooth dirt road. I'm looking forward to getting a lot more off-road experience with the new bike. So I'll probably be fine with the original tires whatever they turn out to be, and then maybe I'll get another set of wheels and put something like TKCs on them for weekend playtime.

    Cheers!
    #12
  13. Kiwi Tinkerer

    Kiwi Tinkerer Ross

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    Hi there, I have had my f800 about a month now.
    It came with Metzeler Tourance on front and Tourance EXP on rear.

    All choices are a compromise. I wanted good gravel, good wet, good twisty tar seal.
    Something a bit more ROAD than TKC 80. I need to be able to tour in wet and ice at reasonable speed.
    Pirelli scorpion MT90 is perfect. But they do not make a 150/70-17 so Shinko was next best choice.


    I have a favorite gravel road about 50km from here.

    First ride: Tourance Front and back.
    - Awful in the Gravel. Both ends very loose. Could put no power down.

    Second ride: Pirelli Scorpion MT90 A/T Front , Tourance on rear.
    - Much better. Front is controllable. Rear still goes instantly sideways at any hint of power. Even when in a strait line.

    Third ride: Pirelli Scorpion MT90 A/T Front , Shinko 705 on rear.
    - Fantastic. Good control both ends. Rear wheel spin is controlled. And does not instantly go sideways.


    Fantastic.
    #13
  14. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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  15. Helowarrior

    Helowarrior n00b

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    Myself and two buddies installed K60 Scouts on our bikes before we went on our 3500 km trip around the Trans Labrador Highway loop ride last week. The tires worked amazingly well in all road conditions which included dry pavement, wet pavement, dry gravel, and slick mud roads. I can't stress enough how awesome the tires worked!!
    #15
  16. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    To the Anee and Tour I'd add the TR91 from Dunlop. Best tires i've ever owned.
    #16
  17. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I'd go with the Pirelli Scorpion Trails for street (and occasional mild off road), and TKC-80 for any serious off road.

    I take my Aprilia off road a bit, and have been happy with the Pirelli's.
    #17