Tire options for Africa Twin

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by BRITTURB, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. twinrider

    twinrider pass the catnip

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    I would say if you're just cruising along dry well-groomed dirt/gravel roads, no. But if you're riding it aggressively like a dirt bike or encounter mud, yes.
    Junglejeff1 and Drum Dog like this.
  2. MillennialFalcon

    MillennialFalcon Improvement starts with self

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    Just look at the huge tread pattern difference between the 805 and 705...the 705 is practically the stock tire in overall design, what could you really expect from it offroad compared to anything with any sort of knobs? That being said I don't really ride when wet out and would love the 705 if I didn't ride aggressively offroad when it's dry. I have experience with them on another bike and loved them on the road and found them suitable offroad for putting around. Wore very well but had 1/3 of the AT engine going to the rear wheel so that makes a difference. The 805 is a knobby...sure not a "true knobby" but it does have knobs no doubt. To all the folks who say its bad in the soft stuff, I would posit they aren't actively taking into consideration that 500+ pounds of bike on any tire is going to make it feel sub-optimal offroad so it's all relative. I've been riding very aggressively offroad in dry conditions with STOCK front and 140/80 Heidenau K60 rear tire and having a BLAST spinning up the rear around corners no less. My current front tire "choice" a "95 % rider" thing :D The K60 is supposed to wear like iron, I'm going to be replacing it after 3000 miles...zero regrets. So just looking at it's replacement now and taking above riding conditions into consideration, I've narrowed my selection down to, in no particular order, Mefo Super Explorer, Pirelli MT90, Motoz GPS, Shinko 805, and Heidenau K60, all 150/70. I think 805 is probably too offroad bias for me but it's price point makes me give it a second look even when taking relatively short tread life into consideration. Will probably keep stock front tire until it wears down...it's not really holding me back from anything.
  3. Junglejeff1

    Junglejeff1 Long timer

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    I will stick with the 804 on front as I think I can get 6000 out of it (almost there).l agree with you that no tires will stop 500 + lbs of bike blowing thrue the sand.Works well everywhere else and I am happy with wear.
  4. Motociclo

    Motociclo Without motion, nothing.

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    I use E07's.
    First set got 15,000km out of them. The front was a little more worn than the rear, but easier to change both at same time.
    They don't like mud, but cover everything else quite well.
  5. Dorkmissle

    Dorkmissle Adventurer

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    I will say after about 1000 miles of having 705s on my bike that they are a significant improvement on road vs the factory tires, and work better than I thought in the off road I have done (small to medium sized gravel, some loose sand, and hard pack). Definitely not a 50/50 tire, but it sure feels better than the stock ones.

    My only complaint is that the front tire hums a little
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  6. MillennialFalcon

    MillennialFalcon Improvement starts with self

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    I put a Metzler Karoo 3 on the front of my AT, I love it for my 50/50 riding. I'm sure not as good as a true knobby for offroad but I'm used to making due with 95/5 on-offroad tires so huge improvement offroad coming from OEM tire. I feel like I gave up only 10% of road-worthiness as far as handling which is surprising given all the space between the knobs, the same paddle-like spacing that helps offroad. Yes they start howling around 35 MPH and sound like a wolfpack around 50 MPH but I don't mind, I'm always listening to tunes.

    About time to replace my rear tire...140/80 Heidenau K60 Scout, toasted in 3500 miles, could have gone less or more all about that throttle twistin' and maybe inflation/pressure.

    Found out Metzler makes the Karoo 3 in 150/70R18...so looking at 150/70s only, I'm stuck deciding between that tire, a Mefo Super Explorer (same tread as 140/80 K60 Scout, whereas 150/70 Scout has continuous band around entire diameter so not as good offroad), and a Mitas E07 non-Dakar...thoughts?

    At this point my main concern is field-serviceability, i.e. which of these tires is easiest to work with for a trail-side tube replace/repair? I know the E07 Dakar is a beast so that's why I'm looking at non-Dakar version.
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  7. Junglejeff1

    Junglejeff1 Long timer

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    I have the non Dakar e-07 on back and was not to bad to put on.I read that the Dakar had stiffer side walls for cactus hits or something but not to worried as mostly sand and roots up here.I was looking at the Karoo but they seem to only last 3000.My shinko on front is needing replacement now at about 6000.
  8. MillennialFalcon

    MillennialFalcon Improvement starts with self

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    Good to hear about the E07 non-Dakar, thank you.

    I care about price vs. mileage but it's all secondary to field-serviceability...absolutely must be able to do tube work in the field! So I'll take 3k miles all day long if I can repair flats as I go without hurting myself too bad.
  9. advdoctor

    advdoctor Adventurer

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    Just finished 2500 miles in Idaho on MotoZ tractionator adv and was very pleased with the rear. But, the front is another story. A very dramatic front wobble at 78 miles per hour. Very predictable and reproducible. Too severe IMO to try and power thru it, but tamed a little by really loading up over the tank. Tried preload, dampening, rebound and moving the forks up, but to no avail. This is with a 170 pound rider and 40-50 pounds of luggage. Good wear from both tires. Disappointed as it really performed well in the gravel and dirt.

    Just my experience, YMMV.
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  10. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    Been swapping around tires a bit this past month.

    The Motoz Adventures, I pulled them after 6500 kms. This was a Mark 1 front, and although it worked okay for me, the wear was excessive (it got swapped out at the 4500 km point), and really weird. Really spooky feeling, not planted.

    The rear Motoz, I had installed a 140, couldn't get a 150. It worked excellent, for my uses, I think it's a 10k tire. And it's WIDE. Like almost an inch wider than the Shinko 805 in a 150 that replaced it. Would buy this rear tire again.

    The front got swapped for a TKC80. I loved this tire in a 19" on my GSA, hated it in a 21" on my 640. Yup, still hate it in a 21. Kept feeling like it wanted to tuck, on and off road. Ran it between 24 and 36 psi, trying to get it to plant, it just wouldn't.

    Spooned on Shinko 804/805's in stock sizes. Like I mentioned, compared to the Motoz, it's small.

    I like the front so far. Hooking up well, gonna start messing with the pressures and see how it reacts. Got a nice feel to it, and I dunno about the rest of you, but if I don't get a warm fuzzy from how the front feels, I just can't get comfortable.

    The rear feels kinda sketchy (don't you just love this scientific wording). On slower corners on pavement, I think that it's spinning up because of the large continuous tread gap at a good lean. Was on a dusty dirt road, then onto some twisty paved. I could see the inner edge of the outer blocks were cleaned off down about 4mm, maybe more. Seemed excessive given that I didn't think I was running all that quickly. I dunno about this tire.

    That's all I have for now, I'll follow up down the road when I get more miles.
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  11. CrStep

    CrStep Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the report, it's really helpful.
  12. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    Rain front coming through, gonna give it a little bit, then it's rain test time. :ricky

    Dirt roads around here are like wet beach during a rain, best riding going. :D
  13. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    Stuck to the paved stuff in the wet.

    The front is decent. Stable, nice feedback, was running soft though, at 27 psi. Not what I'd run when traveling.

    The rear. It's hooking up okay, but seems to be slipping easier than the E07. It was also soft, at 29 psi. To look at, it lacks offset tread blocks laterally. I've read a few complaints about this, and of somebody cutting sipes in the blocks to improve this. A regroover, I do have. Gonna wait and see for a bit on that, though.
  14. Brokebrute

    Brokebrute Been here awhile

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    That's interesting I have found the 805 to hookup better than the E07 on my Tiger 800. I haven't ridden the 805 in the wet yet. But the E07 spun pretty easy in the dry and even easier in the wet. I am much more confident in the Shinkos than the Tkc80 front and E07 rear I was running.
  15. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    What pressures on that rear e07? Just day riding paved on my GSA, I was 35 cold, 39 loaded and touring.

    Your 800 is lighter, I'd expect to be a couple psi less for how it was working for me.

    :ear
  16. Brokebrute

    Brokebrute Been here awhile

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    I ran 35 psi for the 1st 4-6 thousand miles then 40 psi until 12,000 miles. Could have put a couple thousand more miles on it but it was pretty squirrelly on the gravel after 10,000 miles.
  17. Drif10

    Drif10 Accredited Jackass

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    Got 1k on these tires now. Been running 29/31 psi.

    Been surprised at the rear tire on pavement. At full lean there's a large gap between the blocks, I expected it to squirm around more, but it's been pretty solid.

    The front has felt the best to me, compared to the other tires I've run on this bike. Works very well on trail braking, which is where I find most tires will show their weakness. Gonna see how it gets with wear and as it get colder here, but it's really promising.

    When you factor in this price point, if the life is decent, I think I have a winner here.

    More to follow.
  18. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

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    Update: I have 5500 miles on my Mefo Super Explorer rear and Mefo Explorer front. All pavement and not ridden hard. But generally cruising around 75-85mph running 38lbs pressure front and rear. I figure there is 2000 miles left but maybe more. My main complaint is the noise they make and the slight vibration when braking to a stop. I'm not sure what tire I'll try next. I want something decent for dry dirt (60/40?) but I also want the tires quiet. I was hoping the new Pirelli Scorpion STR but they don't seem to be available yet for the AT sizes.
  19. MillennialFalcon

    MillennialFalcon Improvement starts with self

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    You bought a 50/50 tire with legit knobs...for 5500 miles of pavement...and you don't like the noise or vibration? :eek7
    monkey1 likes this.
  20. mcmann

    mcmann Motorcycle ADV enthusiast

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    I have always liked the 21" TKC80 on Adventure bikes and my 950SE.
    It feeks fine on my AT. I went with the TL version in case I decide to seal the rim. Maybe it has a stiffer sidewall on a TL and improves handling in the corners over a tube type tire? I run the same speed in the curves as with the OEM front (30 psi).

    I usually run a MT90A on the back . . .

    IMG_8743.JPG