do knobbies make a big difference?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by thwack, Mar 7, 2002.

  1. thwack

    thwack Long timer

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    OK, when taking an R1150GS offroad where there's likely to be mud, does it really help to have knobbies or is there little hope for traction on such a big bike when the dirt turns to mud?

    I know some GS owners have a spare set of rims with knobbies mounted but I figure by the time I paid for two new wheels, new tires, and a trailer to tow the knobbie'd bike arounde, I could just buy a 400cc dual sport (which would be about 250 lbs lighter). :smile6

    Anybody here try both knobbies and Tourances on an R-GS and care to enlighten the less educated (like me)?

    Thanks,
    Thwack
    #1
  2. SKINNY

    SKINNY Been here awhile Supporter

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    You're not going anywhere in the mud with the stock tires. If you're going off-road and it's wet, you'll need knobbies.

    skinny
    #2
  3. Rad

    Rad Done riding

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    Hi Thwack
    I have TKC 80’s on a spare set of wheels. My off road experience is limited but I can say there is no comparison between the Tourances or T66’s and the knobbies. The knobbies are very confidence inspiring. That being said I think it is like most bike skills, a skilled rider on Tourances off road could smoke me with my knobbies on.

    Street or knobbies the key is low enough tire pressure.

    I thought about the second small dirt bike like you mention instead of getting the spare wheels but decided against it. I really wanted to ride to the off road stuff on my bike not truck it there. For knobbies the TKC 80’s are amazing on the street.

    When on my 1150 GS in the soft stuff my mantra is…500lbs, 500lbs,500lbs!
    #3
  4. thwack

    thwack Long timer

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    I did go somewhere in the mud w/ stock tires....right down on my butt! :rofl


    Thanks. Guess I better get my taxes done...wife says refund can't be used to buy a bike, but she didn't say it couldn't be used to buy stuff for a bike I already have... :evil

    Thwack
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  5. thwack

    thwack Long timer

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  6. thwack

    thwack Long timer

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    No doubt skill helps things considerably, but while I'm still trying to build that, I'd like to have my equipment helping, not hindering, my progress. :):

    I remembered to lower the tire pressure...it helped a lot. Having a compressor near by at the end of the ride also helped (vs. using a pile of CO2 cartridges).


    I thought the highway would eat knobbies pretty fast. Round trip to Hollister for me is a bit over a hundred miles.

    How's the ride quality? Riding knobbies on the street on my mountain bike really sucked though it doesn't have 500 lbs of mass helping dampen tire vibration so maybe it's not so bad on the GS?

    Do knobbies on the highway noticably lower gas mileage?

    What's a set of new wheels and knobbies go for these days?

    Thanks for the info,
    Thwack
    #6
  7. Rad

    Rad Done riding

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    As it has been reported by a couple of others the TKC 80's are surprisingly good riding and good handling. You won’t stay with the sport bikes in the twisties but you also won’t be embarrassed. Ride quality is good. You forget they are there. Gas mileage does drop some. I expect to only get about 2,000 to 3,000 miles from my set.

    Cost of wheels? Buy used, I did. I paid $600 total for both complete wheels with all three rotors and both ABS rings. If they have minor flat spots it does not really matter with the knobbies, you won’t even notice the flat spots. Tires are about $100 each depending on where you get them.

    The next time I have mine on you can come over and take it for a spin on the street. I am just over the hill in Santa Cruz.
    #7
  8. thwack

    thwack Long timer

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    Rad,

    Thanks for the info. I was expecting the tires and rims to cost much more. Maybe it's because the last tires I had to buy were for my truck (big tires...big price).

    2K-3K miles for a set is probably tolerable since I won't be offroad very often...but when I am, I want some traction in the mud! :):

    Give me a shout next time you dress your GS up with the knobbies...I'd love to check it out.

    I read the articles Razorback posted...the Big Dogs trip made it sound like swapping the wheels is no big deal (just gotta remember to torque down the bolts holding the brakes on....ooops).

    I'm not looking to do the Big Dog ride...just want to have a fighting chance in the mud next time.

    Thanks,
    Thwack
    #8