I know why they call them Deathwings now

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by parannoyed, Mar 30, 2019.

  1. parannoyed

    parannoyed When in doubt, mumble.

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    I bought a very underused 08 dr650 in Jan. Been working on making it my own. Still had factory tires, the infamous Deathwings.

    Today was a nice day to get out here on PA so I decided to take a quick trip with my son around town and then a ride around the hill on some dirt roads.

    It's been wet here...real wet. First patch of mud I came to was a colon clencher. Got a little squirrely, but was able to get through it and figured the rutted up no maintenance road was more the issue. Came down a township road next and hit a patch of that greasy mud, no getting around it so I went through it. I was not prepared for how bad those tires handle and came real close to putting her down. Rear was sliding a bit but the front didn't wanna hold any kind of line, at all.

    Got a foot down and was able to keep her up but came down on it hard enough it jarred me good. Those tires def deserve the name, I have never had anything feel like that before, would've thought it was ice it was so slick.

    Next purchase will be some d606's, and in short order.
    #1
  2. david61

    david61 Queue, a word with 4 silent letters....

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    So.….11 year old, el-cheapo all purpose tyre [ about 80/20 road bias ], you ran through greasy mud, and it wanted to fall over.

    I'm wondering why you should be so surprised.
    #2
  3. airhead_irl

    airhead_irl Airhead addict

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    Any bike with 11 year old, under used tyres will probably feel like crap. No matter what brand.
    I fitted new Trail Wings to a Guzzi NTX650 a while back and they were fine. No issues.
    #3
  4. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

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    I ran them on a KLR for some time. No problem. I switched to Shinko 705's later cause I think they were cheaper still, and I have stayed with them now on my Versys for several sets as they are predictable for me.
    #4
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  5. Bar None

    Bar None Long timer Supporter

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    There are no magic tires in greasy mud.
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  6. parannoyed

    parannoyed When in doubt, mumble.

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    Age aside, they were barely worn and no weather checking. Looked to be decent to use. They felt good on everything else I was on, even the gravel felt pretty good, and I was moving at a fair clip on that stuff, slowed down for the muddy sections. I expected a bit of sloppy handling but I've never felt a tire give out like that.

    I had some really decent Metzler tires on a strom that I remember being quite similar tread wise, never had an issue, kind of expected similar manners from these.
    #6
  7. parannoyed

    parannoyed When in doubt, mumble.

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    Just enough to bite a little is all I need.
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  8. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    Doesn't matter what they look like, if they're 11 years old they're vulcanized and basically have little to no grip.
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  9. parannoyed

    parannoyed When in doubt, mumble.

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    I was unaware of this. I appreciate that. I ASSumed it was more based on tread depth, size air pressure and general tire condition. I guess I now have to go read up on vulcanization. Seriously, thanks for that heads up.
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  10. inbred

    inbred Sweeter than Yoo-hoo

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    I had a new DRZ 400S back in the day. It came with deathwings. The old lady was saving for a pasta making machine and wouldn't let me invest in new tires until I wore out the old ones. Back then she had control on me cause her BOD was tight. So I rode that rubber into the ground. Threw everything I could at 'em with my 80/20 dirt bias. 6000 miles later the old hag finally took a look at 'em and authorized some 606's. I learned a lot through the experience. First off is that if you ain't got an option, ya learn to love whatever tires ya got. Second is that in anything soft, wet or slippery speed is key. Real speed. The faster you go the more them things suck on the ground. Third, when you finally lace up real knobbies, you're Jeremy Fucking McGrath.
    #10
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  11. Awful Knawful

    Awful Knawful Motorcycle Hoarder

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    "Deathwings" are fairly decent on the street but god awful on anything non paved. All it took was one ride off pavement and they were taken off and given away. If it was a in town commuter bike I'd say run them till there junk, but if you want any off road riding spring for something better.
    Running tires that old is false economy. If looking for a good economical tire for muddy conditions throw on a Trackmaster. I have found them to work pretty good for being on the low end of the price scale.
    #11
  12. david61

    david61 Queue, a word with 4 silent letters....

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    The other thing that shits me about the "Deathwing" moniker, is that Bridgestone must make about 20 different types of TW [ Trailwing ] tyres, in every style you want, from 90/10 road orientated to the 10/90, completely the other way. There fitted by various manufacturers from factory, on some upscale machinery too.
    The tyre range is enormous actually.

    I've had several sets of TW302's, no complaints at all. Plenty of the motocross range as well.

    But all anybody refers to is some basic, road orientated version fitted to the cheapest bikes out there, and then complain about "performance". Sheeesh….
    #12
  13. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    Since the trailwing is the only tire that fits my old XL500, I don’t have any choice. But I can’t say I’ve found it to be a horrible tire.
    #13
  14. CaptCapsize

    CaptCapsize Long timer

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    I like the false economy comment! Any set of tires is much less expensive that a visit to Urgent Care or the ER.
    #14
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  15. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    My 2015 XT250 came with Trail Wings. Low sided 3 times in one day on a dirt road when they just let go without warning. The problem is the compound is really hard. They last and last, but the grip is crap any time the surface gets a little greasy. D605s have a similar looking tread but a softer compound and grip much better.
    #15
  16. Schmokel

    Schmokel Key to Happiness: Low Expectations

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    I think a lot of it is the reputation behind them. When I had them on my stock DR, I knew they had a reputation for being terrible on the trails. So before I even hit the woods, I was already less confident with them on there. Once I replaced them, I was far more confident on the trails. Might be sort of like a placebo effect.
    #16
  17. phreakingeek

    phreakingeek adventurer Super Supporter

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    Some guys saying the age is an issue, but when I bought my 2nd DR off the showroom floor and took it on it's first ride up in the mountains after the break-in...it was like i was ride over banana peels. That as a long day of trail riding for sure. Felt like I spent the day rowing in a Roman Trireme...arms and back were completely shot to hell from the bike having a mind of it's own. Put on my regular K270's and it tracks straight and true through all the gnarly stuff.
    #17
  18. twinrider

    twinrider Pass the catnip

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    I didn't buy into the Deathwing legend myself, till I experienced the low sides firsthand.
    #18
  19. CopaMundial

    CopaMundial Wow, that broke easy

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    Face Plant?
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  20. ONE2NINE

    ONE2NINE Been here awhile

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    I have the stock Trail wings on my XT250. Not great in dirt or mud but aired down I have not found them to be "Deathwings" like all the claims I have read. Not sure on the exact model, I will have to look after work.
    #20