Vee Rubber VRM-163 Dual Sport Tire

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by gronk, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. gronk

    gronk HIGH ANGLE RIGGER

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    Hi I was wondering if any of you have ridden on The Vee Rubber VRM-163 Dual Sport Tire. Are they any good what sort of miles can you get,how do they handle on and off road?
    #1
  2. Flashback

    Flashback Mommys Lil Monster

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    I just ordered one. Will post up impressions once it gets here.
    #2
  3. Flashback

    Flashback Mommys Lil Monster

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    Just arrived 140/80-17.

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    #3
  4. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    watching this thread with hopes of a decent tire life.
    #4
  5. Flashback

    Flashback Mommys Lil Monster

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    I'm not as hard on tires as some but I definitely don't use a gentle throttle. K60 Scouts only lasted between 6 and 8K miles the way I ride and I burnt through a big block on par with other riders. I'll put the VRM-163 through its paces and post up a fair assessment of tire performance on the street and in the dirt as well.

    :D
    #5
  6. Flashback

    Flashback Mommys Lil Monster

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    Tires on. Here is what it looks like after a quick spin around the neighborhood. Center lugs have between 8 and 9 mm of tread. Not huge amounts by any means but they look like they will do the job. Start the count @ 23725 on the ODO.

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    #6
  7. Flashback

    Flashback Mommys Lil Monster

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    Did about 100 miles in temps that were hovering just above and just below the freezing mark in the curviest part of our mostly flatland riding environment. Approximately 90% of that was tarmac. The other 10% was dirt road. Other than the small bit in my field there was not single track on this ride.

    Definitely feels like a small round tire :D vs a squared off K60 or Big Block My gas mileage immediately went up about 5 mpg over both the big block and K60 Scout....ahh the newness of new tires.

    On the road the tire performed like a street tire, stable both straight up (no hands standing on the pegs) and cornering on the rails. No slippage noticed. Grip was confidence inspiring. When I felt them they had just the right amount of warmth emanating from them on the cold night. Tried to slide them on the painted lines -> no slippage.

    In the dirt they felt like a new TKC or Heidi (before the Heidi wears into the stability strip and stops responding in off road terrain). Grip was hands down better in the leaves on my little single track route than my used Heidi provided. On dirt roads they provided enough grip to easily do dirt wheelies and actually threw some rooster tails when I got over into the soft stuff.

    In case anyone is interested here is what the dirt roads from tonight's ride typically looked like:
    [​IMG]

    Still need to take the tire into mud and snow but first impressions are positive. It was nice to flick the throttle in the dirt and actually move forward vs. spin tires.

    It will be interesting to see how they perform as they wear. The K60 Scout started off strong too, until I wore it down a little (like 400 miles)....then it became a piece of under-performing sheitte on both street and dirt.
    #7
  8. loph917

    loph917 Beard Bros Racing

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    :lurk

    always looking for alternatives on the f8. the big block is my 'goto' tire now having gone through a k60, mitas e09, and tkc.
    #8
  9. Flashback

    Flashback Mommys Lil Monster

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    Took the bike out for a proper ride today. Impressions...

    The 163 is a competent street tire. It is also a competent dry dirt tire. It is not a knob and though it shed the mud fairly well I could tell that it wasn't a BB or TKC as it didn't perform like they do in the wet stuff. Thus far the tire feels like the tire that should have come mounted on the bike from the factory. As of right now it's getting good ratings from me as a dirt competent street tire...far more competent in the dirt than an Anakee or Tourance but not as competent as a more dirt oriented DS tire and street manners equivalent to the Tourance.

    Dirt touring tire -> yes.
    Off road tire -> not sure yet.

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    #9
  10. Flashback

    Flashback Mommys Lil Monster

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    So I took the bags off the bike, put on all the gear, and had a chance thrash the tire on some single track and fast rutted dirt roads today. No problems throttling the hell out of it.

    Impressions:

    It's not a "dirt" tire. It's more of a street tire with good dirt manners. I'd place it next to the Shinko 705 but much better off road than the Anakee or Tourance. Good on road too, tracks nicely on the rails under power. Pulled a few peg scrapers and wheelies off stop lights on it getting to my dirt ride today.

    How did it compare to more beefy tires in the dirt today?
    - It's not really a knob BUT it tends to hook up like one in the dirt until it breaks loose...which it does reliably.
    - When throttled up and starting to spin it doesn't really drift or do the "drift then catch" that the K60 Scout does.
    - When it let's go it seems to do so in more or less a straight line instead of sending the rear out in one direction or another.

    I'm pretty happy with it right now. I wouldn't take it on a hardcore mud or dirt ride but it's a really fun tire to ride on because it seems to have good manners both on and off-road under power in normal power-on riding conditions.
    #10
  11. Flashback

    Flashback Mommys Lil Monster

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    Took the 163 out to my favorite mud hole today. It's pretty much bottomless when you dig in and very clayee.

    The 163 did great in the water hole portions of the ride but in the slippery ice-like mud (gooey stick stuff) it didn't clear quick enough to maintain traction. As compared to the K60 Scout in the same section, the Scout cleared better (due to more spacing between lugs) but provided worse traction when not bound up with mud.

    To be fair though, the only tire that's ever gotten me through that stretch with confidence is the D606. Even the Big Block and TKC got bound up with mud in that section.

    I'd actually say that the 163 is a superior dry dirt tire to the K60 Scout. It hooks up in the pack dirt way better than the Scout and provides a much more reliable and fun experience in all dry dirt conditions. However the Scout takes the 163 in the sticky mud...and that isn't saying too much because the Scout wasn't much of a mud tire either but it is better in the sticky goo than the 163.

    On the street the 163 kicks the Scouts tail, hands down, no questions.

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    #11
  12. Flashback

    Flashback Mommys Lil Monster

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    Quick synopsis:

    Good in dry dirt. Not so good in wet dirt (but better than the Heidi K60 Scout in all conditions).

    Minimal wear to this point. Great on street. Hook up like a TKC dry. Don't shed quick enough in the mud but not horrible in mud either.

    I'm really liking this tire as a commuter. It out competes the Shinko 700 front I've got on right now and I'm going to have to upgrade my front to a true knob to find out where the Vee 163 dirt limits actually lie.

    However I caution that it is NOT a knob. Think of it as the little brother to the TKC that is street biased but will handle some grueling dirt conditions.

    I'm in love with the tire right now. I wonder how it will feel in another 2,000 miles?
    #12
  13. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    Thanks for the update!
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  14. Flashback

    Flashback Mommys Lil Monster

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    Finally found something negative to say about this tire.

    First the positives, ~3,000 miles, very little wear, some flattening of the center but mostly still round. Still continuing to be one of the funnest tires I've ever ridden on. At this point I'm about ready to order one for the 650 single for when the Shinko finally wears out.

    Now the negative, finally felt some rear wheel slippage. 42 degrees. Been raining for the better part of 24 hours. Tire was cold. Street was cold. Air was cold. Everything was soaking wet and the rain was coming down in buckets. I was maybe 500 feet into my ride after leaving the bike parked out in the rain for 6 hours and hit the gas expecting the front to lighten but instead the rear spun a bit. BUT...the tire was cold...and I didn't have any more issues with slippage on the ride after that.

    And on a brighter note, took it out for some soft stuff fun on the way home, not pure mud riding (as in burying it in a mud hole), but the kind of wet single track riding that gets mud on your visor and your makes you admire the dirt caked to your bike when you are done, in the same wet 42 degree weather today. Tire performed well enough to inspire good confidence with the entire complement of hard bags on the bike and some weight in them.

    Seriously happy with this tire. It's got just enough grip in the soft stuff but at the same time performs like a street tire on the tarmac. Hard compound is long lasting (so far). And other than the serious mud that's buried every tire I've tried including the TKC, this tire has handled it all and for the most part beat every expectation I had for it. It's hands down beat every other street oriented "dual sport" tire I've tried in the hard pack except the TKC. Obviously it's not a knob...doesn't compare to a D606, E09, or similar off-road biased tire in the dirt.

    3,000 miles and :thumb thus far with 75% or more of the tread left...short of it self combusting I can say with confidence at this point that I'd definitely mount another one up. It's been (and continues to be) an absolute joy to ride on.
    #14
  15. ZachZ

    ZachZ Adventurer

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    Thanks for all of the updates. I like what I see with the tire's capability. Have you changed your front tire yet? What would you recommend for the front as a good complement to the 163? Also, do you ever lower the pressure when riding off road?
    #15
  16. Flashback

    Flashback Mommys Lil Monster

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    Fronts? - for me the answer to that question is entirely based on how one rides and what one expects a bike to do as it is the front that keeps the bike upright and tracking correctly. Dirt front for dirt riders. Street front for street riders. I'm confident that the 163 rear will perform nicely with either kind of front on the bike.

    I've not completely wasted the Shinko 700 front that's on the bike now. The 700 has not been my favorite front and has failed to impress me with its capabilities in either venue as a street tire or a dirt tire. I'm going to go back to something with more knob on the front as soon as I figure out what I want to mount next.

    Current mileage on the 163 is somewhere in the 4K range and it is still making me smile. It is holding up very well and continues to perform magnificently under the conditions that I'm riding it. Only some slight flattening of the center which doesn't seem to affect cornering at all. BUT I must caveat that I've been riding it like I would a 70/30. This is not a 50/50 but it does throw some nice rooster tails in the sand and digs in very well in the soft stuff that I've thrown at it. I wouldn't try to treat this tire like a 50/50 even though it outperforms my Shinko 700 front in the dirt (and is imho more dirt worthy than the Heidi K60 Scout)...which is one of the reasons I'm going back to a real knob front.

    Here's a pic from this weekend and a single track ride out in the sandhills -> 90 mph superslab, some nice fast leaned over backroads, and a bit of single track thrown in for fun.

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    (you can see from the picture that the tire is still nice and round with 4,000-ish miles on it)

    I've ridden it every day of the year so far, in all conditions that the winter has thrown at us including torrential downpours and freezing rain with road slippage only noticed a couple times when the tire was stone cold after being parked out in the cold weather all day. It's a pretty hard compound (and the F8 can easily throw torque to the rear tire) so the slippage was not surprising. No snow unfortunately (mother nature just won't give us any this year) but it was 22 degrees this morning and the tire was confidence inspiring on the cold roads.

    I have not had to air the tire down at all for any of the riding I've done on it. However if I were to take it into more extreme off-road conditions I would air it down to a reasonable off-road pressure like 25 lbs.

    I don't really know what else to say about the tire except that it feels like the tire that should have come stock on the F8 when I drove it out of the dealers parking lot. I am really happy with the 163 for my riding needs. It's been a lot of fun to ride on so far....great confidence inspiring commuting and distance riding tire that is not afraid to hit the dirt on occasion.

    Would I chose to take it into the swamp on a heavy mud ride with water up to the seat? - probably not if I could avoid it. Could it get you through that mud ride if you didn't have a real knob on the rear? - probably! Would I take it onto dry single track and non-graded sand/dirt? Absolutely! (photographic proof above) It's a really fun tire in dry dirt conditions and not that bad in soft wet muddy dirt either - for a tire that bills itself as an 80/20.

    Edit -> I did come up against the limitations of the 163 in the mountains about a week ago. I had gotten myself down in a ditch and was so far buried in leaves that I was using my feet extended against the walls of the ditch at seat level to balance the bike. Must have been 8 or 10 inches of wet leaves in the bottom of this ditch and the tire just couldn't bite through them to ride up a side wall. I ended up pushing the bike out but the rear did get me out of it. If I was on a tire like the Anakee or Tourance or even the Heidi K60 Scout with it's slick center stability strip I'd still be stuck in that ditch spinning my wheels.
    #16
  17. Flashback

    Flashback Mommys Lil Monster

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    Going on 5,000 miles on the VRM 163. Looking and feeling great.

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    #17
  18. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    whats the cheapest price and vendor that you have found?

    Im getting $90 shipped to me for the 163 in a 140/80/17 size

    I am about a week away from ordering one.
    #18
  19. greer

    greer Long timer Supporter

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    #19
  20. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    My bike is supposed to run a 150 rear, Id run a 140, but not sure a 130 would work out though.

    that would make a great dual sport/commuter tire for a smaller bike though
    #20