VStrom 650 Puppy Dog Trail Tire Suggestions

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by dalv, Jan 11, 2020.

  1. dalv

    dalv Adventurer

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    Hey everyone,
    Lurking for a while and finally planning on the PDT or Hamster run this summer.
    My 2015 wee has the stock tires - Dunlops I think, that are road oriented.
    As the routes we are considering are mostly gravel I'm thinking of changing to something more aggressive for the loose conditions.
    Searched a bunch of threads and heard Mitas, Shinko are considered good but the posts are older so thought I would reach out for more recent posts, and/or ride reports on these or similar trips that you might have run.
    Any suggestions are appreciated as I tweak the wee for June ride.
    Ciao!
    #1
  2. GearHd6

    GearHd6 Been here awhile

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    I did the PDR with Shinko 705's and had zero problems. It's mostly just dirt roads. I think the Hampster is a little worse and might require something like the 804/805 tires.
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  3. dddd

    dddd Long timer

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    Take it from a guy who got interested in unpaved roads but progressed way too slowly because of lame tires:

    You can spend $$$$ on progressively more aggressive tires over 2-3 years and always feel worried (and sometimes fall) that you have too tame tires for the job.
    Or you can really go straight to 50/50 and have fun and confidence all that time, perhaps not using them for all they can offer but at least not worrying about it.

    Disqualified:
    Lame: heidenau k73. Knobs too small too shallow too close.
    Lame: shinko 705 (I say stinko 705!). Probably good life, I got rid of that gripless junk far earlier than EOL.
    Lame: heidenau k60. Another gripless junk. Looks aggressive but that center band is defeating the whole tire.

    Top:
    #4: Shinko 805. Nice roll grip, poor lateral grip.
    #3: bridgestone ax41: good grip, ordinary thread life.
    #2: michelin anakee wild: excellent grip all direction, slightly better thread life (10mm).
    #1: motoz tractionator adventure. excellent grip all direction, amazing thread like (15mm) (but those early tall knobs feel wobbly upon quick inputs at high speed; goes away with wear of course)

    Last tip: go as wide and low profile as you can. A 170/60 will last longer than a 150/70.
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  4. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    I quite liked K60's but I had years of dirt riding experience behind me. Compromise tire yes but good enough off road if you were prepared to air them down to 28PSI, would survive 28PSI on road. Which mattered for me because most of the riding I did was on networks of back roads - sections of dirt connected with seal.

    They also had decent life, which again mattered because my use was the occasional weekend with large gaps between. It was nice to still have a usable dirt tire by the next ride. (TKC 80's need not apply there)

    If it's just one big ride though, go the best dirt tire you can and suffer as necessary on the road sections - which mainly means slow down for the corners and be really careful in the wet. Looong ride to the dirt and it's a problem because you risk the problem I had, by the time you get to dirt the knobs have worn down - then a tire like the K60 wins once more.
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  5. dalv

    dalv Adventurer

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    Thanks guys for all the suggestions. Wrenching on the bike and will mull it over.
    #5
  6. Exurban

    Exurban Been here awhile

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    I’ve been eyeing the Hamster for summer. It’s supposed to be “big bike friendly” which will appeal to me. It sounds like washouts, flooding, etc in the northern sections require paying attention but still doable. I’ve also read PDR is more dirt and Hamster has a bit more pavement. And of course, I can always bail or detour a second or two before I get in over my head. I might go up one and down the other.

    If I were a short hop and a ferry from Vermont, I’d likely mount TKC80, Anakee Wild, Scorpion Rally, etc. I think most dirt oriented tires should last a 1,000-1,500 mile round trip. I was surprised how well TKC80s did on wet and dry pavement. They could very well be overkill but nice insurance. Depends how much you enjoy buying new tires.

    Since I need more mileage from tires, I’d go with my present set of Scorpion Rally STR. I’ve been satisfied on wet/dry pavement and find them confident on dirt/gravel roads. While I don’t expect any of the “adventure 50/50” tires will do well in deep mud or sand, I was surprised how well they did in occasional muddy rutted spots. I previously had TKC70s and felt the same but front cupping after a few thousand miles was very bothersome.
    #6
  7. dalv

    dalv Adventurer

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    Leaning toward the Shinko 705's. Chaparral Motorsports has a couple good video reviews on them and the 804/805. I'm looking for a little more aggressive tire than the stock for the gravel roads, don't see me getting into trails so I think they will work fine for my casual riding. Gotta be better than the stock Trailwings which are really a road tire. Will keep them as they are still in great shape, and can't beat the price of the 705's. Can always move up to the 804/805 or others ddd mentioned if I get into rougher terrain.
    Chaparral Motorsports really liked both.
    #7
  8. Tiz

    Tiz Been here awhile

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    I think I had conti trail attacks on my dl650 when I did it years ago. You could have run the PDR in a buick with bald tires. Would need something more dirt oriented only if the weather was wet.

    --Kevin
    #8
  9. GearHd6

    GearHd6 Been here awhile

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    I run a 705 on the rear and an 804 on the front. That seems to be the best of both worlds.
    #9