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Rear Tire - XCMH vs Trakmaster II?

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I've done a load of searching for tires.  I'm looking for good 80/20 (dirt/street) tires. I have consistently seen that folks love the Pirelli XCMH up front so that is what i'm going with for the front tire.  I'm looking for thoughts on the rear though - for those who have run the Pirelli XCMH and/or the Kenda K760 Trakmaster II in the rear...I'd love to hear your thoughts on both dirt and street manners for each??  Hopefully someone has run BOTH of them and can compare? 

Edited by DiscoJV

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Favorite combo

Front Pirelli MT18 80/100-21 (now XCMH)

Rear. Kenda Trackmaster 2 760. 120/100-18

Great on hard pack.

Good on street, but the street will eat up tires. I like knobbies on the street as I have to go slower. Knobbies on wet street can put you on your head faster than you can say oh snap. Be careful braking especially the front brake.

Kenda tires use to be really cheap compared to other brands. The price was closer last time I looked.

The Pirelli MT21 is better offroad than the stock Dunlops. I believe it is the rubber that is used.

If you like tires that hook up on rocks and hard pack, a trials tire works. The MT43 is DOT legal and wears well. It's all about the sticky rubber. The Dunlop 803 is a better trials tire I am told, but wears faster and is not DOT. if you like to spin the rear wheel, a trials tire is the wrong tire for you. Get a dual sport knobbie.

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Favorite combo

Front Pirelli MT18 80/100-21 (now XCMH)

Rear. Kenda Trackmaster 2 760. 120/100-18

Great on hard pack.

Good on street, but the street will eat up tires. I like knobbies on the street as I have to go slower. Knobbies on wet street can put you on your head faster than you can say oh snap. Be careful braking especially the front brake.

Kenda tires use to be really cheap compared to other brands. The price was closer last time I looked.

The Pirelli MT21 is better offroad than the stock Dunlops. I believe it is the rubber that is used.

If you like tires that hook up on rocks and hard pack, a trials tire works. The MT43 is DOT legal and wears well. It's all about the sticky rubber. The Dunlop 803 is a better trials tire I am told, but wears faster and is not DOT. if you like to spin the rear wheel, a trials tire is the wrong tire for you. Get a dual sport knobbie.

 

Thanks KevXR - good information.  The bit about the MT21 being better off-road than the stock dunlops has sparked my interest because I've read that those are more of a 50/50 dualsport tire so wasn't really considering them.  If what you are saying is true, then what appeals to me about the MT21's is that they will probably be "good enough for me" in the dirt but their street manners are probably better than the XCMH / K760 combo?  As a new rider (to the street) that has some appeal to me at this time, until I get more acclamated (even though I don't plan on spending much time on the street, I'd like to not set myself up for failure...or being on my head on the asphalt).  Any thoughts on the street manners of the MT21 compared to the XCMH / K760 combo?

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When I bought my XR400, I had the Baja Designs dual sport kit installed and the Pirelli Mt21 tire installed. When the tires wore out, I put on the stock Dunlops. I felt the tires werent as good.

Most of my riding now is dual sport and I am riding on dirt that is so hard packed, I sometimes think I should be using Supermoto tires or something like a GP110, which a very good rider said is great. I have a set of Shinko 244 tires that I will mount when I'm done wearing out my current tires. Let me mention, I have a MX bike too, so I am making my xr400 more of a street bike these days.

If you ride on dirt that resembles dirt and not brown concrete, go for the XCMH. Kenda or XCMH rear. These are offroad tires that are dot legal. The mt21 is more street oriented and will wear longer. As will a Dunlop 606.

Check the dual sport forum and the Virginia area forum for what works in your area. I put on a set of Kenda Millville tires and hated them. Stupid mistake. People who ride intermediate terrain love them. Absolutely sketchy on pavement. Wring tool for the job.

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My xr 400 goto setup for 95% dirt but still need DOT is mt 16 on the front and trackmaster II on the rear. I run the mt 21 on my 650 that see's more pavement than dirt and 606 on the rear. Don't care for the 606 on the 400 but is great for what I use the 650 for. Tires are subjective as what you find important! I like a progressive tire that does not step out and has good feel. Don't really care about how fast they wear. The trackmaster is also a good buy around 55 bones!

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I think the kenda is a good bang for the buck. As with any knobby they wear fast on the pavement.

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Don't sell the MT21 front short as an off-road tire.  I've had one for two seasons now, and just replaced it with a fresh one.  I prefer a Mich M12 on my off-road bike, and the MT21 hasn't made me want for anything more aggressive for blue/black singletrack trails. IMHO it's a gravel road slayer with good off-road capabilities and very usable on the street.

 

There is no perfect DS tire for all surfaces, they all have strengths & weaknesses.  Pick out what your priority is and skew that way.  You can always ride a touch slower on the surface you don't skew towards.

 

 

As others have said though, the Kendas are cheap. Won't cost you as much to try one out if you're unsure of what to get.

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Don't skimp on the front tire. Having a front tire washout can be painful.

Be realistic about how much street you will ride.

For a DOT combo, the best dirt tires i have run are the XCMH front and Kenda Trackmaster rear.

Lots of people do like the MT16 too.

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Thanks all for your thougts and information.  I'm definitely planning on something in the neighborhood of 80% dirt and 20% street so want to stick with a more agressive tire like the XCMH or TMII.  Being new to riding street though...that's where my hesitation comes in - while I won't be doing much of it  I want to play things safe when I do it.  I think the best approach is to stick with my plan, get the more aggressive XCMH or TMII (probably the TMII given the LOADS of good reviews) and just take it super-easy on the street.

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I have loved the 5.10 Kenda K270 for 2,000 miles in the desert.  The 5.10 is six ply and I run it at 6 psi on single track.  It has great side knobs and works well in deep sand if you drop the pressure.  I carry an MTB pump in my pocket as I run 20+ on ashpalt and drop to 12 on dirt roads.  I don't know how it woks in mud.  My buddy runs the very similar Shinko on his XR4.  On the front I have the Kenda Parker DT which is better in dirt than on asphalt.  This tire also has great side knobs.

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I have loved the 5.10 Kenda K270 for 2,000 miles in the desert.  The 5.10 is six ply and I run it at 6 psi on single track.  It has great side knobs and works well in deep sand if you drop the pressure.  I carry an MTB pump in my pocket as I run 20+ on ashpalt and drop to 12 on dirt roads.  I don't know how it woks in mud.  My buddy runs the very similar Shinko on his XR4.  On the front I have the Kenda Parker DT which is better in dirt than on asphalt.  This tire also has great side knobs.

 

Do you have a rim lock on the rear?

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Front: IRC TR8 Battle Rally.  Great on highway and in sand.  Gonna last forever.

Rear:  Kenda K270.  

Thinking  Kenda K772 Parker DT next.  I hear the Kenda K760 wears too fast.

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Do you have a rim lock on the rear?

 

Yes. On my 250, one on the front and one on the rear.  A 400 needs two rim locks on the rear.  After two thousand miles, I pulled the wheel and rotated the tire a bit because the valve stem had angled some. I positioned it at the opposite angle.

 

I don't tighten the valve stem nut against the rim.  It is tightened against the cap so I can monitor the stem angle.   Without the nut you could possibly lose the stem into the wheel.  You also need it when you install a new tube.  I also run 4mm UHD tubes.

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 A 400 needs two rim locks on the rear. 

 

Do most people with 400's add another?  Since I'm replacing my tires, probably a good time to add a second one.  I guess it's as simple as drilling another hole in the rim, opposite side of the rim from the existing rim lock?

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Two aren't needed, but some people run them - usually those who have had issues in the past.  I only run one, and never had a problem.  You'll get responses from both sides on this one.

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My 2001 has been through about five or six rear tires counting the one that came on it.  I forget the ones that suck.   Dunlop 606 has been the last two and will be the next one.

Edited by XR-rated

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