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Front tire width--Do you like them skinny or fat?

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I ordered a pair of Michelin T63s for my '02-S and was surprised at how small the 80/90-21 front looks.  I understand I ordered the smaller of the two sizes (90/90 was other option), but figured it would be similar to the 3.0-21 Shinko I had (3 x 25.4mm=76mm).  In reality, it looks like it will end up being 15mm-ish narrower.

 

I don't really object to giving it a shot.  I suspect it will help rotational weight and turn-in, but wonder if it will handle ok on the typical roads and trails in North Central WA.  The bike sees a fair amount of hard-packed dirt roads with loose gravel or rocks on top, as well as a smaller amount of trails varying from smooth to loose/dusty to rocky. I figured a narrower tire would be more agile and quicker steering, which is probably right.  This tire's extreme narrowness caught me by surprise, however.

 

Like I said, I don't really mind giving it a go.  Just wondering if any other DRZ riders choose narrower tires specifically?  

 

FWIW, I went with the 120 rear tire in this set.

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I ordered a pair of Michelin T63s for my '02-S and was surprised at how small the 80/90-21 front looks.  I understand I ordered the smaller of the two sizes (90/90 was other option), but figured it would be similar to the 3.0-21 Shinko I had (3 x 25.4mm=76mm).  In reality, it looks like it will end up being 15mm-ish narrower.

 

I don't really object to giving it a shot.  I suspect it will help rotational weight and turn-in, but wonder if it will handle ok on the typical roads and trails in North Central WA.  The bike sees a fair amount of hard-packed dirt roads with loose gravel or rocks on top, as well as a smaller amount of trails varying from smooth to loose/dusty to rocky. I figured a narrower tire would be more agile and quicker steering, which is probably right.  This tire's extreme narrowness caught me by surprise, however.

 

Like I said, I don't really mind giving it a go.  Just wondering if any other DRZ riders choose narrower tires specifically?  

 

FWIW, I went with the 120 rear tire in this set.

 

That's my set-up too. Ride 99%dirt and the 80-100x21 works way better than the 90-90x21. For whatever reason, the only time I tried the 90-90 was on some MotoZ, and they washed out more than once and I dumped them. Put on MX51 Dunlap and it was all good after that. Now I have the MX52 and it's even better.

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Good to hear. I think my only real concern is smaller tire's ability to cope with the inevitable large or sharp rock I plow into. Right or wrong, I think a larger tire has kept me away from rim damage more than a few times. Maybe the 80's agility will help me avoid that.

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Good topic. It's time for me to order a new set . I had the same Motoz that 606 spoke of also in the 90/90/21 I didn't know what to think at first . I immediately put them to use on a 100 mile off-road charity ride which was a mudbath . I lost control countess times . Was hard to decide if it was Me , the tires or the conditions . As time wore on I grew to like the tires. I generally ride about 70/30 street to trails . Because I commute on my he bike as much as possible. The 90/90 I ran was a ST . They offer a 80/90 in an IT . It's a tough decision for me because I like the added rim protection of the larger tire as you stated. The MOTOZ tires wore very well. They still had enough knobs left by winter to install ice screws and have a little fun out on the lake .

I've now pulled the screws out and am getting that last bit of use out of them.

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Wide as possible in rear, opposite in front, skinny for sure.

I'm wondering. Motoz only offers the 90/90/21 in the ST . You can't get the IT in that size . So for discussions sake , is wider better in wet conditions ? On my jeep I like wide tires to stay on top of the goo and roost over the top without as much sinkage . Some guys like tall skinny tires to cut to the bottom and find traction ( that's only if there is a bottom) spring is always wet and muddy around here . That's why I'm on my Tard wheels right now . To give the trails some time to dry up and not go out there and create allot of ruts .

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Wide as possible in rear, opposite in front, skinny for sure.

Ron , we know CA. Is in a drought so that could influence your tire selection.
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I ordered a pair of Michelin T63s for my '02-S and was surprised at how small the 80/90-21 front looks.  I understand I ordered the smaller of the two sizes (90/90 was other option), but figured it would be similar to the 3.0-21 Shinko I had (3 x 25.4mm=76mm).  In reality, it looks like it will end up being 15mm-ish narrower.

 

I don't really object to giving it a shot.  I suspect it will help rotational weight and turn-in, but wonder if it will handle ok on the typical roads and trails in North Central WA.  The bike sees a fair amount of hard-packed dirt roads with loose gravel or rocks on top, as well as a smaller amount of trails varying from smooth to loose/dusty to rocky. I figured a narrower tire would be more agile and quicker steering, which is probably right.  This tire's extreme narrowness caught me by surprise, however.

 

Like I said, I don't really mind giving it a go.  Just wondering if any other DRZ riders choose narrower tires specifically?  

 

FWIW, I went with the 120 rear tire in this set.

 

narrower, front and rear. they're lighter (which doesn't matter when covered in mud) but turn a LOT quicker and easier in the tight stuff. 

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Hello guys i got a drz400 e 

and the tyres are full knobbys

the rear is 120/90-18

the front is 90/90-21 

 

i ride on the road 90% of the time can someone tell me what tires or sizes to get please

as i dont have a clue 

 

im from the uk

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Hello guys i got a drz400 e

and the tyres are full knobbys

the rear is 120/90-18

the front is 90/90-21

i ride on the road 90% of the time can someone tell me what tires or sizes to get please

as i dont have a clue

im from the uk

The answer will depend on whether

You want to try new tires every 3 weeks or every season or are looking for a million mile tire .

And what the other 10% riding time is .

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Good to hear. I think my only real concern is smaller tire's ability to cope with the inevitable large or sharp rock I plow into. Right or wrong, I think a larger tire has kept me away from rim damage more than a few times. Maybe the 80's agility will help me avoid that.

 

Not to beat this to death, but damage comes from sidewalls that aren't very tall, along with low pressure. If you got 80-100x21, you'd have a fairly tall sidewall, and depending on the pressure, something that wouldn't cave when you hit a rock or rut or root. I run TuBliss also on the front, which is a tube within a tube and it pressurizes at over 100lbs. pressing the sidewall of the tire into the rim so you don't get pinch flats. Since getting that, I have not had any problems.....knock on wood.......and I would highly recommend it. I can run 8-10lbs now on the front, which gives me incredible traction, and that bladder keeps that sidewall intact. Read up on it, it's a little expensive, but let me tell you that one trip out of the woods with a flat for over 25mi. makes something like this PRICELESSSSSS!!!!!

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Not to beat this to death, but damage comes from sidewalls that aren't very tall, along with low pressure. If you got 80-100x21, you'd have a fairly tall sidewall, and depending on the pressure, something that wouldn't cave when you hit a rock or rut or root. I run TuBliss also on the front, which is a tube within a tube and it pressurizes at over 100lbs. pressing the sidewall of the tire into the rim so you don't get pinch flats. Since getting that, I have not had any problems.....knock on wood.......and I would highly recommend it. I can run 8-10lbs now on the front, which gives me incredible traction, and that bladder keeps that sidewall intact. Read up on it, it's a little expensive, but let me tell you that one trip out of the woods with a flat for over 25mi. makes something like this PRICELESSSSSS!!!!!

Have been debating going tubliss for a while for every reason you said. Did you have to drill the wheels or was there a second hole? Install a PITA?

To stay on topic, skinner tires turn faster and cut through the terrain better, but bigger tires offer more protection. I usually run the beefier size just because the DRZ is such a heavy bike and i don't wanna pop tubes left and right. I usually run the front around 12-15 and the rear around 10-12. No rim locks or anything, just heavy duty tubes.

Edited by k4f5x0r
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Have been debating going tubliss for a while for every reason you said. Did you have to drill the wheels or was there a second hole? Install a PITA?

To stay on topic, skinner tires turn faster and cut through the terrain better, but bigger tires offer more protection. I usually run the beefier size just because the DRZ is such a heavy bike and i don't wanna pop tubes left and right. I usually run the front around 12-15 and the rear around 10-12. No rim locks or anything, just heavy duty tubes.

 

I had my local Motoshop guy install for me.......I don't think he drilled the rim........and, he is very good at what he does, so I don't think it was a PITA. He did tell me to check pressure every ride tho, and I have been doing that. I didn't ride for 3 weeks and it went down to 94lbs......mostly because I think it was in the single digits here, but the last 4 or 5 rides it's been the same.

 

btw.....I have rim lock on the rear, along with heavy duty tube.

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narrower, front and rear. they're lighter (which doesn't matter when covered in mud) but turn a LOT quicker and easier in the tight stuff. 

 

I know the whole argument for skinnier tires, but i like to set up chassis and suspension for quick turning and chose Kenda's 270's 3.25-21 and 4.50-18 for rim protection and the good 50/50 tread pattern. I'm used to quick turning MX bikes and my DRZ turns and handles great in the trails and on the road.

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The answer will depend on whether

You want to try new tires every 3 weeks or every season or are looking for a million mile tire .

And what the other 10% riding time is .

Hello, i will be riding on mud/dirt trails or grass the other 10%-15% 

but i mostly ride on road and my drz is enduro verison which doesn't come with supermoto tyres 

or the rims for supermoto tyres

 

so what is the next best tyre to get? as i dont want to keep replacing the rear tyre every 3 weeks

i want it to last atleast a good month or 2 

 

but my main thing is i want something good handleing on road as i nearly killed my self on full knobbys when i was turning

very unstable 

Thanks

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I had my local Motoshop guy install for me.......I don't think he drilled the rim........and, he is very good at what he does, so I don't think it was a PITA. He did tell me to check pressure every ride tho, and I have been doing that. I didn't ride for 3 weeks and it went down to 94lbs......mostly because I think it was in the single digits here, but the last 4 or 5 rides it's been the same.

 

btw.....I have rim lock on the rear, along with heavy duty tube.

Awesome, thanks for the feedback! I'll probably go Tubliss on my next dirt tire change

 

Hello, i will be riding on mud/dirt trails or grass the other 10%-15% 

but i mostly ride on road and my drz is enduro verison which doesn't come with supermoto tyres 

or the rims for supermoto tyres

 

so what is the next best tyre to get? as i dont want to keep replacing the rear tyre every 3 weeks

i want it to last atleast a good month or 2 

 

but my main thing is i want something good handleing on road as i nearly killed my self on full knobbys when i was turning

very unstable 

Thanks

Try running some trials tires.  My buddy uses his DRZ exactly how you describe and the trials tires seem to be lasting him a long time. He also mentioned that they're fantastic off road except for in mud and sand.

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Awesome, thanks for the feedback! I'll probably go Tubliss on my next dirt tire change

 

Try running some trials tires.  My buddy uses his DRZ exactly how you describe and the trials tires seem to be lasting him a long time. He also mentioned that they're fantastic off road except for in mud and sand.

Are they good on road and cornering ?? just because i want something what can grip in the bends

if they are good on road handling 

can you please find out the make of your friends tire =) it would really help me 

Thankyou very much for your help

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UPDATE--not sure if anyone cares, but I enjoy reading good follow-ups to posts about problems/solutions, rather than being left hanging or watching the thread go off in a different tangent

 

Originally, I had ordered the smaller Michelin T-63 for my 02-S and really questioned whether I would like it when I saw how small it was.  Here are my thoughts after 6 weeks of riding them (bought as a pair)

 

1--That front T63 in the 80/90 is SMALL.  Even adding the 10mm to get to the 90/100 size would still be small-ish, IMO.  Maybe the Michelins run small--I don't have enough experience with different tires to know.

 

2--The sidewalls are STIFF (rear, too).  Holy cripes!  Getting them on was a bitch compared to any of the others I have mounted.  Maybe the smaller dimensions added to the stiffness.  Maybe they add stiffness into the small sizes to make up for aspect ratio to avoid rim damage--I don't know.  Mounted on an 80+ degree day after having them sit in the sun, too.  Total bitch.  Not looking forward to taking one off on the side of a trail.  Old Shinko and D606 came off like damp socks comparatively.

 

3--The small size BLOWS.  This is subjective, but for my gravel-over-hardpack, rain-rutted, fist-sized rocky trails, a smaller tire is not for me.  I am constantly hitting stuff hard enough that I worry about dinging the rim and the ride is harsh.  I totally realize that a smaller tire is not what one would normally put on a bike that was heading for rocky terrain.  This tire just came in SO much smaller than I had expected.  I wanted to give the stock tire sizes a whirl is all.  Perhaps a different brand of 80/90 tire would have hit more middle ground.  I can always find out next time (and it won't be long…)

 

4--I went back down to the 120mm rear T63 at the same time.  I do like the size of it and don't seem to have any problem with it in that regard.  It does seem to be wearing really well, which I have heard they are known for.  Still, it has a stiff f*@&ing sidewall.

 

5--On pavement, I don't think they ride any better than Dunlop 606 tires, which I have always been happy with.  Offroad, with me at the bars, I will have to say I prefer the Dunlops, though that may be simply because I had a larger front tire on at the time.

 

So, there was my experiment.  I now know that I am a big front tire kinda guy and I appreciate tires with more flexible sidewalls.  Honestly, I don't know what type of terrain a front tire that small on a DRZ would be good for.

 

For sure, I will be swapping that front tire ASAP and it will be to something other than a T63.

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