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Help me know what tire I'm seeking

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Hi all.

 

I'm new to this bike bought under a year ago for my son; but is now mine.  My only experience modding a bike is a vstrom 650 adventure; and that is limited.

 

So my understanding of tires is limited; and I want to know my options based on use of course.  But what is wise tire choice if you want good off-road performance, but (at least for now) you'll have to do asphalt before getting to hard packed trails/roads in forest and mountainous SE Tenn/Georgia/North Carolina where it's hot, humid and likely to rain many summer days without notice.

 

I tend to ride slightly aggressive for a 54 year old guy. 

 

So what are the questions to ask about tires?  And I'd be very happy with a thread link or two to read.  I've read a great deal already.

 

Thanks,

John

 

* I also plan to do the 13/42 sprockets in the near future; don't know if that matters.

Edited by jproaster

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I run XCMH's front and rear on the pavement and I like them but, the rear will wear quick ... 2K miles maybe ...  :excuseme:

 

I would like to try the Pirelli MT43 4.00 X 18 on the rear just to see how well a trials tire would be ...  :thumbsup:

 

TrialsTire.jpg

 

Here is my bike .....       

 

post-327736-13984667245783.jpg

Edited by gnath9
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So far I have had the stockers, kenda k270s, and now shinko 700s. I really liked the rear on the k270s, it provided great traction in hardpack and gravel, and decent in sand, all while lasting 8000 miles, with some tread to go. It does have some tread squirm, but you just get used to it. The front k270 was awful... Poor traction, only last 2500 miles before it cupped like mad, and while it was on was the only time I ever experienced speed wobbles on a regular basis (regardless of pressure). I actually swapped the stocker front back on, and used it and the k270 rear for commuting. I have just swapped the shinko 700 on the front, and will shortly do the rear. I will try and report how those are once I get some miles on.

IMG_20160405_213442_zps2bpmx4rf.jpg

IMG_20160420_220019_zpsybyatszs.jpg

IMG_20160420_215944_zpsh5ijfosf.jpg

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My vote goes for a Pirelli XCMH front and a Dunlop 606 rear. Pretty agressive tread on both and DOT rated also. But you would probably need to be cautious on wet pavement as with any knobby.

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The MT43 is an intriguing tire. With the reviews it gets, that many people can't be wrong.

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I liked the mt43 everywhere except tight turns on pavement. Had the back slide out suddenly a few times even when not pushing hard. And I got more flat tires with them, tho I ran em real low pressure. Even on the street.

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I run XCMH's front and rear on the pavement and I like them but, the rear will wear quick ... 2K miles maybe ...  :excuseme:

 

I would like to try the Pirelli MT43 4.00 X 18 on the rear just to see how well a trials tire would be ...  :thumbsup:

 

TrialsTire.jpg

 

Here is my bike .....       

 

 

Pinging on what Gary and others have said, this this trials tire is the best option on the market for a tire that will have some kind of life on pavement, while working really well in the dirt.  This tire will go on the rear of my bike when I I do my next tire change. 

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Im investigating a K60 rear.  What is the difference in tires 1.20/80 18  vs  4.00x18?  There's a $13 price difference in price at Revzilla.

 

Thanks

 

John

 

All reviews I read today were bigger bikes; not a good choice for 250l?

 

I'm thinking of putting together what's called a mullet - aggressive front and 50/50 back tire.  Any thoughts given what I've written earlier would be welcome.

Edited by jproaster
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Im investigating a K60 rear.  What is the difference in tires 1.20/80 18  vs  4.00x18?  There's a $13 price difference in price at Revzilla.

 

Thanks

 

John

 

All reviews I read today were bigger bikes; not a good choice for 250l?

 

The 4.00x18 will be a little taller than the 120/80-18 .... maybe like a 120/100-18 would be ...  :excuseme:    tires are crazy to understand and vary by manufacturer ... my guess is it will probably be 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch taller. I had a TR8 4.50x18 that was close to a full inch taller 

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I just read that  a shorter sidewall allows "less flex for better handling and turning, worse bump absorption" according to revzilla.  Is this good or not so good for spirited off road riding?

 

John

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I just read that  a shorter sidewall allows "less flex for better handling and turning, worse bump absorption" according to revzilla.  Is this good or not so good for spirited off road riding?

 

John

 

Personally I do not think it matters a whole lot off road. But I can see the advantages of a taller tire running lower pressures in a trials type of setting and even some wooded single track. The shorter sidewall would be better for your more track oriented or aggressive attack style single track.

 

For us casual off roaders just playing around I think it is just a matter of trial and error to see what we like ... hence my reason for wanting to try a trials rear tire matched with a full knob up front ... 

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Personally I do not think it matters a whole lot off road. But I can see the advantages of a taller tire running lower pressures in a trials type of setting and even some wooded single track. The shorter sidewall would be better for your more track oriented or aggressive attack style single track.

 

For us casual off roaders just playing around I think it is just a matter of trial and error to see what we like ... hence my reason for wanting to try a trials rear tire matched with a full knob up front ... 

 

Good word.  Since I'm pretty new to this bike and just now looking for offroad adventures here in SE Tennessee, a trial and error approach seems reasonable.

 

john

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The 4.00x18 will be a little taller than the 120/80-18 .... maybe like a 120/100-18 would be ...  :excuseme:    tires are crazy to understand and vary by manufacturer ... my guess is it will probably be 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch taller. I had a TR8 4.50x18 that was close to a full inch taller 

that will change a gear ratio, so to speak.

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I just read that  a shorter sidewall allows "less flex for better handling and turning, worse bump absorption" according to revzilla.  Is this good or not so good for spirited off road riding?

 

John

There is some truth to this, but don't put all you stock against a shorter sidewall tire.  Sometimes short side walls are off set by tall soft tread and can act similar.  I have ran 120x100/18 tires and 120x80/18 tires and even a few 4.00-18 tires.  Like them all offroad for specific conditions, nothing replaces just having a working knowledge and self experience for a tire that an individual has tried personally.  

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I'm running Metzler Unicross, awesome on the dirt and surprisingly great on the highway, even at 70mph.

image.jpg

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that will change a gear ratio, so to speak.

 

I completely agree but, I'm running 13/44's so that gives me a little leeway ....  :p  and my next sprockets are already purchased and just waiting to be installed ... 14/48's ...  :goofy:  

Edited by gnath9
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I completely agree but, I'm running 13/44's so that gives me a little leeway ....  :p  and my next sprockets are already purchased and just waiting to be installed ... 14/48's ...  :goofy:  

Think I mentioned it somewhere else, but I am running the stock 14/40 and am toying around with the idea of running a 14/44.  

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Think I mentioned it somewhere else, but I am running the stock 14/40 and am toying around with the idea of running a 14/44.  

14/44 is a nice compromise.  That's what I'm using at the moment with a Renthal rear sprocket and an RK 108 link gold chain.

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14/44 is a nice compromise.  That's what I'm using at the moment with a Renthal rear sprocket and an RK 108 link gold chain.

Thank you, you also answered my next question, how many links do I need?  108 is the number. 

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