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Tires suggestions for gravel/pavement

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I just picked up a DRZ last night.  It's got the stock deathwings on it.  have a plated KTM 350 XCF-W for the single track.  My DRZ will see probably 60% gravel / dirt roads, 30% rural two lane paved roads, 5% paved city/highway roads and 5% or less single track since I already have the KTM for that.

I've searched and read through a bunch of tire threads but most seem to focus on those who are doing more single track.  After reading through them I was pretty sure I'd do something like a D606 rear and MT21 front.  But then I read a number of people saying those tires suck on gravel roads.  Since gravel roads will be the majority of my riding with paved roads being second, can anyone suggest a good tire?  

Would something like the IRC GP1 be better than something like the D606 when it comes to gravel roads and rural two lane paved roads?

Thanks!

Doc

 

 

Edited by Doc_d

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Im a newby when it comes to dirt, i bought the drz almost a year ago, commute every day on it and go to the desert on my days off . I used the deathwing until they were worn out and then put motoz tire on it. IT up front and HT in the back. Again my level off road is novice, but i really like motoz tire off road, i used them on hard rocks, hard dirt, soft terrain, garvel/sand and mud and to ME they perform well. I do most of my riding on street. I have about 1200 on them. The front look new the rear can go at least anothef 500 miles.
I have pics somewhere, let me find them

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Thanks LoLoSama.  How are they on the pavement?  Do you have much experience with them on maintained dirt/gravel roads?  I think those are a bit of a different beast because, at least around here, they spray them with some chemical solution to harden them up and keep the dust down.  So the dirt underneath is rock hard and they have a little bit of loose dirt/gravel on top of them.  To be honest, I'd much rather rail a turn offroad where your tires have something to bite into.  Going around turns and curves on these maintained dirt/gravel roads seems to be sketchier because the surface seems to be inconsistent and you hit those patches of gravel over rock hard dirt and it's like being on marbles.

 

The other concern I have is on pavement.  Those knobs are so aggressive on yours, it looks like in a hard braking situation on pavement you could have as little as two knobs in contact with the pavement which doesn't look like more than maybe 2-3 square inches of rubber.  Maybe I'm not thinking about it correctly though.  Maybe tire deformation under load gets more rubber on the ground.  But just looking at those pictures my brain says that's not much of a contact patch on pavement or hard dirt roads.

Doc

Edited by Doc_d

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Have you looked at the TKC80? I'm in SoCal and I know a several guys who run them; and I'm planning to get a set here soon. The death wings worked well for me riding in desert washes and gravel roads the rear just wiggles A LOT in the loose stuff.

BRRAAAAPPPP!

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Your next door to me and I have the same gravel roads , one of which I live on so I've tried a lot of different tires on my 6 bikes. First off NO tire handles that loose gravel over the hardpack very great , they all get sketchy around corners . Some work better than others . I've been running Shinko 700's on a few bikes now , they seem to be one of the better ones for the mixed stuff , but do wear faster and are not great in wet dirt and mud . The 244 or GP1 will be pretty decent softer compound like the 700, I have use the 244 but not the GP1(on my list). I hate the 270(too hard compound) , my KLX that has it now spins the worst of most I've tried on that gravel . The T63 on my TE rear is pretty decent , hate the Kenda Big Block on the front though causing bad headshake which it never had till that tire. Even the Shinko 705 is decent on the gravel , better for the hardpack and pavement though so I have them on my SM rims mostly. 

The 606 rear on my XL600 wasn't the worst , a bit rougher on the hardpack and gravel from the big knobs . I've use Pirreli MX hard (485?) on several fronts , they are good as is the Trackmaster II's and the IRC TR8 . I'm sure I've forgotten more but those are my top tires currently.

 

.

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I've raced pro MX but I'm beginning to like some of the 50/50 tires over some of those dot knobbies. The Shinko 700 I'm using now slides and grips more predictably than other tires I've used on gravel roads.

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I haven't lock up the front in hard braking, yet..lol. but did lock the rear a few times. Don't forget the asphalt here in vegas is very oily and very hot in the summer. I don't like the front tire on street because it likes to wave back and forth when it hits grooves. I will most likely change the front to a less aggressive tire when it's time to change my rear. I need better handling on the street.

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1 hour ago, off_the_asphalt said:

Have you looked at the TKC80? I'm in SoCal and I know a several guys who run them; and I'm planning to get a set here soon. The death wings worked well for me riding in desert washes and gravel roads the rear just wiggles A LOT in the loose stuff.

BRRAAAAPPPP!
 

I haven't but I will now.  Thanks!

1 hour ago, jjktmrider said:

Your next door to me and I have the same gravel roads , one of which I live on so I've tried a lot of different tires on my 6 bikes. First off NO tire handles that loose gravel over the hardpack very great , they all get sketchy around corners . Some work better than others . I've been running Shinko 700's on a few bikes now , they seem to be one of the better ones for the mixed stuff , but do wear faster and are not great in wet dirt and mud . The 244 or GP1 will be pretty decent softer compound like the 700, I have use the 244 but not the GP1(on my list). I hate the 270(too hard compound) , my KLX that has it now spins the worst of most I've tried on that gravel . The T63 on my TE rear is pretty decent , hate the Kenda Big Block on the front though causing bad headshake which it never had till that tire. Even the Shinko 705 is decent on the gravel , better for the hardpack and pavement though so I have them on my SM rims mostly. 

The 606 rear on my XL600 wasn't the worst , a bit rougher on the hardpack and gravel from the big knobs . I've use Pirreli MX hard (485?) on several fronts , they are good as is the Trackmaster II's and the IRC TR8 . I'm sure I've forgotten more but those are my top tires currently.

 

.

Great info, thanks.  That gives me a few more to take a look at.  Since you're familiar with the gravel roads like ours, do you think these tires with closer spaced less aggressive blocks like the IRC GP1 or Shinko 244 handle better on these gravel roads than the more aggressive tires like the D606, MT21 etc or are those more aggressive tires better?

 

Doc

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my opinion is the tires lolosama has on in his picks would be about what you want .. you arnt going to find a 'do all' tire thats great everywhere .. d606's look alot better than they perform - on 'or' offroad lol, actually their forte' is paddling through muddy crap .. i think 244's would probably work ok and would be more of a compromise ..... knobs work fine on the street contrary to what it looks like, they just wear fast, and your main issue is hooking up on the loose stuff. just ride easy and slow on the street, not because they wont hook alright, but to save them ...

Edited by cowpie

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45 minutes ago, LoLoSama said:
1 hour ago, npm said:
I'm running a set of Mites E-09 front and rear.  Mitas makes a pretty good range, some more street, others more dirt.  The E-09 is rated 80/20 dirt/street.
http://www.twistedthrottle.com/brand/mitas-tires/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI7f-ZxLXK1QIVBpN-Ch3anAeWEAAYASAAEgKG6vD_BwE
 

Can you give us your inputs on how they are street and dirt

I have run them on dry gravel roads, two track, and some easy single track as far as dirt goes.  Of course they aren't as good as knobs but they feel very planted, especially when compared to Trail Wings. I like the E-09 better on the front than the D606 I had at first.  I just never felt I could trust the grip on the D606 in front.  

On the street I don't really push it but again they seem to work almost or as good as the Trail Wings and are much smoother than when I was running  D606's (I wasn't a big fan of the D606 especially the front dirt or street and took it off after about 150 miles).  I'll be riding 100-150 miles on the Mitas tires this weekend on gravel roads, two track, and some easy single track with approximately 30% paved roads connecting them.  I'll try and remember to post my thoughts while they are fresh.  No experience with riding on the wet street or dirt.  They look to wear pretty good so far.

Edited by npm
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1 hour ago, Doc_d said:

I haven't but I will now.  Thanks!

Great info, thanks.  That gives me a few more to take a look at.  Since you're familiar with the gravel roads like ours, do you think these tires with closer spaced less aggressive blocks like the IRC GP1 or Shinko 244 handle better on these gravel roads than the more aggressive tires like the D606, MT21 etc or are those more aggressive tires better?

 

Doc

The bigger knob(wider spacing) tire will be a little better on our loose gravel , my T63's are probably better than the 700's or 244/GP1 , but it swaps when it gets to hardpack and then pavement .However the amount and size of rock they grab and throw into the bottom of motor gets bigger , good skidplate a must with wings to protect the side covers.  I don't get wild on the backroads so I stick with the closer knob patterns for better hardpack, street and wet street(and winter), plus longer wear mileage on some . Thus why I have multiple sets of tires and rims for most of my bikes .  It's up to you as to what side to lean towards , there is no best for both ends.

I haven't had the Moto Z tires or TKC 80's to compare with , The TKC80's are up on the price tag(about double or more, as many of the other options) so I've looked past them.

 

.

Edited by jjktmrider

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Those eo-9 are pricey. You can get 3 kenda 270's rear tires and a nice irc tr-8 for the front and be set

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4 hours ago, Doc_d said:

I haven't but I will now.  Thanks!

Great info, thanks.  That gives me a few more to take a look at.  Since you're familiar with the gravel roads like ours, do you think these tires with closer spaced less aggressive blocks like the IRC GP1 or Shinko 244 handle better on these gravel roads than the more aggressive tires like the D606, MT21 etc or are those more aggressive tires better?

 

Doc

Those more aggressive tires are only better in soft loamy dirt or mud and sand IMHO. Since you stated this bike would be mostly gravel roads and some pavement, I think you would enjoy those dual sport tires better. i'll throw on a knobby if I'm doing hills with loose dirt, but I'm so impressed with this Shinko 700, that may change when the rains come again in the fall.

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Yet another one "on my list" after the Kenda Big Blocks , sooner or later I will have tried every tire , probably still won't know which one is  " the best " .:rolleyes:

 

 

.

Edited by jjktmrider
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On 8/9/2017 at 8:40 AM, LoLoSama said:
On 8/9/2017 at 8:06 AM, npm said:
I'm running a set of Mites E-09 front and rear.  Mitas makes a pretty good range, some more street, others more dirt.  The E-09 is rated 80/20 dirt/street.
http://www.twistedthrottle.com/brand/mitas-tires/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI7f-ZxLXK1QIVBpN-Ch3anAeWEAAYASAAEgKG6vD_BwE
 

Can you give us your inputs on how they are street and dirt

Got in 100 miles of DS riding, 20% pavement, 50% FS roads, 28% two track roads, 2% single track (easy).  On the pavement they work great, easily as good as the Trail Wings.  I had them balanced when mounted and things were calm even when running up around 75 for a few miles.  On the gravel FS roads they work as good as anything can when running on gravel sitting on top of hard pack.  The two track roads went up in elevation enough we were able to find some areas that had a bit of moisture over night and the traction was much better than just the gravel over hard pack.  They worked great there and the back was hooking up much better.  When we came down back to the dry stuff I found I was sliding both front and back coming out of the corners, plenty of confidence in the front for sure, unlike the feeling I got from the D606 front which never felt planted and on the verge of washing out all the time.  The single track was some power lines we found and not too challenging.  The Mitas tires worked well there also, seems like plenty of grip when the ground is dry and slid predictably.  

I ran a similar loop in this area last year about this same time with a D606 on the back and a Dunlop MX51 on the front.  Given this specific kind of terrain I would say the Mitas tires are as good as full knobs and better on the asphalt.  

To sum up, for the kind of riding I do now (80% pace) I really like the front, the back for me isn't as critical.  As long as the back can move the bike forward and not slide out without warning I'm not too picky.  

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