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Lowering Tire Pressure

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I've read about riders lowering tire pressure for dirt but haven't tried it.

For example, the recommended setting for an R1200GS is 36 psi front 43 rear. With Dunlop Trailmax Mission how low could you safely lower the pressure for dirt and then still ride on the asphalt until you can re-inflate them?

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I run the Missions on my KTM 1090. I've gone as low as 18 psi for off road, but that was for smooth roads and trail, no rocky, rooty stuff nor hard acceleration and I aired up as soon as I got back on pavement.

For general off road and being able to ride a bit of asphalt, I don't go any lower than 25-28. What you should run is terrain specific. You can get away with lower pressures on smooth, loose, sandy ground, if fact, with the Missions, that's the only way you're going to get any drive. Be careful with your speed on downhills, as their braking ability sucks. And remember not to canyon carve with them aired down like that when you get back on pavement.

The Missions suck off road but I have liked them for road use. I have 9k on my set. The rear is just about gone but the front looks great.

Edited by Trailryder42

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This issue is like an "oil thread"...tons of opinions and experiences...could go quickly into the weeds...

Just me, riding 95% off road over all terrain....'07 R1200GSA loaded with 75 pounds camping/bike gear, 165 pound rider, TKC 80s [by far best on GSA] I run 41 psi rear and 37 psi front...I never air down, prefer fewer punctures and never have needed to...braking downhill is done by mastering use of front brake with ABS off..many thousands of miles off road this way...

Lots of bike to control [about 800 lbs fully loaded, wet] but CG low and great geometry...

Just the way I ride and not necessarily the best for you....hey, I could be wrong!

 

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 Before I street-legalized my DRZ E, I would run the back around 8to10 psi, front 12. Now that I'm street legal, I run 14 back on a Dunlop 606, the front at 16psi on a Pirelli MT16. No issues on the street, I don't air down for dirt, even though I'd like to

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Thank you all -- as luck would have it, I've got the Dunlop Mission on the R1200GS and the Dunlop 606 on the DRZ S and I've been wondering about both.

I had the TKC80s on the KTM Supermoto and I loved them, agreed, first-rate tire, I just need something more street oriented on the BMW now.

On the basis of the replies here I will do some tinkering.

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56 minutes ago, Lnu said:

Dunlop 606 on the DRZ S

 I've been running the 606 on the rear for the 1st time after using Kenda Trakmasters for many years. The Kendas wear fast on pavement, but are great off-road. I have 2 full seasons on the 606 and it's wearing very slowly compared to the Kenda, but I don't think I'll be getting another one. The 606 isn't great off-road, but it's a good street tire ONCE IT'S WARMED UP! I had some close calls having to brake hard shortly after leaving my house, and the rear tire locked and skidded like I was on ice... so just beware!

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Lnu said:

 

I've read about riders lowering tire pressure for dirt but haven't tried it.

For example, the recommended setting for an R1200GS is 36 psi front 43 rear. With Dunlop Trailmax Mission how low could you safely lower the pressure for dirt and then still ride on the asphalt until you can re-inflate them?

 

 

 

I was assuming your tires are tubeless. Want to be very careful about going too low.

Whether they're tubes or tubeless, makes a big difference in what you can get away with and stay safe.

Edited by Trailryder42

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On 5/23/2021 at 9:37 AM, Lnu said:

Thank you all -- as luck would have it, I've got the Dunlop Mission on the R1200GS and the Dunlop 606 on the DRZ S and I've been wondering about both.

I had the TKC80s on the KTM Supermoto and I loved them, agreed, first-rate tire, I just need something more street oriented on the BMW now.

On the basis of the replies here I will do some tinkering.

As long as you aren't on the roadway, long enough to "heat" up your tires, via sidewall flex, you should be "OK." (Just don't do this with Shinko tires, as they come apart when heated up, very easily.) Since you have a very heavy bike, start with 22psi on both ends. See how this works for you, off-road. If you don't ride fast, or in rocky terrain, then you might be able to go even lower, without damaging your tires/rims. 

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I carry 2 kinds of pumps...a small 12 volt and a compact bicycle hand pump for airing up....I purposely ran my 07’ GSA at highway speeds (65 mph) at 22 psi for 30 miles to see how it handles (just before I put new tires on in case things went sideways)...while spongy, tires did fine...wouldn’t run far, fast, or overweight with this pressure though (old trucking rule-you can break 1 rule at a time...low tire pressure or overweight or speeding or sorry road conditions or behind on your logs, but no multiples or worse - ALL at one time). Learning to ride your bike kitted out how you are going to ride WITHOUT lowing tire pressures (exception is sand) is your best option though. Just IMHO...from an old hand...

 

Doc

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