Dual Sport Tires

I plated my XR650R uncorked for the street and tried Bridgestone TW's 41 front,42 rear. They work great as I'm running 50% hard dirt like fire roads with rocky trails and 50% pavement. The only thing is the rear didn,t last very long. I ride everyday anywhere form 80km to 450km and was wondering does anyone know of a tire that will last longer then a month, other than a street tire. I'm new to DS riding. The BRP is awesome on the street with the 15/47 gearing and don't want to go back to just dirt. Thanks for you help, Iggy

Dunlop 606!!! Good off, Good on. Great a niether but last along time.

I am very happy with the Metzler Karoo tires on my XR650L. Lots of traction off, fine on the highway (they start singing about 45 mph), and do just fine in town. Not enough time with them to tell you the wear rate.

I've been facing the same dilemma for the past few years, and in all honesty, there's no dualsport tire made for the 650R that'll fit the broad spectrum.

If your gonna ride it on the street, get street tires, ditto for the dirt.

Spend the time changing tires, or wind up on your rear end.

sorry to be so blunt, but believe me...

The Michelin Baja and Desert tires cost 20-30% more than most, but they last a long ass time. Most Dakar racers run them, and they usually only use 4 rears in the 6000+mile race. If you dont spin the tire to much you can expect some decent milage. Traction is very very good off road. Might be a bit slippery on wet rocks, like all high milage tires.


Yeh the tire issuse has had me for awhile now.Had retreads front and rear then change rear to dunlop k695 it wore really well with a mix of 70/30 street /dirt mainly hard pack with sandstone outcrops and street is to and from work speeds up to 100kph (60mph)gearing I`ve had is 15/41 std here in oz,15/48,14/48 and now running 14/46 great on road also on fast forest trails.The dunlop lasted 3000ks(1900mls) then had Kenda Trackmaster no go 3weeks no nobs left 1000ks(600mls)now have new front Perelli MT18,rear Michilen AC10 month on really happy on and off road.so theres my 2bobs worth


Steve B

Dunlop D-606 rear, Pirelli MT-18 HD front. Both are DOT legal, too.

I've got over 1.4K miles on the 606 & about 1K miles on the 18 & I ride 50/50 with the XRL. Great for hard pack & pavement. The 606 is a bit noisy above 45 mph on the road.

Both have super stiff side walls for running low air pressures, 17 psi for each all the time, and both are holding up well. I expect to get 2K miles or more for each.

Make sure you check out the teraflex.


I'm pretty serious on the off-road part of my riding, and this thing can take a lot of punishment.

Check the dual-sport forum for more info.


Hannibal Dave, I thought the only riding you did was to the Crispy Creme dounut shop? For off road riding Michelin M12's work great.

Hannibal Dave? Hmmm, you speak as though you've seen me ride: Atop an elephant, showing no mercy! No mercy towards my poor bike, or anything that gets in its way, anyway.

What I was attempting to infer, was that I'd rather have a tire that would meet the off-road needs rather than the on-road needs.

But no, although they have recently opened the first Crispy Creme in the area, my L has not been there, nor to the ice cream shop. When the pig comes out, hills get climbed, trees get flattened, and rocks get stomped into gravel so that the lesser bikes may follow in safety.

I'm not fast, but I'll go anywhere!

So yes, I'm pretty serious off-road.


After riding my 650L for ten years I have come to this conclusion. Either get two sets of wheels and tires or get used to changing tires back and forth. This is why, when you ride on the pavement it wears the crap out what ever you got on there. When you are off road on a 275lb or 325lb bike (R or L) you need the MOST AGGRESSIVE tire tread you can. Yes you can just go with one tire but the first time you push a true dual sport tire off road it gets ugly. The front end washes out too easily. I look at it this way, if those ISDE guys can change a tire in six minutes I can in 30 or 40 minutes. That's less time than you will spend in the emergency waiting room :thumbsup:

I agree that dual sport tires are definitely a compromise both on and off road. I think the best solution is two sets of wheels (I don't like changing tires too much). But if you want to go with one set of tires for both on and off road, I think the Pirelli MT21s are about as good a compromise as you are going to get. They are not horrible on road and wear ok, and are ok off road. Occationally, the back end will break out sideways unexpectedly while accelerating. And DO NOT uset them for a mud run. But in hard pack and rocks...not too bad. The kenda trackmaster 2 offers good traction when new, but wears very quickly. Haven't tried the dunlop 606 yet, but the MT21s tread pattern looks a little more agressive. Anyone compare the 606s to the MT21s? Anyone got a set of 17" wheels for sale cheap???

Dunlop D-606, one set lasted for an entire 1,070 mile Baja 1000 off road race on a Honda XR 650 in 02, running just HD tubes and slime. Still had knobs on center row on rear tire after race. 18 lbs pressure as well. Works good on street as well. :thumbsup:

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