D.O.T. approved tires...anyone?

Has anyone run the Pirelli or the Metzlers DOT approved tires? I have been running the Dunlops D739s (I know they're not legal but...) and I do like them...but... I have been running the bike on the street a lot just looking for something to last a bit longer. I have got 1000 miles out of the last Dunlop...it is bald. I live in the desert, this part of the country isn't kind to tires.

I've run the Pirelli MT21's on a DR350. They're better than most DOT approved tires, but still not as good as a real off road tire.

I've used to run the mt21 for years on my xr650l, klx650 and now I tried the dunlop 606 on my wr400 street legal. The tire is slimmer than the stock one so using it in dep sand is a pain compared to the stock one.

My next tire is going to be the mt21 on the rear but I'll make sure I'll choose a size as wide or wider thant the stock one.

One thing is sure, dot tire is not as good as a real dirt knobbies. However, it last longer than 10 km on the road!!! I run on and off road and this is why I accept to do the compromise. I prefert to save tire change than having the best tire for each condition. I have slicks and don't use them.


I heard from a guy thaht the michelin baja is a good sand tire and that it is unwearable. That would be an excellent choice if I was not doing tight rocky trail. This tire look unbeliveably wide on the bike and should float on anything...


I know the tire isn't going to do as well as a 'true' knobbie. I just want some life out it. I will have a true knobbie for when I do mostly off road rides. Thanks for the replies.

[This message has been edited by Kermit (edited 10-24-2000).]

For eastern type conditions go with Pirelli MT44 or Dunlop 905 on the front. Use a Metzler MCE (6days) or a Kenda TrackmasterII for the back.

The best DOT combo for dirt performance I have used is a Michelin Enduro Compition III front and a Dunlop 606 rear. This is an excellent setup. If you are willing to compromise on dirt performance (not me) and go for street milage with a little dirt performance then the Mt21's will fill the bill. But in no way will the MT21's even come close or are even it the same league as the Michelin/Dunlop combo for dirt performance. the Dunlop 606 wears real well.

My 2 cents worth


Clark what type of terrain do you ride in? I live in the desert (Tucson) The rocks down here eats tires alive! I was just thinkng a DOT tire would last longer. I am getting about 4 weeks out of a tire. I am buying a tire every month! The front (the stock one)is holding up well though. Also...I think I got the jetting thing down too, thanks for your help.

Kermit do your self a favour and go with a 606 Dunlop. I changed from a 739 to a 606 and am amazed at the difference in wear rates. This tire is the best out there for a DOT dirt bias. The MT21 Is garbage off road, sorry to offend all you dual sporters.But that is the truth. I personally like the DOT k139 up front.

quote me on that one.


The Dunlop 606 is a excellent and long wearing tire it works great in everything except SOFT sand and mud. The Michelin Enduro Comp III works excellent everywhere and is excellent in the soft sand and mud. So the Combo is excellent all around.

If DOT is not important then the Dunlop 756 front and a Dunlop 739 "DESERT" is also a good choice for a tough tire. Make sure the 739 says "desert" on the side.

Of the above tires the Dunlop 606 will out last them all it is a great tire for longivity and excellet performance everywhere except the real soft stuff. It would be great in rocks and shale.


I use the MT21. I found that the size 130 was the right size for the DRZ. Anybody know what 606 size is equivalent to the 130-mt21.

Originally posted by Tree Crippler:

For eastern type conditions go with Pirelli MT44 or Dunlop 905 on the front. Use a Metzler MCE (6days) or a Kenda TrackmasterII for the back.

Kenda K760 Trackmaster 11 is one of the most underrated tyres around, inexpensive by comparison and as tough as teak. Good gear.

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