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another tire question

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I'm about to start school in the Fall, and the ride to the college is about 35 miles. It will be a killer on gas in the truck, so I'm gonna try and ride the KLX mostly. I was just about to get some DOT knobbies for the bike since the deathwings are so awful offroad, but then I got to wondering how the knobbies will hold up traveling 35 miles one-way three times a week at speeds of about 65mph. Maybe I should just keep the deathwings and keep takin it easy offroad?

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Companies make some other types of dual sport tires taht are alot better than the deathwings, but less agressive than say Dunlop 606's or MT21's When I get home maybe I'll take a look. I had a list somewhere of the ones that appealed to me. You'll get more mileage out of them, just don't do any crazy off roading with 'em

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65 mph on anything resembling knobbies is going to get spooky 🙂

I might consider picking up either another set of rims or at least get used to changing tires. That way you can use the deathwings or similiar tires for the road where they belong and then change for dirt.

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Gonna tell you little secret, order one of those DOW travler half covers, It's kind of a nylon half dust cover water resistant (not proof) but keeps the sun off the bike and any fiddlers, order size for klr650. It also passes air so its not like a parachute. It's very light weight and folds into a 3x6 inch bag. Walmart has those little red 4 inch spongy loops just for extra securing also. The cover has loops, I just add one of the walmart ones so no way the cover seperates form the bike unless extremely intentional.

Highly recommend for traveling, and leaving parked

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Knobbies on the DR actually work ok.

I have hit 70 on a two-lane twisty with some Bridgestone knobbies (cheap tires) and they work ok.

There are some things you will want to know.

Knobbies on pavement tend to need much more air than on dirt. Especially if you are moving over 40mph and the road is not straight.

In my case I run the front about 20-22 PSI and the rear at 22-27 psi. Usually you will find a sweetspot in there somewhere.

A good test is to see how the front tire takes a hit while at high-speeds leaned over. Too much pressure and you will feel the hit. Too little and it will cause the bike to wallow slightly.

If you get the tire pressure where the knobbies handle well, you will likely start the process where the knobs cup on one side as the tire wears. This is ok, but you have to watch the tires a bit more because they hit the bottom of the knobbies on the leading edge first, so you cannot just 'wear down the knobs' before they need replacement. You will likely need to replace the tire when the knobs are worn to a point and resemble a pyramid.

(hard to explain. the thrust of this is that the knobes do not wear 'straight' down as you would expect)

With a tire like the Dunlop606 or the Pirelli MT21 you can expect around 5000 miles before one of the tires will need replacement. You may be able to get more - it will depend mosly on the tire pressure and the amount of time you are moving at high speed.

I recently got to a point (gas prices, like you) where I didn't want to fuel up the truck all the time. I switched to street tires. They have 5000 miles on them and show almost no wear. My deathwings lasted 14000 miles on my DR, so knobbies will cost more overall as they tend to wear the fastest on the pavement.

Now, there is a GREAT benefit to knobbies on the road - your ability to deal with road hazards.

When I have knobbies on the pavement my fear of traction goes away. I have hammered down my country hiway doing 60 in horrid rain storms, and pushing 30 through puddles that come up the wheel halfway to the hub.

I cannot do those things on street tires, and I have to say that knobbies on a bad road surface are my preferred modus operandi.

Yes, they are not perfect when you are wayyyyy leaned over, but if you keep a light touch on the bars the front-end WILL go through almost anything you point it at.

If you want knobbies and want to save some money, I highly recommend some Kenda or IRC tires. They are super-cheap, and as far as knobbies go on the pavement, they work as well as models which are 2X or more in cost.

Lastly I would recommend you checkout the Metzler Karoo.

They are (in my opinion) the best compromise between a street tire and a knobby. While they cost more, they also last a very long time.

And, while they may not look it, they are awesome in the dirt.

They come on some rather heavy dual-purpose bikes and are amazing.

I loved the Karoos, but was not spending any time offroad with the DR, so I stopped using them.

Hope it helps.

Ride safe,

Flyin' Al

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I was putting a lot of miles on the rear Metz. Karoo - front Bridgestone E661 combo.

Went to the Terraflex rear recently. All 3 are fairly aggressive and all of them,

when balanced, feel fine on my bike @ 85+ mph.

I was getting about 1500 usable DS miles and another 1500 - 1000 street miles.

Most of the other tire reports seem about the same, @ 1500 miles before shit in the dirt.

Fronts last a bit longer depending on terrain.

Got tired of chewing up my DS tires so I got a second set of

OEM rims from a guy near me that went motard right away.

Put on some barracuda street tires, they are working well.

Cheaper then 17s, but still close to $500, when you can find them. Rare these days it seems.

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With this gentleman going to school , does he really need the be screwing with wet roads, vibration, traffic and knobbie tires?

Let's keep him alive to graduate! PLEASE

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Well put spud 🙂

No way is a knobby shod bike going to even come close to keeping up with the same bike wearing road rubber on anything resembling a paved road. No way no how no where. No matter if the road it wet or not. You may feel more comfortable with them but that is only because they impart their limitations all the time not just when the road turns ugly.

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With a tire like the Dunlop606 or the Pirelli MT21 you can expect around 5000 miles before one of the tires will need replacement. You may be able to get more

5K miles sounds like an awful lot...I wish i could get that kind of miles out of them.

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got 5000kms (3000miles) from my deathwings before throwing them out (not worn out but couldn't wait any longer), 3000kms on maxxis 2006-great 50%ds tire, 1500kms on duro knobbies (cheapest) and am runing Kenda Millville rear and duro front right now. Dont expect more than 2000 kms from rear. Riding 70% pavement (realistically). Don't ride hard on pavement but do want traction off road as that's where I'm most likely to be pushing the envelope. If I were a student in this person's situation, I would run a cheap set of street oriented ds tires. Being a student, another set of rims would not be an option. As school is the priority, not screwing around on the weekends, the offroad option would go by the wayside in favour of frugality.

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You could consider the Maxxis M6006. Not as good offroad as a true DOT knobbie, but MUCH better than the DWs. Good price, too.

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I'm running Pirelli MT21's and I can only get about 2000 miles or so out of a rear tire. I'll run up to 70 mph but I'm really payin' attention. They'll take a pretty fair lean on dry pavement but I've had a few close calls with sand on pavement that almost required a change of BVD's. If I were using the bike to commute I would mount some Metzeler Sahara's or Avon Gripster's. Much easier to balance and much better on the pavement, wet or dry. And, you'll get a hell of a lot more miles outta them than any DOT knobby. Those knobbies get wore down a little and you get on some wet roads runnin' 65 / 70 mph and the best you can hope for is successful skin grafts or much worse. The life you save may be your own. Be careful out there. I just came in from a ride in the rain, got soaked and could feel the bike squirming around as soon as I hit pavement. Talk about staying focused! You dump her at highway speed and bad things are coming your way. Don't chance it. We need you to finish your education... 🙂🙂:D

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Avon Distanzia's or proper road tyres.

Outside my front room window is my neigbours Suzuki Bandit 600, it is fitted with Bridgstone BT45's and they are still legal (2.3 mm of tread left) after 7500 miles. They are available in DRZ400S sizes.

Neil. 🙂

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I'm on my third set of Kenda Trackmasters on my DRZ400S. I've gotten about 1200-1500 miles out of each set, riding about 40% road, 60% aggressive off road. They wear very well, and work well in all conditions except extreme mud or sand. I like them way better than the Pirelli MT21s. I've never tried the terra flex, but It's supposed to be the greatest DOT knobby made.

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thanks for all the great replies yall. sorry i havent responded yet. and spud, you do have a great point. i've never been an aggresive rider on the road, i just cruise around, but then again i've never riden with anyone but my dad who bought our bikes and would whoop me as soon as we stopped if i did something crazy. i know i will stay safe though. because graduation and life is more important than extreme dirt riding (ofcouse to some it may not be lol) so i'll check into some tires that arent as aggresive as say a true DOT knobbie, but a little better than the deathwings. skydmark, if you could find that list it would be great. thanks alot!

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(((((so i'll check into some tires that arent as aggresive as say a true DOT knobbie, but a little better than the deathwings))))

The trail wings on the road will be better than anything Dot knobbie related. The trailMax DunlopRear is slight wider than the trail wing slighter better in the dirt and better on the road also, but nothing compares to a real street tire under wet braking.

I ran the Trailmax Dual sports rears(multiple tires) for about 25,000 miles. They have very good performance and longevity , main issue was pushing it under wet conditions under braking on down hill slick stuff,they'd break loose if not careful. Once I went to full street rear substancially better under that condition, and the true street rears fall over really nice.

The only 2 street rears I've ran have been the Maxxis 6103 and the GT501. The maxxis was a very soft sport bike tire, although it had good performance I didn't get any gain on longevity(5,000 miles). Which is why I'm running the GT501, it's a harder compound sportbike tire, and very smooth but I wish it was alittle wider. I'm running the 120 width, the 130 I'd lose and inch in diameter and that's no good. Not sure what I'll get next, I'm hoping the GT501 will go 8,000 miles atleast.

My next front would Be the Avon AM41 90/90/21, but the 607 D front I have will probably go another 10,000 miles , it's alittle harder compound than I'd like on the front but it's wearing really well, I've got about 7,000 on it so far.

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I've done 13.000 km's with my Micheline T63. Those knobbies make an awful noise on the street, drivers start staring at you, but who cares?

The are OK in the mud, great on-road, OK in sand.

I don't ride them anymore as they are not as agressive as my Michelin Enduro Competion in front and my Teraflex II in the rear!

Noppy

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Spud, I know nothing compares to a true street tire, but there is no way i could give up offroad riding! I got seven acres here at my house to ride on, and the KLR just doesnt cut it

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((I got seven acres here at my house to ride on))

OKAY 🙂 , street tires for you bad Idea 🙂

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