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Suggestions for Dirt tires for a supermoto bike??

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Have some questions regarding tires for my DRZ 400 SM.. Let me begin by saying that before the DRZ I did own a Husky 510 SMR for a very short time. This bike was a dream. And by looking thru the posts regarding this model, I can see why it generates so much interest. The bike was great in every respect except for the motor and transmission. It had a 6 speed close ratio. For my use, I would have preferred a wide ratio. The motor did not have a vibration dampener, so up and down the rpm range it was great. Hold it at 5500 rpm and it seemed like it was ready to self destruct. It also had sport bike tires and was a nightmare on dirt. I don't have that bike any more, but I miss it an awful lot. At 250 lbs and 50 hp, it was much more than just nice.

Now back to my tire questions. I bought the SM because even though it is under powered and overweight, the motor is bullet proof in it's stock configuration. The tires, as it comes from the factory, are also sport bike tires. (Dunlop 208SM). Great tires for a Go cart track, but not much for anything else. I also have a CBR 1000 RR for over 60 mph corning so I don't need the DRZ to be my everything bike. The DRZ is used mostly for twisty county farm roads with rough pavement at speed from 35 to 60 mph. The current tires are good for this job. However, I do like to ride county fire roads. Where I live they connect many of the smaller county paved roads. For dirt roads, the Dunlops are close to worthless. The problem is mostly with the front tire. It has small dia. (120-70-17), and has a twisty thread, all of which makes it really wander and wash out in dirt and sand .

I've looked at the Metz. tourance, the Pirelli Scorpion, and the Avon Distanza (Avon even has a supermoto Distanza) as replacements for the dunlops, but I am at a loss for what to choose. Also, I also noticed that Pirelli has a 120-90-17 that can be used as a front tire. This would increase the dia. by quite a bit. but I have no idea how it would affect overall handling

I don't want to loose most of my pavement cornering, but I would like to make the bike just a little more dirt worthy.

Any suggestions?

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Distanzia in 120/70 would probably be the go. A 120/90 is going to do horrible, horrible things to your street handling...

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check out the Pirelli MT60 tires. It looks like a racing rain tire, but is a street compound. they came stock on the KTM dukes for a long time.

it's your best bet for the front in a 17" rim. comes in the right 120/70-17 size.

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I have Pirellis Syncs and they are OK but if you do more dirt road than track go with the Distanzias which are more asphalt oriented (if you can believe it) than the MT60s which are more of a 60 street to 40 dirt type of tire.

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For more light duty dirt riding capability on your 17 inch rims consider...

Avon Distanzia

Pirelli MT60R Corsa Rain

Avon Pro-Xtreme Rain

With your 4.25" rear rim the proper tire size is a 150/60/17. The Distanzias are available in a 150 and 160 rear. The Pirelli and Avon might only be available in a 160.

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Have the distanzias (150), and love em!!! They handle fire roads with ease, and I was still giving my buddy a run for his money today in the twisties / CA 229 (he was runnin slicks, with a 160 rear on a DRZ, and couldn't gain any ground on me :thumbsup:) !

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Thank you for all the comments. I've spent quite a bit of time on the internet and in showrooms looking at the different tires. I'm going ahead and ordering a set of Distanzas. 120-70-17 and 150-70-17. The 150-60-17 would have 1/2 less dia than the stock 140-70. The 150-17 would add 1/2".

Also, I know it was not advised, but for an additional $ 100 I thought I would order a 120-90-17 Pirelli Mt-90 for the front end and give it a try on the dirt. It would increase the dia of the front and should help with washing out. The extant it would affect road handling, I don't know? But I thought I would give it a try For Dual-Sport riding. It seems like it would still handle much better than having a skinny 21" on the front end.

Any other thoughts on the 120-90 for the front?

Thank you again for the replys,

Tony

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