Trials Tires Revisited

The Michelin that came on my '07 TE-250 finally wore out, so i put a Dunlop 952 on the rear a few rides ago. Well, it's much harder than the Michelin, doesn't hook up as well at all. And the bike still slides more easily, front and rear, than I like. Some of the sliding is due to me, of course, but after reading some of the past threads on trials tires, I'm back to considering one, at least on the rear. I ride desert single track, moderately difficult up and down hills and moderately rocky jeep trails and fire roads with short jaunts into town for gas. An example would be the stuff you find in the El Paso mountains west of Randsburg, CA. Search brought up several excellent threads on this topic, but the last post was about 8 months ago, so I'm wondering if anybody has some more recent experience and comments to shre... thanks!

http://www.thumpertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=556445&highlight=trials+tires

I love trials tires and have found the Pirelli MT 43 to be the best all purpose tire I have ever tried. It is dot approved. I was skeptical as to whether or not it would perform well offroad and on the pavement and so far it has exceeded expectations. The tire is very stable at high speed on pavement and in the dirt. I also performs just as good in sharp narly rocks and tree roots as a Dunlop or Michelin. I have over 200 miles on it. 100 pavement and 100 offroad and it is still in great shape.

Russ let me try his bike with this tire and I will get it when my Mitas is done, which will be a while. The Pirelli was much much better at speed on a FS road!

David

I love trials tires and have found the Pirelli MT 43 to be the best all purpose tire I have ever tried. It is dot approved. I was skeptical as to whether or not it would perform well offroad and on the pavement and so far it has exceeded expectations. The tire is very stable at high speed on pavement and in the dirt. I also performs just as good in sharp narly rocks and tree roots as a Dunlop or Michelin. I have over 200 miles on it. 100 pavement and 100 offroad and it is still in great shape.

My new best favorite, to date is Kenda 100/100/18 Carlsbad. Mounted in the hard terrian position. Best hookup on rocky jeep trails & forest roads I have ever had! Period! $46 bucks & I am happy!

Hey Tom, is the Kenda Carlsbad a trials tire? And if so, is it a radial trials?

No the Carsbad K 772 is a knobby

No the Carsbad K 772 is a knobby

You know what Tom, even though a lot of people look down thier nose at Kenda tires My experience has been much like you'res. I have had very good luck with Kenda over the years and its' hard to complain about the price.:thumbsup:

You know what Tom, even though a lot of people look down thier nose at Kenda tires My experience has been much like you'res. I have had very good luck with Kenda over the years and its' hard to complain about the price.:thumbsup:

Hey BigGuy why don't you load up that 610 & come over to Prescott & I will show you some sights? Kenda's rock:thumbsup:

My new best favorite, to date is Kenda 100/100/18 Carlsbad. Mounted in the hard terrian position. Best hookup on rocky jeep trails & forest roads I have ever had! Period! $46 bucks & I am happy!

How does it compare to a trials tire? I have tried several quality knobbies and have not found a knobby that works as good or lasts as long as the MT 43 trials tire.

How does it compare to a trials tire? I have tried several quality knobbies and have not found a knobby that works as good or lasts as long as the MT 43 trials tire.

Can't really say:excuseme: I mounted up a Dunlop 803 on the rear of my TE 250 when I first got it & it was so high in the rear I couldn't get on the bike. Took it off & gave it away without ever riding it:crazy: 803 only comes in one size, they call it 400/18:excuseme: Very tall:thumbsdn: Maybe the MT 43 is not as tall:confused: I am sure the trails tires really work well, just not for me:cry:

Another vote for the MT 43,very very good alrounder

Hey BigGuy why don't you load up that 610 & come over to Prescott & I will show you some sights? Kenda's rock:thumbsup:

Tom I would love to drop by you're place and do some riding in you're area and might be able to make that happen a little latter this summer. For the next few weeks I will be spending most of my spare time at Lake Havasu, its boating season and thats what the rest of the family enjoys. Of cousre you are always welcome to pack up and head to the lake for a weekend.:thumbsup:

Another vote for the MT 43,very very good alrounder

I enjoy the IRC tubeless trials version. It's sidewalls are stiffer than the tube type. I had problems keeping the bead seated with the Pirelli.

I switch back and forth between MT16 and IRC trials. I like them both, the MT16 is very trials like at 7psi and it brakes much better than the trials.

I don't mind the squirm at all of the IRC, but the rear brake is just about useless at speed, just like the lack of traction when spinning it.

I enjoy the IRC tubeless trials version. It's sidewalls are stiffer than the tube type. I had problems keeping the bead seated with the Pirelli.

I switch back and forth between MT16 and IRC trials. I like them both, the MT16 is very trials like at 7psi and it brakes much better than the trials.

I don't mind the squirm at all of the IRC, but the rear brake is just about useless at speed, just like the lack of traction when spinning it.

How is the MT 16 on the pavement with 7lbs?

I enjoy the IRC tubeless trials version. It's sidewalls are stiffer than the tube type. I had problems keeping the bead seated with the Pirelli.

I switch back and forth between MT16 and IRC trials. I like them both, the MT16 is very trials like at 7psi and it brakes much better than the trials.

I don't mind the squirm at all of the IRC, but the rear brake is just about useless at speed, just like the lack of traction when spinning it.

Sounds like (1) the Pirelli is a tube type; I definitely want as stiff a sidewall as I can get for my first try at a trials tire; (2) there is a BIG difference between traction under-power and traction when braking with a trials tire; one of my hopes is/was that a trials tire would give me more traction going down as well as up hills; that is, I would consider a trials tire on the front, too...

What is your criteria for switching from the knobby to the trials? Open desert vs tight forest trails? Or...?

Thanks for the feedback...

there is a BIG difference between traction under-power and traction when braking with a trials tire; one of my hopes is/was that a trials tire would give me more traction going down as well as up hills;

In my experience, a trials tire offers big improvements in braking traction as well, but only if you can modulate the rear brake a bit and keep the tire rolling. once it starts to skid (in any direction) I find a trials tire has less traction than a knobby, but if it's not skidding, it has considerably more traction.

I followed WR TOM for one of his rides around Prescott (140 miles) right after he put on the Carlsbad, and I must say that that thing hooks up:thumbsup: . I have always been a hardcore Dunlop fan/snob, but seeing how well that tire did for him caused me to order a set for our trip to Utah next week. Nothing like a set of freshies on a new trail to make ya smile:ride:

For the person who asked, the MT43 is actually quite a bit taller then the Dunlop. On my 125 it would not have fit if I had the stock 13/53 gearing. With 12/53 and stock chain it just barely cleared the airbox mudflap.

the MT43 works real well. Unlike the other trials tires I have tried it brakes really good and does not sqirm at speed. It is very pinch flat resistent so you can run it lower which makes it grip as good as the radial ones. I think at the same psi it would probably be worse but it can go a lot lower. for example, I bet a Michilin at 10psi, a Dunlop at 8psi, and a Pirelli at 6psi would all have about the same pinch flat resistence. The problem I had is that below 7psi I could not keep the tube from moving in the tire. If I used baby powder I had to run at least 8. I used to run a Dunlop at 7.25 with no problem. For those that ride more rocks or go faster then me then more air is needed anyway and this should not be a problem.

I ended up going back to a knobby because the MT43 needed really low gearing to work on my little 125 and I don't like that I can't run it flat. I really never get pinch flats so I take the risk and ride without tubes, pump, and tire irons. I know that if I do get a flat some day I can limp it back. With the trials tire I need to always carry that stuff. For those who always have a tube and irons with them this would not matter. Sometimes I like to take short rides alone so I really had to pack everything then. The one thing I liked with a trials tire when alone is I knew if I ever got in a situation where I had to climb something nasty to get back I could always drop down to 4psi to climb out then head back to the truck carefully. Trails tires are amazing when run really low but that doesn't work well for long on a dirt bike with a tube.

When I ran a trials tire on my old 250 I found that if everyone else on knobies could not make it up something it did not matter that I could anyway since I would have to turn around. I thought I might try one to make up for the disadvantage I have in displacement but I am getting to the point where I can climb anything on a 125 that I ever could on a 250.

Where they suck (the Dunlop and the MT43 at least) is off trail. Often we have to make a little new trail to get around something, or are on a trail that hasn't been ridden in years, and a trials tire just spins on top of the natural vegitation and soil. I did not find the Dunlop to be much of an advantage or disadvantage in mud (it has to be below 8psi though to clean out).

I have a 07 GG TXT 280 with Michelin X11. IMO no better tire out there

for a Trials bike. Wasn't total convinced I wanted one on my 510.

Still ride in a lot of mud, creeks and slime. Trials tire just don't work good in wet muddy conditions.

I went with Kenda K270 Dual Sport. Still loads up a bit on very muddy runs

But I find it's not a bad tire at all.:thumbsup:

How is the MT 16 on the pavement with 7lbs?

Dandy, more solid feeling than the IRC at 7psi, frankly I don't notice any problems. Buddies tell me it squishes all over with the torque of the 450. I don't mind a little squirm on the road as I only use them to connect trails, <5 miles. I'm light too, I think that helps as well as steering dampener.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now