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Trials Tires - Review

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After moving to the "dark side" a year or so ago and converting to a rear trials tire I thought I'd give my feedback on the tires tried.

Note - this is based on basic bush riding, not competition and not track. Rides are a mixture of single trail, hill climbs, rocky, loamy - no deep mud nor sand.

Note also that I (or the terrain) am very hard on the tires - so hopefully this is a fair assessment. All tires were run at 6-8psi with Ultra heavy Duty Tubes - never had a flat in the time they were assessed!!

Tire prices are awful in OZ so purchase price is important

IRC - Awesome grip. Fairly expensive. Too squirrily at speed and threw knobs at about 500km. Tire destroyed after 800km

Michellin - Similar grip to IRC, but more expensive. Also no good at speed and threw knobs early. Very similar to IRC all round.

Mitas - Not as grippy as above two but still good. Much more stable at speed, comfortably ridden on the road. Tire held up well until about 800km then showed cracking of knobs. Within two more rides (200km) knobs started chunking, two more and it was all over. Reasonably priced tire. Prefer over IRC/Michellin for all round performance and price.

Cheng Shin - Awful pattern but still hooks up reasonably well. Good wear, no chunking of knobs ever occurred, good price but simply not in the same category of other trials tires. Would only purchase again if no other alternative.

Pirelli - Probably around the same grip as the Mitas, but clear difference is noted in lack of side wall flex as it is not a radial tire. Extremely good wear and reasonable price. This tire will wear out before chunking. My choice for a summer-time tire

Vee Rubber - The jewel in the crown and undiscovered until a couple of months ago. Very similar grip to IRC/Michellin but good at speed and very good wearing. Have done nearly 1000km on one and it still looks and grips fantastic (no sign of chunking). Being made in Thailand they are quite cheap.

My new number one trials tire for performance and price - although I have yet to see how they will cope on the rocks in the summer time.

Dunlop - Untried, but at the price they want for them in OZ - I wont be!!

Hope this helps someone out there:applause:

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Thank you for the research. I've been sold on the Michelins (I just ordered another one). I did not think there could be anything close to the performance of them. I'll ask my dealer about "V" Rubber.

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oz leper, what kind of bike do you ride? I have a 07 wr 250 and went to a local shop and they did not think a trials tire would fit on my back rim??? Also, I'm betting they don't sell the V tire here in the States?

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Mine is an 03WR250, but ride with other WRs up to '07. The rear rim is the same and std trials tires will fit. Dont believe there is a 19" trials tire, so YZFs are out of luck.

The trials tire does sit taller and there's not a lot of clearance with the spring protector flap - probably another reason why these tires arent all that flash in heavy mud, but apart from that they will fit and they will kill any knobby out there.

There's plenty of other discussion on these tires by other riders in this forum - just do a search.

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Good to see the comparisons you've made. I've only used the Pirelli and have never had a problem with them on either 450s or my current 250. The only time a knobbly beats them is in sticky mud. One of the mags over here ran a test on tyres and the Vee Rubber performed really well so I'm going to try them next.

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As said before the only "down" side to the Pirelli was slightly less grip and its inability to roll sideways - something that the radial trials tires have over them. You especially notice this on steep uneven uphills where the radial really helps keep the bike tracking straight - awesome wearing though and at a good price in Oz as long as you shop around.

I'd have to say these feel the most like a knobby of all the trials tires and take less to adjust to. Still cheating though...

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My brother is running a pirelli on his yz250 2st with an 18 rim

We did a ride at cobaw the other day (the place is almost entirely large boulders with some clay bits thrown in)

my brand new bridgestone knobby hooked up decent in the clay but got absolutely zero traction on wet rocks (trying to hill climb the rocky sections was so stupid it was funny)

his pirelli on the other hand hooked up just as well in the clay (remember he has more power too) but on the wet rocks it was mind boggling.. I've never seen any tyre get that much traction on any kind of surface aside from road slicks on tarmac

He didnt know what I was raving about until he saw me try and climb up a big boulder and do a 180 on the spot

He did complain about the inability to slide the rear end into corners

Needless to say my next purchase will be a trials tyre. I was going to go with the pirelli, how much does the V go for?

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Hey Motty,

I have ridden Cobaw many times, unfortunately only once since the change to trials tyres - certainly that is one venue that your tyre choice can make all the difference. There's some nasty single lane rock climbs in that area.

Yeh - you are right about the rear end slide into corners; it can be done just takes a slight change to your riding style - it'll come.

I'm from Wodonga but go trials tyre shopping whenever I'm in Melbourne - picked up my Pirelli in Ringwood for $130 and a local guy here stocks the Vee Rubbers for only $120. Compared with the $180 Michellin or Dunlop and around $165 for the IRC they're worth a look.

Stick one on and then head to Cobaw. If you bump into a grey van with 3 guys all on trials tyres it might be me and two other converts.

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oz, do you know what model your vee rubber tire is? I found their web-site and they sell a ton of tires. I called a several places here where I live and no one has ever heard of them. So, I'm gonna check into buying one over the web, but they have so many I'm not sure what model and how to convert the sizes to a 100/100/18 ? Thinks for all your info. :)

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Here's everything written on my tire:

Vee Rubber Trial Benissimo Tubeless

4.00 R18 M/C 64L V308 (=110/100 R18)

It also has a little stamp that reads "For off-road use only in U.S.A. and Canada" so someone must be bringing them in over there. Good luck

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Couldnt find any Vee Rubber distributers near by, so I went with the Pirelli MT43. It will be my first try at riding on a trials tire.

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Because the tire sits so tall, you might find you need to change your gearing to suit. It's probably worth about 2-3 teeth on the rear sprocket

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07 WR250F, free mods, JD jet kit and the usual safety equipment, with Dunlop D803 trial tire and heavy duty tube. I do ride in Washington and Oregon, wet slime with LOTS of rocks and tree roots. That being said, I will say this tire has performed better than ANY tire I have tried to date. Other dunlops, michellin, Cheng Chin, are the only other brands I have used. As of right now I have about 300 miles on it, it is just starting to show signs of wear.

Strengths: Awesome traction in mud, rocks, roots, slime, leaves, and sand and gravel. Deep mud at low speed is not as good as knobbies, but if travelling with a little speed, it floats over stuff MUCH better.

Weakness: Does wobble around at speed. Oh, and great in the snow!!

sensitive to tire pressure changes, always good, but better when the pressure is low. Braking is less than knobbies, and downhill traction is questionable at times, might just me being picky.

Overall: I rate this tire as perfect for trail riding, it doesn't eat up the dirt like knobbies, wears MUCH longer, and in my terrain just seems to be so much better I feel guilty like I am cheating in some way? I love it! I rarely ride above 3rd gear as these trails aren't that fast. So maybe if the speeds were faster I might feel differently? I am trying to be as honest as I can in hopes you all get the best information possible.

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.

V-Rubber trials tyres are available through "The Hell Team" trials website. http://www.thehellteam.com

Pretty cheap too, even including courier costs.

I've just ordered one a few minutes ago. $Aus145 shipped to my door.

Incidently, just prior to ordering it I rang an old mate of mine who is a trials fanatic.

I asked him what he would recommend I try on the WRF.

He rattled off a few brands, giving me the rundown on how they perform and wear.

In the end he said: "But what might suit you best of all on a WRF in the bush is a cheap brand called V-Rubber. A lot of our guys are switching over to them. They grip, have good sidewall strength, wear really well, and above all are heaps cheaper than the others."

I hold Gary's opinion in very high regard. He's 45 and has been a top level trials rider since we were in high school.

I'm sold on the V-Rubber already!

Greg

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I want to try one of the V's.

I use an D803 and it's so good I never tried anything else.

BTW good job on the pictures Greg!

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.

(Thanks Beezer).

If I remember correctly Gary said the Dunlops have one less knob row than the others over the circumference of the tyre, which means the knobs are slightly further apart than other brands.

This equates to:

a) Improved mud grip

:thinking: Shorter life

Greg

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When I started using the trials tires no one else was using them around here. I always got comments on how gay it looked. They'd get stuck on snotty hills and I'd go as slowly as possible past them and yell out "having problems"? Or I let them get right on my ass up a hill and stop just near the top and watch them all slide back down the hill.

Then I made the mistake of letting one of my buddies ride my bike.

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