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No sense in kidding myself about tires..

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No matter how much I would like to say I get to ride dirt 80, or 50 or even 30 percent of the time, truth is if I spend 5% of the time on my DRZ in dirt I've had a good day. But when that rare chance to get dirty comes my way, I want to be ready. Therefore, knobbies stay. So if you are in a similar situation, where no matter how little dirt my dirt bikes sees, it will not get street tires, which tires have worked the best for you?

And now that I have gotten this out in the open, I feel much better.

Also, planning to do the Shenendoah 500 this fall, so I would like some rubber suited for that as well.

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Really... more than how often do you ride dirt... the question should be, "How aggressive do you ride dirt?" If you are aggressive.. then you need a good off-road tire, and just accept that they will only last a thousand or so miles on the street. If you buy a street oriented tire... you will hurt yourself off-road if you push too hard.

The only other options are to buy 2 bikes, or a second set of wheels, and swap them when you know you are going to ride dirt.

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As far as I am concerned...knobbies on the street kill a lot of the fun in riding my bike on the street. I have to be much more conservative if riding knobbies on pavement...in order to preserve the tire...and because it's limits are so much easier to find. Additionally there is also the ride quality. For me it is so much more pleasurable to have the smooth in control feeling that I get from my SM wheelset on the street.

I swap wheelsets...and I highly recommend it. If you use your knobbies on the street much at all...thier effectiveness in the dirt wears away pretty fast anyway...and swapping only takes about 1/2 and hour....less if I don't need to swap my chain (depends on what gearing I wish to run at that change.)

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I agree MutualBill. That is why I took off the 606's that were on the bike and put on GP110's. I have been very happy with the tire selection on the street but nearly killed myself off road. So, perhaps, I should figure out what a good tire is for the shenendoah 500 or a popular tire for T.A.T. type riding, and give them a shot for this season. I don't have the coin for a second wheel set!

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Something like the Dunlop D606 is a pretty good dirt tire for the road. It handles well on the street, will last a decent amount of miles, and will work way better than any street tire off road, even when worn. There are better off road tires out there but they won't work as well or last as long on road.

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My BIG problem with the D606 and MT21 on the street are that the front tires do not last.

I ride my bike everywhere. I do not own a car. I commute 11 miles each way on pavement.

.

The D606 and MT21 front tires have yet to last me more that 2k miles. The secondary knobbies, the ones just outside the center knobbies all wear down and then through the tire very quickly on the pavement. The rears hold up pretty well. This is with 3 sets of D606's and 3 sets of MT21's over the past year on my DRZ. They are not a great "Sometimes I ride dirt" tire. IMO.

I ride pea gravel and forest service roads on the weekends

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To me, even if you plan to ride offroad 10% of the time, you need a DOT knobby. Mt21's work great but Im on my 2nd one in under 1k miles, avoid wet roads as much as possible and keep inflation over 15 psi.

There is always a trade-off..

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I don't ride 90% dirt (much as I wish I could) but I do ride enough off road that I want (and need!) a very good DOT knobbie. I accept the trade off in mileage, and frankly the loss of street performance isn't quite that bad (to me, anyway).

I actually go the other way, where the 606's and MT21's weren't quite cutting it off road as well as I would like, so I've since switched to Pirelli XCMH's that are monsters off road, DOT legal, and aren't that bad on the street once you get used to their tendencies. They don't last forever (1k maybe....but I'm hard on my tires both on and off road) but the trade off is worth it to me. I ride the Deezer year round, even in upstate NY snow, and the XCMH's are great for me.

Then again, I've got a couple of other bikes in the garage so I don't sweat the DRZ's absolute street performance.

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It really depends on the kind of dirt you ride and how aggressive you are on the street. I like to get my bike leaned over really far and push it.

Explain how you ride because it makes a difference. In the dirt, is it hard pack or loose stuff and how aggressive are you? On the street, do you get the bike leaned over really far or do you just putt around?

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Sounds like you need a set of TKC80s. Long lasting knobbie that does OK in the dirt and very good for a pavement tire. Atleast thats what I have read. You cant take them mud bogging. They just dont work good enough but I really think this may be the tire your looking for.

http://www.americanmototire.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=200_219_220

Or maybe some Metzler Karoos

http://www.americanmototire.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=200_248_250

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Something like the Dunlop D606 is a pretty good dirt tire for the road. It handles well on the street, will last a decent amount of miles, and will work way better than any street tire off road, even when worn. There are better off road tires out there but they won't work as well or last as long on road.

I agree. The D606 handles better than I ever thought on the street and also works as good in the dirt as anyone could expect a DOT knobby to work. How long they last, as with any tire, depends on how (and where) you ride. If you ride aggressively on the street, expect them to wear more quickly than if you ride with a lighter wrist. If you're not constantly power sliding out of corners with your 470 stroker on D606s (exaggerating to prove a point here), you can expect them to last a while and still be plenty useable off-road.

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My days of real aggressive dirt riding are past. I do not bounce anymore. I ride to "my" 70%. I've had good luck with Kenda K270's and feel the Cheng Shin C858's work OK in the dirt and gravel roads and are real acceptable on the street and usually get 4-6 thousand miles out of them. The OEM tires on my WR250R, Bridgestone TW 301 & 303 work about the same as the Kenda's and I will wear them out. With the OEM treads that came on the Suzuki, I felt they were a street tire and never felt OK with them on any kind of off pavement. Unless you really push the street riding hard you will probably not miss the OEM tire.

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yea it wont be long that im gonna try the tkc 80's. i love the oldschool honda z 50 tread pattern for looks but not sure about the ride yet. also the price is good.

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This DRZ if my first bike, and like I mentioned it came with 606's front and rear. I always felt I had to be very, very careful on paved roads and I could not believe how loud the tires were. When I put on the GP 110's my street riding ability imporved 100%. I can now lean the bike over as far as I dare and I never feel like I am going to slide out.

Conversely, my confidence level shot way down as soon as I took the GP110's into the dirt. Fire roads they were great, but mid-atlantic forest single track is not fun now.

anyone done the TAT? what tire did you use? Anyone done the Shenendoah? Also, I am heading out to the Ashveille, NC area for a couple of weeks in July, so I may as well get a tire now that I will use out there. I only put 3k a year on the bike, so tire longevity is not a problem.

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