Tire selection - MT21 vs MT16

I need some new rubber.. I am deciding... I commute to work, 60mi rd trip, but I like dirt on the weekend.

It looks like

Pirelli MXH front 90/100-21

looks the same as the MT16, but wider.. should be better on the hardpack this summer?

Pirelli MT16 rear 120

or MT21 rear 140

or Cheng Shin 5.60 C760 5.60 rear tire

OR cheapo Shinko dual sport rear tires


I've had D606s, but they are just eh. nothing spectacular. I like pirellis a lot, but with the 650 getting so much road use, I dont know if the MT16 is the ticket. been searching the archive, but not too many comparisons on the 21 vs 16


I didn't think the MT16 was DOT??

I just put a new Michelin AC10 on my rear after running a MT21 and I'm really loving it, HEAPS more traction in the dirt. However, if your doing that many road miles, 60m x 5 days = 300m a week, 1200 a month, an MT21 or D606 would probably be a better bet and last longer.

If you went for a more aggressive road knobby, it would probably be gone within a month or so of road riding. You will also have to way up what's more important as your safety on the road can be a risk. That risk is multiplied by your exposure to hazards and given you will be looking at 1200 m/per month, I don't think it's worth the risk with anything less than a MT21 or D606. You may even want something more SM.

Sorry, but in my opinion the MT21 or D606 would be a safer option in your circumstances, unless you can get a 2nd wheel and set that up with your off road tire.

Between the 2, I don't know. Like I said I just got rid of an MT21 and it biased slightly more to the road riding than I would have preferrred in my terrain.

Hope it helps:thumbsup:

i've had the mt21 and the 606's . for me the 21 would never hook up off road, if you wanted to roost every one behind you its perfect. got about 1300 miles out of it. loved the 606's , nothing bad to say, got about 1700 miles. currently running kenda k270s good tire for the money, think this is the third set, get over 3500 miles. bike has over 22000 miles.

I wanted to try the 606 last time but I told the guy at the bike shop that I wanted something more aggresive than the MT21 and was curious about the 606. He said the 21 & 606 were similar so advised something else so I went with the AC10.

I'm not a fan of the MT21 for the amount of off road I was doing. Maybe I shouldn't have listened to him and tried the 606 anyway.

I just bought a Teraflex 140/80 tire. Its more or less a knobby tire but it is DOT approved. I haven't installed yet but I can't wait to try it out.

I love my 606. I ride mostly to work and back and it's lasted me a long time and it does a good job off the road as well. No complaints

A terraflex might work out. It's a tough thing to have good dirt and decent street life. I wonder if a MT43 would be a possibility. You would have to air it up to 22 or maybe 25psi for road use, but then you can drop to 10 or 11 for off road.

At one time I was considering a second set of wheels for street and dirt, but they are kind of pricey. I ended up getting a street bike for less than the cost of a set of wheels.

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