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Tires and Levers

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Hi all..

I recently bought a 2001 yz 250... I have had ATV's all my life and really want to switch to dirtbikes.

I have been practicing for a few weeks now but have had some problems. Just recently I went trail riding in Maine (clay, dirt, mud, woods, sand trails) and it was like riding on banana peels. I have a fairly worn rear tire and was wondering if that was the reason. It is a Dunlope 739 I believe. I was planning on buying a new tire but if it is normal for this to happen I'd rather just suck it up and keep trying. My front tire looks brand new. Both tires are original tires from 01 with less than 40 hours of use.

My 1st question is.. Can you recommend a good quality/durable tire for my trail riding needs? Do I need to buy both front and back together, my front tire looks good, and I assume back tires wear faster than fronts?

Secondly, I had a spill and my brake lever stuck into the sand, I pulled the handle bars out of the sand and the brake lever was broken off. I am not even sure how this happened because it was so soft. I need a new lever, and I think I should just buy a set because I don't want it happening to the clutch lever. I've seen the unbreakable levers, but those are pricey. Is there a cheaper durable brand that anyone can recommend? Thanks!

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You can get some bark busters. Or some sturdy hand guards. I found that even with the cheap hand guards they help deflect and stop the lever from bending the wrong way. Plus you have good hand protection. And if your front tire is good I'd say just replace the rear for now. Idk where you're located but winter is around the corner and and you might not be riding as much so your front should last for a while. I have a Pirelli XC on my 01 and it seems to be doing the job fine. It's a little slick in the slimmy mud when riding slow but I'm sure so is pretty much every tire.

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I think gilbert hit on it when he said riding slow.

The slower you go in slick conditions the less grip the tires have and it's harder to balance. The momentum of the wheels clean themselves and it's the wheels spinning that makes the bike not want to fall over.

I'm not suggesting you ride faster in slick conditions while learning; I am suggesting you learn in better riding conditions. If possible.

Btw wet clay and wet tree roots are like ice. Sand feels slippery but it's very predictable.

It's better for the levers to break than the brake master cylinder.$

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I think gilbert hit on it when he said riding slow.

The slower you go in slick conditions the less grip the tires have and it's harder to balance. The momentum of the wheels clean themselves and it's the wheels spinning that makes the bike not want to fall over.

I'm not suggesting you ride faster in slick conditions while learning; I am suggesting you learn in better riding conditions. If possible.

Btw wet clay and wet tree roots are like ice. Sand feels slippery but it's very predictable.

It's better for the levers to break than the brake master cylinder.$

I noticed that as well, my front tire was always filled with mud. Unfortunately these are the only conditions I can really ride on. There are better conditions further away, but I have to ride the crappy conditions before I can get to the good conditions. I have rode 3 times and one was a very dry day which worked out well. But the last two times I did not make it past the crappy conditions. One I hit my finger on a rock and it was bleeding pretty good, and the second my brake lever snapped off so both times I had to go home.

Do you recommend I suck it up and keep trying with what I already have. Or do you think I should purchase a new tire to make it a little easier? My friend who rides dirtbikes says my tire would be called garbage by any MX racer, but that it is not in desperate need of replacement.

I will just buy a 20$ set of levers, but am on the fence about the rear tire. I think it would help but it seems like I need to figure this out the hard way.

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Get folding unbreakable levers or bark busters if you want the levers to stop breaking. Or stop crashing, but if your like I was a few years back you'd better pick up some unbreakable levers...

New tires are awesome but if your riding in sloppy conditions you will still have some slip and slide. If I was you I would get new tires so that you can tone down the slippage but also just try and learn how to ride it. Be smooth with the throttle and depending on the terrain riding a gear high can tone down the wheel spin.

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Since your riding slower I would recommend lowering your tire pressure to maybe 5-9psi. The lower the pressure the better the grip but be carefull and easy over rocks or you'll get a pinch flat or even crack a rim.

In the winter I put one sheet metal screw in each knob to help with traction. None in the middle of the rear( they just spin right out) but still on the sides. They are great over roots and work well in clay and even rocks. I don't think they'll do anything in sand. They're 1/8 inch wide at the threads and 1/2 inch long.

IMO ride with the tires you have for now.

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I actually had my psi at 10-ish when I got it and It was pretty good. But my tires said 15 psi so i put that in, and it was really slippery. Then I looked it up and found out 15 is for motocross and they like it slippery, 13-14 is good for trails so i put in 13 and it was still slippery.

I would like to put back in 10 but I have excel rims and am afraid to damage them. If I drive any more cautious I will be rolling lol.

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I have switched to Pirelli scorpion extra soft med. Very good tire. The fronts do last longer. If you have the money i would get a new front. The front is probably hard and doesn't grip well. A lack of confidence in your front wheel will hold you back riding. Folding levers work great, but the cheap tusk hand guards will work to keep from busting levers and protect hands. As far as slick clay goes a 2 stroke bike takes a ton of clutch and throttle control.... very good lessons if you stick with it. Winter riding is a blast. If you have basic skills see if you can find some hare scrambles to run in. Nothing makes you better than having to tackle an obstacle. I gained skills twice as fast on the track then out fun riding, but the fun rides are necessary. If you can find a good club that is another way to find riding places close and some people that can help with tips. Clubs have A racers to your local weekend warriors and are usually more that welcome to be patient.

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Better tires will help, but slick clay is always slick!

My vote goes for bark busters rather than folding levers. A must-have for trail riding, in my opinion, and great for saving levers.

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+ (howver many) on barkbusters, you'll love them. Throw some good tires on there MX51s or something and the rest is about speed and confidence...it will come to you. Slick is not so bad once your speed is up and you are comfortable. When I started I spend too much time sitting...bike handles much better in slick stuff if standing.

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Also if you keep your tires bald like muah, you never got to worry about mud filling them. 👍:ride:

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I actually had my psi at 10-ish when I got it and It was pretty good. But my tires said 15 psi so i put that in, and it was really slippery. Then I looked it up and found out 15 is for motocross and they like it slippery, 13-14 is good for trails so i put in 13 and it was still slippery.

I would like to put back in 10 but I have excel rims and am afraid to damage them. If I drive any more cautious I will be rolling lol.

Ride with the lowest pressure you can get away with. If your not running through rocks let some air out.

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