We are getting our XT225 setup for my wife for our TAT trip in a couple weeks from TN to the AR/OK border. We'll be running pavement, chip seal, hard pack dirt and gravel. If it rains, we no doubt will find some mud.
I have a brand new Kenda K270 or Pirelli MT480 to put on the front. I actually have a matching K270 for the rear, but I really debated on just putting something more meatier on there. It's hard to really know whats going to work for her. She's pretty new to the dirt, but a very avid street rider with lots of miles under her belt. We hit gravel roads plenty of times on our street bikes and she handles that fine. However, just 1 day of mud could make her live miserable with any tire that doesn't handle it very well, but not sure how much I want to sacrifice road manners for the other 90% of the trip. The tire needs to last about 2k miles also.
I've ran Kenda's before and they aren't bad as long as you don't hit any mud, especially where the front tire really gives up. They have pretty decent road manners and I know they will last pretty good.
The kenda by far will probably have the better road manners, but like I said, is it worth giving up the soft grip if she needs it.
I'm open to other suggestions, but we really don't have a lot of money to kill in buying new tires. These 3 tires are sitting here ready to use.