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Krusty ... 11-04-2010 10:04 PM

DR650SE Index Topic #6- TIRES, TUBES & WHEELS
DR650SE Index Topic #6- TIRES, TUBES & WHEELS

Tires are arguably the most subjective subject in motorcycling, especially, it seems, for dual-sports. A tire model that is hailed by one rider is often spit on by another.
The debate over tubes is usually less heated. Some prefer heavy duty versions, others don't.
I've seen a number of DR pilots who keep two sets of wheels/tires on hand, allowing them to easily convert their bikes to riding on one surface condition to another. Swapping an 18 inch rear is popular for riders heading into lands where 17 inch tires are hard to find. And we've all seen the motards with sticky rubber on wide 17 inch rims.

Let us know all about what keeps you rolling. I know it's a tire discussion, but please keep it civil :deal... Everyone is entitled to present their evaluation.

eakins 11-04-2010 10:12 PM

i find tck-80 fr and 130-17" mefo explorers rear are the highest mileage 50/50 tire combo on the market. i'll get 6k plus.

i run 100-18" bridgestone heavy duty (3mm) tubes in the rear.

i balance (key to long life) my wheels with mark parnes balancer

i just changed my bearings and this pit posse affordable bearing puller

foxfire 11-04-2010 11:42 PM

Both my wheel sets are a compromise (hell, the DR itself is a compromise). D606 on stock wheels (w/hd tubes) for dirty stuff, Distanzias on 17"/19" (w/standard tubes) for twisty stuff. Tried 17"/17" and didn't like em.

Krusty ... 11-05-2010 08:05 AM

Bump for the day shift...

Snowy 11-06-2010 02:06 AM

The Dunlop 606 is off my shopping list.

2000kms of dirt and tar, 50/50 and it didn't look too bad.

180km of trail riding today and it's toast. It's worn more today than it did when I rode the 2000km trip a few weekends back. I couldn't believe it when I saw it.

Back to the Mitas E09 rear. I'll keep the Dunlop 952 front, it works well.

justscoutin 11-06-2010 07:11 AM

got a set of michelin T63's here now. put the rear one on last night and tried it out today. 120 miles. worked really well on everything I threw at it. way more stable in the loose gravel roads than the mt21 that was on the rear. can't wait to get the front swapped and try it out.

Krusty ... 11-06-2010 07:54 AM

If you're looking for a more street oriented or touring tire (like 90/10), I'd suggest the Avon Gripsters. Very happy with mine. They last, they're quiet, and they're priced right. Great traction on pavement, especially in the rain. They're adequate on hard pack or gravel, and have a poor reputation in mud (Slipsters).

jessepitt 11-06-2010 10:07 AM

I have a t63 on the back which I love, seems to have better road handling than the Karoo II thst it replaced and is equal off pave. The front is a Perrelli rally? (sorry, its raining and I dont want walk out to the shop to look). I dont like this tire as much as the tire it replaced but I think they stopped making that tire. It was a perelli pro FIM and that was the best dirt road front tire I've ever ridden, It was flawless. I think they changed the style on the new version, I will have to try it next. FWIW I havnt gotten a single flat in 30,000 miles, mostly dirt roads.

Fire Escape 11-07-2010 08:00 AM

Double your pleasure, double your fun....
I changed my DR over to TKCs shortly after I got it, they were pretty good up here in New England for how I used the bike (70/30 ?). When I took the bike down to Florida for winter use (98/2) the coarse pavement really chewed up the rear. I found an inmate who had a set of ProCycle Supermoto wheels/tires that his wife did not fall in love with and made them my "winter wear". They are both 17s, which for me make the handling a little too quick (not the bikes fault, I am old and like to check out the water around every bridge I cross). I have lowered the rear of the bike (factory method) but left the front stock to compensate. When I change back to the 21/17 summer wheels I drop the clamps about an inch on the fork tubes to "level things out".
If I were getting a new set of SM wheels, I would probably go for a 19/17 combination. Certainly less tire choices but the less agressive geometry is a better fit for my needs (and to me looks "better", did I mention that I am old?). This combination of wheels and tires is working out fine for me, short of damage I am not likely to get any more or different wheels - tires, well who knows?
I do have a new T-63 waiting to go on the back for next summer, they suposedly wear a bit longer than the TKCs and that center worn TKC on there now doesn't give me much confidence when I find any mud.


sagedrifter 11-08-2010 05:42 PM

For touring I like a mild rear with a semi-mild TKC-80 on front. Ebay had some good close out prices on the old Anakee, $63 shipped ain't bad so I put one on the rear to replace my worn out TKC that was on the wear bars with just over 3K.

I was surprised how well the combo does. I run forest roads for most of my "off road" and ride mostly gravel with very little mud so, the combo works very well. I've been runing the original tubes for the most part, but I did break down and get a Dunlop HD for the front and a IRC HD tube for the rear as spares. I've yet to loose a tube on the DR from riding, the front is the original and the rear was replaced with a $14.50 dealer tube due to a self inflicted pinch with a tire iron....:baldy

Xplorr 11-13-2010 10:04 PM

I'm looking for info as to weather anyone has done an 18" rear wheel. I've looked into the dr350 swap. I haven't found info on which, if any years of the 350 have a cush drive. If you have done an 18", I would like to know what size tire you used and what the clearance was. Also curious about messing with off set to accommodate a wide tire, circa 140. I'm starting to think I'm chasing an expensive boat anchor. Thanks.

Also,a big thanks to Krusty for taking the time to start an index thread(s).

ShadyRascal 11-13-2010 10:24 PM

Ran a set of D606's front & rear on mine. Worked great off road, especially the front grip in corners. Got good mileage out of the rear, not so good front because I let my pressure stay too low and it cupped.

Running TKC80 front and MT21 rear now, nice smooth combo for pavement, not as grippy in the front in dirt, A pretty good compromise I think.

Copie 11-13-2010 11:53 PM

Im running Pirelli MT 90 A/T front and rear currently, excellent grip on the tarmac both wet and dry, pretty decent on the wet, did alright in the mud and rocks this morning, dont know what it would be like in the sand/heavy mud though.

kezzajohnson 11-14-2010 08:45 PM

DR Tyres
Currently running and having an excellent run from the Michelin T-63s with heavy duty tubes. If I am to do some extended road mileage, I change to Michelin Siracs.
No complaints about either of these tyres for both longevity and grip/handling that were designed for.:wink:

mr openroad 11-25-2010 01:53 PM


Originally Posted by eakins
i find tck-80 fr and 130-17" mefo explorers rear are the highest mileage 50/50 tire combo on the market. i'll get 6k plus.

i run 100-18" bridgestone heavy duty (3mm) tubes in the rear.

i balance (key to long life) my wheels with mark parnes balancer

i just changed my bearings and this pit posse affordable bearing puller

is the TCK front that much better than the MEFO front?

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