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Old 05-06-2008, 03:36 PM   #1
arrcrussell OP
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Location: NE OH, USA
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Dunlop 606 or MT-21 up front

Looking for a front tire for my XR650R. Primarily it'll be used for an 1,800 mile trip, half dirt/gravel, half pavement. I'm more concerned about sure footedness in the dirt, both wet and dry. For the road I won't be pushing it so I'll sacrifice a bit here, however, I'd like some comfort if the roads are wet. I've narrowed it down to a Dunlop 606 and Mich MT-21. Comments?
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Old 05-06-2008, 04:22 PM   #2
Milhaus
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I prefer the MT-21 up front and the D606 on the back. Seems to give a better balance. The D606 on the back is phenominal, however, I find a D606 up front plows and pushes too much. The MT-21 offers great off-road performance, but the downside is it will wear a bit quicker than the D606. I managed a touch over 2,000 miles on mine.
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Old 05-06-2008, 05:44 PM   #3
bigkatie
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Front tire

I just ordered a Pirelli Mt-18 for the front of my LC4 enduro and a 606 for the rear .You might want to research the MT-18,I read some good reports on this sight about it and KTM Talk .com.
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:02 PM   #4
ram1000
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Iv'e noticed the MT21 on the front lets go on occasion (in the dirt) in a corner. I have quit using it for that reason.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:51 PM   #5
Zerodog
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I just really like the 606 front and back for all around DS use on a heavy bike. At least in the desert. Lots of sand, rock and gravel. And any combo of those listed thrown all over a hardpack dirt road.
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:37 PM   #6
Anciano
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On a DR650 I, like Milhaus, prefer a MT21 on front and D606 on rear. The Pirelli will let loose, but it is easy to get back. The D606 front is very predictable. If you turn it pushes - badly.

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Old 05-07-2008, 05:38 AM   #7
halfcab
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrcrussell
Looking for a front tire for my XR650R. Primarily it'll be used for an 1,800 mile trip, half dirt/gravel, half pavement. I'm more concerned about sure footedness in the dirt, both wet and dry. For the road I won't be pushing it so I'll sacrifice a bit here, however, I'd like some comfort if the roads are wet. I've narrowed it down to a Dunlop 606 and Mich MT-21. Comments?
The 606 or MT21 are OK on clean hard pack but sure footed off road they are not. On gravel you will find either tire pushing/hunting vary badly and not want to turn.
Because of the steering head angle of the 650R you might want a more aggressive front tire. Did you consider the D908RR?

What ever you chose have fun on you trip.
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:10 AM   #8
crazy charlie
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I like the K270 front and 606 rear combo.
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Old 05-07-2008, 06:27 AM   #9
XRR-kat
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My vote is for MT18 front and D606 or D908 rear.

Do search on the D606 and you'll find many who do not like the D606 up front - like Gas Pipe. He went so far as to reverse the tire on the rim and thought that was better. Wandered at hiway speed.

I have been impressed with the traction of the MT18 off-road, including sand, and on road including wet.

You don't discuss what rear tire you have but the D606 is not a 2,000 mile tire for me. I'm on a BRP. Reason I'm going to try D908 rear.

Be sure to break in the D606. New D606 rear I had was like a grease pencil.
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:20 AM   #10
Sparrowhawk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XRR-kat
My vote is for MT18 front ...

I have been impressed with the traction of the MT18 off-road, including sand, and on road including wet.
+1 Excellent traction in the dirt, handles the pavement fine and wears as well as any knobbie. I had a little instability at 70+ mph the first 100 miles when mounted on an LC4E but that went away. It is rock solid now. I don't push it real hard on wet pavement but the traction seems fine.
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:39 AM   #11
XR650L_Dave
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My front of choice was an MT21- and its very good on wet pavement.

Now I run an MT18HD front, much more aggressive but pretty safe on the pavement. Also decent on wet pavement.

I tried a scorpion pro front (looks like an MT18 but with diagonal knobs towards the sidewalls) and found-

1) needs to be ridden aggressively to plant it
2) knobs fold with hard braking on pavement
3) its a low profile tire, lower than a -21 or -18, so handling is altered (quicker).


Dave
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Old 05-07-2008, 12:33 PM   #12
vntgmx
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I have MT21s on my XChallenge and they work well on both offroad and the street.
BTW the MT21 is made by Pirelli and I noticed you referenced Michelin in your original posting.
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Old 05-09-2008, 02:18 AM   #13
XRider
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I just replaced the 606s on my plated XR600R with MT21s. The 606s were top notch and I suppose they wore as good as any DOT knobby. I like the MT21s a little better in the dirt especialy the rear tire. The knobs go all the way to the side wall. They seem to be wareing about the same. The front tire does hunt a little above 70 mph, but so did the 606s. I did about 300 miles in Moab on the 606s without issue. They worked great on the hard pack and rock there. I like the MT21s a little better in the mud but it's a coin toss.
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Old 05-09-2008, 12:01 PM   #14
bikeslut
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If I read the OP correctly, the trip was on dirt and gravel...

I would run a dirt tire (I am actually liking my 952's)

also... I agree with the comments about 606's pushing on the dirt... i don't think the rear is that great, but it is predictable
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:41 PM   #15
Bike-N-Hike
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606's front tire

I'm going through my first set of 606's and at approx 1,500 miles the front are developinig significant hairline cracks surrounding the lugs. Maybe this is common running such nice lugs over "pot holed cracked" hellish, post winter roads agressively, but none-the-less they are showing quite a bit of this. The rear 606's do not show the cracks. I still like the tires though.
Maybe I'll try the MT's next time around.

I just spent 3, 6hr days riding on wet pavement last week and the 606's were great, I felt really comfortable with the control .
Plowed along like it was dry pavement (something I would't have done on my other bike).
The riding wasn't in any heavy rain, just rain/mist/fog.
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