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Old 08-25-2010, 09:55 PM   #1
browneye OP
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Versys follows BMW...Tires?

Oh, no, not another tire thread...

Dare I ask for some input on tires from you guys that actually use the type of tires I'm considering. I want to be able to navigate some of the dirt roads around CA so a tire upgrade seems prudent. I've narrowed it down to a Distanzia front since that seems to be the best bet for the 17" versys front wheel. Most of you guys favorites don't come in a 17" front. I understand the Distanzia SM compound sticks like crazy, and are better than a pure road tire on dirt roads. Reports are that they last quite well on the front of these bikes.

For the back, on a 4.5" wide rim, there are several tires that will fit in 150/70-17:
Anakee 2
Tourance
Distanzia Dual sport

And there's the Distanzia SM compound in 160/60-17. I understand this tire is very soft and could wear out in as little as a couple of thousand miles so I've more or less ruled it out.

Give me your suggestions for the others, which ones you like best and why. I know the Tourances wear the best, and some have said the anakee's hum. Or if there is something completely different you would recommend. For example, the new Scorpion Trail, or the older Scorpion Syncs. I don't want pure knobbies, so the TKC's are out, I'm talking 90-10 on-off road.

I want to keep my good road handling characteristics but get a little more traction on fireroads. I'm a pretty aggressive road rider, like to lean over in the twisties. But I've been riding dirtbikes for over 40 years so I'm always drawn to explore off pavement.

I know the V isn't going to go everywhere the GS's go, but looking to put some skins on that will help.

Thanks for letting me crash your forum.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:19 AM   #2
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Might not get a lot of responses, as there are already a lot of tire threads... I'm not sure if I've seen much info on road-biased tires, though? I thought I'd mention that I have the stock Scorpion Trails on my F800GS and they're a little sub par for anything but pavement. I think that's why they're 95/5 on/off road - really that 5% is just to try and sell tires, in my opinion.

I'll start by saying that I don't actually have a lot of off road experience, and these are the only tires I've yet tried on this bike, but I've taken them on some dirt a couple times and haven't had very good luck with their level of traction. Pavement, they're pretty decent - at least as good as your typical street tire. But there just isn't enough of a pattern to grab at the dirt. It's basically just a street tire, possibly with a slightly different profile to make it turn in a little less quickly.

If you're going to be leaving the tarmac, I'm guessing you'd have to for something that's at least 70/30 in order to make it worth anything. The MT 90 Scorpion A/T Enduro looked like it might do a better job than the Scorpion Trails, but I don't know if they come in the right size, or if they're really any good.

In the end it's just a compromise. As I've been going off road as much as possible, but still have to do a lot of tarmac to get anywhere, I went with the Heidenau K60s for my next set (should be coming in today). Sure, I'm expecting a little less road traction, but any amount of improvement in the dirt is worth it to me. You just have to decide if you're really going to be doing enough dirt to want to put on a tire that's going to make a difference in those conditions.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:27 AM   #3
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Conti Trail Attacks.

Better than anything you have listed.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:10 PM   #4
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I had good luck with Shinko 705's and they were inexpensive as well.
Currently I have the Pirelli Scorpion AT on my F8 and they are a great road tire but will spin in all but the hardest dirt.

I looked at the Trail Attacks but have not tried them yet. Other tires to consider are the Dunlop D607, Pirelli MT-60's.

Checking the Kawasakiversys forum it looks like this is the hot setup for your bike "Continental Trail Attack 150/70-17 rear with an Avon Distanzia 120/70-17 front"

http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ead.php?t=2288
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:32 PM   #5
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I liked my conti trial attacs. They were hard to take off though.

Very sticky on the paved and felt surprisingly good on unpaved roads as well.

Wore out pretty quickly for being a road focused tire.

Anakee 2 or doesnt that come in your size?
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:29 PM   #6
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Thank you for the replies. I was looking at the pic thread on the GS's, way cool. And I've been to the dealer to look at the bikes. Probably really what I should have, just can't justify the cost at this point, and I just don't have the $$ right now anyway. Wifey has been out of work for over a year. Sold the boat....well, you get the picture.

I finally figured out how to search on ADVR using Google. Works a lot better than our forum search function. So I got to do a LOT more reading on impressions of all the various tires on various bikes. Good feedback from strom and bimmer owners. The Tourance is universally liked. Not the best at everything, but just a solid performer.

There are a lot of good reports on the conti trail attacks. No sizing for the 17" front though, and I figure if I'm going to stay with road tire then scorpion syncs or trails make sense. I'm starting to lean that way.

I wrote Pirelli US yesterday about the scorpion trail in 160/60-17 and of course the idiot that replies doesn't know anything, but did say they 'are expanding the line for 2011" and introduce new products at the Indy dealer show in Feb. Hmmm...

Thanks for the link to the versys owners site but I'm pretty active over there and of course have read everything they have to say on tires. Some of them guys are running bias ply tires, oversize rears on fronts, all kinds of weird stuff. Since my bike is primarily a road bike I don't want to ruin it's handling and make it unsafe just for a bit of improvement for dirt/gravel running.

A couple of owners have adapted a DL1000 front wheel to them, seems to be one way to get a bigger selection of tires to fit, plus the 19" wheel rolls over objects easier and of course a bigger wheel tracks better off pavement. Having not ridden one though, I can't help but feel it's going to slow down handling quite a bit since the bike was designed and setup with a 2" smaller front wheel. Same deal here, ruin on-road performance for some gains offroad. The suspension really comes into play then, these bikes are not setup for offroad. Dirt roads okay, trails not. I have a KTM to do that. Your bimmers were setup from design concept with the larger front. Just tacking one onto another bike I figure will not have the same results, but I could be wrong.

The Anakee2 comes in a compatible size for the rear, would have to run it with a distanzia front or some other 17" iteration of tire style/brand. It seems to have the most grip for a non-knobby tire, hence some of the comments of it buzzing or whining on road. The Tourance reportedly is quieter and lasts longer but not quite the same grip on or off pavement. They seem to be perfect for the RTW types that need super long life over the duration of their trek, and the TKC's for more hardcore off pavement treking. I would be happy with anything that gets more than four or five thousand miles.

If the distanzia offers similar on and off pavement peformance then it would make sense to have a matching set front and rear if that's what I'm going to run on the front. I figured with all the GS and F owners that run the DS rears I might hear that one of the bunch is far and away a superior tire. Correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is they are all pretty good tires, good on road, not so good off, you need a real knobby if you're going to get into anything snotty off pavement.

The MT60 is a possibility, again a SM compound with short life. Might as well do the distanzias then.

Scorpion syncs keep coming up, standard on multistrada from '09 back. They are a road tire though, and come in the right size rear for the V.

Some specific questions:
  1. Will the Distanzias match on-road performace of my stock dunlop sportmax?
  2. Is the Anakee2, Tourance, or Trail Attack any better off pavement than the Distanzia? In otherwords, should I mix tire styles for something better on the the rear or run the match set of Distanzias if I'm going to go that way?
  3. Am I just kidding myself and over thinking this and should just get a road tire and not worry about it? Syncs, Trails, Angels, pilots, etc.?
Thanks again for the great input.
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:24 PM   #7
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You should run a rear tire up front

Metzeler tourance 130 80 17

and same in the back

Metzeler tourance 150 70 17


You just need to raise the front fender. Probably worth it to be able to run some decent dual sport tires.
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecce
You should run a rear tire up front

Metzeler tourance 130 80 17

and same in the back

Metzeler tourance 150 70 17


You just need to raise the front fender. Probably worth it to be able to run some decent dual sport tires.
JDROCKS here and on the versys forum runs these, or did 'till he fitted the strom wheel on the front. His first trip to alaska and back was with these tires. He loves them, make him a gravel runner out of his ER6N, which is the roading sister to the versys. Has the ninja motor tune.

Anyway, I have not had the pleasure of a test ride with this setup, but these are my concerns:
  1. While it is within a half inch of a 19" standard diameter, it is at least four pounds heavier. Poorer suspension handling and steering come to mind. Unsprung weight, turn-in, etc.
  2. Combine the slower response of the bigger heavier tire with the 1" taller ride height in the front may slow steering quite a bit. Perhaps the V can get away with that, it's pretty quick as built. Plus, a 150/70 rear is about 3/8" tall as well, offsetting some of the change in front/rear ride height.
  3. Tires are created with tread pattern, depth, carcass construction, and rubber compounds intended for front or rear application. What can one expect with a rear on the front? Kind of an unknown, really, no?
Otherwise, might be worth a try, eh? Will I really gain that much performance with that great big tire on the front?

My fear is sliding of a cliff or into a guardrail because my tires didn't work right.
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:01 PM   #9
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Just got a WR250X to go with my R1200GS and F650GS twin. I but MT-21's on it. Works great even if they are both rear tires. Big knobbies.
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