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Old 04-09-2009, 08:23 PM   #46
Mugwest
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y'all need to do some tire-thread browsing in GSpot. Same brands, same considerations, same conclusions. Of course it's exclusively Tubeless over there. Until MEFO and Heidenau get up to speed for wide US dist, the TKC is the only game in town for oilhead knobbage (there's an Aussie on GSpot with a pic of his erlhead on TKC's at a track day. )

And the grapevine is saying MEFO will be more widely available here by this summer. The well-reported Heidenau's will follow shortly. I would'nt call either of these brands 'budget'/KLR tires, however.

Back to airheads. On the G/S I've run IRC GP-110's, D606's, Maxxis 6006, and when i got seriouser in dirt, several flavors of non-DOT IRC enduro knobs as well as a Trackmaster II rear. Sizes were usually 3.00x21 (80/100 x 21) fronts and 120's rear.

Years ago I did have a rear 130 width in the Maxxis and yes it rubbed the swingarm until the happy day i took that fooker off. I despised the Maxxis 6006, but that was mainly due to the front: it was weird in all situations-- tarmac, sand, mud, standing still, etc. It wore like crepe paper and i threw it as far as i physically could on tire-change day. It howled, it vibed, it acted prone to head-shake from day One, and did'nt like sand or tarmac. Rear was better, but they're still crude tires. The sidewall surface looks like a sandstorm was going on in the factory the day these things were molded-- just a lot of junk in the rubber making for a near-homemade looking product

The Trackmaster II (Kenda) is prolly the best gnarly/cheap tire going, which is why thumpers go through them like candy. If you think D606 roost is fun on an airhead, do give the T-masters a try. Both last about the same (4K if you are on tarmac much at all). Though T-masters are DOT-cert, this is a dirt tire-- avoid if you're doing mostly on-road

Crux? The tire that's been the most useful, most bang-for-buck for DS-type action was and still is the IRC GP-110. On the G/S in mostly tarmac setting they will live about 8K. Crossed the US with no issues in summer heat and gravel. Aired down to 15 lbs they can do surprisingly well in aggressive dirt operations. They swim well, and will waddle through sand. Can't hold a candle to real knobs though.

NB: many of these tires used to be cheap (which to me is under $40/tire), but those days are gone. 'Cheap' tire costs have shot up really quickly-- i shopped today for a front knob for my new DR350 and went for a tire i bought this past January at American Moto Tire for $34-- same tire today was over $50, just 3.5 short months later

The new 'cheap' tire being yapped about is the 'Kings' (gee wonder where that's made). Has the same crapshoot rider-reports that Kendas, Duros, Chengs etc always have. Some love 'em, some swear you'll be castrated if you even think about using them

do check GSpot though-- there's some good user-feedback going on over there-- most of the tars being discussed are avail in tube-type versions in 21 and 18 inch

Again, if you do any dirt at all i'd encourage you to try a Trackmaster II. Fun in corners


Best,

MRP
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:40 PM   #47
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what about the Michelin T63?? havent used em but they look cool and atleast $30 cheaper each then TKC80's

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Old 04-10-2009, 12:17 PM   #48
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yeah yeah yeah, I been lazy lately, so sue me

I still need to add all the Bridgestones too.

that's a darn good recommendation for GP-110s. I'll try a set when I burn through the stack I've got now.
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Old 04-12-2009, 04:57 PM   #49
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You also wanted to measure actual tire width along the way ...
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Old 04-12-2009, 05:04 PM   #50
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+1 on the Kenda Trackmaster II: I ran them offroad on my G/S on the TAT and they were great. I threw 'em away after 2,000mls, but they can do 3,000 to 3,500 I would think. Very good value for money. They are a bit noisy on-road but very rideable.

I'm definitely try the IRC if they can be had cost-effective in Canada. If not I'll stick to the Kenda 270, cheap and cheerful, but soft sidewalls.
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:51 AM   #51
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I really like the idea of measuring widths especially after seeing firsthand how much the tires vary. Some tires are so wide that they bottom out on peoples' shocks, some have plenty of clearance.

I just don't know how reliable the info would be. we need good measurements. If we're talking about a difference of millimeters holding a tape measure up and eyeballing it isn't good enough and the tire would have to be mounted since inflation can change the width.

Also, I met to a guy that works for the AMA a few weeks back and talked to him specifically about tire sizes. He said a Dunlop rep told him they allow their tires to vary by +/- 8mm. So, a 160 tire could go as low as a 152, a 150 could go as high as 158. You could have a 150 that's wider than a 160.

I think the info is valuable but I don't think maintaining a chart is feasible or going to add a whole lot to the decision making of folks looking for tires. Reviews maybe? If folks say a tire bottoms out on their Ohlins' for instance?

Man, this tire stuff takes way too much patience. I'd love to see how the bike handles with different tires but I have to wait months and thousands of miles to try 'em out. Still darn fun though!
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:04 AM   #52
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well, i can get you to 0.001" with vernier calipers if you tell me what you want on some brand new TKC-80's.

You specifying the PSI would be easiest and then folks could inflate/deflate, measure, and then return to whatever their preferred pressures are.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:16 AM   #53
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don't forget about shinko.
reports are the quality is good as are the prices.
700 series uses kings molds that they bought.
http://www.shinkotireusa.com/product...php?category=4
http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...aspx?P=0&F=292
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:21 AM   #54
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man that sounds too much like work. What happened to getting different tires then going offroad to see how many times you fall?

I got so lost yesterday. I went riding and saw a trail going off in the woods. Did a u-turn and went back like I always do. Well, it turns out that trail went into a Wilderness Management Area. 2 hours of offroading later I decide I should head home.....where's home again?

All this to say that after a good trial by fire the Maxxis tires held up wonderfully offroad. Some mud puddles were deeper than my boots, I always check 'em out, so I went crashing through woods to get around. They'd spin through 6" of pine needles in no time.

On another note, do NOT try to cross a thick log without a bash guard on a G/S. The centerstand is the lowest part and points forward like two spikes--it is a royal PitA to get that thing moving again after you ram it into a fallen pine.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:29 AM   #55
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I've got the Shinkos on there at the bottom, though I might move them now.

Have you ever ordered through Motorcycle Super Store? Their prices are really good, they have a huge selection and their search feature is great. I'm adding them.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:40 AM   #56
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Shinko Tire USA, the 705 is a DOT approved dual sport tire designed for 75% street and 25% trail riding. These look nice at $79.
http://www.shinkotireusa.com/product/product.php?id=63


Shinko 700 Series tires @ $78


Heidenau 150/70 B 17 M/C 69H - $150.60 Heidenau


Mefo Tire, DOT dual-sport, Super Explorer rear (140/80-18) fits G650X Challenge, G450X, TE610, LC4 640 Adv/SC, LC4 690 Enduro, LC8 950SE, EXC & others $165 from Twisted Throttle


$198 from Motorcycle Superstore

$150 Motorcycle Superstore
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Old 04-13-2009, 10:11 AM   #57
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and the shinkos are available in tubeless. interesting.
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:28 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by bmwblake
and the shinkos are available in tubeless. interesting.
But such an unfortunate name choice. It took all of 2 pico-seconds for some wag to start calling them 'Stinkos'

and it sticks. "A Stinko by any other name would be just as sweet..."
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Old 04-14-2009, 07:10 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mugwest
But such an unfortunate name choice. It took all of 2 pico-seconds for some wag to start calling them 'Stinkos'

and it sticks. "A Stinko by any other name would be just as sweet..."
Some serious botchery of that one Mug. Juliet would kick your ass if she weren't so dead (and not a real person).
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Old 05-04-2009, 07:52 AM   #60
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i ordered a set of shinkos. got the rear mounted this weekend. i'll have the front done tonight and a report from a trip at the end of the month.
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