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Old 12-20-2013, 03:14 PM   #1
Elusion OP
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Harden up, 2 Sets of Wheels, or Diff. Tires?

I want to improve my 2013 990 Adventure's road handling but I don't want to compromise its Dirt handling. I get Headshake/wobble at highway speeds. It’s improved a lot since I stiffened the front suspension and since the stock Dunlop 908s have worn down a bit. From what I’ve read on here the final solution is “different tires”.
I was thinking of trying TKC80, or MEFO’s, maybe even the Scorpions, but from what I’ve read none of these are as good as the 908’s. I am new to dirt riding but I like taking my bike down rocky/sandy single track and all the White plastics have “Adventure” scars to prove it.
Then I had a thought:
A Second Set of Wheels with Street oriented tires for the week days when I commute (maybe MT90’s for the occasional Dirt road) and have a set with the 908s on them for the weekend Dirt rides.
But this would be expensive!
Is this a stupid idea? Should I just get different tires? Maybe I wouldn’t even notice the drop in Dirt performance. It’s not like I’m riding in Dakar.
Side note: I’d also like to pick up a small Dual sport for those real nasty trails.
Validate my thoughts? Any opinions? Or should I just harden up and keep on riding on the 908s?
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Old 12-20-2013, 04:22 PM   #2
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if you get a second set of tires, most go with a set of 19" front and 17" rear so you can have more street oriented tires in the standard GS sizes. Woody's wheelworks can make you a set but they are $$$.

or buy a set of super enduro wheels, with narrower/stronger rims and mount the "dirt" tires on those and keep the wider ADV wheels for street.

tire expense is a big factor with the big twins, so having the appropriate tires for the job makes it a lot more fun...and they last longer! street tires last a long time on the street, dirt tires last a decently long time on the dirt.

street tires suck in the dirt, dirt tires wear out quickly on the street. hard to find the ideal compromise. what you think is great in the dirt may suck to someone else. My idea of an 'off road' tire for the SE is a pirelli MT16 but the knobs last about 30 minutes on the street.
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Old 12-20-2013, 04:29 PM   #3
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I think a second set of wheels would be the best solution, you could even get a pair of 19"/17" rims for better road manners & tire choice. This way you can choose the best dirt tires without wearing them out on your commute, and not worry about street tires sucking in dirt/gravel.

It's what I would do if I had the money, everything else is a compromise.

That said, if I did need to compromise, a Mefo Explorer or Heidenau K60 on the rear and a TKC-80 on the front would be my choice.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-20-2013, 04:54 PM   #4
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Mine started out on Pirelli Scorpions, (2010 R), I wore them out and put this set of Dunlop 908 RR's on like come on the Baja.
Squirrely would describe the freeway ride above 65 mph. On the rocky road I did last weekend I didn't notice them being any grippier than the scorpions I remember on my old 1150 Adventure. And I met a guy up the trail on a 690 enduro with scorpions on and he figured they were fine up there. Of course he was an old motocross racer not used to his wheels being aligned anywhere but in the truck.
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Old 12-20-2013, 05:24 PM   #5
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Old 12-20-2013, 05:32 PM   #6
knobbyjoe
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If you are running dunlop 908 front then that is your front end wobble. Put on a dunlop 606 front and I wager you have the problem solved.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:05 PM   #7
Racer111v
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I have been considering a third set of wheels. I have a set of oem adventure wheels with scout 60's on them for trips with some mixed roads, tar& gravel. I have a set of adventure hubs with SE rims, 908rr rear and mt21 front for more serious single track, which I did a lot of last year. I would like a set of road wheels now for the longer asphalt only trips. I may start with a front street 21" to go with the rear '60 and see how that works first.

Or maybe a S'moto for the street trips.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:05 PM   #8
DesertSurfer
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+1 What he said...

Quote:
Originally Posted by knobbyjoe View Post
If you are running dunlop 908 front then that is your front end wobble. Put on a dunlop 606 front and I wager you have the problem solved.
Part of the experience of being a 950/ 990 owner is trying out the different tires out there to decide what works best for you. And everyone has varying opinions. But most agree the 908 front is dodgy. Try a TKC80... Keep the correct air pressure so it wears well at it will last you through a couple tire cycles. It works pretty well all around and on pavement. Run it with a HD front tube.


Pirelli Rally front gives you an even better deeper dirt tire with slight road sacrifice.

Mefo or K60 front are long lasting 40 street 60 dirt. If you like pavement more then dirt go Mefo of K60 rear after 908 rear wears out.

Don't spend the money on a second set of wheels until you really spend some seat time on the bike. You may settle in on a terrain, riding style and tire combo you're happy with and would rather spend the money on an aux. fuel tank, two into one, new exhaust, new filter style, bar, bar riser, seat... all things that won't be sitting in the garage half the time.

And remember, the bike is a gravel and dirt purpose bike that is already fun on the pavement. At least bend those rims before thinking about a replacement.

Great bike! Have fun!
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Old 12-20-2013, 08:17 PM   #9
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Best dual sport front I've ran so far is the MT21. Better than the D606 both on and off road.

But tires are like ladies, your best might not be mine.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:08 PM   #10
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This is quickly turning into another tire feud.

The 19/17 wheels set and the wide range of radial tires you can get for it will transform this bike for the street more than any other tire or accessory can. You can still ride on hard pack, but the wide front tire will push and wander in the soft stuff. You'll loose about 3/4" of clearance and the gear ratio will be lowered slightly. Going back to the 17 tooth front sprocket gives it perfect gearing for street. Get another set of disk brakes so you can swap the wheels quickly.

I put these wheels on in the summer and swap back to the 21/18 wheels with a TKC80 front and MEFO rear for winter or dual sport rides.
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Old 12-21-2013, 10:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by brents347 View Post
Brent you crack me up! I know a certain someone with a set of 17's for his SE
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:56 AM   #12
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With the scorpion on mine, the front would wobble under deceleration with that twitchy OEM throttle cam and soft front springs.
The front would dive big and wiggle a good deal. Now, it's just upset by the big joints running parallel to travel on the freeway and rain grooves.
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:34 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knobbyjoe View Post
If you are running dunlop 908 front then that is your front end wobble. Put on a dunlop 606 front and I wager you have the problem solved.
+1

606's are awesome in the dirt, still get some wobble at about 90 , I took off a perfectly good TKC 80 cuz it sucked on dirt.
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:24 PM   #14
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Where can I pick up your TKC80 cast offs?
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Old 12-24-2013, 08:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elusion View Post
I want to improve my 2013 990 Adventure's road handling but I don't want to compromise its Dirt handling. I get Headshake/wobble at highway speeds. It’s improved a lot since I stiffened the front suspension and since the stock Dunlop 908s have worn down a bit. From what I’ve read on here the final solution is “different tires”.
I was thinking of trying TKC80, or MEFO’s, maybe even the Scorpions, but from what I’ve read none of these are as good as the 908’s. I am new to dirt riding but I like taking my bike down rocky/sandy single track and all the White plastics have “Adventure” scars to prove it.
Then I had a thought:
A Second Set of Wheels with Street oriented tires for the week days when I commute (maybe MT90’s for the occasional Dirt road) and have a set with the 908s on them for the weekend Dirt rides.
But this would be expensive!
Is this a stupid idea? Should I just get different tires? Maybe I wouldn’t even notice the drop in Dirt performance. It’s not like I’m riding in Dakar.
Side note: I’d also like to pick up a small Dual sport for those real nasty trails.
Validate my thoughts? Any opinions? Or should I just harden up and keep on riding on the 908s?
Heh, I chose ALL of these options! For "normal" riding (about 80/20 dirt/street) I use a D606 on a 1.6" A60 front and a 908 on a 2.5" rear. For trips with lots of highway miles I will swap out to a pair of K60s on a 1.85" front and 4.25" rear. When I go trail exploring solo I swap out the whole bike for a 350EXC-F (the 950 is just too much of a pig to turn around repeatedly when the trail ends)
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