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Old 10-04-2014, 09:07 PM   #1
trc.rhubarb OP
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Trials vs Knobbie - a different question

I've read dozens of threads on the subject and I understand the benefits of each and am trying to understand the mindsets of those that believe in either.

I'm a dirt newbie but have a lot of years and miles on the street. Frankly, dirt scares the crap out of me for some reason and rather than 'throttle out", I tend to slow down. Then I end up going down

I've ridden real dirt (trails (not trials)) a total of one time. I crashed badly and hurt myself. I'm almost healed now after several months and picked up a DRZ because I don't own a car and I'm a big SOB. The exotics have more power than I'm ready for on the dirt. This fear has me excited

So on to my question... which might be more forgiving a dirt newb who probably will not grab a handful of throttle when things get hairy?

Oh, and in case anyone cares, I crashed while on a trials rear, desert front on a steep downhill where I had no rear traction... touching the brakes cased a skid. This didn't cause my crash, inexperience mixed with a little panic did.

I'm looking at the MT43 rear with a Michelin Desert front at the recommendation of a friend - the owner of the DRZ I crashed on. Was originally planning on D606.





;TLDR - newbie tires on a Dual Sport for the dirt? Knobby or Trials?
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Old 10-04-2014, 09:18 PM   #2
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Tire choice isn't going to make that much difference at this stage of your development.
If your friend is a good friend, and will be riding with you, I would go with that recommendation.
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Old 10-04-2014, 09:52 PM   #3
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Find some milder dirt trails and start there. If your dirt experience is only one trip and you crashed badly, that first trip was probably a little too aggressive.
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Old 10-04-2014, 09:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trc.rhubarb View Post
I've read dozens of threads on the subject and I understand the benefits of each and am trying to understand the mindsets of those that believe in either.

I'm a dirt newbie but have a lot of years and miles on the street. Frankly, dirt scares the crap out of me for some reason and rather than 'throttle out", I tend to slow down. Then I end up going down

I've ridden real dirt (trails (not trials)) a total of one time. I crashed badly and hurt myself. I'm almost healed now after several months and picked up a DRZ because I don't own a car and I'm a big SOB. The exotics have more power than I'm ready for on the dirt. This fear has me excited

So on to my question... which might be more forgiving a dirt newb who probably will not grab a handful of throttle when things get hairy?

Oh, and in case anyone cares, I crashed while on a trials rear, desert front on a steep downhill where I had no rear traction... touching the brakes cased a skid. This didn't cause my crash, inexperience mixed with a little panic did.

I'm looking at the MT43 rear with a Michelin Desert front at the recommendation of a friend - the owner of the DRZ I crashed on. Was originally planning on D606.





;TLDR - newbie tires on a Dual Sport for the dirt? Knobby or Trials?
What kind of terrain?

Wet or dry?

Have you done any mtn biking in hilly terrain?
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:00 PM   #5
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So in northern California, we have dry, hilly and rocky. Sometimes hard pack sometimes thick loose dirt.
No mud, little flat, but lots of hills...

I was at Carnegie SVRA and I was on the beginner stuff but I got separated from my friend since he's very experienced and much faster than me. I was in a 'safe' area so he didn't worry. One wrong turn led to another and I was in the advanced area and unable to stop the bike laughing and crying

I've done a lot of dirt roads, gravel roads... the kind of stuff you could do on a car on both my GS and Harley...

For sure I'll try to stick to the easy stuff and will probably fly solo for a while so I can go for 30m to an hour at a time. It's about an hour each way there too.

Thanks for the advice everyone!

Oh - haven't ridden a mountain bike offroad since I was maybe 14. I'm 42 now and rarely ride a bicycle now, but it's on my list of things I NEED to do to get in a shape other than round.
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:05 PM   #6
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Just like on pavement, braking with mostly the rear brake doesn't work very well especially down a steep hill. Get a smaller bike, learn in easy places, take it easy because getting hurt sucks.
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:18 PM   #7
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Having run several trials tires and countless knobbies, I would say that the trials tire is more forgiving at low speed than a knobby (easier to crawl up a steep and or rocky climb or get going again without slipping all over the place when you stop midway up a hill) and the knobby is more forgiving at higher speeds (hard cornering, late braking, soft climbs.) The knobby definitely wins for braking performance, but I probably use 90% front brake anyway. I switch back and forth semi-regularly but when the pace is going to be slower (not necessarily easier) I do prefer the trials tire.

On my big(er) bike (690) the tire selection didn't have as big of an impact as it does on my lighter bikes, but that may be due to the higher ground pressure (fat ass.)

Worry less about the equipment and more about the technique and either will be fine.
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Old 10-04-2014, 10:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkent02 View Post
Get a smaller bike, learn in easy places, take it easy because getting hurt sucks.
If you really want to learn to ride dirt get a lighter bike.

The DRZ looks like a dirt bike, but it weighs a lot more which is holding you back. Learning on something like a KDX200 will make your skills progress much faster than on the DRZ.

Don't worry about the tIres just yet.
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Old 10-04-2014, 11:05 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone! I'm going to have to learn on the DRZ. It's too far 50+ to the closest recreation area and I have no car or truck to tow with. I know the DRZ is still big but hopefully I'll be able to do the minor stuff that I want to do with it. Ultimate goal is to be comfortable enough so that when I'm on longer trips with the GSA, I can be more comfortable taking it places.

Someday I may have a truck/car again and then a dedicated dirtbike is an option.

If it helps, I can pick up the GSA without straining after dropping it... the DRZ feels like a bicycle comparatively

I'll go ahead and order the trials/knobby combo recommended to me and go from there.

Thanks everyone! .
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Old 10-05-2014, 03:56 AM   #10
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to gain the most benefit with that Pirelli you need to run lower pressure offroad.If you are running 20 something psi for the paved commute you must deflate to 10 psi or less.
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Old 10-05-2014, 05:26 AM   #11
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+1...

tire pressure is a big deal for dirtbikes.... the lower the better.....i run the 'tubliss' inserts, @5lbs rear and 8-9lbs in the front.... and i'm in pretty soft fla. sand stuff.....

either way, airing down is a big dealio.....
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Old 10-05-2014, 05:41 AM   #12
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I have a DRZ also and have run most tire combo's including the M 43 I really liked it. My riding venue was central VA lots of stream crossings rocks and rocky hill climbs.

Since you seem to have a long ride to your off rd destination stock gearing of 15/47 will be a good choice however if you are ok to travel at 50-55

14/47 will let you climb and desend hills a bit better. I think I got about 4K mi out of my M43.

Best advice, riding off rd is progressive take it easy but do a little more(harder) stuff with each ride.
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Old 10-05-2014, 06:54 AM   #13
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Tire pressure is a huge thing off-road. But you don't want to run fast on the roads at that low of a tire pressure, evil things happen.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by broncobowsher View Post
Tire pressure is a huge thing off-road. But you don't want to run fast on the roads at that low of a tire pressure, evil things happen.
Not with MT 43s, they are OK with low pressure on roads. Been doing it for years, no problems ever.
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Old 10-05-2014, 11:15 AM   #15
hadfield4wd
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I have 2 wheels mounted up. One with Mt43 and one with MT21. When a new person rides my bike I put on the mt21. The trials has tons i traction and on climbs it's easy to loop the bike if your position isn't where it should be. Sometimes it just has too much traction.
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