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Old 11-29-2014, 09:44 PM   #1
Excite-Bike OP
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This bike is 100lb heavier than my last one. Should I still air down TKC80s off-road?

I initially just assumed yes and have the same air pump I used with my DR-Z400 packed in the top case. I'd run the DRZ at 28/30 psi front/rear on the street and then drop 10 lbs to 18/20 in the dirt so I figured I'd do the same with this F650GS and go from 32/35 to 22/25.

But after searching the web a bunch it seems there are many who say not to. Especially with these relatively soft Contis.

I ran Shinko 700s on the Suzuki which I liked a lot but they don't come in the right size for this bike so I went with the TKC-80s instead. Seems the stiffer Heidenau K60s are popular for the GS too. I may try that one on the rear once the TKC-80 wears our.

BTW, I weigh 190 lbs.

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Old 11-29-2014, 10:27 PM   #2
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Off load the TKC's, wack on an MT21 up front and an E09 on the rear and just ride it! I can't be arsed pissing around with tyre pressures and leave them at about 26psi. Helps protect the crappy standard rims a bit.
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Old 11-30-2014, 12:35 AM   #3
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Might want to read these threads....

Regarding tire pressure (airing down) there is an increased potential to bend stock rims. I personally would not air down like you are describing with stock rims. I am on an F800GS running TKC80's and Konflict Suspension and Excel Rims. 32/35 is nice on asphalt and a little hard off road. Off road, I do not air down much, maybe 30/32 on average and sometimes as low as 28/30, but not lower.

If you have not, you might want to read these bent rim threads....

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=559773

and this.....

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=730599

There are other tire threads with more info on TKC80 vs Heidenau etc....

Cheers - Pangia
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Old 11-30-2014, 12:54 PM   #4
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I had the same set up (now using K60s since the TKCs wore out) and definitely took the pressure down for steep rocky inclines - better traction for sure. You don't need to reduce pressure all the time, I had no problems with regular sections, so having a pump on-hand is good, you will want to up pressure when back on pavement otherwise it is quite wobbly. Don't take it down too far and don't drive too fast otherwise hitting a rock might just bend a rim. Those are great tires and you will get much use out of them. I didn't have a choice but go with the K60s since I was stuck and that's all they had in stock.
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Old 11-30-2014, 01:01 PM   #5
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Air down to 25 ish pressure. If it's Rocky terrain I might not do it but it makes big difference in sand and mud.
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:03 PM   #6
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I have not air'd down my conti's unless there was a nail in them.

You are riding a 500 lb 80 hp street bike down a dirt road at 50-60 mph. You have all the traction the bike can give you. If you need better handling adjust your suspension.
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTrider16 View Post
I have not air'd down my conti's unless there was a nail in them.

You are riding a 500 lb 80 hp street bike down a dirt road at 50-60 mph. You have all the traction the bike can give you. If you need better handling adjust your suspension.
I sure don't ride 60 mph through the sort of terrain that's common on my off road rides.





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Old 11-30-2014, 08:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotarywing View Post
air down to 25 ish pressure. If it's rocky terrain i might not do it but it makes big difference in sand and mud.
+1
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
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If it's Rocky terrain I might not do it
Do you guys consider my 2nd and 3rd pics above from my regular monthly group ride to be rocky enough terrain for concern?

Or do you mean rocky like this?

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Old 11-30-2014, 08:37 PM   #10
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This is what I mean when I say "somewhat rocky but big bike friendly" here in the east. I ran up this at normal road pressures on Tourances at 36/42. Going up (it's steeper than it looks) was fine when I could control the weight on the front with the throttle but coming down I swore I was destroying the wheels.

Nope. All good. (also, I suck off-road riding so mostly ignore me...) but I did do the 7 up and 7 back down this bumpy, rutted mess without taking a nap so... maybe there is something to just riding it and not worrying too much. I'll admit that when I was coming back down I wished I had a buddy with me in case I needed someone to set a leg ;)

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Old 11-30-2014, 08:42 PM   #11
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We obviously ride different typse of terrian. However, the problem with reducing the air pressure is the hard hits, like when you are surprised by a rock or cattle gaurd in your line. This wll give you the snakebite pinch flat, and make it more likely that you will bend your rim.

I have found that if I the trail was difficult emough that I wished I had my dirt bike, its no longer fun on the F8GS.
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTrider16 View Post
We obviously ride different typse of terrian. However, the problem with reducing the air pressure is the hard hits, like when you are surprised by a rock or cattle gaurd in your line. This wll give you the snakebite pinch flat, and make it more likely that you will bend your rim.

I have found that if I the trail was difficult emough that I wished I had my dirt bike, its no longer fun on the F8GS.
I would never advocate reducing pressure as standard procedure when leaving asphalt. Here on the west coast we get trails steep and deep. Typically I have made a run up a steep section that catches me by surprise, and I ditch, pick it up and turn it around (or more honestly slide it around pointing downhill, then pick it up) back to the bottom, THEN take the air down - usually a 2 or 3 second blast of air will do it - then I can motor on up with the knobbies grabbing.

Once I've knocked the pressure back I wonder why I didn't do it sooner - tires feel way more grippy and solid, especially in wet mud, jagged rocks - typical back country. I'm not ashamed to say I put it down a few times, sometimes on the same ride (no falls no balls) - but never at speed!

I mean, yeah speed kills and whee! don't we get enough of that shit on the highways? You can get limbs supremely crushed up whanging your front wheel off a rock - bent rims? Accidents happen but I look where I'm going and if I can't slow down for a boulder then I'm going too GD fast!

just 1 opinion
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:12 AM   #13
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Those look like access roads to get to the really rough stuff. Air down a bit, but use UHD tubes to ward off pinch flats. TKC 80's are horrible, go with MT21 front and a D606 rear if you get into anything uglier.

Edit, don't go with lower pressure unless you have your front suspension completely re-worked.
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