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Old 01-05-2015, 02:28 PM   #1
Bass OP
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Tyre Suggestions Please

I've had the DR for more than 7 years now (god help me) and it's taught me a few things. One thing it taught me is that 2/3 of NZ is down the end of a gravel road somewhere and it's the best 2/3 as well. I have enjoyed visiting the ends of many of these gravel roads and for some strange reason I have developed a desire to take my wife for a look at some of the places I have been.

So a bigger bike seemed in order.

The KTM 1190 rang all my bells but it's problem record in the first year has been appalling and it didn't help that I had to visit the dealer 3 times across a fortnight, before they could get their demo bike to start. Some problem with the immobiliser they said and I decided that I didn't need that sort of problem.

So now I own a 2014 R1200 GS which like the rest of the modern generation, has more electrickery than IBM. Still, after three days in the dunny with the handbook, I think I have it all figured out and while I have only had it for 5 minutes, I must say that I think I'm going to enjoy this one. It's an impressive beast.

Now, in making this change, the intention was that it would primarily be a sealed road touring machine but one which meant that we didn't even hesitate when the seal ran out. However, I have caught myself deliberately seeking out the gravel alternatives when choosing a destination. On top of that, we plan to be in the States on the Beemer for about 5 weeks from the end of July this year doing the Rockies, Colorado, Utah and with a little bit of Arizona, Nevada, California and South Dakota thrown in. Maybe as much as 40% of some of those legs will be gravel. Consequently I seek some tyre guidance.

There is an old adage which applies to buying stuff and it goes like this:-

Good, Fast and Cheap - you can have any 2 of those.

It seems to me that if we replace those three with " Grip, Horsepower and Longevity", then it can be applied to tyres and the same 2 from 3 principle applies. I understand that it's all a compromise.

Currently the Beemer is shod with new Anakees and they will do for now but I can see that my original plan of about 80% seal and 20% gravel may not hold up for very long or even if it does, I will want a bit more Gravel performance than the Anakees will give me. Don't get me wrong - I'm quite used to changing the rear tyre on the DR twice as often as I change the oil, but that's cos no matter where I go from home, I have a good deal of seal before I get to the good stuff. I have little or no experience of anything other than full knobblies
So tell me people, what's out there for a big adventure beast that might be worth a look?
I have some criteria in mind, like I think a full knobbly is maybe not appropriate. A TKC 80 might be OK on the front but would last no time at all on the back.
A Heidenau K 60 (did I get that right?) might be a good compromise, but what's its wet seal grip like? Etc, etc, I think you get the idea.

Help please.

Bass screwed with this post 01-06-2015 at 11:57 AM
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:17 PM   #2
Ducatijim
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Good luck.
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:19 PM   #3
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I think you still can't beat the TKC80 on a GS. Just put a new one on when it wears out. considering the type of riding you will do the cost of a rear tyre should be the least of your worries. If I had my wife as a pillion, I would go for stickiness over cost.

Having said that, I am currently on 705s, the front has 16000km on it and is hardly worn , I am on the second rear tyre. Now that I am no longer commuting 70km a day, I will go back to some more upmarket rubber on the next tyre change.

The Heidenau does look good, but every one that I've seen on a bike looks like it's square. My wife has one on her bike and see seems to like it.
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Old 01-05-2015, 03:35 PM   #4
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K60 is a harder compound tire with stiff azz side walls- so it lasts a good while but can move around on the slippery wet seal (but it wasn't spooky for me). Great in gravel. Similar to Mitas E07 which is cheaper.

Pirelli Scorpion MT90AT is a great 80/20 tire.

Being a bit anal maintaining your tire pressure helps preserve tire life on big adv bikes In my experience.
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:01 AM   #5
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Well done on the new bike purchase Bass :-)

I have a K60 on the back of my 990 (and another Heidenau on the front). While it has given me amazing mileage, at least 24,000 kms so far and still has tread left, I am not that happy with the wet weather performance on the seal.

I say this due to one incident, on the Cape to Cape ride last year I was "lucky" to double Colin from Opotoki to Pio Pio (after his BMW broke down). In the wet with him on the back the wheel spun up crossing a small bridge. That surprised me as I wasn't accelerating hard etc.

There have been no other incidents like that so thinking about it now could it have been diesel on the road?

When I replace the tyres I will probably go back to my last choice which was the standard 990 rear - Scorpion and a TKC80 on the front.

Mike
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:39 AM   #6
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I've normally run Mitas E07' front (21,000km) and back (15,000km). I've toured 2 up with panniers loaded and found them good on Gravel and seal.

I've currently gone to Mitas XT660 front and Mitas E09 rear, as I wanted more grip. Have found the front quite noisy as the only down side. The rear E09 just needs a little more care on wet tar seal as I've had it let go a couple of times.

I did run a TKC80 rear once, Awesome grip! But I'm sure there must've been a black tyre mark following me everywhere I went, only got 3,500km out of it.
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Old 01-06-2015, 03:05 AM   #7
Oaters
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Hi Bass - congrats on the new water cooled GS

On my GS I run a TKC80 front and Mitas E07 rear. The TKC80 front requires replacing after about 14000km. Mitas rear still only half worn if that after 14000 km. I may fit an E07 front this time or a Heidenau - TKC tends to be the gold standard preferred fittment for front sometimes paired with a Tourance or Anakee rear

Best wishes for your travels in the US
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:41 AM   #8
Bass OP
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Thanks for the input guys. Seems the choice is a bit more restricted than I expected.

I have averaged about 3000 km for rear tyres on the DR but as I said, that's largely because of enforced seal use. Touring outback Oz and being able to stay off the seal at least doubles the available milage and can even triple it.

That brings me to the reason that I asked the question in the first place. I am reliably informed that many of the the areas where we will spend significant time on the USA trip later this year, cater well for road tyres and knobblies but nothing at all in between. Consequently, while I would normally agree with Kokopelli and just buy what works best (especially with wifie on the back), that is likely to be short sighted for the USA and longevity will be more important than it would normally be for me. Further, some of these areas are prone to occasional torrential downpours in summer.

So I have an immediate conflict right there and seek to broaden my knowledge of what's available and how it performs.
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:12 AM   #9
Mark_S
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I would have thought that the anakees would have been hard to top?

They should last for ages, work great on seal and in the wet and, if my my worn anakee 2 on the front of the tiger is anything to go by, be surprisingly planted on gravel

congrats on the new toy btw :)
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:26 AM   #10
Bass OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_S View Post
I would have thought that the anakees would have been hard to top?

They should last for ages, work great on seal and in the wet and, if my my worn anakee 2 on the front of the tiger is anything to go by, be surprisingly planted on gravel

congrats on the new toy btw :)
You may well be right Mark, but it's too soon for me to have formed an opinion yet. They certainly work well on the seal. May know more this weekend if things go to plan.

The factor I haven't thought too much about yet is that the standard rear profile is 170/60. Not too many manufacturers make the ones discussed that wide and I have no idea of the effect of narrower tyres on the standard wheels.

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Old 01-07-2015, 11:14 AM   #11
Ducatijim
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I like these on the back, but won't easily find a replacement off shelf in US;

http://www.dunlopmotorcycle.com/tire...ce/sport/d616/
However, Mr Google just tells me they are discontinued in '14 so I shall go now and stack my silage.
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:35 AM   #12
Bass OP
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Originally Posted by Ducatijim View Post
so I shall go now and stack my silage.
You might like to check the spelling of Ulysses while you are at it.

Went and had a look at the Dunlop link that you posted. Even if they were still making them, it wasn't available in the recommended 170/60 profile.
What's your take on the effect of putting skinny tyres on wider rims?
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:45 PM   #13
Ducatijim
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Silage stacked...
Ulysses sorted...
No feeling, just get a scorp mt90 and suck it up then.
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Old 01-07-2015, 11:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by young1 View Post
Well done on the new bike purchase Bass :-)


on the Cape to Cape ride last year I was "lucky" to double Colin from Opotoki to Pio PioMike

Ohh you big name dropper you
TKC 80 on the rear, Metzler Karoo on the front. Both tyres wear out at the same time so no issue with a half worn tyre on one end and a good one on the other. Reasonable milage, good on and off road bloody expensive
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Old 01-08-2015, 02:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Micawberism View Post
Ohh you big name dropper you
TKC 80 on the rear, Metzler Karoo on the front. Both tyres wear out at the same time so no issue with a half worn tyre on one end and a good one on the other. Reasonable milage, good on and off road bloody expensive
Hey Bass - I think Colin may be right given your concern about safety versus price tradeoff and having your wife riding pillion. I've not used the Karoo but I believe the new generation one is supposed to be good. Certainly always found TKC80's work well as a dual sport tyre and have good roadholding qualities on the seal in all conditions. I treat the Mitas E07 on the rear of my current GS with some caution in the wet on seal. I'm cheap and I ride solo.
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