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Old 07-15-2013, 04:56 PM   #1
scottrnelson OP
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Tires - how to tell 90/10 street/dirt, 30/70, 50/50

For dual sport tires, they're often described as being 90/10 street/dirt, or maybe 30/70 or 50/50. Is there one place to get a consistent rating for the popular dual sport tires for how much they're aimed at street or dirt use?

I ask, because I just put a set of Heidenau K60 tires on my KTM and they're supposedly rated as a 50/50 tire. The ones that came off of that bike were Continental Trail Attacks, which I think are 90/10. Based on how they work for street and dirt riding, I would agree with that.

But I also have IRC GP-110 tires on my XR650L which are often listed as 90/10. Although they're great on the street (the 90% part), they seem better than the "10" would suggest off road. However, my spare wheels Have TCK-80's on them and I don't know how those are rated. Definitely better in the dirt than the IRCs, but I don't know if those are considered to be 50/50 tires or not. I don't like them as well on the street as the K60's.

So is there some place with a list of all the top brands of street legal tires aimed at some dirt riding with ratings of how much street/dirt they are designed for?
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Old 07-15-2013, 05:22 PM   #2
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That info comes from the manufacturers and that's what the retailers post.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:38 PM   #3
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I don't go by percentages. A good rock tire could absolutely suck in the sand. A good twisties tire could vaporize or tramline on the slab. I feel the same way about describing bikes with percentages. An XR650R is majority-dirt, but it can be a heck of a lot more capable on a long slab trip than a majority-pavement Grom 125 or cramped sportbike.

Try tires that others riding similar routes seem to like. Try tires that intrigue you. You're probably not going to get them to last beyond 20K miles, and they usually don't even last anywhere near that long if they're not touring tires, so you're going to get the opportunity to try quite a few tires if you ride much. Experiment to see what works for you. People can have vastly-different preferences.

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Old 07-16-2013, 07:15 AM   #4
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It typically takes me more than two years to wear out a set of tires. It would be a long, long time to try out every set I might be interested in.

And I'm still curious if some online magazine or maybe an Adv Rider thread has the tire information all in one place.
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Old 07-16-2013, 07:40 AM   #5
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Use this formula to compute street/dirt percentages.


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Old 07-16-2013, 08:34 AM   #6
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If you google search, dual sport tires comparission charts, you'll get some stuff to read through, heres a quick one i just found.

http://calgarydualsport.tripod.com/tires.html

But dont waster your time, just get the Shinko's 244's, they do everything ''OK''.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by 150ron View Post
If you google search, dual sport tires comparission charts, you'll get some stuff to read through, heres a quick one i just found.

http://calgarydualsport.tripod.com/tires.html

But dont waster your time, just get the Shinko's 244's, they do everything ''OK''.
Thanks for the pointer, although it's a bit out of date. It doesn't even list the Trail Attack or anything from Heidenau.

So that chart says the IRC GP-110 is a 70/30 tire, but motorcycle-superstore.com calls it a 90/10 and Desert Dave has called it a 50/50 on an AdvRider thread.

This is why I want to find one place with consistent ratings for current tires.
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:31 AM   #8
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Like others have said, check with the mfg. As a practical matter, if you are riding sloppy or soft surfaces (mud, silt and sand), everything made that is not a full knobby might as well be a street tire. Particulrly in front.

I like exploring long distances with my dual sports. That usually means weather and mud for some of it, and sandy patches for others. So my 50/50 tire would be a DOT labeled knobby.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WormShanks View Post
Use this formula to compute street/dirt percentages.


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Old 07-16-2013, 11:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by WormShanks View Post
Use this formula to compute street/dirt percentages.
Digging up your dynamics formula sheet I see.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:21 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by mtnbikeboy View Post
Digging up your dynamics formula sheet I see.

Not even dynamics, that is all basic physics.... kinematics, torque, momentum and whatnot. 101 level stuff.
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WormShanks View Post
Use this formula to compute street/dirt percentages.


Is that metric or imperial formula?

I don't know if manufacturers rate their tires somehow scietifically but I doubt. The only legal difference is "DOT" and "Off Road Use Only" markings. Street/dirt ratio is marketing. Usually it's a matter of size of knobs. The smaller they are more they are suited for dirt. Except for flotation in soft sand.

Personally I don't think that the K60 is 50/50. It's more like 70/30.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:47 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by scottrnelson View Post
So is there some place with a list of all the top brands of street legal tires aimed at some dirt riding with ratings of how much street/dirt they are designed for?
There is no single place to look but it's not really that tricky.

A tire that looks like this will suck off pavement and it may, or may not, work for your purposes on pavement.



A tire that looks like this will work well off pavement but will require some compromise for road use.


The problem with % use estimates is that everybody has different criteria. They have almost no value. Besides, some tires work really well on both pavement and dirt and some are not really that good anywhere. How do you put % values on that? 90/80? 20/30? It is better to evaluate each tire's characteristics and determine whether they align with your needs.

Want mud? Look for knobby tread. Want rocks? Look for stiff sidewalls. Want to go fast? Look for high speed rating. Want great handling in the twisties? Look for a tire listed for track days or sportbike use. Want longevity? Search the web for user assessments. Want cheap? Check prices.

Narrow down your choices for your rim size and price range and buy something. If it works great, that's cool. If it sucks, no worries, it will wear out soon and you can try something else. Tires are wear items not heirlooms.

Dirt Bike magazine recently published a fairly extensive comparison of dual sport tires. You will have to find a print version. It isn't available on line that I know of.

Sparrowhawk screwed with this post 07-17-2013 at 09:04 AM
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:11 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by WormShanks View Post

I got 3. Did anyone else get 3? I don't see how that applies to tires. FAIL!

Yes those percentages are sucky to not so sucky. Just figure out how often you don't mind your tires sucking. Did my response suck? Yeah? Well then suck it!
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:41 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Jan from Finland View Post
Is that metric or imperial formula?
With independent variables expressed in Newton meters and kilograms, it's for metric dual-sport tires only.

Imperial dual-sport tires are rated with a Whitworth caliper that doesn't correspond to any actual measurement.
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