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Old 08-13-2013, 03:40 PM   #1
americanthumper OP
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Finding Tires

I'm riding my XR650L from Seattle to Argentina. I'm estimating 20-25 thousand miles by our route. I'm worried about the availability of tires along the way and how to find them. Does anyone have any recommendations on where to source tires and what the availability is along the way? Thanks!
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:59 PM   #2
Airhead Wrangler
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Medium to large cities are your best bet. Smaller cities and towns typically only stock tires for 125cc commuter bikes and scooters. Prices vary a lot, but are significantly higher than the US in general with a few exceptions. Don't expect the same selection you're used to in the states. Brazilian-made Pirellis and Metzelers are the most common name brand tires to be found along with a selection of cheaper chinese brands. MT21s, MT90s, MT60s, Enduro 3s, and Tourances will be the most common dualsport tires available. Cheapest tires I can remember were in Colombia, conveniently about halfway. In the moto district in Medellin, prices were actually quite a bit less than in the states for certain tires. I haven't been there personally, but have heard that the free trade area in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay has crazy deals on tires if you happen to be going through there. Heidenaus are just now starting to pop up here and there also.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:20 PM   #3
TeeVee
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you will likely find it difficult to find 18" and 21" tires along the way. not saying it's impossible, but you might be better off identifying shops along the way and pre-ordering them. especially in central america. these sizes are virtually non-existent in nicaragua, and if yo do find some, they will be cheap chinese rubber.
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Old 08-13-2013, 06:41 PM   #4
Airhead Wrangler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeVee View Post
you will likely find it difficult to find 18" and 21" tires along the way.
I didn't find that to be the case at all. 130-17 rears were more common than 18s, but 21" fronts are everywhere.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:36 PM   #5
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No problem at all finding any of these tires here in Guatemala .
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:47 PM   #6
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I found 17's and 21's easy to find almost everywhere as long as I wasn't picky about what I ended up with. Searches for specific brands or models were more difficult. FWIW, it always seemed to me that 18's were more plentiful than 17's!

Easy, cheap, and a fair selection in any major town: Colombia and Peru. Ridiculously expensive with little selection: Brazil, the three Guianas. Not quite as bad as Brazil: Chile and Uruguay. Argentina was fairly easy but not cheap, but note that Argentina has been through some economic difficulties since I was there so a lot might have changed.

The key to tire nirvana in South America is to never, ever need a tire in Brazil, French Guiana, Suriname or Guyana.

I seldom bought tires in Central America--once in Mexico, once in Nicaragua. Selection seemed best in Guatemala, Mexico, maybe Costa Rica or Panama. But basically unless you're prone to hard use or soft, knobby tires, you can probably purchase in the States and make it to Colombia without much difficulty.

Hope that's helpful.

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Old 08-13-2013, 08:24 PM   #7
Airhead Wrangler
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Leave the states with new long wearing tires and you should make it to Colombia fine. Buy some new ones there and you'll get through Argentina. Done.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:39 PM   #8
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21" tires can be bought all day long just about anywhere in LA.

18" 140/80 can be found but take more effort.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:42 AM   #9
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Your trip will go a lot smoother if you are willing to accept what is available rather than to get real picky about brands, etc. It is like the saying, 'If you can't change the world, then change yourself'
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airhead Wrangler View Post
I didn't find that to be the case at all. 130-17 rears were more common than 18s, but 21" fronts are everywhere.
so you're disagreeing with me for the sake of what? 130-17's are NOT 18" tires so who really cares if 17's are available?

and 21's are available everywhere, where? re-read my response, a bit more carefully.

p.s. his bike has an 18" rear
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeVee View Post

p.s. his bike has an 18" front
really
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:59 AM   #12
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Tires in Mexico

Adventure Cartel has very good prices on HEIDENAU & BRIDGESTONE. With METZELER & PIRELLI coming soon.

Write to adventurecartel@gmail.com

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Old 08-14-2013, 04:25 PM   #13
TeeVee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttlemeister View Post
really
fixed. it was the 18" vs. 17" that was at issue.
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:39 PM   #14
markharf
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Executive summary: most people posting here believe you will have little or no trouble finding tires along the way, providing you are not excessively picky about brand or type. Some opinions have been offered as to which countries are easier or cheaper.

One person believes you're on the road to misery and ruination.

Have a nice trip.

Mark
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Old 08-16-2013, 06:31 AM   #15
Airhead Wrangler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeeVee View Post
so you're disagreeing with me for the sake of what? 130-17's are NOT 18" tires so who really cares if 17's are available?
I'm just saying that 17s are more common than 18s - in other words 18s are a little tougher to find. I had to search for 18" rears and was travelling with guys looking for 17s. They always had it a little easier. I know the OP is looking for 18s.
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