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  #1  
Old 23 Jul 2003
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New Tyre Advice

To re-open a age old debate....has anyone got any opinions about the best (currently available in the UK) desert tyre at the moment. I’m currently running Michelin XCL 7.50-16’s on a grossly overloaded Land Rover 127 which worked extremely well on my last couple of trips to the land of sand but are going a bit bald now (dam MOT’s – they look fine to me!)

I’m looking for something as tall, a bit wider with the ability to run slowly but at very low pressures (and as secondary considerations doesn’t make as much road noise and I can take off the rim easily) I’m sort of swayed toward BFG MT’s but as its a lot of cash for 6 new tyres and rims to fit, I’m after some opinions before I commit to them


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  #2  
Old 23 Jul 2003
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I run a 110 Defender which is pretty heavily loaded - roll cage, bull bar, winch, roof rack, roof tent, etc. + exped gear for long trips.

I moved to BFG MTs as the standard tyres which are easy to replace didn't sit very well with the height of the vehicle + weight. The BFG Mts are brilliant, they sit much better on all surfaces, they are by far the best "all terrain" that I have come across, far better than labelled all terrains. In spite of the aggressive mud pattern, they work really well in the sand and flatten out quite well.

They were definitely worth the cost. Got them a bit cheaper by picking up 6 at one of the shows. Went 7 months trans africa in them and they were definitely worth the extra cost.
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  #3  
Old 23 Jul 2003
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dwair,

7.50/16 or 235/85/16 seems to be the preferred size among the locals in NA, so your choices are rather limited.

In the choice of tyres, the value for money factor seems to be the only valid rule and it's hard to bend it. Better quality tyres are priced similarily, but some saving can be made if you shop around. Eg. try Mark Sowden [Saka@btinternet.com], Nene Off-Road or Scorpion Racing.

Rgds,
Roman (UK)
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  #4  
Old 24 Jul 2003
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I love the Michelin XZLs 7.50R16. A great all round tyre, with great sidewall protection, though the compound seems a little soft to me and wears quickly on those long tarmac miles...

I see Toby has tried the BFG MT 235/85 thing, that's also on my list for my US D90 (almost $300 for an XZL here!). I was out with a guy in Colorado a couple of weeks ago and he loved this setup. As an added bonus, the truck looked cool too!

Toby, what wheels are you using?

Cheers,
Nick.

[This message has been edited by nickt (edited 23 July 2003).]
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  #5  
Old 1 Sep 2003
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Toby,

Where this the old or the new Mud Terrains. It seems that the new mud terrain moved from genuin 8 ply construction to the same triguard construction as the AT. Which makes me think that the MT is not really stronger then the AT.

Rob
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  #6  
Old 1 Sep 2003
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Well you learn something new as I didn't know they had changed. Possibly you can work it out - I bought them from the importer in about July / August 2001. Don't know if they are stronger but the dimensions are more effective given the weight and height of my truck, the tread pattern is far more effective in most terrains than the all terrain and in 24000 miles trans africa plus another 8000 since I've been back in the UK, have only had 1 puncture. I'm very impressed by them, far more so that a badged all terrain.
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  #7  
Old 1 Sep 2003
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Well,

the reason I'm asking this is because I currently have the AT's that have done 40000km's by now (8000 on Algeria trip, 3000 trough poland and russia,...) no punctures, and still going strong (to good to get rid of).

We're leaving soon for a 20 000 km trip and I face following choices:
- one additional spare of the AT (cheapest)
- 3 new AT's and one good spare (my current spare is a new one)
- 5 new MT's

If the MT's are really stronger I would go for the MT's, if they're not it 'll be AT's.

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  #8  
Old 2 Sep 2003
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From the sounds of it, stick to your ATs. I changed to MTs because I find the tread better and larger dimension more effective. However I can't see that is worth changing because they might be stronger. Your ATs sounds as if they are doing you fine so probably stick with them. Unless you needed to change all your tyres then not worth it.
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  #9  
Old 5 Sep 2003
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I have BFG MTs on my Defender 6x6. Great in the mud, fair in the sand, good on the tarmac, poor on stones and rocks.

It may be the 6x6 configuration, but they seem to have worn faster than I expected. Using 9 tyres, rotating them frequently, I have done 38,000km, and they look like they are 2/3 worn. If so, I can expect to use up all 9 tyres in around 50,000km, equating to about 35,000km /set. Not too good, but I might be misjudging th amount of life left in them. They appeared to wear very fast at first, now wearing more slowly. We'll see...

We've had 14 punctures in 25,000km, including 2 (big!) bolts being driven straight through the tread. My experience with punctures is that sometimes you just get a run of bad (or good) luck. Or maybe the MTs are just more suceptible to punctures than other tyres are. I don't have anything to compare them with, as yet, so I'm reserving judgement.

Next time, I will use XZLs if I can find them in the right size (I want 8.25-16, or 255/85-16).

Regards,

Michael...
http://www.expeditionoverland.com



[This message has been edited by SandyM (edited 05 September 2003).]
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  #10  
Old 10 Sep 2003
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We drove from Norway to RSA with Michelin XZY 7.50x16 tubeless and couldn't be happier. In 57000 km we've had 3 punctures, all of which were unavoidable; like 5 cm long steel bolts through the tread etc.
In the desert we drove in deep/heavy sand with pressures sometimes down to 0.6 bar (8.5 psi) without problems. The tyre now has about 6mm left in the tread and can also still be regrooved. One benefit of of this (old fashioned) tread design is that there are no seperate lugs (like the XZL has). In africa, we've seen that most tyres with seperate lugs get them eventually riped off in stoney areas. All the way, so you can see the steel belt beneath!
Here in Norway though, I have XZL's and like them a lot!
The "problem" with XZY is the cost, but you get what you pay for...
I think they are also made a bit larger (8.25x16?) but might be wrong.

Good Luck with whatever you get!

Erik D.

www.dunia.no


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[This message has been edited by Erik D. (edited 09 September 2003).]
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  #11  
Old 10 Sep 2003
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Sandy

New XZL's are available in 255/100 * 16

This is the metric equivilent of 900x16. Its a big tyre - some 36.5" tall, and as for the cost - around 250 UKP per tyre+tax

2nd hand - try http://www.4x4cars.nl/banden.shtml

They have 8.25/16 xzl's for 180 euros




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  #12  
Old 11 Sep 2003
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What sort of life are people getting from their XZLs, I`ve always fancied a set, but always been under the impression they are fairly fast wearing, compared to the BFGs.

Col Campbell
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  #13  
Old 11 Sep 2003
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Mine were shot after 15k miles, with a lot of hammada type work. Seem to wear quick on the tarmac as well, soft rubber compound?

Rgds,
Nick.
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  #14  
Old 12 Sep 2003
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I've been running xzl's for 3 years - 7.5 x 16 on standard landy lwb rims with tubes.

From my experience and from feedback from Tom at ihana.com and various other people, I would say the following (oh great fountain of wisdom set to spout forth...)

Tough as bollocks - 12 ply and a very good strong tyre for very hard driving conditions - seems the tyre that you are least likely to have a puncture from. I've had only had one when a 6 inch piece of steel went through it.

They do wear quickly on the road, and are noisy, and are slightly dangerous at speed in wet weather, and you need to make sure they are at the correct pressure, which changes according to your load says Mr Sheppard in his book.

Great for if you will be off road most of the time - one guy I know did 100,000km's in africa on them. The Ihana.com guys blasted theirs in about 50 I think. Never had a puncture either.

You need to buy them 2nd hand - at the landy show at peterborough they had new ones on/off various rims for about 70 quid each.

I've paid between 40 with rusty rims and 70 with new landy rims for a set of 8 that I now have - just takes some time to gather them. old Sodbury sortouts are a good place for them in the uk.

Consider how you will repair them in the bush - as tough to get off the rim as dubya is a thicko puppet.

Can be run with or without tubes.

Tom Sheppard likes them in his book - loads in there on them.

and breath out...

Hope that helps...
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