Tyres for R1150GS
We are taking R1150GS to Morocco after Christmas and need to fit suitable tyres for riding piste and hammada. The round-trip from UK will likely use a set of tyres so choosing the right ones specifically, and then binning them when we get home, is not a problem. What is a problem is the bike's 19" front and 17" rear wheels which restrict tyre choice somewhat.
We have come up with four main options and would appreciate any thoughts or experience on these possibilities:
* Michelin Desert. Virtually guaranteed puncture-proof and our loaded bikes will be heavy enough to compress them to ensure decent footprint and traction. Downside is what they are like on tarmac - which may well be wet as we cross the Atlas mountains - and whether they are even available in the right sizes.
* Continental TKC-80. As used by BMW on their off-road school in Wales so I know they come in the right sizes. Work well on gravel and passable on wet tarmac too. However, the front tyre on the (unladen) bike I was riding got a puncture for no obvious reason, so not hugely inspriring in that department.
* Pirelli MT21. Friends and I have used these for years for UK green-laning on light-weight trail bikes and they work well on pretty much any surface. I have heard that they can be prone to punctures on the piste though, even on realtively light bikes, also not sure if they are available in right size for R1150GS.
* Metzeler Tourance. My everyday commuting tyre! I know they come in the right sizes, work astonishingly well on wet tarmac, and (from a few tests on faster / dryer green-lanes) seem to offer reasonable grip on loose considering their tread pattern (although hopeless in even 1/2" of mud). Not sure about puncture resistance on the piste, but never had a problem with one on tarmac.
So, those are the options we have identified so far. We plan to fit the tyres at the start of the trip and probably throw them away when we get back home. What do people think?
I have heard of people using a rear Mich Desert on the front with some creative cutting of the side tread.
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