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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Old 4 May 2007
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Conti TKC 80 or Metz - Karoo (T)

Putting some knobbies on my 1200 GS - limited options but like the TKC 80 etc. and the comparable Karoo. Anyone with experience with these two or the newer slightly more road oriented Karoo (T)??? Tread wear etc. road holding (road and dirt) by comparison to each other is what I am looking for.

Any comments or opinions would be appreciated.

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Old 4 May 2007
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Conti TKC 80

I haven't tried the Karoo because I have been so happy with the TKC 80 on my F650GS Dakar.

I get between 7,000 - 8,000 km from the TKC 80 riding mainly 2 up, 70-80% on gravel & dirt roads.

They handle mud very well and are also very good on pavement.

Sorry I can't give you any direct comparison info but hope this helps a little.
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Old 4 May 2007
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Thanks for the info - I have heard a number of good things about the tkc80's.

The new version of the Karoo (T) "looks" to be a much closer match to the conti's than the more aggressive standard Karoo. So I am trying to decipher which one might be a bit better.

Of interest - here in Ontario they price out within 2 dollars of each other...

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Old 17 May 2007
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Hi guys the TKC80 are my favorite tires but I never had them on my GS , if of you hae trying on any big bike I will be curious to know if they vibrate too much for the passenger.
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Old 21 May 2007
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Thumbs up

I have the Karoo "T" s on my F650GS... very nice in the dirt/gravel and good handling on the road too . I was looking for TKC's but they were nearly double the price $$$. I have about 1K on them and mostly blacktop commuting so far. I am sticking with the Metzlers as I have had a real good run with them before. If the price gets better I'd like to try the TKC's next year...

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Old 22 May 2007
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I've had the TKC's on for over 50 thou on my GS. It's a good compromise for tarmac and dirt roads, even performs well in rain. But back in Europe I prefer the Tourance. No dirtroads here :-(

What I copied from the bikers in Oz was to fit a TKC in front for sand & gravel and a Metzeler Toutance rear for better mileage. IMO an excellent combination. Unfortunately in Germany you are forced to fit the same brand front & rear :-(

Another tip I got in Oz was to turn the front TKC after 9 - 10,000 K's, before the knobbies show this saw-tooth wear which is tha cause for increasing vibrations. Turning the tyre in it's mid-life span gives you about 20,000 K's in front.

Hope this helps.
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Old 23 May 2007
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Thanks for the comments... hard to decide.

I am thinking of trying the Karoo just because there is not a lot of info on it. Then if it doesn't work out I know the tkc will do just fine.

And, if it does then I know for sure that I have two options...

Kind of obtuse thinking but it works for me...

Anyway - I will keep you updated - should be about 2 weeks before I get them on and I will give you guys an update.

Talk to you and thanks again,

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Old 23 May 2007
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The Karoo generates more road noise than a TKC, can be a pain over long distance.
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Old 24 May 2007
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never tried the Karoos but rate my TKC80s, I managed to get about 20,000km's out of the front on one trip!! (admittedly it was like riding on cobblestones by the end...)
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Old 25 May 2007
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Originally Posted by Steve Pickford View Post
The Karoo generates more road noise than a TKC, can be a pain over long distance.
I´ll second that!

Band new, they make a right racket and were very slippy on tarmac to begin with (the first roundabout I came across was NOT fun!) however once bedded in, they were great on and off road and I think the noise dies down with time.

Now using TKC 80 on the front and its a lot quieter. I think the Karoo´s have quite wide gaps between the knoblies which generates most of the noise. The knobly pattern on the TKCs seems to be grouped closer together which holds the tarmac a lot better too.

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Old 28 May 2007
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I've had both TKCs and Karoos. Remember there are two types of Karoos (the T and the normal Karoo). The latter is better off-road and in the mud than the T or the TKCs. As has already been pointed out the Karoo is deafening on the road and you really need ear protection.

The TKCs should last longer though.
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Old 9 Jul 2008
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Further thoughts on Karro T

I am about to return to GB after 6 months in Africa on EXC-R 530.

I am hoping to give my 990 Adv a bit more work off road with my new found confidence and it seems that the Karro T will fit the on/ off road idea.

I realise I will probably quickly switch back to the Scorpions but I want to see what I can get up to on the BIG bike...

Any further thoughts please?
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Old 11 Jul 2008
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I wish all you "Colonial Cousins" (fellow Anglo-Saxon's) would use proper Queen's English, it's TYRES not TIRES! Ha ha...

I too have heard great things about the TCK 80's. I understand these tyres were chosen for the Long Way Round team and that they performed admirably. I Must admit, Iv'e never even heard of "Karoos"?
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Old 7 Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by Dean de St Croix View Post
Of interest - here in Ontario they price out within 2 dollars of each other...
If that's the case, then personally I'd go for the TKC80's...

I've used both (that is the Karoo T version) in the last few months, and while the new Karoo is basically just Metzlers version of the TKC, I found the wear was more uniform on the front TKC (my current 6000+ mile Karoo now looks like a worn MX knobblie, with the alternate lugs flat, like a cog...)

I too found the Karoo not quite as confidence inspiring on the tarmac or dirt when new either, but it did settle down nicely on road (never quite trusted it on dusty trails mine you) and offered predictable handling. I didn't notice the noise particularly, but then I was on my XR650R!

I initially fitted TKC80's when I bought that bike last year, and on tarmac and dry dirt piste/trails, found them excellent, athough the rear was flat by 3000 miles, the front was still in reasonable shape, with more regular wear than the latest Karoo... I would add that this wear was from some pretty tough and spirited riding - twisty mountain roads and a lot of dirt road/trails, and on an XR650 which eats tyres - more gentle use should see more modest wear rates as others have stated...

If the price was significantly different, the then Metzlers are a worthwhile alternative, but for a couple of dollars more, I'd simply go for the TKCs...???

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Old 7 Aug 2008
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Have you looked at the Heidenau K60 or MEFO Explorer?
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