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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 29 May 2007
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spare tires?

just a question: how many of you carry along a spare or two? I've occasionally kept the old tires when I bought new ones, as backups (unless the old ones were completely spent). I have a few odds and ends floating around and am considering bringing along either a complete second set (high mileage street oriented), or another rear (Karoo, currently running TKC80's), or even a complete second set of Karoos (was given a nearly new set). Or... I can skip the tires and depend on luck. Obviously I'm not talking about travel in developed areas where tires are everywhere. I'm considering the Vlad-Mongolia-'stans-Turkey route, and don't expect much selection... So (sorry for the long post): bring along a spare rear, spare set, or trust the gods?
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Old 29 May 2007
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IMHO carrying tyres it a PITA.
I would do almost anything to avoid it. For the journey you have planed say around 6000 miles you could choose a tyre that would last, you may have to compromise at bit with your choice. Depends on what bike you are using but I am not sure the TCK will make it but a Pirelli MT90 AT should last the distance and a bit more, it’s a tough tyre.

What bike are you riding?

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Old 30 May 2007
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I'll be on a KLR, expect around 14K Km before hitting Istanbul, with the most interesting part (read: good rubber would help), being in the middle. If I rode something like Pirelli's or Avon's, they would make the distance, but would be pretty smooth the whole way, as opposed to maybe bringing a spare rear and switching out (street/knobby) halfway...
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Old 30 May 2007
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You could start with fresh TKCs and carry a spare rear. The front will go those miles.
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Old 30 May 2007
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yeah, in terms of minimal kit and not having to search for expendables, I'm leaning toward bringing a spare (rear) TKC80. The only hassle is that there isn't any quick on/off place to strap it to, just the usual spiderweb of straps and ropes (This is where road stops and luggage searches get to be a pain!)
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Old 30 May 2007
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Why not use Heindenau K60's? A great 50:50 tyre that lasts whilst providing good on and off road grip (and cheap too). I'm on my third set now, averaging around 10,000 miles from a rear, more from a front. Beats having to carry spare TKC's...
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Old 30 May 2007
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Different point of view ....

In my experience, it's the front tire that either makes riding under difficult conditions fun or not. With difficult, I mean mud. Stones, gravel, that kind of stuff you do not really need nobblies for.
Sand dunes are another story altogether of course.
But, back to mud: having a road tire on the rear and a motocross tire on the front you'll still have a lot of control and make relatively good speed.
So, my advice is, start out with 'road oriented' nobblies, like Michelin T63, or others, and bring a new front motocross tire for the difficult mud parts. The T63 rear lasts 10 000 kms pushing it a bit.

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