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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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Giant Loop Motorcycle Saddlebags & Motorcycle Tank Bags: Panniers, Soft Luggage for Adventure & Sport Touring

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  #1  
Old 2 Jan 2006
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Two up on a GS. What tires in Baja?

Hello, the wife and I are going to take 3 weeks into Mexico on our 1150 GS. We are pretty heavy when loaded up. Does any one have any tire recomendations or general Baja/Mexico tips? Do we need a nobby tire or something more street oriented?
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  #2  
Old 3 Jan 2006
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Don't know what condition exacly are in Baja, but sure you don't go surfing the sand dunes and soft surface two up

I prefer Heidenau K60 tires (tubless, high load rated, but 1 size thinner than R11xxGS spec, height will be the same) myself - they last incredibly long driving two up and exceeding allowed mass. My rear tyre lasted 16 000+km, fron 18 000+km. They are a bit more road oriented (=bit less agressive knobs) than the listed below, but decent traction on soft surface and on the road you can drive footpegs contacting the tarmac in the curves. But most of all - they are cheap as chips!

Continental TKC80 are another famous option, more expensive, don't last that long. Count on around some 10Kkm. Relatively expensive.

Metzeler Karoo is the best option for more serious offroad, the best agressive knobby-design for oilhead boxer GS specs, the most soft compound and has a bit better traction than TKC. They're con is they really are short in distance due soft compound, some people combine them with TKC80 rear and Karoo front for example.

I wouldn't go there with "normal" dual sport tires like Tourance, Enduro 4 etc with no real knobs, they are complete rubbish off the tarmac and especially in the mud with zero traction IMHO and don't deserve the name "dual-sport".

Hope this helps, Margus

[This message has been edited by Margus (edited 03 January 2006).]
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  #3  
Old 3 Jan 2006
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Riding two up on a GS1150 ,I can be pretty safe in assuming you are not going to go off roading.So, Baja has great paved highways from north to south and you can get to the coast on asphalt in enough places to satisfy you. Normal street tires or whatever your GS came with are all you will need >Same goes for mainland Mexico.Get a good road map book ($8) by Quimera ,it will show all the paved roads and good gravel roads , and most of the tracks, and the location of Pemex stations .Have a great trip.
PS. You will not be in Kansas anymore so don't try to make looooong mega mile riding days, 400km in a day should be more than enough .Get off the road before dark, take the time to sit around in the shade at the plaza.

[This message has been edited by Sjoerd Bakker (edited 03 January 2006).]
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  #4  
Old 3 Jan 2006
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Thanks for the info. I am having a little difficulty finding a Heidenau dealer in the US. I hear a lot of raves about the TKC80 but as you said dont last that long.

Thanks for the heads up on the sand dune surfing. If I bury that bike with the wife on the back I would be in deeper poopoo and the trip would be over.
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  #5  
Old 4 Jan 2006
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hello,
I rode from los angeles to buenos aires (via ushuaia) on my 1100GS.
this included baja and some off-roading in mexico and argentina.
I used Tourance tires : 23.500 km. 1 set of tires, no punctures and no problems, but not a lot of grip off-road.
have a great trip,
Mark
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  #6  
Old 4 Jan 2006
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I have ridden TKC80s on a 1100GS from Mongolia to Amsterdam on the same set of tires. I estimate that those tires have had around 18K so far, and they still have some knobs. Great on the road and super off-road. I guess pumping them at the right pressure will increase life. Of that 18K probably 2500 km. was off-road. Also, 6K was two-up of that 18K.

Martijn
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Amsterdam - Mongolia - India - Amsterdam 2005

http://martijnopdemotor.web-log.nl
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  #7  
Old 4 Jan 2006
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I thank you all for your tips and info. My wife is a little nervous about this trip. She is hung up on being the "only Grenga" (white woman) in Mexico. We will be riding with another rider on the same bike so there will be 3 of us. We will be doing some of the dirt roads for the the local culture and I just love off road riding. We plan on doing some tent camping, does any one have any advise on the safety of tent camping or should we hotel it? Please keep the Tire tips comming!
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  #8  
Old 11 Jan 2006
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Agree 100%with Flying Gringo. But if you have the room it might still be useful to take a small tent and sleeping bag as a safety backup in case no rooms are available or you find a neat safe camping spot.
I believe the motel chain Flying Gringo is referring to is the Hotel La Pinta group which has 6 locations in Baja.But indeed very expensive, as are most of the deluxe and multinational chain hotels. stick to the small local motels and hotels and save a bundle. As an example ,alongside Mex 1 in San Quintin BCN I stayed at the small basic Motel Las Hadas for only$11.36US, a few more fancy motels were $25 , but the La Pinta on the beach 15km south of town began at $70
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  #9  
Old 11 Jan 2006
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Thank you all for all your info. Has any one used Pirelli SCORPION MT90 A/T for dual sporting or any Pirelli? How about Dunlop 606's? How about Bridestone? I here Continental has an Escape tire that is pretty new any comments on this one?
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  #10  
Old 13 Jan 2006
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Is this over thinking just me or does any one else try and think of every little thing ahead of time. Flying Gringo you are right. My wife just told me the same thing, "you are putting to much thought into this". I cant help it however. I just want the best tire with good off road traction and will last 5-7 thousand miles with a whole lot of weight on top of them. God please show me the way!
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  #11  
Old 22 Jan 2006
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I think I have decided to go with a TKC80 in the front and a Metzler Tourance in the rear. I think this will be a good middle ground. Any one have any safety issues with this?
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