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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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Old 12 Jul 2004
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Just to help the info..

Last trip to Djanet & Tam - XT600 3AJ MT21 both ends, rear sidewall construction weak, loads of punctures, and damaged sidewalls. Swapped to desert rear, with some cutting to make fit, no more probs (but too late by then anyhow) Front MT 21 fine.
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Old 12 Jul 2004
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Am now approaching 8,000kms on a pair of Deserts with a little wear but nothing to worry about.

Have been running 10/14 psi off road and 32/36 on-road with no probs at all. Even less in sand.

I have 4mm Bridgestone inner tubes and slime, but I haven't had any problems (except for an errant bolt cutting the rear tread a few times on full compression).

Before that, Avon Distanzia. Good grip in town but a little too soft.

Deserts are ace.

TKC80 Twinduros were unbeatable all-round on my 3AJ - I will get a pair in Istanbul for the Pig.

Bought a Pirelli Riga Gomme Enduro Pro rear in Douz, Tn for under 20 quid, totally new. It says "5 ply Rallye" on the sidewall and has a similar tread to Karoo / Desert... anyone any idea??

LM (Cairo)
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Old 13 Jul 2004
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Metzeler Sahara 9.000 km
fair compromise tarmac & gravel

TW47/48 9.000km
cheaper, but less grip on wet tarmac and gravel

Heidenau 7.000
similar to Sahara but much cheaper. Good bet if no deep sand. Quite soft. My favourite.

Tourance 12.000
perfect on tarmac. Quite expensive

TKC80 still busy, no mileage experience
stiff sides allow low pressure on sand, good grip.

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do we go beyond the limits of our little lives.
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Old 13 Jul 2004
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TKC80, 7000 miles rear, still running the front. Good on tarmac, soft sand, and surprisingly in the wet.
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Old 16 Jul 2004
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Just changed tyres Mitas E07 on 650GS and Dakar after 13000km on roads in Oz. There was plenty left on them. We rode 95% on sealed roads but I think they will handle gravel roads OK. They were recommended by the tyre dealer in preference to Tourance which I had asked for. He had both makes in the shop so it made no difference to him.
“… all that is required for evil to triumph is for good men (and women) to do nothing ...”.
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Old 3 Aug 2004
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TKC80 on BMW F650 Dakar.

Did 4700km mostly on tarmac in Morroco.
Looks like they have another 1000-1300 km left.

They felt a bit stiff to handle. I read that you have to get used to the curve-handling as the sides are a bit stiff. I never got fully used to it. Felt a bit uncomfortably.

Tested them in sand (in Merzouga). Dont have much to compare with, but I wished I had more traction when I was there.

My conclusion:
Probably great for dirt and gravel, but since I did mainly tarmac I dont think it was not the rigth tire for me. I also think it wears a bit to fast.....
Next trip (North & West Africa)I,ll try Michelin Sirac as I do mostly tarmac. Hope they dont wear as fast.

This is also a good link for tyre-opinions:

[This message has been edited by Dizzie (edited 03 August 2004).]
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Old 4 Aug 2004
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round, black (although white wall looks fetching) and rubbery. correct size helps.
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Old 7 Aug 2004
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That was the best advice !
and I mean it !
My tyres, I enjoy them when in good shape, but when old, I tend to avoid the mud.

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Old 8 Aug 2004
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Last trip Trans-Africa 1988 XT600 Tenere
Front: Pirelli MT21 18000km
Rear Pirelli MT21 (12000km), alternating with Brdgestone Trailwing (6000km +) for on-road
Verdict - Although I rode cautiously, I can't think of a time when I felt let down by the Pirelli's.
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Old 20 Aug 2004
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hey guys

my opinion

trans africa - XR650L - 21 front - 18 rear

Ran original dunlops to Morocco - Mauritania border - literally squeeded 10000kms out of them. Front still had a little life, rear was done 2500kms before. Nothing great to report, had some TKC80's on my XR600R in london, awesome tyre for grip on the road, was a little fast wearing but that may be due to screaming around tar roads.

Fitted Michelin Desert 140/80 rear and Michelin T63 front 90/90. Excellent combination, both great in desert and sand. Both but in particular the T63 had impressive grip on dry tarmac for dirt tyre.
Lasted about 13000kms till cameroon.

Fitted Michelin Desert rear 140/80 and front 90/90 due to mud. Fantastic grip on slippery muddy tracks, front tyre really impressed me.
However absolutely useless on wet tarmac, be careful. Not much tarmac down west coast to namibia so were the right choice for me and loved them. okay on dry tarmac, but only okay. Done 8000kms since fitting, both still have life but front seems to be wearing quicker than the T63, although it was much, much better than T63 in mud and slippery tracks. Deserts have fantastic offroad grip.

When back on all the tarmac will probably look into some TKC80's

Hope it helps, safe travels.
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Old 26 Oct 2004
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Trail wings on a Tenere - not bad 2 up on roads and tracks in Morocco and good on the long wet slippery journey home too.
They are a little overwhelmed by the chalk and mud on Salisbury plain though.

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Old 27 Oct 2004
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Pirelli MT 60: nothing special to recommend, good in all weather conditions on paved roads, scary on gravel in dry conditions, awful durability

Michelin Sirac: very good durability, resist on wearing, altogether good choice for travellers, dangerous on loose gravel and cornering

Dunlop Trailmax: similar as Siracs, but better on gravel and worse in durability, also to recommend as regular everyday tyre

Michelin T63: fantastic tyre in all conditions, not so good in mud but quite ok, probably one of the best allaround tyres for serious use on different terrains; very noisy and fast wearing. Altogether my favorite tyre, very good expiriences in Romania offroad this year.

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Old 10 Nov 2004
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For the poor, broke, and laid-off,

Duro "medians" are absolute peg draggers on the asphalt and less $100 per set. Do great on gravel, and decent in light mud.
Good for about 6000 hard miles.

Maxxis c6006 also less than $100 per set, do awesome in mud, and hold the road good, very predictable. Not sure of milage yet.

Sorry, I never ride sand....

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\"It is not dying man should fear, rather at his time of death he should fear never having lived\" - Marcus Aurelius
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Old 16 Nov 2004
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Dunlop Trailmax on a Honda Transalp.

20,000 km from Shanghai to Helsinki. Were just fine on the bitumen, fine on dirt roads, but a bit hard to handle in soft sand. Overall a good compromise.

I understand they dont make them anymore?? Is that right?
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Old 19 Nov 2004
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i am using dunlop 606s front and rear.never been on sand.gravel, fireroads do ok i guess. knobbly pattern. but on tarmac phenomenol. in wet tarmac fantasic. was so suprised that i quit taking out my cbr1000f in the rain(i ride 200kms everyday)if it rains its the 3aj with the dunlop knobbies.any1 have any experience on em?done bout 5k ikms / still has bout 2k tread left is my guess.
ride, ride like the wind to be free.
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