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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 23 Nov 2004
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Honda Dominator.
I used a set of Tourance raidials which lasted well about 7K rear 12k front has about a 70/30 road bias OK on dirt, great on tarmac not good in sand or mud.
Michelin T66 - 5K rear 9K front 90/10 road bias. Average on tarmac, not good at anything else.

KTM 640 Adventurer
Endro 3 - Good all round tyre not long lasting 4K rear 7K front.
Pirelli MT90 AT. This is a tough tyre, good puncture resistance and very long lasting. 12K rear, I have never worn out a front as I changed them as a pair, expect 18K on a front. 80/20 road bias, good on road and dirt, poor in the sand and mud. In bad / loose conditions I ran 10 psi front and 14 psi rear. I had a rear puncture on the road and it took a couple of miles to relise the problem. I then rode another 4 miles with a flat to find a garage that had a compressor before changing the tube. I recommend the MT90 A/T if you want mileage but be prepared to compromise a little on grip. The MT90 S/T is more road bias and I have not tried those
(all distances in miles)

My least favourite tyres are Michelins, don't like them at all. Every now and then they bring out a new one and I get tempted to try but always disappointed.

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Old 15 Feb 2005
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I ride a Honda ST1100 and use Metzeler tires. The Metzeler's don't last quite as long as the OEM Brigstones, but I find that the traction is much better with the Metzeler tires (especially in the rain), so I am willing to kiss off a little bit of extra wear in favour of a little bit of extra stick-um.

I change both at the same time, about every 10,000 to 12,000 km's. I could probably push the rear tire as far as 13,000 km's, and the front tire as far as 20,000 km's, but I like to have them changed in the same place (my 'home' dealer in Zurich), so I do them both at the same time.

I ride about 30,000 km's a year, so this is roughly 3 sets a year. I',m usually fairly heavily loaded (about 300 pounds payload, meaning, myself and my luggage), and I run at high speeds when I can, which probably doesn't help tire life.

[This message has been edited by PanEuropean (edited 15 February 2005).]
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Old 2 Mar 2005
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R100GS fully loaded aprox. 850 Lb (rider included)
-Tourances: Great tire on pavement, wet or dry and even cold temp. Okay on hard gravel, abysmal in any kind of mud! 18k miles
-TKC80's. Awesome all-around. Quiet on hway with minimal tracking, wet or dry. I never lost confidence. Awesome in dirt, gravel or mud. Excellent self-cleaning capabilities in mud. Mileage is minimal at 4k miles for rear, but only $80 USD. for a rear, excellent value for both off-road and highway capabilities. My favorite all-around! Takes some time to get used to on the Hway, bike drops into corners very fast!
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Old 3 Mar 2005
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Last trip: Trans Africa - KTM Adventure + KTM LC4 400

Michelin Desert (excellent, rear lasts well)
Metzler Karoo (excellent)
Pirelli MT21 (wore quickly)
Metzler Sahara (just to Morocco)

Best combination: Mich Desert rear + Metzler Karoo front.

Mich Desert front better than Karoo in sand but wears quickly on tarmac.

Next trip: Mich Desert rear + Metzler Karoo frnt

Verdict: Great on dirt. Take it easy on wet tarmac. Desert noisy on tarmac. Desert front is noticably better in sand, Karoo is OK but lasts much longer.

Only 2 punctures whole trip (26,000km) on both bikes was ripped valve on front because didn't have rim locks.

[This message has been edited by tifua (edited 03 March 2005).]
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Old 3 Mar 2005
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I've been tarmac testing the T63's, 3500Kms and now the rear approaches the end of it's life, front is brilliantly okay.
I think totalising 5000-6000Kms before replacing rear.
The unpleasant thing I noticed with T63's is that they slightly wobble the bike at speeds on highway.
Otherwise I think they make an excellent compromise road/offroad with peak of performance in sand, though not as good in mudd.
Next might be TKC's, but I won't expect them to grip very well offroad.

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Old 8 Mar 2005
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Originally posted by Matt595:

Next might be TKC's, but I won't expect them to grip very well offroad.

...What kind of off-roading do you plan to do? I just tested mine in sand/mud Nevada, and almost everything you can think of except gumbo and soft sand in Death Valley,and slimy red grease-like goo along California's Lost Coast. The Tkc's performed exceptionally well. They have a very agressive pattern which hooks up along the entire radius of the tread . This is the first time i tried them, and i would like to try others, but they worked so well for me in ALL conditions that i think i'll stick with this brand for some time. To each their own, but i honestly think i found the perfect DualSport tire!
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Old 8 Mar 2005
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Maybe I'm wrong, I have a premade opinion the tkc is a fancy looking road tyre..
I'll go for a try when t63's are worn out.
T63's are the cheap version of deserts, with traction on almost every condition, I even tested in snow! with some rpm they climb up among snowmobiles and skiers, he he!
But 3500 kms is decieving and I think tkc might perform better there.

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Old 8 Mar 2005
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Hey Matt, check out http://www.swmototires.com/ They pobably have pictures of all the tires you might want to try. If your in the states, i highly recomend these guy's, their prices are excellent and free shipping to your door within 2 days.
Good luck!
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Old 10 Mar 2005
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Hi Chris,

Don't know if your survey is still going, but I have continuously used Metzeler Enduro 3's front and rear on my XT600Z over many ,000s of miles to and in India, Pakistan, etc and last through Morrocco, Mauretania to West Africa, all 2-up. Excellent on paved roads, wet or dry, good enough on dirt, sand, etc - always got to where I was heading! Obviously, more specialised tyres like Michelin Deserts would cope with soft sand better - I just struggled!
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Old 21 Apr 2005
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>Don't know if your survey is still going,

Yep, keep them coming for as long as people have something to say and others are interested.

Chris S

Author of Sahara Overland II and Adventure Motorcycling Handbook 5 - out now

http://www.sahara-overland.com and http://www.adventure-motorcycling.com
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Old 23 Apr 2005
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Hello chris,

MITAS enduro E07 : i bought my r80g/s with them, i only drive in paris and just a bit of offroad : i feel confident with them, they stick well to the road, seem strong and long lasting, quite happy with them. maybe not so good on wet.

i was talking with some friends about michelin t66, t63 : they don t seem to stick to the road so well, no one feels really confident with them especially on wet ... and they may not last so long.

metzeller enduro 3 & 4 : used on my trip, excellent grip on road, wet, a bit less on offroad (they are less knobby) and last long : 15 - 20 000 kms on my trip (europe, central asia)
metzeller karoo : great offroad and also on road but last short : 7 - 8000 kms on my trip (pakistan india)

vee rubber, forgot the model (bought in iran) : strong but no so good grip on road, wet, offroad but last long.

happy trails

nb : you made an interesting survey about which bikes people use to travel, could you pls send it to me again, thanx in advance, cheers
Vincent Danna

* www.va-project.com
Sept 2008 - dec 2009 : Voyage et art contemporain en Amérique du sud.

* http://vincent.danna.free.fr/
2002 - 2004 : Un tour du monde en moto.
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Old 28 Apr 2005
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Front: Pirelli MT21
Rear: Pirelli MT21
Bike: Honda Transalp

Rode 2 honda transalps from London to Cape Town (2004 - 2005) down west coast of Africa.

One puncture (a nail) in total. Found the tyres easy enough to remove when I did change them.

Front tyre lasted approx. 14 000 miles
Rear tyre lasted approx. 7 000 miles

Would definitely use them again.

My website
Africa Trip web journal
Africa Trips web journal
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Old 27 May 2005
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Using T63s on both Teneres at the momnet wthey were great on roads and the rocky tracks in the atlas and are equally goo on the chalk and mud as well. I would recommend them.

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Old 31 May 2005
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When in Rome ....
Just back from S. America and tires were readily available in any good sized city despite what you hear. Often in the big cities there will be whole motorcycle neighborhoods where all the stores sell motorcycle stuff including tires(could be several blocks long).
Tires are cheap. Pirelli tires are made in Brazil and go for around $35usd a copy. I used MT60 front and rear. Good for 5K at the rear, more on the front. 60/40 on-off road design but they hold well on the asphalt. No need for speeds above 70mph anywhere on South American roads. Nice to have some traction in mud and gravel when the road turns bad for any reason which it always does. It was also possible to order tires if they were not in stock with a couple of days wait. No worries about tires if you arent picky. Bill.
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Old 10 Jun 2005
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Salisbury to Cape Town 600 tenere. Pirelli MT21 front & rear. Front did 21000 miles, rear 18000. Nil punctures front but 4 rear. Good tyres for trip taking into account the many different surfaces you encounter throughout Africa.
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