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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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  #91  
Old 22 Nov 2008
george t's Avatar
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Thumbs up HP2 Conti Road Attack

Road tires on HP2

17inch front and rear

Conti Road Attack

total around 10.5k miles - all on sealed roads,

60% fast motorway riding
40% slow speed badly maintained roads in eastern europe & turkey

no off road.

Decent performance on all conditions (although the rear started to spin sideways rather than pulling the front up.. )

Front just scraped through the MOT rear OK for maybe 500 miles or so.
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  #92  
Old 28 Nov 2008
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Thumbs up

Great bit of info Chris cant wait for the full trip report.
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  #93  
Old 14 Dec 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Scott View Post
Conti TKC 80s on a new Tenere.
........I also ran my TKCs at road pressures all the time to avoid puncture risks in rocky Morocco, but they still gripped fine, even in wet, muddy ruts (with feet dangling).
........



Chris S
I use "dirt" pressures [front and rear] always on my TKC or KarooT [on- or off- road]. Both are similar things, KarooT is cheaper with logically less mileage. Few compromises comparatively with "onroad" tyres. Extremelly good adhesion on dry tarmac [knob!], good on wet [some fear of course..] and good enough in average dirt. For heavy dirt Karro [without "T"] but with many compromises on tarmac.
Tourance - good milleage but off-road nothing more than light gravel
1200GSA
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  #94  
Old 2 Nov 2009
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Tkc 80

Continental TKC 80 on a loaded XT600, mainly tarmac but some off-road/bad road:
Front - 12,000 miles
Rear - 8,500 miles

David
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  #95  
Old 2 Nov 2009
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Tkc

UK to CapeTown.
Africa Twin
Rears did 10,000miles on two AfricaTwins. Could have gone further but we got bored of carrying the spares.

TKCs don't wear uniformly. We lost half the knobble height in less than 3000miles and then they stabilise and wear more and more slowly all the way until flush with the tyre carcass down the middle. Still perfectly usable - in europe people would be unhappy with riding them down that low (oooh - look I'm almost out of grip!!!) but the reality is that you've got load left and the stability is not unduly compromised.

Great tyre.
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  #96  
Old 4 Nov 2009
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a variety

I will start with TKC80s since people seem most familiar with them and I can compare other tyres against them.

TKC80s ... I got about 4000 - 5000 km out of them before the knobs were becoming of limited use. This was on a big 1200 tho and road sections were usually at about 130 km/h. Of all the 'knobbly' tyres I have used, they are probably the most confidence inspiring on wet asphalt, but found their off road performance no-where near as good as others. Overrated in my opinion. A road tyre disguised as an off-road tyre.

Avon Distanzia ... better road wear than the TKC as you would expect, as it is a 95/5 tyre. Really not much chop off road at all, even on good "high speed" graded dirt roads. An asphalt tourers tyre, but good value at that if thats your game. Long lasting and better for the rare dirt section than the road tyres (Anakees and TrailWings) that come standard with a lot of the bigger bikes.

MEFO Super Explorers / Heidenau K60s ... Similar purpose to the TKCs ... aimed at adventure touring, hardpack, gravel roads and asphalt. Quite limited fitment sizes ... they wont serve the 17 inchers (but Heidenau K60's do). I thought they gripped similarly to the TKC on asphalt and in the wet, and better than TKCs on gravel roads, More directionally stable than the TKCs off road. TKCs probably have a slight edge in mud, but not much. The Mefos / K60s have the edge on gravel roads, sandy tracks (like Mongolia) and for wear. After about 10,000 kms, they look only about 35-40% worn. Plenty of anecdotal evidence about of people getting well over 15 - 17,000 km out of them, and I can absolutely believe it. Wins my vote for the best all round "Adventure Motorcycling Tyre", since it scores so well on gravel roads and wear ... and thats the two most important boxes to tick for me. (try Heidenau K60s if you cant get your size in the Mefos ... a very very similar tyre made in the same factory)

Michelin Desert
A nice knobbly with knobs spaced much further apart than the crowded TKC pattern. Wore surprisingly well for a proper knobbly. Completely fine after 5000km. Needed a change at 7000km. Wore much better that friends riding on Karoos ... which were all but gone soon after 4000km ... despite the Desert been far more aggressive with wider spaced gripper knobs. No reason whatsoever to buy the Karoos over the Deserts ... less grip, less wear ... I guess they are cheaper. The Desert front feels less than ideal on the asphalt - 'squidgy' might be a word to use. But very good on gravel roads and very good on trails. (if you plan on doing mostly off road but still racking up 30% of your distance on asphalt then consider using a T63 front tyre in conjunction with the Desert rear - its much more comfortable on the asphalt sections). Very strong sidewalls - much fewer punctures than those colleagues running any other tyre. The benchmark for more challenging off road touring.

Metzeler Sahara
Dont know what to say. I wasnt happy with them at all. I didnt choose them - they came with the bike. Decent enough on the asphalt I guess. Not confidence inspiring on the gravel roads. My summary - I wouldnt bother with these babies.

---

There is quite an active discussion on the K60 (which is an almost identical tyre to the Super Explorer) on ADV, very positive feedback in general.
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Last edited by colebatch; 4 Nov 2012 at 12:07.
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  #97  
Old 18 Mar 2010
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Bridgestone Trailwing

Bridgestone Trailwings on a Yamaha XT, virtually all on-road:
Front 17,500 miles
Rear 10,000 miles
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  #98  
Old 18 Mar 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
MEFO Super Explorers ... Similar purpose to the TKCs ... aimed at adventure touring, hardpack, gravel roads and asphalt. Quite limited fitment sizes ... they wont serve the 17 inchers (but Heidenau K60's do). I thought they gripped similarly to the TKC on asphalt and in the wet, and better than TKCs on gravel roads, More directionally stable than the TKCs off road. TKCs probably have a slight edge in mud, but not much. The Mefos have the edge on gravel roads, sandy tracks (like Mongolia) and for wear. I had tyre depos ahead so haven't had to use them till they wore out, but after about 10,000 kms, they look only about 35-40% worn. Plenty of anecdotal evidence about of people getting well over 15 - 17,000 km out of them, and I can absolutely believe it. Wins my vote for the best all round "Adventure Motorcycling Tyre", since it scores so well on gravel roads and wear ... and thats the two most important boxes to tick for me. (try Heidenau K60s if you cant get your size in the Mefos ... a very very similar tyre made by the same company)
I want to drive from Morocco To South Africa (As less as possible on tarmac) on my XChallenge.
When I look at the profile of the Mefo Super Explorer, I don't think this is the right tire for me or am I wrong ? If not, what would be the best choice and can I make the trip on one set of tires ?
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  #99  
Old 20 Apr 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rone View Post
I want to drive from Morocco To South Africa (As less as possible on tarmac) on my XChallenge.
When I look at the profile of the Mefo Super Explorer, I don't think this is the right tire for me or am I wrong ? If not, what would be the best choice and can I make the trip on one set of tires ?
Hey Rone, replied my PM, but put it here if others are interested.

I think the only tyres that you could hope to make that trip on one set of tyres would be Heidenau K60s or Mefo Super Explorers. I will post pics below, but they are basically the same tyre, made by the same factory with just a few microscopic differences.

I havent ridden Morocco to South Africa but many people who have noted when they look at their travel logs that around 90% of the miles were done on asphalt. If you specifically want to seek out a lot of non-asphalt, then best bet would be a tough long lasting knobbly tyre, and for that I think there are two particularly good choices ... Michelin Desert and Pirelli Scorpion Rally ... both Dakar winning tyres, and both capable of 6000 - 7000 km. The Scorpion Rallys may not yet for sale to the public as far as I know (or if they are they are always out of stock), but you can buy Michelin Deserts easily enough in Europe. I would reckon you would need two sets to cover the length of Africa.

I would also take a peek at this thread ... http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...-k60-tkc-49744 ... where one guy reported getting 22,000 km from his K60s in South America, with 40% of the miles off asphalt. As he points out, they are not the best for sand or mud, but for gravel and dirt roads they are very good.

Mefo Super Explorer:


Heidenau K60:


Michelin Desert:


Pirelli Scorpion 'Rally';
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  #100  
Old 21 Apr 2010
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2008 Yamaha WR250R - mixture of commuting (pavement), fun back road rides, fire roads, and semi-serious trail riding.

Stock Trailwings TW301/302.
Front lasted about 8,000 miles. Great on pavement and in rain. AWFUL on gravel, dirt, mud, etc. Rear lasted about 4500 miles, is great on pavement, good in rain, acceptable off-road.

Dunlop D606 (front and rear). Fantastic traction everywhere, enough grip on pavement to scrape pegs, very confidence inspiring in dirt + mud, and not awful in sand, lasted me about 6000 miles. Rear is heavy and makes for a lumpy ride.

Kenda K761 (front and rear). Ok on dry pavement, scary awful in wet. mediocre on gravel when new. Front lasted about 3500 miles, rear maybe 2500.

Pirelli MT43 rear (trials type). Sticks like velcro everywhere, simply fantastic traction in any and all conditions (haven't done much sand with it yet though). Extremely pressure sensitive... at 15psi the center knobs wore VERY quickly, 12psi wear is much more even. 40% gone after ~1000 miles (90% pavement), most from when it was at 15psi. I'm going to try another one with a rim lock this time and run 10-12psi all day with it and see if they last longer. Rides like a dream and very quiet.
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  #101  
Old 30 Apr 2010
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Avon or Mitchelin

On my R80G/S I find Avon distanzia fine on the road, I get about 12,000 miles from a rear, 20,000 from a front, for gravel roads Mitchelin T63 are pretty good but only about 6,000 miles from a rear and 10,000 from a front.
This is changing them with about 2 or 3 mm of tread left. I think the best alround compromise were the old Avon gripster, still listed in 130-17 and 90-21 sizes but I am not sure of availability.
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  #102  
Old 30 Apr 2010
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What a great thread! Hadn't seen it before.

Good to see it resurrected!

My last decent trip ( a lifetime ago, it seems)

Two-up on a 1150 GS: about 7% gravel, dirt and rocky trails, so not too demanding:
TKCs front and rear.

+
Surprisingly good grip on tarmac, especially in the dry
Adequate grip in the dirt (except mud and sand) from my inexperienced perspective.

-
Not very hard wearing (see road handling above!!): About 13000km front, and 5000km rear (6000 at a push)
No longer the cheaper option...
Availability (Hard to come by in South America)

Next time I hope to try Heidenau K60s on my Transalp, although most of my big trips will now be with an outfit...

Had limited experience of Mefo ME99s



Knobblier than they look on a photo, yet seemed to grip well on the road. Cheaper than TKCs, but more than K60s (same factory, apparently)
Not enough mileage to give a good review, though.
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  #103  
Old 10 May 2010
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Just did a weekend of dirt biking on my 650 Dakar with TKC's that I'd gone to Morocco with. They have about 5000Km on them, rear is looking a bit worn. I found they worked GREAT on everything except mud. The tires (and probably my technique ) almost completely failed, bike would just head out in its own direction.

I did Tichka Pass in Morocco with these tires (100's of lovely hair pin turns) at quite a tempo and the TKC's were GREAT. I have yet to see it fail on tarmac. They go GREAT on fast gravel.
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  #104  
Old 4 Apr 2012
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Heidenau K60s in Morocco on BMW F650GS twin

Just used a pair of Heidenau tyres to Morocco and back, including a few 100km of piste:
Heidenau 140/80 T-17 Tyre K60 (Catspaw) £89.10
Heidenau 110/80 B-19 Tyre K60 (Enduro) Scout £95.04

Seemed expensive (others are 20 quid cheaper) and took a long while to bed in, but once there, worked brilliantly for what they are, even in deep sand or on sodden Spanish motorways. On a big bike they felt as good as TKCs I used last time.
Gave the bike back (fitted these especially for the trip), but looks like they'd last 10k back and 15k front at the rate I rode, so a great overlanding tyre. Will be getting some for my own bike.

Pic below, rear after 3800 miles, end of the trip.
Full review on my AM website.

Chris S
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Tyre Survey - please contribute-heibak.jpg  

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  #105  
Old 19 May 2012
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Trip from Belgium to Capetown at the west side, then to Nairobi (Kenya) and from there back to Windhoek (Namibia) + 500 km from Frankfurt to my homeplace in Belgium. Total : approx 40000km. I drive a BMW G650 XChallenge.
I started with almost new Metzelers Enduro 3 Sahara at home. I took also a pair of Michelin Desserts with me. In Dogon Valley (Mali) I changed my Metzelers to the Michelins. I was lucky, I met an Italian and I could buy an other pair of Desserts from him.
With my first pair of Desserts I could drive until Yaoundé (Cameroon). With the second pair of Desserts I just could reached Windhoek (Namibia). There I could buy a new pair of Desserts (my third pair) and I drove with them until Capetown. Because from Capetown to Nairobi (Kenya) it was almost all tar, I bought a new pair of Metzelers Enduro 3 Sahara in Capetown and I toke the used Desserts as luggage. I could drive with them from Capetown to Nairobi and back until Livingstone (almost border Zambia with Namibia). With the Desserts I could drive to Windhoek, and after taking the plane to Frankfurt, I could drive the last 500km home from Frankfurt.
So I used 2 pair of Metzelers Enduro 3 Sahara and 3 pair of Michelin Dessert. For me a pair of Metzeler Enduro 3 Sahara are good for about 10000km and a pair of Michelin Dessert are ok for about 6500km.
I have to say: I don't drive slow.
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