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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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  #1  
Old 7 Feb 2013
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Tyres for lightweight bikes

Hi,

I have been doing quite a bit of reading on the hubb to try and find a suitable tyre (50/50) for my DR350 for Africa, but have been now left with more questions than answers!

Tyre decision has been narrowed to down to the M63, TKC80 and MT21.

Do any of these tyres particularly favour light weight bikes or is this irrelevant?

many thanks

Archie
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Old 8 Feb 2013
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The good thing with the lighter bikes is they are easier on their tyres, so you can get more km's out of any of these tyres.

Do you mean the Michelin T63 ?

any of these tyres is good, best on road and good off road is TKC 80, MT21 best off road, but wears quicker on asphalt, T63 in the middle somewhere between the other two.

are you riding all of Africa or doing a loop?

whatever you choose, spoon them on when you get to the end of the asphalt in Morocco/Egypt if your heading South.
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Old 8 Feb 2013
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Hi Gipper, thanks for the reply. Yeah sorry, i did mean the the Michelin T63.

We are riding from Edinburgh to Capetown, so as you say we will switch our road tyres over to one of these sets when we reach Egypt.

I know this may seem like a loaded question, but do you think the TKC-80 would make it to Capetown...or are we at some point going to have to get another set shipped out?

Many thanks

Archie
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Old 8 Feb 2013
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Hi Archie,

The front will make it, the rear might be borderline, but probably OK with the lighter weight, less HP of the 350. If it becomes a problem you will be able to find tyres more readily as you get closer to SA, so I really would not worry about it. Dont bother shipping tyres out, use what the locals use, but the rear TKC is pretty tough, you can ride it completely bald for a while on asphalt and packed dirt.

If you buy locally you wont find exactly what your looking for but you will probably be able to find a half decent 110/120 rear and a 90/90 front, at least you wont be looking for a tubless 150 rear !!!

Just for reference with TKC 80's I got 9000 kms out of a 130 rear and 15000 kms out of the front in South America, 2up, quite well loaded on the DR650.

when you are on longer stretches of asphalt make sure you air up the tyres, dont run them at low pressures on hot asphalt as they will wear fast.

Good to see a DR350 still around and being used for a long trip, nice one!
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Old 10 Feb 2013
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Hi Gipper,

Cool thanks, we will go with this and look after for a replacement tyre on the road when it gets bald.

Ok so one last question! What tyre width should we be looking at for the front and back?

Thanks again for the help, we will keep you posted on how we get on with the DR350!

Archie
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Old 10 Feb 2013
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Hi Archie

stock sizies are:

front: 80/100-21 - try a 90/90-21 up front and make sure you have enough fork clearance.

rear: 110/90-18 - try a 120/ either 80 or 90-18 and make sure you have enough swingarm clearance

with the rears you will find that different brands of tyres marked as the same width will be different sizes, i.e - a 130 by one manufacturer can be the same width as a 120 from another.

be aware that if you use a much taller rear tyre you will change the gearing a bit - better highway cruising but you will lose some low end.

This can be compensated by changing to a smaller front or larger rear sproket or a combination of both
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Old 12 Feb 2013
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Hi Gipper,

We ordered the tyres, so many thanks for all the help. You can see how are DR350s get on here: http://www.facebook.com/WildTracksInAfrica

Thanks

Archie
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Old 16 Feb 2013
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Tyres.

Hi.
You had a look at the Mefo Sport MFE99?
Try ZEN Overland - Everything Adventure & Off Road
Dave.
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  #9  
Old 16 Mar 2013
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Thanks Dave for the recommendation, had bought the TKC-80s before i saw your post. definitely will consider them for the next round of tyre buying.

Grif: We just got the tyres on, should we be running them at the same pressure as our original road tyres? (Front 1.5, Back 1.8)

Also when we hit sand, how much air should we be taking out?

Thanks for the help, bikes going great...couple of break downs so far but nothing too serious and costly yet!

Archie
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Old 16 Mar 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djorob View Post
Hi.
You had a look at the Mefo Sport MFE99?
Try ZEN Overland - Everything Adventure & Off Road
Dave.
+1 You'll get 9 - 10,000 miles out of one if looked after
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  #11  
Old 24 Mar 2013
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Drop down to 20psi for sand, and if you encounter really deep horrible sand that you're struggling to ride through, go down as far as 10psi but be sure to up the pressure as soon as you're able. Better if you've got rimlocks for that though, at least on the back wheel.

I'll be following your trip on facebook, looks like you've got a really good little group there! That's the toughest part of travelling, finding the right people to do it with who share the same sense of humour. With some good mates with you (ready to take the piss!), all problems are easily dealt with.
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