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  #1  
Old 16 Sep 2003
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The best tires!!!

I've been doing some searching, and I'm having a hard time finding out who makes the best dualsport tires for me. I own a 99 klr. It'll be 70% street 30% offroad. I'd like a long tire life, but will compromise for wet road traction if I must. So what's been working for all of you? See you on the road.
The bikes a 99 KLR 650
Wade
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  #2  
Old 17 Sep 2003
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Avon Gripster, with tubes.

Good grip on street, excellent mileage (I got 10,000 miles from a rear on a fully loaded G/S in SA), unbelievable grip offroad.
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  #3  
Old 17 Sep 2003
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I've found the stock tires are not too bad if mostly street is what you want. They manage well on gravel roads and hard packed stuff, but don't perform well in loose material (but are still passable. The upside is that they can be had for $50 US a piece as 'take offs'. I've also tried Perelli MT21's. They are excellent off road; very knobby and are DOT approved for highway use. When new, I've found they are good to 75MPH. However, I found that as they wear, the front needs rebalacing. Another problem is they are expencive.

I've been mulling over whether or not to try the Chinese ones, Chin Shien I think they are called; very cheap and some people I've met think for the money, you can't go wrong.

Kurt
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  #4  
Old 18 Sep 2003
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Good topic! From the tyres I've had:

Stock Dunlops - just as Kurt said, fine for the road and the dry off-road. Worth sticking with until they're worn out. 6,000 miles.

IRC GPs - great on the road, better than the Dunlops off-road. Mid-range price. 6,000 miles.

Bridgestone TW21/22 - best on the road, not as good as the IRCs off-road. Cheap ($50 x 2) in Guatemala. 6,000 miles, with probably 2,000 more.

Pirelli MT21 - just fine on the road, if noisy, and requiring lots of care in the wet; outstanding in deep mud and very good in deep sand - more than making up for tarmac limitations. Cheap ($50 x 2) in La Paz. 7,000 miles, but worn down to the ply; 3,500 miles but with a lot of tropical tarmac.

No name taiwanese - absolutely dire in all conditions, but cheap (and the only ones available.) Never again.

Metzeler Sahara III - good on road; okay on muddy and sandy tracks, but not the deep stuff. Cheap ($50 x 2) in Bogotá. Disappointing mileage - 4,500 miles - for such road-biased tyres.

If availability wasn't a problem, then MT21's every time for me. If riding on wet roads is very important then the Bridgestones would be the best of what I've had, more road biased than the IRCs (which I prefered but YMMV.)

By the way, due to availability problems I've used 120/90, 130/80, 130/90 and 140/80 rear tyres. 120 is tippy, 140 hits the chain-guard; 130 is best but the other sizes can be used at a pinch.

James


[This message has been edited by JamesCo (edited 11 January 2005).]
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  #5  
Old 18 Sep 2003
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Wow, MT21's for $50 each. I'd buy a ton and never use anything else at that price. The rear in the US I bought must've been closer to 90 and that was mail order.

Kurt
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  #6  
Old 18 Sep 2003
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Thanks very much for your help.

Wade
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  #7  
Old 20 Sep 2003
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What about Metzler sahara 3's? They look decent, but are a bit spendy. Anybody ever used those? For my purposes I think it's down to the Avan gripsters, and the sahara 3's. The Mt21's are more offroad than I need.

Wade
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  #8  
Old 14 Oct 2003
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I have just put Metzeler Sahara into mine.

The reason i choosed them is, they are of soft blend and therefore last longer on the tarmac. The minus points are comparing to MT21 is, they are more vulnerable to flats. I am thinking of compasating that with 4 mm. inner tubes. But on the other hand Sahara handles slippery surfaces much better.

If you want an almost flat proof tire, try Michelin Dessert or Metzeler Karoo. But they react to water like ice skates.

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  #9  
Old 15 Oct 2003
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The Saharas are great tires. They work well on the road and off. Their only downside is mileage - I've never been able to get more than 5k miles from a rear on a GS. Perhaps you'll get more miles on a lighter bike like the KLR. Still, I would say that the Gripsters have equal or better performance and last almost twice as long.

Story
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  #10  
Old 31 Oct 2003
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I picked up a gripster for the rear of my KLR. There not as agressive as I would have liked, but somehow still seem to squirm there way through a surprising variety of terrain. I think I'll get something more agressive for the front when the stock tire wears out, but the gripster seems satisfactory for the rear, for my purposes.

AVOID "DISCOUNT MOTORCYCLE TIRE .com" While they sent my tire quickly and correctly, they then proceeded to accidently send me a second identical tire. I checked with my bank and found I hadn't been billed for this. So about 2 days later I called the company to see about sending this tire back to them. I got the service department of this company, they transfered me to another part, and then they finally transfered to to customer service or something like that. But there was no one there, so I left a voice mail explaning the situation, and leaving contact information. I was then left with a warm fuzzy feeling knowing I had done the right thing. No one called me back, and about 2 days later I had to go out of state for a few weeks. About a week after I left the company called and talked with a family member of mine, and he explaned to them that I would be gone for several weeks, but had tried to sort the mess out before I left. long story short (too late for that lol). I returned home to find that I had been billed for the tire, and told by the returns department that I had agree'd to buy the tire at a slightly reduced price. No such agreement had occured. I asked for the manager. I explaned my situation to her and told her that I thought it unfair that they had taken my money when I had taken the steps to set this whole mess right. She called me a liar and said there were no records that i had ever tried to contact her, and they believed I was trying to steal the tire by avoiding contact with them. I told her I needed my money back for living expenses, and she said tough, the sooner we get the tire back, the sooner you get your money back. So I now have to deliver this tire to an office depote (for some reason they don't deal with ups) wich is a 2 hour round trip for me. So basically there screw up is costing me about 15 bucks and a good 2 and 1/2 hours of my time, and I've been called a liar despite trying to do the right thing. There I've vented, sorry for the length, but now you've been warned.

Wade
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  #11  
Old 31 Oct 2003
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These online discount tyre stores are a real pain in the arse to deal with, eh! Seemingly great prices, but I was endlessly jerked around with promised orders that never showed. Fred at Arrowhead Motorsports, on the other hand, is an absolute star who does what he says - have had half a dozen packages (including tyres) sent all over the Americas. No muss, no fuss. Any extra cost is more than offset by the total lack of hassle, aggro and BS.

James
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  #12  
Old 4 Nov 2003
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Thanks James. Maybe I'll try arrowhead next time.

Wade
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  #13  
Old 10 Nov 2003
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I twnety or so orders, I've had zero problems with these guys:

http://www.swmototires.com/

You need to order two to take advantage of free shipping which makes their prices competitive with anyone on the web.

- Mark
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  #14  
Old 1 Feb 2004
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now this is bound to get me into some trouble but why not...

when i bought my bike it came with the typical dual sport stuff, and sure it looked the part but the rear (think it was a pirelli) last just a few thousand kms, was at a bike rally and all they had that fit were dunlop ke491 rear and a avon roadrunner front tire, yes they are not dual sports, but excellent on the street and still very good off road, front lasts in the 40,000+ and the rear is good for 35,000+, i have tested them from northen canada gravel roads up to the top of alaska to bottom of baja, and do i dare say that i have never had a flat while out riding, sure i have had slow leaks, but never had to change one. on deep gravel roads momentum is the key and getting to terms with feeling of being on jello, then when i was in baja i noticed both front and rear were coverd with(or they were stuck in) thorns and upon pulling some out i was worried that they might have punctured, but never had a problem,

how often do you "really" need dual sport tires?
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  #15  
Old 5 Feb 2004
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I have the Avon Gripsters....and have had for about 4 years using my KLR as a commuter only. I have to agree w/ the others, they are very slick in wet weather.....so avoid the manhole covers and train tracks all.....

In addition, when on loose gravel and mud they didnt seem to do the "off road" thing very well. I'm accustomed to riding dirt bikes (have been since I could walk) so am used to the knobbies level of traction. Perhaps I've set my sights too high but I really feel like I would switch tires at this point as I'm planning on a big travel to c. and s. america.

Anyhow....my two cents for whatever it's worth.
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