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Morocco Overland: From the Atlas to the Sahara - 4WD, Motorcycle, Van, Mountain Bike

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  #1  
Old 15 Nov 2012
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tyres for a bit of both

Hi,
Still a bit new to this...
am planning a ride from Europe to Morocco and into the W.S, with some off roading inbetween, am thinking of using Metzeler 3 sahara tyres. Am I correct in thinking that these would be ideal on and off road tyres for the complete journey, or are there others more suitable? (Chris Scott in his great book mentions quite a few to consider!!)
Thanks
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  #2  
Old 16 Nov 2012
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You really need to tell us what bike or sizes of tyre you are talking about as not every tyre is available in every size. I liked Michelin T63 for dual purpose but have not tried the Sahara 3.
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  #3  
Old 16 Nov 2012
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In Morocco the pistes are mostly rocky, and while it's dry (as it usually is down south) the tyre's toughness rather tread is more important so any major brand will do. What little sand there is in Morocco ought not command your tyre choice for the long ride there and back.
Don't be fooled into thinking just because it has 'Sahara' in the name the Metz will be good in that kind of terrain. Michelin's 'Desert' is the real thing but not at all safe on wet roads I've found. A T63 has a similar tread pattern and was also good in pure desert but is less tough. There's a new Mich Desert 'Lite' out now for lighter bikes, but doesn't look like it lasts better than a TKC which probably means it will grip as well as a TKC on roads.
In sand and mud the Metz III will be nothing special unless aired right down at which point any tyre's grip improves at the cost of possible punctures. A T63/Conti TKC will be much better but depending on what you're riding and how much you're really into your off-roading (first timers commonly overestimate this) a TKC may barely last the trip when I'd imagine a Metz III ought to last twice as long.
As it happens I was out on on a test bike yesterday with Sahara IIIs and was reminded what an utterly useless but annoyingly long lasting tyre the previous model of Metz Sahara was in the actual Sahara (this was years ago).
The last tyre I used in Morocco (on a 650 twin BMW) was a Heidenau K60 which was great on all surfaces and lasts forever. But everyone says that about their tyres ;-)

Ch
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  #4  
Old 16 Nov 2012
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BMW Dakar tryes

To reply to the above the tyre sizes are
Dakar 2006
R 130/80-17 65S
F 100/90-19 57S


Thanks for the info, with reference to type of riding, will do piste riding, linked up with tarmac that sort of thing, would avoid pure sand or anything lke that. So going on what you suggest I reckon i'll give them Metz III a go then, even if for the durability.

Also whats you opinion on changing the drive sproket for one with 'a tooth less' for better clutch control whilst slow riding? the Dakar seems notorious for being quite highly geared, thus stalling and excessive clutch wear and tear!!! A worthy investment or not?
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Old 16 Nov 2012
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If you mean Dakar BMW F650 single, I thought that one was 21 inch front and possibly lower gearing too? The other 'no name' F650GS was 19 front.
Never heard of either being that highly geared but I can tell you changing one tooth on the BMW '650' twin front sprok (17 to 16) made barely any difference on the piste (still way too high geared) and was not noticeable on the road or with fuel consumption.

I find you want to aim for around 6mph/10kph at tickover in first. The BMW twin (and my Tenere come to that) did 10mph at tickover - not so good but clutches didn't complain - just makes low speed control awkward.

Ch
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Old 16 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cafeterrastje View Post
Also whats you opinion on changing the drive sproket for one with 'a tooth less' for better clutch control whilst slow riding? the Dakar seems notorious for being quite highly geared, thus stalling and excessive clutch wear and tear!!! A worthy investment or not?
My opinion would be you should be riding faster. If you are riding slow enough to be slipping the clutch in first to avoid the engine bogging/stalling, you're riding slow enough to make the bike unstable and making things harder for yourself than if you just sped up a bit.

There's circumstances where that might be unavoidable, but it's more 'woods enduro singletrack' than 'Moroccan piste'. You'll feel the extra revs every mile of the ride down through Europe.
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Old 16 Nov 2012
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I am running Mitas E07 on my bike . verry happy with them as an all round tyre . sofar crossed sand in the guyanas mud in the amazon and the gravel of peru and bolivia . cheep long lasting and good grip. more aggresive than the sahara 3 and longer lasting
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Old 16 Nov 2012
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I have an F800 and I'm going to use a Heidenau rear with a TCK front on my next Moroccan trip. There are endless threads concerning this very question, both here and on ADVrider.com.
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Old 16 Nov 2012
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You can consider too Pirelli´s MT21. I´m using for first time the front and I´m so satified with them on XT600-1998. I´ve made 4000 km., 3000 loaded in a trip to Morocco with some off-road, 500 km., them I´ve done 1000 km. more off roading near home and for work at the city. The tyre is almost new, for sure it´ll last so more km.

Off road it goes wel only wit wet tarmac it "slides" a bit. I´ve benn many years using T63s and they are very good everywhere with XTs but don´t last as MT21. Next rear will be an MT21. Somefriends use them on bikes like XTs, KTM 990 for many Km.

As I said I´ll put a rear MT21 and a front Michelin Desert for my next trip to Morocco but I´m going to carry it into a car and do mostly off roading there. You can read about coming South Spain with road tyres and change them for another tyres. It has been talked about it recently here at the HUBB.

PS: I´m looking for used side racks for my XT!!
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Old 16 Nov 2012
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tyres again xr 650

Hi drivers honda xr 650 r
I am the new owner of this Honda. Help me find good tires for this bike.
I'm going to Morocco where I will be a lot of off-road ., of course, will be tarmac to.
70% off 30% on. Off-road will be rocky, dust, sand.

please help with advice

regards
Andrej
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  #11  
Old 16 Nov 2012
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MT21s

I'm with Pera - I've made 2 longish Morocco trips on my old XT600 Ten running MT21s and got better than 10,000 kms out of a rear, and much more from the front. When new they feel pretty 'knobbly' after road tyres but are great on the piste. Bit slippery on wet tarmac, but hopefully you won't be seeing much of that. Not too expensive either.
Worth also saying that while you're at it, fit the best, toughest inner tubes you can find (sadly I don't think they do the Mich HD in 19 and 17 inch)...and don't even consider going with old patched tubes: they lift in the heat, take it from me!
Have a great trip - last year we got as far south as Smara - the place itself wasn't much, but the trip there and back was awesome!
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  #12  
Old 19 Nov 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cafeterrastje View Post
Hi,
Still a bit new to this...
am planning a ride from Europe to Morocco and into the W.S, with some off roading inbetween, am thinking of using Metzeler 3 sahara tyres. Am I correct in thinking that these would be ideal on and off road tyres for the complete journey, or are there others more suitable? (Chris Scott in his great book mentions quite a few to consider!!)
Thanks
I'd recommend you use TKC's; I've used them for trips to Morocco on a Honda Dominator and KTM 640 Adv and they work well in most situations both on and off-road, last well too. Had a ride on a KTM690 Enduro R with them fitted and was amazed how well they grip on the tarmac on a cold November afternoon.
The Metzelers are a fashion tyre in my opinion, they don't excel in any particular area and are just designed to look good with their 'sparse' tread pattern, certainly not worthy of the name 'Sahara'; I recall they wear very quickly too.
Mich AC10's are a good road legal tyre that work very well off road and I use them on my XR400, but you wouldn't want to go too far on tarmac with them.
If you're riding a 650 Dakar go for the TKC's
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