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  #1  
Old 5 Apr 2007
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Dakar and vstrom... can u advise?

hi guys... i was wondering if you could share some of your wisdom to help me get a better idea on this...
in june i will ride Tangier 2 Dakar along the atlantic route on a DL650. we'll be ridin 2 up, and full luggage. Most of the way will be tarmac, but i am concerned about a stretch of gravel on the wester sahara/mauritania border (for those who dont know the rooute, it is 6kms of rocky and sandy bits through a minefield in noman's land, so i definitely wont enjoy getting bogged down there) and another 80kms to make the diama crossing between mauritania and senegal. those are the inievitable bits that i simply have to ride through. on top of those i wouldnt mind riding some tracks but only hard packed surfaces. therefore i am trying to choose the most appropriate tires to carry out the job. ideally i would need a dirt-capable tire which doesnt disintegrate on asphalt, but since i have very little experience of off-road riding, i dont quite know where to turn to. can any of you guys help? thx in advance!!
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Old 5 Apr 2007
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Hi,

on the marroko mauri border crossing you'll find some soft patches. You can stop before the soft, ask your pillion to walk and ride them without pillion. I'ts short enough to walk. Unless you go wandering on your own, getting stuck on the track in the mine field is not worse then anywhere else.

Rob
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Old 5 Apr 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sadoblazo View Post
hi guys... i was wondering if you could share some of your wisdom to help me get a better idea on this...
in june i will ride Tangier 2 Dakar along the atlantic route on a DL650. we'll be ridin 2 up, and full luggage. Most of the way will be tarmac, but i am concerned about a stretch of gravel on the wester sahara/mauritania border (for those who dont know the rooute, it is 6kms of rocky and sandy bits through a minefield in noman's land, so i definitely wont enjoy getting bogged down there) and another 80kms to make the diama crossing between mauritania and senegal. those are the inievitable bits that i simply have to ride through. on top of those i wouldnt mind riding some tracks but only hard packed surfaces. therefore i am trying to choose the most appropriate tires to carry out the job. ideally i would need a dirt-capable tire which doesnt disintegrate on asphalt, but since i have very little experience of off-road riding, i dont quite know where to turn to. can any of you guys help? thx in advance!!
As far as I know, there's now a road all the way. Check closely on the Sahara forums and it's all there.

Have fun!
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  #4  
Old 6 Apr 2007
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Off-road protection

If you're gonna take your DL-650 off-road, protecting the bottom end of the engine is a good idea. I took a hit from a piece of road debris on I-95 in Providence, Rhode Island last month that punched out my oil filter. By the time I realized the bike was wounded, I was 35 miles away and there was one pint (~500ml) of oil left in the engine. No real damage, thankfully, but I've added a skid-plate and radiator screen.

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Old 6 Apr 2007
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A dirt tyre that works well on the road is the Michelin T63. Does the DL have 21/18 wheels? TBH though I don't think you'll need a dirt tyre for the trip.
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Old 10 Apr 2007
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thanks to everyone for the replies. love this forum.
clearance is certainly an issue on the strom. ive already installed all the adequate protection and changed the exhaust for leaded fuel.
as far as tires go, ive come to the conclusion that TKB80s will simply disintegrate under the weight of bike + luggage + rider + pssanger on tarmac. The route im taking is 7500 kms long, and only a very marginal portion of those will be on dirt. i dont think that the TKC will stand that sort of treatment.
im therefore forced to use an 80/20 tire, and from what i understand from reading other posts/reviews, the anakee are the most dirt-capable amongst road tires. does that sound right 2 u guys?
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Old 1 May 2007
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I can also confirm tyre opinions from Patrick Mollydog. For our DL1000, rear Anakee lasted only 13,000km around Europe (2-up with luggage), while front Anakee lasted about 20,000km.

Michelin Pilot Road (rear) at 9000km lost only 2-3mm of about 8mm tread depth, great road tyre for the vstrom, not so good off road but better than expected, had to put new tyres on in Turkey because no more tyres for a long way after that, so not sure how long it would have lasted.

Fitted TKC80 to front, it lasted about 15,000km mostly on tar with some high speed freeway use in Iran, very badly cupped at this km but still usable. I needed long mileage from the rear tyre so fitted a Tourance that lasted 20,000km. This combo worked for me because its the front where I always need more off-road grip on the vstrom and the TKC80 worked quite well on tar/highways/freeways, although this combo felt a little weird on-road when they were well worn. The TKC80 will handle the high speed tar no problem and its a great choice for vstrom for high % off-road riding, but its far from the best road tyre and unless you really are doing lots of off-road I wouldn't bother.

So IMO, Tourance outlasts Anakee by a long way, but Anakee has better wet grip on tar/cobble stone, gravel road grip is similar.

Then again,..... TKC80's make the Vstrom look soooo cool...... if your into that sort of thing of course.....

Regards
John
www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/skillington
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Old 1 May 2007
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I used TKC80s on my XT recently. They handle surprisingly well on tarmac considering they are a 'knobbly'. My XT was seriously overloaded and this caused me problems with my rear tyre. I had two failures where one of the 'knobbles' broke through into the tyre and punctured the tube. This could've been because I was running them at too low a pressure though. The failures happened at approximately 2/3 wear, so a reasonable distance into their life.

However, my front TKC80 lasted from Scotland to Morrocco, over to Iran and then back again, which I reckoned to be about 20,000km! (I'm not sure, my odometer gave up in Kent!) The tyres did go straight into the bin (they were totally knackered) when I got back, but they did the distance!

Maybe putting a TKC80 on the front for lateral stability in sand and something harder on the back might be an option.
I rode from Hungary to the UK with that front TKC80 and a Michelin T66 on the back, it worked fine. Whether having a front knobbly with a more roadie tyre on the back would work in sand is something I don't know however, as I did not try it out!

Matt

Hope this helps!
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*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!

Last edited by Matt Cartney; 1 May 2007 at 16:34.
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