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  #1  
Old 23 Mar 2010
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Not your usual tire thread, tire gurus welcome!

I’m in a bit of pickles since Pirelli discontinued my favorite dual sport tires. I used to run Pirelli Scorpions S/T but apparently they are things of the past now. I need a strong set of dual sport tires that can handle high speed, bad weather, some dirt and don’t cost an arm and a leg.


The scorpions were 100 bucks a piece and didn’t last long at all (the rear at least, 4500 miles) but the traction and the performance was worth every penny. I ran those tires on Dempster highway in northwestern Canada, sands of the Oregon coast and thousands of miles of rainy roads and loved them.
The bike is a GS850GZ which takes 120/90/17 in back and 100/90/19 in front. I want a set of tires that I can run and if I like them, buy a few set to be shipped to me wherever I am on the trip. Keep in mind that the bike is 600lbs, plus it’s going two-up, 4 boxes full of crap and a full dry bag in the back. Total weight would be around 1100lbs fully loaded. The tires have to be able to handle such load plus some more for the stress of the bumps and humps.
What tire would you run if you were riding such a beast and why? Any firsthand experience would be great.


Thanks,
Chris
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Old 23 Mar 2010
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You're paying way too much.
Try Shinko 705's, I think they come in something close to your size.

The Pirelli's now make the Scorpion Trail, which replaces your old tire.
Expensive, wears out fast.
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Old 24 Mar 2010
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I love my Mitas E-07. Easily 12,000km out of a rear (best 16,000km), 22,000km front and I regularly scare sports bike riders in the mountains.

MITAS a.s. - Enduro Trail

Cheers bloke

Nigel in NZ
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Old 24 Mar 2010
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A few more notes:

Quote:
Originally Posted by T.H.E View Post
What tire would you run if you were riding such a beast and why? Any firsthand experience would be great. Thanks,
Chris
That is a really cool bike! I love the set up and remember how good those GS850's were from the 80's.

Sorry, I didn't really say much about the Shinko tires. First, lets talk price. I paid $55 ea. for mine. On my DR650 I've got about 5000 miles on the rear, still going but nearly worn out. The front is still very good, probably could go safely past 8,000 miles. The Shinko's perform quite well on dirt roads, not great in mud. Great on wet roads, rough roads and gravel roads. Best value out there IMO. Might be a bit under rated for your bike and load.

Lots of Vstrom and some BMW GS riders are using the Shinko 705's with pretty good results. Hard to beat the price. There have been a few reports of tread separation with these (rear only), but pretty rare and Shinko will replace FREE any tire with a fault.

If you want something more heavy duty (not a bad idea considering your load) then it's gonna cost you. Pirelli's are good but don't last all that long and can be expensive. But the Pirelli Trail is probably as good as anything below, so shop and compare.

For your bike for max life/performance look at these:
1. Metzeler Tourance: (use rear only) expensive, long lasting, can handle big load. I would run a 130 section, NOT a 120. The 130 is a hunkier tire and will fit. Should go past 10,000 miles on the rear tire. I do NOT like the Tourance front. Use the Distanzia, Anakee, or Pirelli and anything else. Tourance front sucks. Don't worry about matching.

2. Metzeler ME880: (rear only) This is a tough-ass touring tire, tough as Hell, lasts forever. Great on heavy bike. Use the 130 if available. Not great off road but should go to maybe 14,000 miles on the rear. Use an Anakee or something else for the front.

3. Avon Distanzia: Another good touring tire that works OK off road, and works about anywhere and last quite well. Good both front and back.

4. Michelin Anakee ll : Excellent all round, expensive, rear good for about 8000 miles. Best wet road performance of all. Front really good, lasts well,
stick great.
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Old 30 Apr 2010
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Mickey,

Sorry for my damn late response. Thank you so much for all the info, I will definitely try some of those tires in the next 2 months. I ended up installing a set of Kenda's and so far so good. The full report will come soon but here is the update from my blog and tread here on HU:

Apr, 10th. On the road again

The time I have been waiting for so anxiously has finally come. The GS850 was a fine bike to begin with, but now it’s even better. The second leg of the expedition has started and in order to maximize the storage capacity for the longer push, the bike had to go through some more modifications along with the regular maintenance. Finally, it’s in tip-top shape.

First thing was to resolve the fork seal problem by installing bright yellow dirt bike fork boots to prevent dirt and bugs from ruining the fork tubes and seals. It kind of looks funny (Cynthia calls them Big Bird Legs), but I’m convinced that they will make the seals last much longer.

After exhaustive research for the best navigation system, besides stopping and asking Seven Eleven clerks en route, we finally decided on the Garmin Nuvi 260W GPS with 4.3” display. This unit is a discontinued model, but it is powerful and robust. The routing engine is excellent and since we have no use for Bluetooth, MP3 player, or traffic updates, this $100 GPS fits the bill perfectly. I had to come up with my own ingenious hillbilly-design mounting system, but it works like a charm.

In order to make more room in the aluminum panniers, I got rid of the big water bottle and instead, installed two smaller external bicycle-style water bottles on the outside of the boxes. I mounted another bottle cage on the back for the fuel bottle so it now sits outside instead of taking up room inside the pannier.

The pannier rack had to be redesigned to accommodate more rearward mounting of the panniers, so a completely new rack was built from scratch to move the boxes back 11 inches. The rear turn signals had to be relocated, and they are pointing downward nesting between the boxes now. The rear footpegs were also relocated by drilling two holes in the aluminum receiver so the rack could be mounted using the stock rear footpeg mounting holes.

I ordered the Kenda 761 tires and after a long mounting battle, they are on and looking good. The complete test report will follow on how they perform, but my initial impression is that they seem to be well made, have sticky rubber compound, and I like the tread pattern.

There were two pieces of equipment which failed during the first leg of the expedition. One was the trusty Optimus Nova multi-fuel stove and the other the Princeton Tec Fuel headlamp. I have used Optimus stoves on the highest mountains and harshest terrains and have yet to have a problem with any of them, but this particular one baffled me. It kept leaking and regardless of what I did to fix it, it refused to get better. Optimus kindly and promptly replaced the stove after only one email, and they even sent a newer model right to my door. Princeton Tec also replaced the faulty headlamp for a new unit for no charge. I’m sure these were just couple of bad apples in a bunch, and both companies stood by their products. I will continue to use their gear and will attest to their quality and customer service.

Stay tuned for the reports as they will come more regularly from now on.



















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Last edited by T.H.E; 30 Apr 2010 at 20:39.
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  #6  
Old 30 Apr 2010
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The Kenda tires look great! I don't know Kendas so did not include them ... I should have. They sometimes get a bad rap but the fact is they are now getting much better reviews and are priced well below most of the other tires I listed for you. Love to hear your thoughts regards how long they last and performance as they wear.

The Suzuki looks really well prepped. Here's too great and safe travels!

Love the Big Spike on your rack below license plate. Is that for mounting someone's head onto?
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Old 30 Apr 2010
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My first impression is that they are real sticky, very soft compound similar to the scorpions S/T's. They ride well, no humming and corner great. 300 miles on them already and so far so good. The spike is a personal touch from my Mexican welder, he did a great job and was very meticulous. Maybe putting a ripped up doll head on it to scare little girls on Halloween wouldn't be a bad idea :P
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