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  #1  
Old 29 Dec 2010
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Location: York, UK
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can't find the right tires

Hi all
Ok I'm having a look a trip from the UK to Australia on my honda hornet, looking for some off road tires and can't find any with the same size (I dont think its suprising with the tire sizes the hornet has). Just wondering if anyone has any advice of what I should change them to, i.e. profile/width changes in relation to handling preformance. The sizes I have on the hornet are :-

front - 120 / 70 R17 ZR

rear - 180 / 55 R17 ZR

I know I can get 130/80 R17 for the front tire, which is only a little bigger but its designed to be a rear tire (Continental TKC 80 Twinduro Dual Sport). I know it will be a different tred, but can it be done? is it safe and reliable, or am I mad? as most front tires are 21 or 19, there are few 17s designed for the front.

At the moment the best tyers I've found are pirelli MT60-R Dual Sport's. the front tires are ther right size but the biggest they have the rears on 17 inch rims are 160/60 R 17 which seem a bit narrow, or is it??

Any sugestions, ideas, recomendations are needed as depending on what tires i can get, will depend on what route I can do on my trip.
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  #2  
Old 9 Jan 2011
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sussex, UK
Posts: 84
Dude,

Anything can go anywhere with enough effort, having the right chassis/tyres for the terrain just makes it easier. In the case of the Hornet, what you've got is a sweet road chassis with not much ground clearance and fairly stiff, short travel suspension. That's great on tarmac, but it's not going to be quick on unsurfaced roads for more reasons than just the tyres.

Now, if you were to shoe-horn a knobbly tyre onto each end of it and sort a front mudguard to clear the knobbly front, you'd maybe give it a bit more traction on slippery stuff, but you'd not have the chassis to really capitalise on that as you'd still be nursing it along trying not to flatten the exhaust or ruin a wheel on a rock, or catch the side of that inline four on the edge of a rut. Basically it'd still have insufficient ground clearance and suspension travel for the rough stuff. You wouldn't be able to fit a 19 or 21 inch dirt wheel in the front because it wouldn't clear the radiator/cylinder head/exhaust headers when the suspension was fully compressed. Unless you changed the forks, too...

Plus a Hornet on knobblies would no doubt handle like a wonky shopping trolley on tarmac, and you'd have to be on acid to want to put longer trail bike forks in it. Either way, you'd have ruined what the bike is very good at.

The rear rim is probably a 5.5in width if the standard tyre is a 180 and you won't find a knobbly tyre wide enough to suit, so you'd be engineering an alternative rear wheel. When you got to Oz and wanted to turn it back into a road bike, you'd have to get another rear wheel to put the road tyres back on.

So, if the Hornet is the bike you want to do it on, my advice would be to do just that, but you should play to it's strengths (tarmac) rather than make it into something it isn't. You can get a very long way on mostly tarmac, and whilst the distance you do have to do on dirt to get where you're going may be really hard work (it's also a heavy bike to pick up) you would find a way if you wanted to. Meanwhile you may well have been having more fun on the tar roads than any trailie could.

If it were me however, and I didn't want to be constrained to the tarmac routes, I'd just take a trail bike of some description instead. Then when I got to Oz, I'd buy a road bike if that's what I'd rather be riding for the year or two I was there.
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Last edited by djadams; 9 Jan 2011 at 13:00. Reason: spelling, punctuation and grammar.
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  #3  
Old 21 Jan 2012
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Perth West Australia
Posts: 138
TKC's for these sizes 17"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricsy3 View Post
Hi all
Ok I'm having a look a trip from the UK to Australia on my honda hornet, looking for some off road tires and can't find any with the same size (I dont think its suprising with the tire sizes the hornet has). Just wondering if anyone has any advice of what I should change them to, i.e. profile/width changes in relation to handling preformance. The sizes I have on the hornet are :-

front - 120 / 70 R17 ZR

rear - 180 / 55 R17 ZR

I know I can get 130/80 R17 for the front tire, which is only a little bigger but its designed to be a rear tire (Continental TKC 80 Twinduro Dual Sport). I know it will be a different tred, but can it be done? is it safe and reliable, or am I mad? as most front tires are 21 or 19, there are few 17s designed for the front.

At the moment the best tyers I've found are pirelli MT60-R Dual Sport's. the front tires are ther right size but the biggest they have the rears on 17 inch rims are 160/60 R 17 which seem a bit narrow, or is it??

Any sugestions, ideas, recomendations are needed as depending on what tires i can get, will depend on what route I can do on my trip.

I know this is very late to respond but for the benefit of others in same situation Continental have just started to make 17" in the sizes you need. I've been looking for the past year for tyres for my Tiger 1050. Happy now I can fit off road tyres to a sports bike! Check out their website ..
Continental Tyres UK

Cheers
Steven
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