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Hi Guys, I have been running Michelin T63 tyres on my XT600E, which I used on my trip down to Morocco and the Western Sahara. There is no doubt these tyres are superb on my XT600E; I got 8,000 miles out of a rear and they grip great on tarmac and the twisties in the Atlas and are really good off road. However, with the off road bias of these tires and the fact that in recent times I have been riding mainly onroad, I am looking for a replacement rear tyre with a more road orientated bias. Any suggestions on the ones to go for based on experience from fellow XT600E owners would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks. Brad XT
This is a perennial question, so you will find information from past discussions. From memory, the favoured rear tyre for 'mainly road use' (80-20 road) was the Avon Distanzia, although you'll find other recommendations for - and even warnings against - purely-road or 50-50 type tyres.
Use the HUBB searcher with something like "xt600 distanzia t63" (without the quotes) as the searchterm keywords and make different searches as other types of tyre are mentioned/recommended, in order to 'spiral outwards' in your research.
I can sort-of recommend Distanzia on the back, and Pirelli Scorpion MT90 front, "sort of" because that's all I've used on the XT600E so far and it seems pretty good on road, grip-wise, whilst not wearing too fast - although I would say the Distanzia rear is too soft&grippy to last long if you're going to do a lot of motorway / A-road miles. (You could also say that about the XT600, itself!).
I have used a pair of Bridgestone Trail Wing on a Funduro, and they were hard-wearing but scary in the wet. This is a matter of interpretation, though: I have heard both "awful in the wet" and "communicative in the wet" levelled at these tyres and indicating pretty much the same trait - breaking (some) traction early in the wet. It's a bit like that criticism of 4-wheel-drive compared to rear-wheel-drive for cars: rear-wheel slip on rear-wheel drive happens early and is more correctable, but when you really lose all traction in a 4WD car it's likely a bit of a disaster. Ultimately, I prefer the Distanzia to the Trail Wing - but then they were on different bikes, with different characteristics.
Cheers Big Foot, many thanks for the info. It seems Dizentzias would be a good choice, although they are a little on the soft side and my research suggests they might wear out a little quickly, plus they seem to be 80/20 road/off road bias. Does any body have any experience of other rear tyres on XT600E such as Tourance, Siracs, Mitas E07 & E08 & Pirelli Scorpion. Any other observations would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks to all who contibute!
Put a set of maxxis on my tenere for one little trip,absolute of load of shite,every time I stopped for fuel I would look and think...bloody hell they've worn down even more...they were a road orientated trail tyre,not a knobbly,which was slightly alarming..yes they were cheap,but they weren't half the price of an alternative,but lasted less than half of the time...so cheaper ended up more expensive..
Currently bike has some Pirelli mt21 s on it,which are obviously more off road orientated yet have lasted longer than the maxxis,done a trip to morocco,done quite a bit of road miles in uk and some playing in the mountains in catalunya..
I may take them off now,chuck some distanzias on it for the summer then put another pair of them on it or its next aventure in September..
Used some distanzias on a drz I had previously and was ok..
I have Distanzias on my XT600E and I love them. Very grippy wet or dry, but the downside is the soft compound doesn't wear well. It's a compromise I am happy to make, although my use is probably 99/1 rather then 80/20. I doubt if they would be much good in mud, although they cope with gravel well. I've had them on for about 4k miles, and both front and rear are shot to bits.
I have Avon Gripsters (not my choice, came with the bike) on my XT660R - same sizes I believe and a broadly similar chassis layout - and they are good on tarmac too. I haven't had them long enough to comment on wear rates. From the pattern, which is more open than the Distanzias, I would imagine they would cope with mud and sand better, but still nowhere near a proper off-road tyre.
Thank alot guys for all this info. This tends to confirm my suspcioins about Diztenzias, great road orientated tyre but wear out quickly. Marcm, not familiar with the make Maxxis but I will clearly avoid them. Interested in your comments about the MT21 Pirelli, are these the Pirelli Scorpions? I had a pair of MT Pirellis on an XT500 years ago and again, they were a great road orientated tyre with fantastic grip but wore out very quickly.
I have also just come across Mitas E-08 and E-09 which seems a much cheaper option, but there seems to be very little info about these tyres? Any views on Mitas anybody?
Many thanks again for your help and interest in helping me get the right choice. Worked last time for me on the forum when I bought the T63s which were fantastic both on and off road. Cheers.
Location: XXX<-Portugal->Azores->Santa Maria (island)
Yes, avoid Maxxis! had one on the front tire of my DT125R (90-90/21 which are the same size as the XT's front tire) and it went in one month..
My brother got one Maxxis rear wheel tire for his KX250F and didn't last a week..
I've got Continental TrailAttacks on my XT600E for both front and rear tires for road use ( I only ride on road ).
The front has about 7k-8k km left of thread and the rear tire has got about 2k km left of thread and grips just as good as it did when it was new. both have done so far 6319km.. Do mind that I ride very aggressively about 90% of the time
The Pirelli MT21 is a pretty good off-tarmac tyre (good for green lanes / byways) and road legal but, because of that off-tarmac orientation, you won't get a great deal of on-tarmac mileage out of them - again, especially if you're moving quite fast along motorways and A-roads.
I'm not familiar with the Mitas E-08 but it looks OK, whilst the E-09 is probably too 'off road' for your stated requirement. Mitas tyres do have a reputation for being made of a comparatively hard compound and lasting quite well, although probably a little less grippy than the likes of, say, the Distanzia with the latter's softer compound. I have heard of cracking, in the case of (I think) the E-09. Worth searching for that, on-line. It may've been on the HUBB that I saw that.
Originally Posted by Brad XT
Interested in your comments about the MT21 Pirelli, are these the Pirelli Scorpions? I had a pair of MT Pirellis on an XT500 years ago and again, they were a great road orientated tyre with fantastic grip but wore out very quickly.
I have also just come across Mitas E-08 and E-09 which seems a much cheaper option, but there seems to be very little info about these tyres...
I have (or maybe I should say - had) Bridgestone Trail Wings on my XT600.
They were worn to around 75% once I bought the bike, and now they are at around 60% thread left, and on my experience:
sh*t on gravel (packed - quite good, loose - sh*t)
sh*t on sand
sh*t on grass
and quite shi**y on asphalt (dry/wet) too: on various occasions I had felt the back wheel drifting in a junction when I was turning quite slowly.
Lithuanian riders say - there's no "all season" boots when your feet aren't cold in winter and not too hot in summer. The same goes to "all road" tires, which suck on all terrains.
Mitas, as far as I know, have different hardness rubber for different tires. Some are harder (let's say, for stony roads), and some are softer (sand, etc.).
Here's a couple of links to tables of "rubber hardness" and some pictures of the tires themselves. I know it's in Lithuanian, but tables are in English and pictures with model of tires sound the same in any language.
I bet you can find the same info if you Google a bit.
My solution: SM wheels for road use (GOOD grippy SM tires), and MX wheels for off-road (front tire Mitas C-19, rear Pirelli Scorpion MX Extra). I had bought Mitas C-02 for rear tire, but changed my mind and got it studded for winter use: C-02 is quite soft, wears quick, but anyway awesome in the off-road. One disadvantage - those smaller side knobs, which bend in the corner and rear wheel can get unstable. That's why I went with Pirelli, as it has big knobs all round. And wears less on road.
They appear to last well and their grip in the wet is reasonable too. Personally I'd rate them over and above the Tourance tyre which I rate 85% tarmac 15% light trail.
If like me you want an agricultural looking adventure tyre, then the Michelin SIRAC ticks the box compared to most other adventure tyres including the Tourance which looks much more like a road tyre.
I also like the look of the Trellborg Army Special (XT644). I have heard good things about these tyres. Apparently the Norway & British Army use them a lot too. The MoD carries out extensive tests before procurment. The Army Special has the look of a true 50% tarmac 50% trail tyre?
It looks quite similar to the tread pattern on the expensive TKC80.
Sorry Kentfallen but I have to point out that if the OP finds T63s too off-road biased I don't think he will like the Army Special T644.
I have 2 XTs. One has an unworn T63 on the front and the other has new Army Specials front and back. The tread pattern on the T644 is very similar to the T63 but it is at least twice as deep. They are much knobblier on the bike than they look in pictures on the web.
It looks even more off road than the T63 (the British Army's previous tyre BTW).
The T644 also made the steering very heavy - unlike the T63.
The testing the Army did that you mention made me decide to fit them to my bike. They were about £110 for the pair posted IIRC.
Had both mitas...the dual purpose herringbone pattern and the knobbly.....herring bone super on the road and great for light off road,not so good in mud.....knobbly ok but not great off road,sidewall too soft and tends to roll under,,,,,
Had the Heidenau K60 front and rear installed just 2 months ago and seemed to handle well on dry, wet and damp tarmac. Have not tried off road. Any experience? No knowledge of tyre life but heard that some GS riders getting close to 30k km and one even exceeded that! Will see.
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