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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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  #1  
Old 29 May 2009
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MT21/Karoo (yet more tire questions)

I have a BMW PD and because I'm lucky enough to have a spare set of rims so I want spare wheels for mainly off tarmac use. Deserts are a bit expensive so I picked either Pirelli MT21's or Metzeler Karoo. The bike shop technician felt MT21's were more suited to a lighter bike, and the Karoos were more suited for heavier machines such as mine. Being dedicated wheels for the dirt, I'm not too bothered about mileage as I'd carry them on the back (about 4 Kgs) if I go long distances on the tarmac first, using road tires. The usual caveats re dual purpose don't apply here. I don't go hard core off road so it's mainly unsealed roads some of which are very sandy (it's Oz).
Any suggestions?
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Old 29 May 2009
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I have used MT21 on my R80GS for more then 100kkm, it’s definitively one of my favorite tires. Personally I like it far better then Karoo.
Another option could be Michelin T63, it’s a bit more street oriented.
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Old 30 May 2009
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I've had two sets of Karoo's on my 100GS any had no problems. Obviously not great in the wet but easily manageable. In the dry there was never a problem leaning right over to the edge of the tyre. The only complaint was that they were quite noisy, but you get used to that.
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Old 31 May 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Wood View Post
I have a BMW PD and because I'm lucky enough to have a spare set of rims so I want spare wheels for mainly off tarmac use. Deserts are a bit expensive so I picked either Pirelli MT21's or Metzeler Karoo. The bike shop technician felt MT21's were more suited to a lighter bike, and the Karoos were more suited for heavier machines such as mine. Being dedicated wheels for the dirt, I'm not too bothered about mileage as I'd carry them on the back (about 4 Kgs) if I go long distances on the tarmac first, using road tires. The usual caveats re dual purpose don't apply here. I don't go hard core off road so it's mainly unsealed roads some of which are very sandy (it's Oz).
Any suggestions?
I wouldn't say the Michelin T63 is that much more street orientated Ali? - I thought the tread was pretty open, and wore out very quickly when I had a set on my XR650R btw - they are designed for a 'lighter bike' (ie. sub 450cc enduro type bikes) too according to Michelin's literature...

Karoos or TKC80s are great dry weather all purpose tyres Tim, but I do wonder why, if you are not going 'hard core off road', why you would bother taking a separate set of tyres, let alone wheels and tyres?! It doesn't make sense to me... its a PITA swapping wheels back and forth on a 4x4 - let alone on a bike!

I'd just fit a set of TKCs (personal preference over Karoos) and ebay the other set of wheels?!

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Old 31 May 2009
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A totally excellent tyre currently mounted on my 1200GS, have a look at Heidenau's K60 on tar, gravel, forests tracks - haven't tried sand on them yet but guessing they're fine.
Had MT21's on my Dakar- great but as with TKC's they wear foo fast for me.
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Old 1 Jun 2009
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MT21's/Karoo's

I got the spare wheels very cheaply off a wreck, mainly because they are very difficult to repair (after a prang). I'm planning on going up to the Kimberly later this year which would be a 7,000 Km round trip. Why wear out knobbies on tarmac when I have the wheels? It only takes me about 15 minutes to change them over, which is one advantage of the beemer's single sided swing arm. They only weigh about 4 Kgs and fit the rear rack just fine - normally I wouldn't carry them. Might look a bit odd, but who cares? Better than changing tires over. Although I have Tourances on the bike now, I felt a more aggresive tread might be better.
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Old 1 Jun 2009
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Hi Tim - I wasn't trying to sound preachy - if you've got a secure way of carrying them, then go for it... although I can't imagine that a pair of wheels and tyres only weigh 4KG, unless they are bicycle wheels and tyres?!

I agree it would seem a bit silly to wear out your TKCs on a lot of tarmac first - and your trip milage would certainly be at the limit of a single set of TKC80s - I've managed around 5000miles/8000kms from a rear before it was almost slick... However, that would the end of your trip - half that distance (ie. when you are in Kimberly) you'd still have plenty of tread left for any off-road riding?

I am not familiar with Australia, but is there not a motorcycle shop somewhere along your return route where you might get some fresh tyres for the return leg? That is always another option perhaps?

Those would be my suggestions for consideration.

xxx
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Old 2 Jun 2009
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Originally Posted by JMo (& piglet) View Post
I wouldn't say the Michelin T63 is that much more street orientated Ali?
Not much (that was why I wrote “it’s a bit more street oriented”), but it makes a difference.
The MT21 also has higher profile (130/90-17) which helps a bit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMo (& piglet) View Post
- I thought the tread was pretty open, and wore out very quickly when I had a set on my XR650R btw
Yes the thread is pretty open, mileage might vary I’m usually somewhere between 5-12 kkm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMo (& piglet) View Post
- they are designed for a 'lighter bike' (ie. sub 450cc enduro type bikes) too according to Michelin's literature...
Yes, that’s a bit odd for a tire which is approved for 300 kgs. The literature is not consistent at that point.
I have used it a lot on my GSes with all kinds of loads in all type of terrains and I find it pretty good. It wears better then MT21 but it’s not that aggressive.

Two-up gravel-touring with T63:



I wouldn’t consider TKC80 as an option for offroad. I have used it quite a bit and unless the terrain is hard it’s not good. It packs in mud, slides on gravel and you get stuck in sand.
Once I changed this MT21 (approx 20kkm) to a TKC80 and the brand new TKC80 was far worse then the MT21. It was scary…



For a 7kkm roundtrip I would have used MT21. They will last all the way without problems.
You say it’s 4 kgs, that’s not right.
I just checked my spare set (T63, HD tubes)
Rear 11.9 kg
Front 11.7 kg
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