What tires to run?

Rasher

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So much depends on where you live, where you ride and what your priorities are.

There is very little in the way of off-road options near me, I can find very badly surfaced lanes, and a few can can be covered in mud, or down to hard packed rocks in places, find a proper gravel trail near me is difficult, and proper off-road is not really an option, even in the parts of the UK with "lots" of trails it is usually the odd off-road section here and there, and by "section" I mean a few miles at best.

If heading to Europe there is much more, but I have to do 500+ miles to get there, and normally it is the Holiday with the Mrs so nothing more adventurous than a well graded gravel track, and I have ridden some of these on 190BHP sportsbikes two-up so the Tenere on any road tyre will more than cope.

Tyres like the K60 which are probably a genuine 50/50 (i.e good, but not great both on and off road) type of tyre would be great for anyone who can regularly off-road, providing some off-road capability, with good road manners and probably more than enough tarmac grip for many road riders.

I do not for one minute believe any Tourance / Anakee / Battlewing / Trail Attack tyre is anything other than a road tyre with a slightly chunkier pattern for asthetic reasons, therefore I often buy full on road tyres which tend to have a smidge more dry grip and a fair bit more wet grip than the "fake" dual purpose tyres, I can certainly tell the difference from a Tourance EXP and a Roadsmart and the switch on my GS allowed me to go a bit quicker in the dry, and felt far more sure footed in the wet.

I think if someone came up with something more 75% / 25% (i.e. more than a stylistic nod to off-road, but still with excellent road characteristics) I may be tempted, but for me the likes of K60's give up a bit too much road performance (some I can genuinely use) for an offroad cability I would probably never need - although the tyre life alone makes them damn attractive :exclaim:

I would have thought a chunkier middle-half way around section, narrowing to almost slick edges would work - a bit like how modern sportsbike tyres have develpoed to the point where they are slick at the edge, but still offer a lot more wet grip than a true slick. So a tyre that gives a bit of offroad potential (like the sports tyres bit of wet potential) but still has great cornering by providing a grippy edge.
 

rem

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~TABASCO~ said:
For me, being this is an adventure bike I LOVE the K60's. It truley allows you to use this bike to its full potential. I ride the heck out of them rain, snow, shine. Got no chicken strips to prove it. Lol. I thoroughly enjoy them on this bike and look to always have them installed on the Tenere.

::026::
 

snakebitten

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Rasher,

I have no beef with your excellent and thorough analysis of the K60's in your application.

The only variance that my opinion has from yours is merely how important it is to me to have the additional off-road grip the K60's provide over the pseudo-dual sport tires that many of these tires are marketed as.

And while I agree that you can ride off-road with the "pretenders", there is a huge difference in how well the K60's will propel the S10 on dirt/gravel.

I discovered this for myself on my own property. Although my daily commute is ~50 miles of tarmac, from my mailbox to my back porch is about 900' of crushed rock & dirt road bed. Every day I would return home and look forward to my small amount of off-road adventure as I entered the property. I would stop at the road and switch to TC2. I would then cut through the drainage ditch and try to blast my way home.

I got very use to how fast I could get the beast going with the EXP OEM tires. And how much TC would intervene as the tires struggled with my heavy wrist. :)

Then after about 4500 miles, I mounted a set of K60's.

The first time I went through that grassy ditch and caught the dirt road and laid into the throttle, as I had many times before, I was astonished with the acceleration that took place and the dramatic decline in the amount of traction control intervention. For the first time I had to intervene myself. This Beast would fly through 1st and 2nd gear!

I say that to point out that although I agree that the K60 is a 50/50 tire, off road it is FAR GRIPPIER than any of the so called 80/20 tires. Anyone would be able to experience this difference off-road.

And although I spend far less time off-road than I would prefer, I cherish the limited time I do have off-road. And I find for me it is well worth the trade off for the tarmac prowess I give up to the true street tires. After-all, that same brilliant TC and ABS on this Tenere, also makes the K60 perform better than I will push this Beast on the road.

Stunning bike with these tires. It ought to sit on the showroom floor at the Yamaha dealer with them already mounted. It's like peaches and cream. :)

Can't wait to show up in Colorado with a fresh set mounted and hopefully an Ohlins suspension dialed in for perfect 2-up Adventure! It will be Brilliant!
 

Rasher

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I too agree with your points, and it is nice to know mere mortals can benefit / notice the difference.

I think in the UK well over 90% of the Tenere's sold will never hit dirt or gravel, whereas many parts of the US you have the option of doing so on your doorstep with your vast expanses of open areas (we just do not have any spare land in the UK)

Luckily tyres are relatively cheap, I suspect many dealers would do a deal on a new bike to fit whatever you want (if it gets them their sale) or at least free fitting and you could sell the OE tyres / keep them for when you flogg the bike, or even give you some px value as they could fit them to a used bike they take in that is a bit low on tread.
 

Rasher

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Just got to the Tyres section of the "Adventure Motorcycling Handbook, it has some great info, I have stolen a few (paraphrased) quotes below, it seems to back up what most of us suspect, and comes from someone who has done many long trips on varied terrain including RTW trips.

A good read, even if your not planning a RTW trip, still has some good advice for those who just do a little off-roading, or tour in the civilised world on tarmac (that will be me then)

Despite tyre manufacturers proclamations about cunning computer designed knobs, sipes and grooves..... A cool looking tread may sell better, but may be no more functional than a Dunlop K70 from the 1970's..... Construction technology has evolved greatly.....as has mixing compounds.....A tractor tyre looks the same as it did 85 years ago because it works.... on soft dirt deep widely spaced knobs dig in for for longitudinal and lateral traction like a spiked runnng shoe, broadly speaking it is as simple as that
On Gravel a Tourance would be no better than a road tyre in terms of grip
Tyres like (Lists most modern DP tyres - Trailmax, BW, TA, Trailmax, Tourance, Anekee etc.) purport to be dual purpose tyres, but in some cases are probably just a road touring tyre with a more blocky looking "adventure tread...... on dirt roads they'll barely be better than a regular touring tyre and on the highway be marginally worse........you may well be better off with a hard wearing road touring tyre......On gravel roads the above tyres (tourances etc) will be nothing special, and in sand or mud no better than a road tyre.
He goes on to list TKC80's Karoo's and Mita's (Plus others) as being competent 70/30 tyres and gives a nod to the K60's as "May well be the best of this lot"
 

imrubicon

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I do not have the First set of tires worn out yet ::)( but getting there)

I will go the route of the K60s as everything I have heard is a decent Road tire that has split modes for what ever you want .
Heck the life mileage alone makes it worth while to try them ::018::
 

snakebitten

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Rasher,

Your 3rd quote from that Adventure author is the fairest, most honest one I have seen.
The so called DP (90/10 or 80/20) tires are MAYBE a tidbit better off road than a good quality road tire.

My KTM 950SM came with "DP" scorpions. Yea right. 17" wheels. it's designed for tarmac. I can ride it on dirt surfaces, of course. But regardless, I am riding a street bike with loooong travel suspension, on essentially tarmac tires. Fun as heck though. But nowhere close to as dirt worthy as the Tenere with K60's.
 

Zepfan

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Riding out with Shinko and carrying Connie TK's.

I'll change up to Connies when my Trail Master rear goes which will be about the time I reach Ouray.
 
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