Tire choice for Iceland trip - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-03-2015, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Tire choice for Iceland trip

Hello Strommers,
I am planning my next trip in Iceland in July and should start considering the choice of the tires, might use some of your experience here...

I have a 1000km to reach my ferry boat, that would be in Netherlands,Germany and Denmark, mainly on highways.

Then it's 1300km of the main road (very good pavement with portions of hard-packed dirt) and there are the inner roads which range from loose gravel to complete off-road with water-crossings...

I guess the choice of the tires depend on which kind of inner roads I will be taking... but it is also true the opposite, I can decide which roads to take considering the tires I have...

So I need a pair of tires able to do some off-roads (I would say definitely wet gravel without worrying, and possibly something more, nothing extreme) but also not limiting for the 3000km of highway, at highway speeds.

Any tips? Anyone that hit Iceland and can give me a direct experience?
Thanks.

Ahoy!
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-03-2015, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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searching about dual tires I often encounter the Heidenau K60, Conti TKC70 and TKC80, Shinko 705, Sava MC60 and IRC GP-110.
I guess I have to exclude the TKC80 as they don't last long, especially for trips with big portions of tarmac (like mine).
The TKC70 seem to be the less off-road capable, all the others more or less fall in between.

Anyone with direct experience of these tires on a V-Strom 2008 650A?
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-04-2015, 09:20 AM
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If you type in "tires" in the Google search box, you will find literally volumes of discussion about tires. The choice isn't place or bike specific. The more experienced and comfortable you are riding on the conditions you expect to encounter, the less important tire aggressiveness is. There are good riders doing the Trans-Lab on Pilot Roads all the time.
Go out on roads of similar composition you anticipate finding in Iceland. This will show you how the bike handles with you as pilot. The key to gravel road riding is to keep some weight on the pegs, keep your arms relaxed and let the bike move under you. If you can get away with a 90/10 or 80/20 tire, you'll experience quieter pavement riding and longer tire wear.

Have a great trip! Tell us all about it when you get back.


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post #4 of 9 Old 03-05-2015, 08:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply sbeadg.

It has been days or weeks that I am trying to read about dual tires, 80/20, 50/50, whatever... and I am losing the grip. I understand direct experience wins over any post I can find on internet, but I cannot try several tires here before going up there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbeadg View Post
The choice isn't place or bike specific.
Is it really? I have the Wee since less than a month here and I am already noticing some characteristics... the bike seems to be quite light on the front, I feel it when riding on highway with cross-wind (there's a lot of wind here in Holland). Maybe it is also because of the front fairings, and it would not matter at the off-road speeds, or maybe not. So I was thinking... do I need a better front tire for off-road? Even if I drive standing on pegs, the distance from the handlebar is quite large and the posture is also quite vertical not so front-loaded... Does this make any sense?

I thought if I cannot have direct experience on my bike, I'd rather listen to people that have my same bike. Best would be to find someone who also went to Iceland...

Thanks and Ahoy!
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-05-2015, 07:40 PM
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What are you riding on now?
Do you know the history of your bike? Light front end feel at highway speeds may mean the P.O. installed lowering links and didn't raise the forks tin the triple tree by the same amount. That lets more air get under the cowling.

Got a top case on there? What are you running for tire pressures? Make sure the rear is 2 to 4 lbs. higher than the front.

What other bikes have you owned that you're making the comparison? Could you just be learning about the handling characteristics of our bikes?

If you could supply more specifics, we might be able to offer more specific info.

Sorry I can't help you with riding experience in Iceland...


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post #6 of 9 Old 03-05-2015, 11:59 PM
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Even at factory suspension settings, I believe the first generation Wee's were known for the front triple clamp sitting too high on the fork tubes - hence the light front end feel. If you do a little searching on this site you'll find plenty of threads referencing raising the fork tubes 5-10mm for greater front end stability. Doesn't seem to be as problematic on the 2nd generation (2012+) Wee's.

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post #7 of 9 Old 03-06-2015, 04:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbeadg View Post
What are you riding on now?
Do you know the history of your bike? Light front end feel at highway speeds may mean the P.O. installed lowering links and didn't raise the forks tin the triple tree by the same amount. That lets more air get under the cowling.
I ride a DL650A K8, I do not know detailed previous history as I bought from a dealer so did not speak with P.O. I doubt he did any mod, but in any case, is it possible to check if he installed lowering links and didn't raise the forks tin the triple tree by the same amount?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbeadg View Post
Got a top case on there? What are you running for tire pressures? Make sure the rear is 2 to 4 lbs. higher than the front.
I have a top case (OEM). Tire pressure is 2.25-2.75 bars (32.6-39.9 psi) as I often ride with passenger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sbeadg View Post
What other bikes have you owned that you're making the comparison? Could you just be learning about the handling characteristics of our bikes?

If you could supply more specifics, we might be able to offer more specific info.
Previous bike was an Honda NTV650, completely different word, hard to compare with... lighter bike, much more front-loaded, no fairings, no windshield, no top case. It also had problems with the high wind we have here, but I did not expect much from that bike, while I was hoping in something more from the Wee (500$ vs 5000$).

Anyway, I am surely learning to handle the V-Strom. This forum has been precious in offering a lot of experience, I read a lot about issues and solutions. I want to get mileage on the bike to feel which of the issues are also mine and try to find my best solution. This will take time, I know, no probl.

The aim of this thread, and I apologize if I wasn't able to clarify, might be restated like this:

"Knowing the handling characteristics of a DL650A, did anyone find better to use a specific set of tires for a trip which will comprise 3500km of highway, and some 1000km of off-road ranging from hard-packed dirt to loose gravel with some water crossings?"

I understand riding abilities make a big difference, so consider that I do not have off-road experience with this bike and probably will not get much more before the trip. Offcourse I know that, so I am not expecting to be able to ride crazy speeds on loose gravel just because I got dual tires... I would also like not to be forced to ride 10mph with both legs down for long distances just because I feel my wheels going every directions... I am not sure if I am making any sense...

I forgot to say thanks for the replies!

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post #8 of 9 Old 03-06-2015, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattski1 View Post
Even at factory suspension settings, I believe the first generation Wee's were known for the front triple clamp sitting too high on the fork tubes - hence the light front end feel. If you do a little searching on this site you'll find plenty of threads referencing raising the fork tubes 5-10mm for greater front end stability. Doesn't seem to be as problematic on the 2nd generation (2012+) Wee's.
Thanks mattski1, I read about raising the for tubes and also installing a fork brace (and also read about limited clearance for ABS models for that combined mod). It will be probably my first mod on the bike pretty soon.

2008 DL650A
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-06-2015, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
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A couple of posts more and I will also be able to include pictures of Iceland highlands roads to give an ideas of what kind of off-roads

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