Tire rules of thumb? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 26 Old 07-22-2016, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Tire rules of thumb?

I know there are a million tire threads, but it seems many are debating the finer points of one brand versus another. I'm still at the point of wondering when one *category* of tire is good enough for a given situation, or if one should definitely be swapping in something different.

For example, I am running the stock trai lwings on my 2012 DL650A, which I understand are an 80/20 tire. Say I wanted to do a trip with a significant gravel component, e.g. the Trans-Labrador. Would I be I kicking myself for saving some money and not putting on 50/50 tires? (Assume beginner-to-average riding skill).

Just trying to capture the key decisions that just about everyone would agree are smart or dumb, without getting into the finer points of individual brands and tires.

So maybe if someone could fill in a table like this:

[G]ood [A]void [N]ever
Percent tire rated for street
100 80 50 20 0
Highway G G A etc...
Street G G G
Gravel N G G
Flat Dirt N N G
Flat Mud N N A
Off Road N N A
Sand N N N

Tires that many consider exceptions to the above:
Heidenau K60 considered Good for Highway
(just an example)

A couple of preferred tire examples for each bike/category:
2012+ Dl650A
100/0
...
80/20
...
etc.

Anyone game?
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post #2 of 26 Old 07-22-2016, 04:59 PM
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Metz tourance (Regular)

G]ood [A]void [N]ever

Percent tire rated for street 90%

Highway G
Street G
Gravel G/A
Flat Dirt G
Flat Mud N
Off Road N
Sand N

Heidenau K76

Percent tire rated for street 90%

Highway G
Street G
Gravel G/A
Flat Dirt G
Flat Mud N
Off Road N
Sand N

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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post #3 of 26 Old 07-24-2016, 02:43 AM
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I will never ever understand anybody trying to save money on tyres (tires) going cheap on tyres can cost a lot more in the long run

One crash and the money saved is gone or it could even cost you your life, what is that worth ?
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post #4 of 26 Old 07-24-2016, 03:48 PM
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Here is my .02- although I'm not using your system and my knowledge of dirt/street tires comes from many miles on a different bike. Hope this helps in some way.

I don't use my 2014 DL650 on dirt much, I will usually ride my DR650 for that. But this is what the DR has taught me about 50/50 tires. (Remembering that the DR weighs 100 pounds less, uses tubes and has a prominent safety hump inside the wheel which can make tire changing more difficult.)

REAR: Pretty much any tire is fine on the back until you get to slippery mud. Then a 50/50 tire will be noticeably better. Heidenau is a very tough and effective tire. (Also very tough to mount and dismount, something to think about if you're running tubes and need to take the tire off to fix a puncture.) MEFO is another excellent 50/50 rear tire. They are both expensive but you can get good mileage out them which can be important on a trip.

FRONT: Much more important for both street and dirt.

On the dirt a knobby type (like the TKC80) will have much better traction- think of climbing up at an angle out of a rut- and will feel much more secure in thick gravel where the knobs can bite down into something solid. On the pavement, though, knobbies can be pretty insecure- especially when cornering hard. Also they tend to wander and feel insecure on some types of ribbed concrete roads.

A street front tire will handle paved roads smoothly and securely, and corner very well, but in the dirt they can wash out easily, and generally inspire a white knuckle grip crossing the ridges of gravel between wheel tracks. Pretty useless in mud and sandy sections.

A 50/50 tire, like the Heidenau front, actually works very well on pavement and pretty well on gravel and rocky roads. It's not a knobbie though, and if you get into more difficult terrain you may push the limits of this tire.

So, if I were in your position I would put a Heidenau K60 scout on the front and just about anything else on the back.

...............shu
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post #5 of 26 Old 07-24-2016, 09:36 PM
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[G]ood [A]void [N]ever
Percent tire rated for street
95%+
Highway G (freaking brilliant!)
Street G (Yummy!)
Gravel A
Flat Dirt A (Ok, but that's all, just ok, better be smooth dirt)
Flat Mud N ( Oh HELL no!!)
Off Road N (See mud)
Sand N (See mud)

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post #6 of 26 Old 07-25-2016, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolex View Post
I will never ever understand anybody trying to save money on tyres (tires) going cheap on tyres can cost a lot more in the long run

One crash and the money saved is gone or it could even cost you your life, what is that worth ?
Ok, show me where price paid has any measurable determination in tire safety. Studies? Data? Personal experience? Feelings?
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post #7 of 26 Old 07-25-2016, 06:27 PM
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The Shinko 705 is probably the best all round tire for street or dirt. Avoid sand and mud. Don't expect too many miles from them though.

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post #8 of 26 Old 07-25-2016, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swingset View Post
Ok, show me where price paid has any measurable determination in tire safety. Studies? Data? Personal experience? Feelings?
I did not say price, I said saving money.

Buying a tyre that is less suited to your riding style because it is cheaper or will last longer is false economy in my book.

A tyre that lasts 50% longer but takes 10% more distance to stop could be fatal.

When I shop for tyres I don't look at the price I only shop for grip.

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post #9 of 26 Old 07-25-2016, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolex View Post
I did not say price, I said saving money.

Buying a tyre that is less suited to your riding style because it is cheaper or will last longer is false economy in my book.

A tyre that lasts 50% longer but takes 10% more distance to stop could be fatal.

When I shop for tyres I don't look at the price I only shop for grip.
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post #10 of 26 Old 07-26-2016, 02:57 PM
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Buy the type of tires that will make you most safe on the most difficult surface you'll be on. Who's ridden the Trans-Labrador and can advise this "beginner-to-average riding skill," rider?

Mitas E07 is another good choice along with the Heidi K60, also the Conti TKC70.

Knobbier tires include the Conti TKC80, Kenda Big Block, Shinko 804/805, Metzeler Karoo3, Michelin Anakee Wild.

Keep in mind that there is no standard for what is 80/20 or 90/10 or 50/50 or whatever. The numbers are whatever the marketing V.P. wants to publish.
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