Best & biggest tire for off-road - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 11:36 AM Thread Starter
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Best & biggest tire for off-road

To avoid a lot of replies, I know what the Versys is and I am comfortable with taking it off-road on Jeep trails and 4 wheeler trails. I have no plans to ride tight single track, so hopefully we don't start that topic here again. I would like to know what the best dirt/gravel/light mud & creek crossing tire is? I am riding tubeless now and would prefer to stay tubeless if possible. But, I want something more off-road oriented with small blocks if possible. Can anyone give me recommendations on that, including the largest size I can get to work? I have raised the front fender 1 1/4" already, so I have a little more room.

I'm an old enduro rider converting to adventure riding, but I enjoy easing around in the dirt at a slower speed, while knowing I don't want to stick this thing in a mud bog. Thanks!!!
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 02:43 PM
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You're somewhat limited by the tire sizes of 120/70-17 and either 150/70-17 or 160/60-17 on the rear. A few are...

Avon Trailrider
Pirelli Corsa MT-60 (OEM on Adventure version of Versys sold in some regions)
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 03:53 PM
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It's unlikely you will find anything in this size range that works in mud or for that matter a tire that will work with both mud and pavement in any size.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 04:21 PM
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Continental TKC-80s or TKC-70's are both excellent choices

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 05:24 AM
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this topic has been covered plenty in other threads.
but long reply short:

FRONT:

without mods, you probably will stick with a 120/70 in the front. and yes tkc80 is fair for the front only. 10000km is very possible. less aggressive choice is the shinko 705.

REAR:

the rear tire choices are more flexible. 150/70, 170/60 also fit. I personally will try a 170/60 next, because more rubber, and the intended 60% profile is likely to handle and wear more correctly. I would NOT put tkc80 on the rear (too soft), I would never put a K60 scout again (13000km, but no grip). I did 9000km with a anakee wild, a bit short lived but amazing grip in all direction. I'm on the shinko 805 now, too early to tell anything, I didn't put it for mileage but for mud/rocks grip. Here too a less aggressive option is the shink705. Lots of good opinions about the old mitas e07 but it is discontinued, only the new e07plus is offered here and the reviews for mileage are not as shiny as the old version. The Tchecks caught up with programmed obsolescence...
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 05:41 AM
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I'm running the Shinko 705s right now. I want to try the Shinko 805 next for my rear for better traction off road, but the 705 has been ok with the little experience I have on dirt/gravel roads. Biggest issue with me is lack of experience on the bike (or any bike for that matter). Maybe hit youtube for reviews of different tires. If you have an idea of what you may use, then it narrows down the videos to watch as someone may have the tire you are considering on something like a V-Strom that is fairly similar in weight and all.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 07:08 AM
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You CAN fit a 130 Kenda Big Block up front and a 170 Big Block in the rear. Those would probably be the best bang for your buck IMHO. The choices are limited, but doable.


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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 08:14 AM
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Anyone ran a TKC 80 on the rear in the size 180/55/17?

That's a big tire....curious if anyone had done it. Saw where a couple of Ducati Multistrada's did it. Wonder if it fits?

There's a couple of folks I know that ran a 130/80/17 on the front of a 2015+ Versys with the fender mod. I'm soooo close to doing it...just not taken the plunge yet.

check this out:
Continental TKC-80 Twinduro Knobbies Motorcycle Tire Review

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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 08:53 AM
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These work great!
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the replies. Now to make a decision.....
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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After researching the tires you guys have mentioned, it appears the rear tire is not an issue. The issue is finding a slightly larger aggressive 17" front tire. The only aggressive 17" front tire I can find is the smaller size TKC80, which may be the only option for an aggressive front tire. There are big 17s for the rear, but they are wider and taller, but probably not safe for the front tire regarding traction, etc. Comments...? Thanks again!
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Woods View Post
...I have raised the front fender 1 1/4" already, so I have a little more room....
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaJeff View Post
You CAN fit a 130 Kenda Big Block up front and a 170 Big Block in the rear. Those would probably be the best bang for your buck IMHO. The choices are limited, but doable.
I run a 130/80 x 17 REAR tire up front on my '08 in AZ (fender raised as you've done), and I have run TKC80s, Tourances, and E705s in that size, but I try VERY HARD to avoid mud! Rear is a 150/70 x 17.

On my Canuck '15 650LT I run 120/70 x 17 fronts as I have not raised its fender, but I do run the same 150/70 x 17 size rears. I also run 36 psi F, 42 psi R.

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 10:34 AM
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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I finally found a taller aggressive front tire. For now, I'm going with Conti TKC 80s: 120-90-17 front, and 140-80-17 rear. This will give me the equivalent of 18" tires front and rear, and I will run them tubeless. And obviously based on experience, I will stay as far away from mud as possible. Thanks again!
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-12-2018, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Woods View Post
After researching the tires you guys have mentioned, it appears the rear tire is not an issue. The issue is finding a slightly larger aggressive 17" front tire. The only aggressive 17" front tire I can find is the smaller size TKC80, which may be the only option for an aggressive front tire. There are big 17s for the rear, but they are wider and taller, but probably not safe for the front tire regarding traction, etc. Comments...? Thanks again!
As Eddie and I have stated the Kenda K787 130/80-17 CAN (and have been currently) run on the front with no adverse affects. Just mount it reverse rotation. You will get an even larger (like a 19") profile for the front.


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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-13-2018, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaJeff View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Woods View Post
After researching the tires you guys have mentioned, it appears the rear tire is not an issue. The issue is finding a slightly larger aggressive 17" front tire. The only aggressive 17" front tire I can find is the smaller size TKC80, which may be the only option for an aggressive front tire. There are big 17s for the rear, but they are wider and taller, but probably not safe for the front tire regarding traction, etc. Comments...? Thanks again!
As Eddie and I have stated the Kenda K787 130/80-17 CAN (and have been currently) run on the front with no adverse affects. Just mount it reverse rotation. You will get an even larger (like a 19") profile for the front.

Have to raise the front fender to make it fit?

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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-13-2018, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Woods View Post
To avoid a lot of replies, I know what the Versys is and I am comfortable with taking it off-road on Jeep trails and 4 wheeler trails. I have no plans to ride tight single track, so hopefully we don't start that topic here again. I would like to know what the best dirt/gravel/light mud & creek crossing tire is? I am riding tubeless now and would prefer to stay tubeless if possible. But, I want something more off-road oriented with small blocks if possible. Can anyone give me recommendations on that, including the largest size I can get to work? I have raised the front fender 1 1/4" already, so I have a little more room.

I'm an old enduro rider converting to adventure riding, but I enjoy easing around in the dirt at a slower speed, while knowing I don't want to stick this thing in a mud bog. Thanks!!!



On my 2009 I run the following with no issues (front fender is removed):

Front tire: KENDA K761 ----- size: 120/90R17 (it's a rear tire running in reverse rotation for front, but I believe they manufacture an actual front tire now like this)

Rear Tire: SHINKO Trail Master E705 -----size: 170/60R17


Third year for the front tire and on my second rear replacement tire... I run over pressure and over loaded most of the time but in cooler climates and have had zero issues with bonding degredation, cracking, tread seperation etc etc... these are the only tires I run now on my Versys and I can hit the beach or go up the power lines through marsh land or put the knee down while cornering on asphalt... I've found this combination excellent for me.... Lastly I find this combination dominates in the rain!

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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-14-2018, 10:58 AM
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Have to raise the front fender to make it fit?
In MY experience - YES.




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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-14-2018, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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FYI, The TKC80 120/90-17 is actually a tube type tire, not a tubeless tire, as one site stated. Wish I would have known that.... I have one coming, but I'm thinking I would prefer to stay tubeless. I could not find a Kenda 120/90-17 aggressive tire that would work on the front. There were none found that were recommended for the front (except the 80-20 road tires). You can find the correct size, but the tread pattern is definitely a rear tire pattern. That scares me a little. Still looking. I just can't find a 120/90-17 aggressive/tubeless tire anywhere. I may have to go to the TKC80 120/70-17 front tire to get tubeless. Thanks everyone for the comments.

MC8404 I did raise the front fender 1 1/4".
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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-14-2018, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
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FYI, The TKC80 120/90-17 is actually a tube type tire, not a tubeless tire, as one site stated. Wish I would have known that.... I have one coming, but I'm thinking I would prefer to stay tubeless. I could not find a Kenda 120/90-17 aggressive tire that would work on the front. There were none found that were recommended for the front (except the 80-20 road tires). You can find the correct size, but the tread pattern is definitely a rear tire pattern. That scares me a little. Still looking. I just can't find a 120/90-17 aggressive/tubeless tire anywhere. I may have to go to the TKC80 120/70-17 front tire to get tubeless. Thanks everyone for the comments.

MC8404 I did raise the front fender 1 1/4".
There is nothing at all wrong with the TKC 12/70-17 tubless on the front. WHY are you set on a 120/90-17?


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