Dirt tires - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Dirt tires

Hey,
I called this dirt tires because I didn't want to start a war about the V being off road!! My wife is just starting out with a dirtbike and I want tires that would be better on gravel, dirt and some mud on trails. What is the most aggressive tire available that is a decent price? I'm not looking to try and make it a dirtbike but knobby tires would be cool, is that an option? or would it make street riding really bad?

Kevin
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-13-2010, 11:55 PM
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I'm also curious about this. My heart & soul loves the gravel roads, but the stock street tires makes it very difficult...
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-14-2010, 12:50 AM
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If I read this correctly and your wife has a real dirt bike, buy a cheap dirt bike for you too, it'll be a lot cheaper in the long run.

Your tire options have been discussed at length in an endless number of threads here, but here is a summary:

Pirelli MT60 - Most aggressive, OE sized option. It's an SM compound in this size. Good both on/off road, doesn't last long if you use on road.

Avon Distanzia - Less aggressive than MT60, decent both on/off but more of a 90/10 tire than a dirt tire. In OE sizes it's an SM compound, see MT60 longevity issues.

Pirelli Scorpion Trail - Not very aggressive pattern, won't be good in mud or soft dirt. Comes in OE sizes and will probably outlast the former two by 2x, if not 3x.

There are a lot of other options if you choose to go with a rear tire mounted up front (120/90-17) and a 150/70-17 in the rear, these will be a lot more dirt oriented, will make it easier to deal with lose dirt and mud but will definitely will impact the street handling. If you like to ride twisty section at a good pace, not a good choice of tire. The bike wont handle as well, not to mention that these knobbies wont last that long either.

Gustavo


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 01:22 PM
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Continental TwinDuro tires.







Lowest price found at:
http://automotive.become.com/contine...--sc1057033894
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 02:37 PM
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Put shinko's on it. Cheap and good for offroad. Put a rear 130/80-17 on the front, 150/70-17 on the rear. The 705 or the full knobby. Not good on-road at all. Consider a second set of wheels and be able to swap them out. Ninja EX650 wheels can be had fairly easily.

Yeah, it's not a dirtbike.
Listen to Gustavo, he knows adventure travel.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 03:06 PM
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Put shinko's on it. Cheap and good for offroad. Put a rear 130/80-17 on the front, 150/70-17 on the rear. The 705 or the full knobby. Not good on-road at all. Consider a second set of wheels and be able to swap them out. Ninja EX650 wheels can be had fairly easily.

Yeah, it's not a dirtbike.
Listen to Gustavo, he knows adventure travel.
Put a 120/90x17 rear on the front ... it will have a lighter feel to it than the 130/80x17 ... and ... being taller it will work better off pavement ... you have to raise the fender in either case ...
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Gustavo View Post
If I read this correctly and your wife has a real dirt bike, buy a cheap dirt bike for you too, it'll be a lot cheaper in the long run.
More fun, as well. You can get a decent trailie for cheap.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 04:55 PM
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Put a 120/90x17 rear on the front ... it will have a lighter feel to it than the 130/80x17 ... and ... being taller it will work better off pavement ... you have to raise the fender in either case ...
Not to hijack, but in thinking of my own application...it is my understanding that all the tires in 120/90 size are bias ply, is that right? Which can't be much good for aggressive road riding, right? Were you referring specifically to Shinko's?

I was going to try the 130/80 but while checking specs found it to be at least 4lbs heavier than the stocker. That and the bulk just can't be good for handling. So I'm starting to rethink that.

Now I'm starting to lean back toward the vstrom front wheel and a good aggressive radial dual sport tire. But I'm afraid of ruining my good on-road manners of my bike.

What would you recommend for me?

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-20-2010, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by CJBROWN View Post
Not to hijack, but in thinking of my own application...it is my understanding that all the tires in 120/90 size are bias ply, is that right? Which can't be much good for aggressive road riding, right? Were you referring specifically to Shinko's?

I was going to try the 130/80 but while checking specs found it to be at least 4lbs heavier than the stocker. That and the bulk just can't be good for handling. So I'm starting to rethink that.

Now I'm starting to lean back toward the vstrom front wheel and a good aggressive radial dual sport tire. But I'm afraid of ruining my good on-road manners of my bike.

What would you recommend for me?
First of all any front "RADIAL" motorcycle tire is not a true radial ... they angle the plys to minimize the sidewll flex ... as it is not desirable on a front ... that being said ...and coupled with the fact that every motocross tire front or rear is a bias ply ... negates any concern for bias ... and/or mixing and matching front or rear ... I have done all combinations over the years ... and never had any ill effects ... handling may have changed ... but never any ill effects ...

In reference to front tires ... the best combo I have found is the 19" front vstrom wheel/tire ... a real close second is the 120x17 rear tire on the front ... followed by the 130x17 ... the heavier the tire the slower the transition from left to right will be ... to sum it up ... putting the 19" wheel on the front of the Versys, gives you the closest feel to a stock bike, whlie offering much improved stability on dirt and gravel
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2010, 12:29 AM
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The 19" front sounds like the way to go.

I went looking at the various dual sport tires in the 120/90-17 size and ALL have a recommended rim width of 2.5-3.0. The 130/80 will go max width 3.5. And the 120/90 is just about the same diameter as the 130/80 as well as the 110/80-19. Looks like rim width is an issue for the 120/90's. Everybody warns about putting a tire on an out of spec rim, it changes the tread radius of the tire and you can run out of tire patch at steep lean angles.

Quite a few of them in radial dual sport tread, Anakee 2's are one example, Tourances, Conti trail attacks, etc.

It would seem the 120/70-17 is a great front size for a roading bike, no question about that. I'm real hesitant to put something larger on the front to gain diameter and then lose the way the bike handles the road.

BTW, ALL rear tires have a deeper tread depth than any of the fronts. So the shallower front tread seems to be for handling too, the only reason I can think of.

I'm really starting to lean toward stock sizes in Distanzi SM or Scorpion syncs or trails. If I can get a strom wheel then go that way with a proper fitting front tire.

Make sense or did I miss something?

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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-21-2010, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by CJBROWN View Post
The 19" front sounds like the way to go.

I went looking at the various dual sport tires in the 120/90-17 size and ALL have a recommended rim width of 2.5-3.0. The 130/80 will go max width 3.5. And the 120/90 is just about the same diameter as the 130/80 as well as the 110/80-19. Looks like rim width is an issue for the 120/90's. Everybody warns about putting a tire on an out of spec rim, it changes the tread radius of the tire and you can run out of tire patch at steep lean angles.

Quite a few of them in radial dual sport tread, Anakee 2's are one example, Tourances, Conti trail attacks, etc.

It would seem the 120/70-17 is a great front size for a roading bike, no question about that. I'm real hesitant to put something larger on the front to gain diameter and then lose the way the bike handles the road.

BTW, ALL rear tires have a deeper tread depth than any of the fronts. So the shallower front tread seems to be for handling too, the only reason I can think of.

I'm really starting to lean toward stock sizes in Distanzi SM or Scorpion syncs or trails. If I can get a strom wheel then go that way with a proper fitting front tire.

Make sense or did I miss something?
I don't care what the nay sayers are spewing ... I have thousands of miles on a 120 on the front ... it works great if you don't want to change your front rim ... when the boys want to play in the twisties ... guess who is passing who ... I'm scraping pegs on a regular basis ... if anything there is more rubber contact than a stock tire due to the larger diameter ... In theory they are right ... in practicality ... they are wrong ... end of conversation

In reference to thread depth ... the reason there is less thread depth on the front is less rotating weight ... lighter rotating weight makes the bike transition from left to right ... with less rider input ... it will turn as quick with heavier tires but... it just requires more muscle to do it

Last edited by freewheeler; 08-21-2010 at 09:25 AM.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2010, 12:09 AM
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Can you post a pic or two of your bike with a 120/90-17 on it?
The 130 seems really big. I would love to see how the 120 looks mounted up with the fender raised.

They are 2" taller than the stock, so the fender needs to go up an inch or so, right?

How 'bout twin stainless brakelines? Anybody got pics of their setup?

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2010, 12:39 AM
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I have thousands of miles on a 120 on the front ... it works great if you don't want to change your front rim ... when the boys want to play in the twisties ... guess who is passing who ... I'm scraping pegs on a regular basis ... if anything there is more rubber contact than a stock tire due to the larger diameter
What tire are you using and how long does it last (or how many miles on the current set if you haven't worn one completely yet)? What pressure do you run?


Gustavo


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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-22-2010, 04:49 AM
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What tire are you using and how long does it last (or how many miles on the current set if you haven't worn one completely yet)? What pressure do you run?Gustavo
To clarify ... I have two Versys ... one is set up with a 19" vstrom wheel ... the other has a 120 shinko rear ... on the front ... my girl friend and I swap bikes on a regular basis ... she mostly rides the bike with the 120 on the front ... as she seems to like it better ... I put that tire on the bike she rides at aprox 15000 miles ... she left for Charlotte, NC a couple weeks ago to see relatives and had close to 20000 on the clock ... I talked to her earlier today and she said she was at 21000 and would probably be at 22000 by the time she gets home ... she reported that the tire still looks new to her ... I know when she left it looked new ... So ... doing the math ... thats 7000 by the time she gets home ... I'm running 34 psi on both ends of the bike she rides ... the bike I ride has the 19" front ... I run 36 psi on that ... and 34 psi on the rear ...
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-01-2010, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by freewheeler View Post
To clarify ... I have two Versys ... one is set up with a 19" vstrom wheel ... the other has a 120 shinko rear ... on the front ... my girl friend and I swap bikes on a regular basis ... she mostly rides the bike with the 120 on the front ... as she seems to like it better ... I put that tire on the bike she rides at aprox 15000 miles ... she left for Charlotte, NC a couple weeks ago to see relatives and had close to 20000 on the clock ... I talked to her earlier today and she said she was at 21000 and would probably be at 22000 by the time she gets home ... she reported that the tire still looks new to her ... I know when she left it looked new ... So ... doing the math ... thats 7000 by the time she gets home ... I'm running 34 psi on both ends of the bike she rides ... the bike I ride has the 19" front ... I run 36 psi on that ... and 34 psi on the rear ...
Hi, so I take it you are running a shinko rear as well? Thinking of getting some Shinko 705's, read lots of laminating problems on early models, have been in touch with Shinko technical department:

Hi,
Shinko does not offer a radial in that front tire size. I have spoken with people that have run a radial rear and a bias ply front with no problems though. For a mix of street and trail riding, the 705 should work well.

Thank you,


Scott Casper
Western Power Sports
Street Product Manager
Shinko Tire Tech and Development
601 E. Gowen Rd
Boise, Idaho 83716
Phone (208)376-8400 ext. 3404
Fax (208)375-8901
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