Tires for 2015 LT ABS - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Tires for 2015 LT ABS

Hi Crew,
I will be buying 2 sets of tires for the up coming season, but I am having a hard time on tires for the dirt! My goal is 20,000 miles this season on the road and dirt. Road tires I know what I want seeing I will be doing 32 states in 28 days (SLC to Bar Harbor and back)!
Living in Utah we have a ton of dirt roads that to take you to some of the best views in the world.
So are my questions!
1. Has anyone gone to a bigger tire on the front and rear just for dirt? If so what size did you use and what mods did you do to front fender?
2. In order to get to the good dirt I gotta go by road. So do I get and 80/20 or a 60/40? The dirt riding will be fire roads and some single track.
Thank you for your time!!
P.S. there way to many reviews on the net to confuse me!!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 01:29 PM
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Well for me I chose the TKC80 in stock 120 size for the front. It's (believe it or not) a great tire on the street and when slightly (10%) aired down tracks VERY well in most all off-road conditions. I've had one on my bike for 10K miles and LOVE it. I do quite a bit of off pavement riding and will ALWAYS have a TKC80 on the front. My philosophy is that you NEED the best traction you can get on the front tire, steering is everything when off-road. If you loose your steering, or wash out the front end you are going to dump your bike. The rear is still important for traction, but you can spin ANY rear tire given enough throttle. So it's all about throttle control and the rear will most all the time squirrel around a bit. But most of the time IF you can keep the front tire tracking in the right direction the rear will fall in line sooner or later. This is in NO WAY a 100% fool proof recipe for keeping your bike upright, but it sure gives you a better fighting chance. As for the rear I had a Heidenau K60 Scout in the 150/70 size on for about 8500 miles and it did very well, never squared off and held it's own on and off road. I'm currently running a Mitas E-07 in the same size. it's a bit more aggressive tread wise and has done as well if not better than the K60. I have yet to test it in any serious off road though. We Versys owners are some what limited on tire choices for our bikes, especially in the front. But there are good tires out there.


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Jeff Reichel Palmer, ALASKA
1 Tim 6:11-12 "FIGHT the GOOD Fight"
There is no inappropriate temperature to ride a motorcycle…just inappropriate layers of protection.
2011 ADVersys
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 04:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodyburns View Post
Hi Crew,
Road tires I know what I want seeing I will be doing 32 states in 28 days (SLC to Bar Harbor and back)!
I'm pretty sure it's spelled Bah Hahbah!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 06:35 PM
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Welcome!

I got just about 10K miles on a 150/70 Kenda BIG BLOCK rear knobbie, and nearly the same w/ a TKC80 in 120/70. The Shinko E705 works pretty well, too.

I have MANY miles on Metzler Tourances in 130/80 x 17 (a rear) on the front (fender raised about 1.75"), and a 150/70 x 17 rear.

Ed
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-16-2016, 09:34 AM
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Woody, welcome aboard! I'm a fellow Salt Lake area '15 V650 rider.

I can't help you with the tire selection as I've still got the factory rubber installed. The factory tires are fine for going over Guardsman's Pass but didn't have enough traction to get all the way to the mine overlook from Butterfield Canyon last autumn. I've got a set of Pirelli Scorpion Trail 2 tires on order to improve the bike's dirt road capability. It sounds like you might be looking at more adventurous off road than forest roads or the Pony Express trail. For just plain dirt roads I think a 90/10 tire should be fine, as that is what they are designed for.

If you're willing to replace the front wheel with a 19" rim, you have some additional choices. You would have to raise the front fender but that doesn't look too hard. One member here built a simple slotted bracket which allows the fender to be moved easily when swapping wheels.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-18-2016, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-19-2016, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Questions,
Did you buy local? If so where? Was it a set deal with or without mounting? Cost to order them if you don't mind please. They look like they could work for me.
Thanks
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-19-2016, 11:33 AM
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shinko 705's are great for pavement and improved dirt/gravel roads.
I wanted something a little more aggressive so went wit a mitas E07 on the rear and may go farther and try shinko 805 next.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-19-2016, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodyburns View Post
Questions,
Did you buy local? If so where? Was it a set deal with or without mounting? Cost to order them if you don't mind please. They look like they could work for me.
Thanks
I ordered the Scorpion Trail 2 tires from motorcycle-superstore.com . I haven't mounted them yet. Hopefully I can do it myself and get the bead to set. The price has been lowered quite a bit recently, so I snagged a set. $310 for the set delivered.

Front Tire: Pirelli Scorpion Trail II Dual Sport Front Tire - Motorcycle Superstore

Rear Tire: Pirelli Scorpion Trail II Dual Sport Rear Tire - Motorcycle Superstore

If I can't get them installed myself I'll take them to South Valley Motorsport where I bought the bike.

I've also purchased angled valve stems from KurveyGirl.com and the tools to mount the tires. Previously I've replaced tubed motorcycle tires on spoked rims without much problem.

Last edited by Fly-Sig; 02-19-2016 at 06:16 PM.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-21-2016, 02:31 PM
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I posted a thread on installing tires using a bunch of zip-ties around them to hold the beads together.

EASIEST tire mount I've ever done!

Ed
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-22-2016, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
I posted a thread on installing tires using a bunch of zip-ties around them to hold the beads together.

EASIEST tire mount I've ever done!
Thanks for the tip.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by kohburn View Post
shinko 705's are great for pavement and improved dirt/gravel roads.
I wanted something a little more aggressive so went wit a mitas E07 on the rear and may go farther and try shinko 805 next.
I'm looking for Anakee wild, and also Metzeler karoo 3. Have a look.
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