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Stock tires currently on my 2014 Versys.

I absolutely HATE riding it on loose gravel. Hard packed minimum maintenance roads are not too bad.

Curious how much of a difference will 70/30 (or so) tires help in stability on gravel/light trails? With the wider front tire I'm wondering if it even makes that much of a difference.

I recently picked up a 2018 KLR for this reason as I didn't like how my Versys handled off the pavement. I want to explore backcountry a little more but I'm not going to go crazy. I like how the KLR handles the gravel with new 70/30 tires, but I'm not a huge fan of how the KLR handles in every other category compared to my Versys.

Can't keep both. Wondering what I should do. Slap on 70/30 tires on my Versys or just keep the KLR and suck it up?

Thanks all.
 

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It's hard to beat the 21" for dirt or off-road... but I'm no gravel expert. It's the surface I'm least confident on actually. I do know when I put 705's on, I could tell a (positive) difference in the dirt. Depending on what size you mount, you can increase the working radius to that of a 19" wheel.
 

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I've been on knobbies (so called 50/50) for the best part of last 5.5 years (~10 tires pairs)

(Short answer:) So when I went and put the stinko 705 (claiming 70/30), in 2017, I felt I was on a road tire without any grip of course.

Long answer:

I'm sure I lost the nuances between that grey zone shit, and a road tire, but the point is, get knobbies and you will definitely not have to guess if there is a difference. You say you have a KLR so you know. For every one else who don't, if anything, you will have experimented and you will know what it is instead of guessing.

The big large blocks with a narrow thread cut that barely fits a pencil, they just slide on rocks/grass/mud like a road tire, and you'll have practically no grip improvement (lateral or otherwise). Even the 805 (claiming 50/50) is not great for lateral grip.

Either the gravel road is smooth in which case tons of tiny knobs like the heidenau k73 would do well. But these roads are boring and a regular road tire does fine, based on a year offroading with the ninja before the versys.

Either this is an unpaved road like every other with lots of varying characteristics in zone and in time, and taller knobs are preferred to handle the worst.

That being said, there is no tire to handle loose gravel; it defeats all of them.
Otherwise, as I keep saying, those %/% are BS; get the tire for the worst condition you cannot accept to fail.

Hope this helps.
 

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I switched mine on my 300 and it made a noticeable difference. It still slipped on the really loose gravel, but I was way more confident with them than the original tires. Used the KLR tire on the Versys too, that was really good. Ate into the higher speed end a little, but not a whole lot.
 

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Thanks for your response on this - but how often do you go through 50/50 tires :oops:
Flat tire, nail got through last weekend, previous one was 2016...

...

Oh you mean tire change...
As you can figure, about twice a year.

...

Oh you mean mileage... LOL.
Most models (rear) 9000km-11000km, motoz tractionator adv 19000km,
At 19000km, it is about what I would get from a PR2 or PR4 in the ninja days anyway.

Front is limited to tkc80, which gives me 14000km but I still brake too hard and it's cupping badly. I'm sure I would get 16000km or more if I was gentler (I'm still doing sporty pavement rides with hard accel+braking.)
 

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Gravel as in a layer on top of hard dirt, or gravel as in deep and soft?

I have 90/10 tires, and they do very well on dirt and the first type of gravel. But on really soft surfaces like deep sand or deep gravel they don't do so well at all. Even aired down they just aren't the right tire for soft deep surfaces.

Something with a knobbier tread would be better on those surfaces, but with the tradeoff being much worse on pavement.

The new Dunlop Trailmax Mission looks to be an excellent compromise, and it does get great reviews. It may be a good solution for you.

The factory OEM tires are terrible. Anything will be better!
 

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my personal experience with shinko 705 - terrible on-road (double vision in the mirrors, bad traction on high speeds), bad off-road. I would rather go with tkc-80 front and may be trailmax mission rear
 

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Ilya Trushchenko - it's HARD to believe that you and I can have such different experiences w/ the SAME tires!
 

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[..] It's only good, or enjoyable, for smooth dirt roads regardless of tires
You can have an opinion, but you can't tell us what's enjoyable.

Start your own thread and show pictures if you want to debate what the versys is not capable of. I'm tired of this endless argument with words.
 

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Start your own thread and show pictures if you want to debate what the versys is not capable of. I'm tired of this endless argument with words.
I don't know why so many people here are trying to sell versys as an offroad bike. I just finished a 2 day off road adventure ride and I had to skip 1.5 days because only after 2 hours of off-roading my versys started to fall apart. When I was riding rocky rough section - even with 20PSI - stock suspension simply did not work, it's not designed to handle such terrain. Other KTMs and Teneres and even GSs -- we going perfectly fine, while versys was bottoming out suspension and shaking like crazy. On the second hour of riding it started to fall apart - phone holder, then windshield, then rear reflector. At that point I decided to stop this torture and skipped the rest of the ride.
I also ride dual-sport Yamaha and I could go 40mph where versys struggles to go 20. at yamaha will hover over all these rocks and potholes while versys will be shaking like crazy and lose traction all the time, endangering the rider.
Versys is an excellent road bike, I love it. But I, as many others, was confused by some members of this forum that it's also capable of doing offroad - it's not.
 

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I don't know why so many people here are trying to sell versys as an offroad bike. I just finished a 2 day off road adventure ride and I had to skip 1.5 days because only after 2 hours of off-roading my versys started to fall apart. When I was riding rocky rough section - even with 20PSI - stock suspension simply did not work, it's not designed to handle such terrain. Other KTMs and Teneres and even GSs -- we going perfectly fine, while versys was bottoming out suspension and shaking like crazy. On the second hour of riding it started to fall apart - phone holder, then windshield, then rear reflector. At that point I decided to stop this torture and skipped the rest of the ride.
I also ride dual-sport Yamaha and I could go 40mph where versys struggles to go 20. at yamaha will hover over all these rocks and potholes while versys will be shaking like crazy and lose traction all the time, endangering the rider.
Versys is an excellent road bike, I love it. But I, as many others, was confused by some members of this forum that it's also capable of doing offroad - it's not.
First of all, you misquoted. Eddy didn't write that you should show pictures, I did. Like I wrote, unless you show the road and mention the speed at which you are attempting it, there is no point to make because there is no agreement on the context.

Second, nobody expects (much less sells) a 6" suspension on a 450lbs bike with heavy wheels to behave like a DS, especially not if screaming at 40mph+ over washboards and jumping any height. If you thought so, you definitely misread those posts. However you don't need a DS to leisurely go on a sweet forest road at 20-30 mph and crawl up/down a gnarly rocky hill.

I hope this clarifies the realm of operation for the versys, according to me and probably a number of other members sharing the enthusiasm.

Sorry @BigFatJam for the derailing/hijacking of thread.
 

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Trade the KLR for a KLX. Shop around insurance. My new KLX is 50 bucks a year for full coverage.

Any improvement you make to the Versys to handle dirt is going to reduce its handling on the street. It really depends on what kind of rider you are if you will notice the difference.
 

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Any improvement you make to the Versys to handle dirt is going to reduce its handling on the street. It really depends on what kind of rider you are if you will notice the difference.
there's a subject that has been beaten to death.

just completed part of a BDR, 3 riding days on the route. i rode the Versys 450 miles to the start at 80 cruise, completed the sections, then rode the Versys 250 miles home at 80 cruise. with the KLX, i would have trailered 450 miles, done the sections, backtracted 400 miles down the route to pick up the truck/trailer, then trailered 450 miles home. take your pick, with so many variables in play, there is no all or nothing answer.
 

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I don't know why so many people here are trying to sell versys as an offroad bike. I just finished a 2 day off road adventure ride and I had to skip 1.5 days because only after 2 hours of off-roading my versys started to fall apart....
I don't believe THAT is what WE are trying to do. What we have indicated is what an EXTREMELY GOOD motorcycle can accomplish when ridden by one of us.

Sounds as tho' YOU could start by reading some "HOW-TO-DO" various modifications to your Versys so it DOESN'T "fall apart" as you quoted that yours did. W/ OVER 160,000 MILES among three V650s - I've NEVER had one fall apart.

...But I, as many others, was confused by some members of this forum that it's also capable of doing offroad - it's not.
You're pretty adamant about the Versys' lack of off-road capability. MINE all did it well, as do those of jdrocks (whom I HAVE watched while he did masterful exhibitions of HIS and his V650's off-road abilities), and NEITHER rider's V650 started falling apart as yours have.

GOOD LUCK....

:cool:
 

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I stand corrected as it's not the bike it's about the skill of the rider:oops::LOL:
i'm not so sure, there's been so much talk on the forum lately about this crappy bike, apparently, the damn thing falls over all on it's own despite any claimed rider skills.

200 miles of gravel this past week, my riding buddy on 705s, me on 804/805. he rode the same lines i did on and off pavement, and vice versa.
 

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tires.... make a lot of difference. Pirelli AT90s = good. very good. similar looking Avon "Grip"ster = bad. suck donkey balls bad
 
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there's a subject that has been beaten to death.

just completed part of a BDR, 3 riding days on the route. i rode the Versys 450 miles to the start at 80 cruise, completed the sections, then rode the Versys 250 miles home at 80 cruise. with the KLX, i would have trailered 450 miles, done the sections, backtracted 400 miles down the route to pick up the truck/trailer, then trailered 450 miles home. take your pick, with so many variables in play, there is no all or nothing answer.
Yep, Everything is a compromise. My very skilled but getting long in the tooth friend owns a KTM 2-stroke dirt bike, DRZ-400S, and Yamaha Tenere 700. The DRZ is what gets used on a BDR. He just completed WV to NY a few weeks ago.

Yes, he hauls it in the back of the truck to the start but then he doesn't have to avoid sections like the BMW R1200GS rider he met.

The Tenere is his all roads adventure touring bike.
 
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