What tires to run?

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#1
Right now my bike has the OEM Metzler Tourance tires on it. I've got to ride it from Houston to Ouray for the event. That's ~2400 highway miles round trip roughly. I'm just wondering what tires folks are running and what is most appropriate for the highway miles and the rides planned for the rally. Thoughts?
 

~TABASCO~

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#2
K60's OF COURSE !! :D You can get 10K + miles out of the rear and about 20K out of the front.... I have 10700 on my first set....
 
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#3
My bike spends 95% of it's time on the street. That's not a huge issue since I don't mind changing tires for the rally, but how are they going to be on the highway part of the trip?
 

thfraser

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#6
oilfield_trash said:
My bike spends 95% of it's time on the street. That's not a huge issue since I don't mind changing tires for the rally, but how are they going to be on the highway part of the trip?
As much as I want to do more off road riding, I'm pretty much in the same category as you, abut 95% on the street. I commute daily on my bike, with the K60's and they work fine. A little vibration at about 20 to 25mph and then again about 5mph and lower. They grip fine, though when it is wet, I do take it a little easier, just to be safe.
 

RED CAT

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#7
K60s are nice but not worth it if you are doing more than 60% street. I think you would be better off with Anakees or Tourances. Knobbies are only better in sand and mud which in most cases is about 2% of most riding unless you live in a sandy area. Mud, usually try to avoid it. Save that for dirt bikes. We have 1000s of miles of gravel and dirt roads here and I ride aggresively. Haven't felt the need for knobbies and have the added benefit of a smooth pavement ride. Just don't appreciate the noisey, bumpy ride and weird wear characteristics of knobbies. Anakee 2s are the most aggresive streety tire other than Shinko 705s which again get noisey as they wear. So buy your tires according to you riding conditions.
 

coastie

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#10
My Anakee's will not be worn out before I go but will be close. I'm planning on K60's for the trip. Why? Because it allows me options. If it's wet or muddy and I find myself on dirt then I will be much better off. I don't think I will be pavement riding at my ability level limit, I would rather enjoy the scenery, so even on wet pavement I will be just fine. I think you will be fine on your current tires but might find it challenging on the dirt if it gets wet/muddy, and pockets of snow on some of the higher dirt passes.
 
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#11
oilfield_trash said:
Right now my bike has the OEM Metzler Tourance tires on it. I've got to ride it from Houston to Ouray for the event. That's ~2400 highway miles round trip roughly. I'm just wondering what tires folks are running and what is most appropriate for the highway miles and the rides planned for the rally. Thoughts?
You have three choices:

1. Decide to ride street and keep an oem style tire, or go even more street oriented such as a PR3 Trail, or equivalent. You will be limited to well maintained graded dirt on good weather days in Ouray, but Cinnamon/Animas Forks would probably be within your scope for a taste of dirt. There is plenty of top shelf street riding in the area to keep you busy for the duration of the rally, and a tire like this will maximize your street/sport riding. As well, you are going to encounter some very good street riding once you are north of I-40, on your way in and out. If sport riding is your priority, this is your choice. My biggest concern with this type of tire is that I don't know that it can take the pounding from the rock on the jeep roads in this area, hence my suggestion to limit it to well graded paths.

2. Decide it's a dirt ride. Recognize that TX and half of NM are flat and straight and tire choice won't matter much. Go with a heavily dirt oriented tire such as a TKC-80, or equivalent. Most folk say they can get 4k miles from a set, so you should make your round trip, but you might do better to try to have them mounted somewhere out west so as to have maximum tread available in the Ouray area. Recall that these tires are speed rated to 99 mph, and are not going to be sporty on the street. Personally I don't think the trail conditions warrant this choice, but to each their own. Specifically: I have never encountered deep extensive mud or deep sand in this area. It's probably possible, but I am thinking we won't see it.

3. Compromise. A decent street tire with pretty good dirt potential is the K60. It is good for plenty of miles so you can mount in Houston and still get great dirt performance in Ouray. You will lose some street performance, but this tire will still allow significant fun on street rides, and is adequate for whatever you will encounter on the dirt roads in the area. To be clear, we are talking: Rock, loose rock - cobbles to gravel, wet rock, steep rock, shelving rock, stair steps in rock, and more rock. As well: moderate mud, stream crossings, potential for snow, hail and thunderstorms. Speed rated to 118 mph. For me, this is the no brainer choice, but some folk really don't like the bias ply feel on the street.

Good luck with your choice.
 

howie ronic

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#13
Here in the North Wet, K60's are a great tool, but not the best suited for our environment. We need a rain channel for optimum control, I wish the rear K60's had the same tread pattern as the fronts. I read on the forum about a guy who cut grooves in his K60's for that reason. Too much trouble for me. I like things out of the box and ready to rip. Hopefully the K60 folks read forums like these and will give us more options in the future. Enjoy the holidays, enjoy the ride!
 

Firefight911

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#14
howie ronic said:
Here in the North Wet, K60's are a great tool, but not the best suited for our environment. We need a rain channel for optimum control, I wish the rear K60's had the same tread pattern as the fronts. I read on the forum about a guy who cut grooves in his K60's for that reason. Too much trouble for me. I like things out of the box and ready to rip. Hopefully the K60 folks read forums like these and will give us more options in the future. Enjoy the holidays, enjoy the ride!
The original K60 was as you speak. Look at the other sizes available and you will see what they used to look like. They were re-formulated and re-designed and now we have the center stripe. I wouldn't expect it to return to its former form anytime soon. Most likely, not at all.

I have over 10,000 miles on each style of tire and the rain is a non-issue and I've been in some horrific rain on both. I will admit that I noticed a difference crossing streams with hard bottoms some but that had as much to do with moss as it did to do with tread.
 
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#15
Firefight911 said:
The original K60 was as you speak. Look at the other sizes available and you will see what they used to look like. They were re-formulated and re-designed and now we have the center stripe. I wouldn't expect it to return to its former form anytime soon. Most likely, not at all.

I have over 10,000 miles on each style of tire and the rain is a non-issue and I've been in some horrific rain on both. I will admit that I noticed a difference crossing streams with hard bottoms some but that had as much to do with moss as it did to do with tread.
Now what did I do with that picture..... and the funny thing was, once we had Phil and the bike upright, and it was so slick we couldn't stand, or keep the bike from swinging like a flag in the current, but I digress, the funny thing was... Phil thought Sharon and I were going to ride across it. You should have seen the crestfallen look on his face when I informed him we had to point the bike back the way we came...

That said, we rode to Alaska and back on the K60's, and believe you me, we rode in rain. Rain, rain, and more rain. Then rain, followed by rain. Did I mention rain? I wouldn't go hooning on the K60's in the rain. They might be a little slicker than some on wet paint stripes. But I generally won't go hooning on any tire in the rain. They are probably not the best tire for rain, but I think they are well within the range of normal rain performance and I certainly wouldn't consider modifying them.
 

snakebitten

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#16
K60's belong on a Super Tenere.
A Super Tenere should COME with K60's from the factory.

I admit my S10 spends the majority of it's life on tarmac.
But those hard sought after moments off-road are SO much better with a tire that can hook up and let that magic TC2 setting do its job!

And although I have never won a road-race, on tarmac I can't use the K60 up.
In the rain, I just cool down and trust TC1 and ABS. Haven't regretted the K60's once.

No doubt what tire I will ride to Colorado. :)
 
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#18
K60's are not the perfect solution. They are just a good compromise for most uses. Good on the highway with great durability due to the tread pattern and compound. Good on gravel and modest off road use where the side tread can grip. Limited in wet conditions especially where the centre untread portion works lick a slick.

I'm not knocking then - I have them. You just need to know the compromises you're accepting.

My 2 cents.
 

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#19
For me, being this is an adventure bike I LOVE the K60's. It truley allows you to use this bike to its full potential. I ride the heck out of them rain, snow, shine. Got no chicken strips to prove it. Lol. I thoroughly enjoy them on this bike and look to always have them installed on the Tenere.
 
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