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ADV Gravel Riders - What Tires?

Jarrett

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After doing a fair amount of gravel and dirt riding in the last week or so, I'm starting to wonder if I should get some new tires for the bike. It came stock with these:

D610.jpg


As far as I know, they seem fine on the street. I've had them up to 115 mph and all good. But when I go off pavement, things get a little wiggly.

I wondered if there might be some tires that still give me decent street performance, safely allow me the occasional 100+ mph run on the street, but also help me out when I go off pavement.

Any recommendations? I heard people talking about some of these options:

Continental TKC70
X001.jpg


Motoz Tractionator GPS:
MOTOZ-Tractionator-GPS.jpg


Mitas E07:
s-l1600.jpg


Heidenau K60 Scout:
120-and-170-590x446.jpg


Shinko 705:
41hoIEkiEjL.jpg
 
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mitchntx

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Re: Africa Twin Owners - What Tires?

Not on an AT but ...

After Conti TA2s and Mitas E07+, the Shinkos will be my next tire.

But I wouldn't run 115 on them.
 
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Re: Africa Twin Owners - What Tires?

I have the Shinko 705s on my Versys 650. I will say that 95+ starts to feel weird to me. my tires are both on 17 inch rims.
 

Liteitup

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Re: Africa Twin Owners - What Tires?

Tenere here....

TKC80 front
Mitas E-07 Dakar rear

I've had three(?) sets of these. Good on pavement to 100(closed course:trust:) with the occasional twitch or wobble at around 105(closed course) I don't ride over 100 very often, so acceptable to me.


No one tire is going to do both optimally. I've got a set of Pirelli Trail something or other mounted now for a 98% pavement ride next week in Utah. I've used Michelin Pilot Roads for similar rides.

I'll probably come back to the TKC/Mitas when I re-tire, because it works for me and the places I ride around here.
 

mitchntx

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Re: Africa Twin Owners - What Tires?

1290 SA here ...

I'm not getting the wear on the E07+ that you guys are getting on E07 and E07 Dakar.
At 2500 miles, I'm 1/2 done.

I liked the TKC70s ... they felt good at sane speeds.
But I like the price of the Shinkos ...
 

Liteitup

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Re: Africa Twin Owners - What Tires?

1290 SA here ...

I'm not getting the wear on the E07+ that you guys are getting on E07 and E07 Dakar.
At 2500 miles, I'm 1/2 done.

I liked the TKC70s ... they felt good at sane speeds.
But I like the price of the Shinkos ...

almost 60 extra hp might explain most of that

I got a little over 9300 miles off the last one. it was worn plum out. Way past my comfort zone, I usually get 7500-8000 if I replace at a realistic time.
 

mitchntx

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Re: Africa Twin Owners - What Tires?

I had 8500 miles on the Conti TA2s ...
 
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Shinko 705s do feel weird at triple digit speeds. But not really scary feeling. They are H rated for 130mph?? HP and weight will square off the back in 3-4K miles. Still wiggly on gravel but better than the OEM tires. You might check out Anakee Wild tires if they make a 21 inch front.
 

StromXTc

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MY EO7 DAKAR'S ARE PLENTY STABLE UP TO 100 AS FAR AS I CAN TELL. LIKE mitchntx SAYS, I'M ABOUT HALF DONE TOO WITH COMPARABLE MILEAGE. THINKING THEIR WORTH ABOUT 6-7K ON HARD SURFACE. THE WIDE FLAT SPOT ON THE REAR IS GOOD FOR SLIPPY GRAVEL BUT WILL FADE IN PURE MUD. I LIKE THEM BUT I DONT HAVE ANY OVER-REAL EXPECTATIONS WHEN RIDING IN DUAL SPORT CONDITIONS.


;)LITE IT UP...IM GOING TO SPEND THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS MONITORING YOUR SPEED UNTIL I GET THE EVIDENCE I NEED TO PROSECUTE YOU OUTSIDE A CLOSED COURSE :nana:
 

Jeff S

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I love TCK70's for gravel roads. You don't need TKC80-type grip there, and feel plenty good on pavement. Probably would not be a whole lot different to your stock tires.

TKC80 from and Scout K60 rear is also a good setup. The K60 is squirrelly on wet pavement though.
 
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I've had all kinds on my GS but after riding PR3s and 4s on some long trips with a mix of pavement and gravel, I stopped there. They handle curvy pavement better than any tire I've tried and feel planted on gravel roads. I feel this is most due to if there are embedded rocks in the road, the tires softer side tread grips it. On the other hand, it will eat up the tire quicker. Deep gravel, I don't care what you got, it's going to feel squishy.
 
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Mitas E-07 are great 50-50 tires. In my recent trip to NM they did really well on gravel, rocks, pavement... stable and well planted. This is my pure 50/50 tire going forward. They are supposed to last a long time too, but I don't know that from experience yet.
 

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I have the Shinko 705s on my BMW 1200 GSA and I know I've hit triple digits making passes and they were fine. Seem to work fine in the dirt too. Wearing okay so far, but since the price is nice, I'm less worried about get the most out of them whereas with the TKC 80's or the Karoos I would be.
 

mitchntx

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Wearing okay so far, but since the price is nice, I'm less worried about get the most out of them whereas with the TKC 80's or the Karoos I would be.
This ...

I ordered the 170/60 and 120/90 705s and both were less than what the rear E07+ cost.
 

TGTUMBLEWEED

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I PUT THE K60'S FRONT AND REAR ON MY AT. THEY WORK GOOD BUT THE FRONT WHINES ALOT ON PAVEMENT. NEXT TIME I WILL HAVE A TKC80 FRONT AND K60 REAR
 

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:tab Bear in mind there is no perfect tire that does it all well, just like there is no perfect bike that does it all well. It really boils down to what you plan to do. I have had an 02 1150 GS (heavy) and two R1200GSs (not quite as heavy). I also tend to have a heavy throttle hand... My current ride is an 07 1200 GS.

:tab If you plan to ride pavement to get to NW Arkansas and back, and also ride a lot of pavement while you are there, then you want a street biased tire. This would be true even if you think you might do a bit of forest roads here and there, so long as they are DRY. My take is that you really only need a more aggressive tire if you plan to ride a lot of unpaved stuff that will include deep gravel and/or sand. Most gravel roads are hard packed and the big stuff has been knocked away by trucks and cars, leaving two relatively clean tracks. Unless you are really hauling down the roads, most any tire will do. Those long get there and back stretches of pavement will eat tires like the TKC 80s. However, in places like Arkansas and North Carolina where you spend more time leaning over, you can do many many miles and the TKCs will last quite well because you are using more of the tread on the sides instead of just the center.

:tab I used the K60s for a long trip to Utah/Colorado and they did pretty well, but we never had any serious rain. We did ride on some slush covered roads in SW Colorado and I had a serious pucker moment when I crossed from one side of my lane to the other and hit a bit of ice... :huh2: Other than that, they did really well. I even ran through some deep gravel and some nasty sand/silt. For that last bit, I was REALLY wishing I'd had the TKC 80s on the bike at the time, but I got through it.

:tab I did another long trip around Utah and Colorado riding two up with my daughter when she was eleven. I had all three hard bags mounted and FULL. I had the TKC 80 front and a Shinko E-805 Rear. We did a bit of fast highway blasting in places and a LOT of dirt, gravel, and sand in the mountains. Other than in one section that was really muddy from rain the night before, the tires did great. We rode for seven days. The tires were maybe half gone by the end.

:tab I used to agonize over which tire would get the most miles per dollar. I quit doing that. I've never gotten the high miles out of ANY tire that other people claim. I have yet to find any rear that will last more than maybe 4500-5000 miles and maybe 6000-7000 out of a front. But then I don't run them until they are baby butt smooth. I change them when they hit the wear bar, or if I am about to head out for a major trip. I like to have fresh tires when heading out for a big trip. Having tires go away in the middle of a trip sucks. Don't be "that guy" ;-)

:tab The 805 rear is cheap compared to the TKC 80, last just as long, and has about 80% the performance in the loose stuff. If I know I am going to be doing a lot of nastiness, I will still use the TKC 80 rear. As for the front, I pretty much only run the TKC 80. But, I live in East Texas and we have a LOT of sand here. It makes a BIG difference when you hit sand. Tires like the Anakees and Tourances are no fun in sand... My default right now is TKC 80 front and Shinko 805 rear.

:tab For just a general purpose tire that can manage most stuff, I think the K60s are a good deal. You just have to be aware of their limitations. As for whine or noise, wear ear plugs :-P I've never understood the people that get all worked up about noisy tires :shrug:
 

Jarrett

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Thanks for all the info.

Is there any place in the DFW area that has these tires in stock? Do I get new tubes with new tires as well?

Also, do you have to ride the bike on the street differently when you go with these more aggressive tires?
 
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Jeff S

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I was in Dallas earlier this year on a horribly worn rear tire. I called around and found a guy that bought a tire for me, brought it to the hotel where the conference I was attending was taking place, mounted it, balanced it, lubed and tightened by chain. Whole thing took maybe 30 minutes. If he lived in Austin, I'd never mount another tire myself!

And yeah, these semi-knobbies do squirrel around more on pavement than pure street tires. You'll get a feel for the difference pretty quick...
 

Jarrett

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At this point, I'm thinking TKC80 rear and either Shinko 804 or TKC80 front.

Any compelling reason to pick either of those on the front tire?
 

kubotamiketx

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I can say the K60 on the rear of my twin sucks in gravel. Must be the full wide center, turns it into a slick on gravel. It worked good in rocks, but worst tire I have ever used in gravel or sand.

For more of a 70/30 tire the Pirelli MT90 tires front and rear. Fantastic on the road and really good in gravel, sand and rocks. Not a 50/50, but really good.

https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/pirelli-mt90at-enduro-dual-sport-tires

I did pull the trigger on some Dakar tires (to replace the K60), should be here today, hope to get mounted soon and will report back.
 
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At this point, I'm thinking TKC80 rear and either Shinko 804 or TKC80 front.

Any compelling reason to pick either of those on the front tire?


Just ride, man! You're new to motorcycling, so pile up miles and start looking at tire options once the OEMs wear out. There is no substitute for seat time, and it's unlikely you will consciously traverse terrain requiring a semi-knobby anytime soon. If 80%+ of your mileage is on paved surfaces, and the remainder on packed dirt/gravel, you have a good tire today.


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kubotamiketx

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Ride on! FYI, I put a TKC80 on my twin when I went to Durango, it lasted 350 miles and was shot. Not a single knob was more than 1/4" high (if it was still there)
 
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Ride on! FYI, I put a TKC80 on my twin when I went to Durango, it lasted 350 miles and was shot. Not a single knob was more than 1/4" high (if it was still there)


This is my TKC80 deep into River Road at BBNP after riding down from DFW. Not sure how many miles but still in pretty good shape. Alas, this is where the rear tire was sliced by an errant rock. We jammed in about a half dozen plugs and a can of Fix a Flat at Rio Grande Village. The subsequent 260 mile ride to Midland on <10 PSI was interesting. IMG_2024.jpg


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Jarrett

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Thanks for all the help.

I'm getting a TKC80 rear and Shinko 804 front installed today.

I went with those mainly because I'm planning on going down to do some off-pavement stuff in the Hill Country next weekend and the guide suggested having these tires at least, considering I'm a newbie to off road and all.
 
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Thanks for all the help.

I'm getting a TKC80 rear and Shinko 804 front installed today.

I went with those mainly because I'm planning on going down to do some off-pavement stuff in the Hill Country next weekend and the guide suggested having these tires at least, considering I'm a newbie to off road and all.
That combo will work very well on non-paved surfaces, and their on-road performance isn't bad (although you might tread gingerly towards triple digits). The vibration at low speeds on pavement takes a little getting used to, but once past 20 MPH, things smooth out nicely.

One note of caution: this tire combo won't eliminate that off-road "wiggly" sensation, but it will reduce it. Just let the bike float underneath you, and don't worry if the wheels drift off-line a bit. Have a nice, smooth application on & off the throttle; don't pin it or chop it. "Squeezing" the throttle with your fingers, versus rotating your wrist, helps in easing power to the rear wheel.

You're gonna have a blast!
 

Jarrett

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That combo will work very well on non-paved surfaces, and their on-road performance isn't bad (although you might tread gingerly towards triple digits). The vibration at low speeds on pavement takes a little getting used to, but once past 20 MPH, things smooth out nicely.

One note of caution: this tire combo won't eliminate that off-road "wiggly" sensation, but it will reduce it. Just let the bike float underneath you, and don't worry if the wheels drift off-line a bit. Have a nice, smooth application on & off the throttle; don't pin it or chop it. "Squeezing" the throttle with your fingers, versus rotating your wrist, helps in easing power to the rear wheel.

You're gonna have a blast!
Oops, I should have read this sooner, LOL. I pick the bike up a couple of hours ago and have been riding it. I've had it well over a hundred couple of times already. It feels perfectly fine. In fact it actually they actually feel better than the stock tires did On Pavement which really surprised me. I assumed that on pavement riding would be something I would have to bear, but it's actually not like that with this setup. I like the way it feels on pavement as much or more than the starters did.

The thing that surprised me the most is that the front end of the motorcycle feels more Nimble now. I assumed a tire like this would cause it to feel more clunky but it's the opposite. I feel like I can easily throw the bike around in two turns. It makes me want to go hit some turns hard but I know that I need to break in the tires first.

The big difference is when I took it off road on the gravel roads near my house. The ice skating feeling was gone. I was actively seeking out the deeper sections of gravel in the center of the road and on the edges and the bike was staying planted. I was immediately able to go around corners faster than I had been able to on the stock tires. I also found a little dirt and a little grass and ran it through that and it feels very planted. The grass was much better feeling than ever on the stock tires.

Also there is no additional noise that I can notice so far. The shop that I got them from said the noise will come later though. I do notice a little bit of a bumpy sensation under 7 miles an hour, but when I get over that speed it's hard to tell any difference between these in the stock tires on the roads around my house. I did notice when decelerating from a hundred that it felt a little rougher than on the stock tires, but overall these feel like an improvement across the board at this point. I'll put a couple hundred more miles on them tomorrow and really give them a good test.
 
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Oops, I should have read this sooner, LOL. I pick the bike up a couple of hours ago and have been riding it. I've had it well over a hundred couple of times already. It feels perfectly fine. In fact it actually they actually feel better than the stock tires did On Pavement which really surprised me. I assumed that on pavement riding would be something I would have to bear, but it's actually not like that with this setup. I like the way it feels on pavement as much or more than the starters did.



The thing that surprised me the most is that the front end of the motorcycle feels more Nimble now. I assumed a tire like this would cause it to feel more clunky but it's the opposite. I feel like I can easily throw the bike around in two turns. It makes me want to go hit some turns hard but I know that I need to break in the tires first.



The big difference is when I took it off road on the gravel roads near my house. The ice skating feeling was gone. I was actively seeking out the deeper sections of gravel in the center of the road and on the edges and the bike was staying planted. I was immediately able to go around corners faster than I had been able to on the stock tires. I also found a little dirt and a little grass and ran it through that and it feels very planted. The grass was much better feeling than ever on the stock tires.



Also there is no additional noise that I can notice so far. The shop that I got them from said the noise will come later though. I do notice a little bit of a bumpy sensation under 7 miles an hour, but when I get over that speed it's hard to tell any difference between these in the stock tires on the roads around my house. I did notice when decelerating from a hundred that it felt a little rougher than on the stock tires, but overall these feel like an improvement across the board at this point. I'll put a couple hundred more miles on them tomorrow and really give them a good test.


That's really good to hear. Maybe its the narrow 21" front wheel that appreciates the Shinko on the street, as my Multistrada's 17" was not as nimble with TKCs as with Bridgestones.
IMG_2003.jpg

The straight-line speeds were not an issue for my TKCs, as I seldom venture north of 100 MPH. However, I do take a more aggressive approach when cornering, where the TKCs offered less feedback than sport touring tires. Still, those blocky knobs performed better than expected in nearly every element. Maybe too good, as my bombing River Road not only resulted in a flat, but it completely dislodged the Multi's fairing from the frame. Nothing a half roll of duct tape couldn't fix.


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Jarrett

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I don't intend to be going fast on these, I was just curious to know what it felt like in case the need arises.

One question though, what air pressure should these be at? Right now, its like this:

Front Shinko 804 = 35 lbs
Rear TKC 80 = 35 lbs

On my stock tires it was around 30 front and 40 rear.
 
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I was immediately able to go around corners faster than I had been able to on the stock tires.
To be fair to the stock tires, you fell before the corner. :doh: Sorry Jarrett, I couldn't resist. Seriously, glad the new tires are such a positive experience. :rider:
 
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Yeah, unfortunately new tires don't fix sporadic brakes.


I think that's commonly referred to as "ABS Fade" when braking characteristics change as the rear wheel senses varying degrees of traction. Not to worry, we have all been there/done that.

Nobody has all the answers. Team up with experienced riders and your knowledge base will grow exponentially.


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Jarrett

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Gotcha, it hasn't happened again thankfully.

Maybe it only happens when following MacDaddy :)
 

Jarrett

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Put 200 miles on the new tires today.

The off pavement sections were much better. Gave me a lot more confidence.

Also, I didn't feel any slipping on the corners on the pavement. Maybe I just don't turn hard enough.

I did notice a light shimmy around 75 mph only when on bad, rough chipseal roads. Really minor, but different feeling than stock tires. Everywhere else the new tires felt as good or better than my stock tires.
 

StromXTc

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I don't intend to be going fast on these, I was just curious to know what it felt like in case the need arises.

One question though, what air pressure should these be at? Right now, its like this:

Front Shinko 804 = 35 lbs
Rear TKC 80 = 35 lbs

On my stock tires it was around 30 front and 40 rear.
That's pavement high speed stuff. Stiff and cooler on the tires. I take mine down to upper 20's off pavement. You will feel the softer ride and a bit more flex on the corners for just a little more traction over the rocks Those big blocks should be unstoppable especially in mud or sands.

The modern adv tires are really amazing, able to claw thru terrain and still lean and bite in high speed cornering.
 
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Tourmeister

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:tab I have never experienced any bad handling with the TKC 80s with my 1150 GS or either of my 1200 GSs when on pavement and pushing them at extra legal speeds in the twisties. Mind you, that was always on dry pavement, but I don't ride that way in the wet... ever... on any tire. I've even pushed them loaded down and riding two up. Never any unexpected wiggles or squirms. The Jesse bags on my 1150 had their lower leading corners ground through from dragging them in tight corners. I also rarely run them higher than 25-27 psi. I never run them at 35 or higher. I have ridden with them in the rain, but I ride the same as I would on any other tire and I've never had any problems... except in mud. But, I've yet to find ANY tire that helps me ride a big beast in any real mud :shrug:

:tab I did have some sliding on the Shinko 705s on dry pavement (I think that is the one that is similar to a Tourance/Anakee?) and I wasn't even really pushing. The front started to go, so I gave it a bit of throttle, which made the front come back, but then the rear started to slip. I went back and forth a few times between the front and rear sliding a bit. It wasn't major sliding, just that twitch feeling before it really lets go all the way. I was totally not expecting it but was able to nurse it through the corner and back upright. It happened more than once, so I got rid of those tires. The K60s never did that too me. The rear 805 has not done it either. I've not yet tried the front 805.
 

Tourmeister

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I did notice a light shimmy around 75 mph only when on bad, rough chipseal roads. Really minor, but different feeling than stock tires.
:tab That is interesting. We've got the chip seal stuff everywhere here around Huntsville. I have never experienced a shimmy even at close to 100mph (which I rarely do... seriously). I regularly hit 75-80mph on them though and have never felt anything unusual with them. They even do pretty well on the grooved pavement. I wonder if it is a difference in front tire sizes between the GS and the AT :ponder:
 

Jarrett

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I've not yet tried the front 805.
:tab That is interesting. We've got the chip seal stuff everywhere here around Huntsville. I have never experienced a shimmy even at close to 100mph (which I rarely do... seriously). I regularly hit 75-80mph on them though and have never felt anything unusual with them. They even do pretty well on the grooved pavement. I wonder if it is a difference in front tire sizes between the GS and the AT :ponder:
Could be an aspect of the 804 front. Just to reiterate, its really minor. Just me trying to find something other than across the board better about these tires than the stock ones. Maybe I'll try the TKC80 front next time.

Bummer to hear about Shinko 70x sliding issues. I thought I might try those if I burn through these too fast.

Aaron (max flav) told me yesterday that he really liked the Mitas E07's as well.
 
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:tab That is interesting. We've got the chip seal stuff everywhere here around Huntsville. I have never experienced a shimmy even at close to 100mph (which I rarely do... seriously). I regularly hit 75-80mph on them though and have never felt anything unusual with them. They even do pretty well on the grooved pavement. I wonder if it is a difference in front tire sizes between the GS and the AT :ponder:


Same results here. The TKC 80s exceeded my expectations on the road, and performed surprisingly well in all environments. Admittedly I didn't push them to double-the-posted limits through corners (which the BattlAx's handle with ease), but that's not saying they cannot perform the task; it was more my survival instinct kicking in.


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Jarrett

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The Shinko 804 / TKC 80 rear combo did great in the dirt/sand/granite/clay roads in the Texas Hill Country this weekend.

They saved my bacon. If I had been on my stock tires, I would have been down several of times. Especially in the sand, which is pure evil.

I did run it up to 107 mph going through the Three Sisters area and it got a little fonky at those speeds. I feel like 105 mph is the cap for me on these tires.
 
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The Shinko 804 / TKC 80 rear combo did great in the dirt/sand/granite/clay roads in the Texas Hill Country this weekend.

They saved my bacon. If I had been on my stock tires, I would have been down several of times. Especially in the sand, which is pure evil.

I did run it up to 107 mph going through the Three Sisters area and it got a little fonky at those speeds. I feel like 105 mph is the cap for me on these tires.
As they say, your outrunning your angels.
 

Tourmeister

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Sand is fun :-P

As long as the tires can run around 90-95mph for short spurts, like passing, I am good with that. I rarely, if ever, need to exceed that speed. I am glad that combo worked out well for you. Tires really make a big difference on the big ADV bikes when you get in the loose stuff!!
 

Jarrett

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Cracked 1,000 miles on the new tires today.

Front Shinko looking good. Rear TKC80, no so good. It's wearing down fast.

Starting to consider next rear tire. I ride a lot of gravel roads lately. I shoot for 50/50.

What would work well with that Shinko 804 in the front, handle the gravel roads well and give me more than 2,000 miles a tire?

Shinko 705? Mitas E07?
 
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Forney
Why not a shinko 805 on the rear. Ive heard good things about those.

Looking at what tires to buy makes my head hurt. My bike is 1 month old and I have gone down the "What tire to get" rabbit hole a couple times.

I have 1500 miles on my new vstrom Ive had for 4 weeks. I ride a lot and I know new tires will be needed by the end of the year maybe sooner. MY bike has the trailwing TW101/TW152 which is no longer made anymore. Now the vstroms come with battleaxe 41's which I dont like. My stock tires do great on the pavement. I recently was riding through the twisties in Arkansas 2up and I was leaning pretty far over with no sliding at all. Havent tried them on dirt but Im sure they are limited.
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I still dont know what tire I want next but I like to read threads like this to help figure it out.

If I were to get a more offload oriented tire I would go with the shinko 804/805 tires after the research Ive done. I do a lot of miles on pavement though so who knows what Il really get when it comes time.
 
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