Project DR650

The tires I've used (on any of my dualsport bikes, not just the DR), and my experiences and opinions... for what they're worth.

 

Bridgestone Trail Wings

Bike used: Suzuki DR650SE

Decent on pavement, scary off; good enough for dirt roads, but there are better...

Wear life: excellent

Value: fair 


 

Continental TKC 80

Bike used: Suzuki DR650SE

I've only used the rear on my bike, 140/80-17. I was pleasantly surprised at the excellent pavement performance, but slightly disappointed in the off pavement... not sure why I was disappointed though, the knobs are wide, shallow and close together. It was good for dry dirt roads and has a long wear life; I got about 2500 miles out of the rear. I don't recommend pairing it with the Bridgestone ED03 though, as I got bad head shake over 60 mph with this combo. I was able to reduce it by playing with tire pressures, but far from eliminated. The headshake went away with the bike loaded for travel. 

The fronts are a little more aggressive than the rear; the knobs are smaller and deaper. A friend rode with the front TKC80 on his DRZ400E on a recent ride in Sam Houston National Forest (high speed and sandy), and seemed to like it; it sure didn't seem to slow him down.

Wear life: excellent

Value: fair (work well enough, but expensive)

 

IRC GP110

Bike used: Honda XR650L, Honda NX650

Front: Outstanding pavement performance, surprisingly good off pavement as long it's dry.

Rear, 130/80-18" : Outstanding pavement performance, surprisingly good off pavement as long it's dry. Noisy at lean angles, but oooh the lean angles;  I used every bit of the tread ;-)

Rear, 130/80-17": Good pavement, decent off pavement. The 17" rear I used on the NX650 wasn't the same profile at the 18"; the 17" is rounder and doesn't work as well on the pavement as the 18".

Wear life: fair

Value: good

 

Maxxis M6006 (aka Cheng Shin C6006)

Bike used: Suzuki DR650SE

Front: Excellent pavement performance, surprisingly good off pavement as long it's dry. The front tire isn't nearly as aggressive as the rear. A friend, who was once a very competive racer (2 championship enduro wins) uses them on his KLR650 and single-tracks it... at speeds no KLR with50/50 DS tire should go.

Rear, 130/80-17": Good pavement, though squirmy at first, excellent off pavement. Straight line traction off road is good enough for hard trail riding, and they're predictable when you need to break them loose in turns. I like to use the rear with a full knobby front, like the Trakmaster.

Wear life: good

Value: Very good, if you can still find them. I've read that they are being discontinued for '09, sad.

 

Pirelli MT21

Bike used: KLR600, XR650L

Front: Very good pavement performance, good off pavement. Some complain that the front wants to wash, but overall, they worked pretty well for me.

Rear, 130/90-17 & 18: Very good pavement, excellent off pavement. Straight line traction off road is very good, and they're predictable when you need to break them loose in turns.

Wear life: fair

Value: Good, but a little pricey.

 

Kenda Trak Master II K760

Bike used: Suzuki DR650SE

Front: Surprisingly good pavement performance, very good off pavement, regardless of terrain. The front tire has the tread pattern of a rear, but seems to work well, especially aired down.

Rear, 130/90-17": Surprisingly good pavement, excellent off pavement. Straight line traction off road is excellent, and they're predictable when you need to break them loose in turns.

Wear life: Front - excellent, rear - fair

Value: Excellent!

 

Interco Tera Flex

Bike used: Suzuki DR650SE

Front: N/A

Rear, 140/90-17": Poor pavement, fair off pavement. On pavement it was *very* squirmy and hard to get used to. Believe it or not, it works best on the pavement at about 9 psi! Straight line traction off road is excellent, and it actually tends to have too much traction in turns and other situations where traction hurts more than it helps. Unpredictable when you need to break it loose in turns, and when you do break it loose, it's too loose. If you are a traction freak, aren't into riding fast and/or do a lot of loose, rocky climbing or riding in mud or sand, and don't care about street manners, then this is the one for you. Think of it as a tractor tire, not a performance tire. Note: for the DR650 this tire requires trimming on the right side to clear the swing arm, and you'll need to drop to a 13T CS sprocket for it to keep from rubbing the center.

Wear life:Good (knobs are giant; lots to wear ;-) )

Value: Poor, for me anyway.

Kenda K270

Dunlop D606

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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