What is a good inexpensive 50/50 tire for the KLR650? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-30-2016, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Question What is a good inexpensive 50/50 tire for the KLR650?

I figure this has been asked many times. I did a search and found a few responses on different tires, but I thought I would start a new thread because the other threads were several years old, and there may be more people that have some experience with these tire since the old threads were posted.

I am looking for an inexpensive tire for my KLR650 that is good for 50% dirt 50% street.

The stock tires on my 2001 were OK. I hated the AVON Gripsters: They were terrible on the trail, and didn't last very long (2,000 miles) on the street. I have tried the DURO 904, but the sidewalls started to seperate, so I don't want to use them. I think I could use a little more aggressive thread pattern than the Duro 904 or stock tires. I also have used the IRC GP-1 tire. It seemed to work OK. I didn't have a chance to really test the IRC in the dirt.

Looking for opinions on:
Shinko 700
Shinko 804/805
Shinko 244
Kenda Big Block K784
Kenda K270
any other inexpensive 50/50 tire

How are these on the street (Tires with aggressive knobbies supposedly vibrate a lot and make noise)?

How do they work off-road: Sand, Gravel, Mud, Powderd-Dirt, and Regular Dirt.

How long do they last?


Interesting Note: Kenda lists the Big Block as being 60% street and 40% dirt, and Shinko list their 804/805 as 40% street and 40% dirt, yet they look almost identical.



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post #2 of 19 Old 09-30-2016, 07:13 PM
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I've found the Kenda K270s versatile, durable, AFFORDABLE!

Essentially the same tread pattern is found on other manufacturers' tires.

Some complain about K270s road manners, but . . . never encountered that sort of problem, myself (not that I race sport bikes around the twisties!).

No bad habits from the K270s, as far as my experience (about 20,000 miles, I suppose, on KLR650 and KLR250) has taken me.

Other tires on my KLR650: Kenda TrakMaster II; full-up knobby, but much more civilized on pavement than one might think. Continental Trail Attacks: Splendid hard-surface tire; good even in the wet; don't think you'd want to go mud-bogging with it!
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-30-2016, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigUglyGreenKLR View Post
I figure this has been asked many times. I did a search and found a few responses on different tires, but I thought I would start a new thread because the other threads were several years old, and there may be more people that have some experience with these tire since the old threads were posted.

I am looking for an inexpensive tire for my KLR650 that is good for 50% dirt 50% street.

The stock tires on my 2001 were OK. I hated the AVON Gripsters: They were terrible on the trail, and didn't last very long (2,000 miles) on the street. I have tried the DURO 904, but the sidewalls started to seperate, so I don't want to use them. I think I could use a little more aggressive thread pattern than the Duro 904 or stock tires. I also have used the IRC GP-1 tire. It seemed to work OK. I didn't have a chance to really test the IRC in the dirt.

Looking for opinions on:
Shinko 700
Shinko 804/805
Shinko 244
Kenda Big Block K784
Kenda K270
any other inexpensive 50/50 tire

How are these on the street (Tires with aggressive knobbies supposedly vibrate a lot and make noise)?

How do they work off-road: Sand, Gravel, Mud, Powderd-Dirt, and Regular Dirt.

How long do they last?

Interesting Note: Kenda lists the Big Block as being 60% street and 40% dirt, and Shinko list their 804/805 as 40% street and 40% dirt, yet they look almost identical.

.
BUG,
I can't yet read what Generation that your riding, nor how much you weigh, but deteriorating sidewalls may be from under inflation for the load applied.
Or maybe just 'sun rot' of Cheap Rubber! Ride further and faster!

I'll second the Kenda K270 for your usage.

But I can't understand why and how you only got 2000 miles out of My Favorite (No Longer Available) set of tires?
The Avon Gripsters!
The Least mileage that I got from a rear Gripster was 8,290 miles. The most from a rear Gripster, was 11,025 miles.
I rode over 15,000 miles on 2 different Front Gripsters.

Yes they were all very shallow of tread by then, but I could have ridden any of them 500-1000 miles further to get home from a road trip while being near devoid of cash if need be! (I'm wise enough to slow down in the rain.)

I'll recommend to All of You, to cut your "worn-out" tires with a knife and have a look!
When it comes to my personal bike, I am probably 'Cheaper' than most of you!
I might even put CBT to shame!
Who else but me, will run 3000-5000 miles on an oil change?
(But I still have 5 worn tires and 3 laboratory oil analysis's to support my claim.)

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 78,000+ miles & counting
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-30-2016, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
BUG,
I can't yet read what Generation that your riding, nor how much you weigh, but deteriorating sidewalls may be from under inflation for the load applied.
Or maybe just 'sun rot' of Cheap Rubber! Ride further and faster!

.....

But I can't understand why and how you only got 2000 miles out of My Favorite (No Longer Available) set of tires?
The Avon Gripsters!
The Least mileage that I got from a rear Gripster was 8,290 miles. The most from a rear Gripster, was 11,025 miles.
I rode over 15,000 miles on 2 different Front Gripsters.

...
Bike is a 2001 (Gen 1). Says so in 3rd paragraph. I am 220#, and the bike has side-bags. I figure the Duro was just a bad batch of rubber, but I didn't want to try it again.


I got the Gripsters around 2002 when the stock Dunlap tires wore out. I am not an aggressive driver. Maybe they changed the rubber compound. Others on the old DSN_KLR650 forum also got very little mileage on their Gripsters. Most people called them Slipsters.



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post #5 of 19 Old 09-30-2016, 09:28 PM
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Shinko 244's. Buddy of mine uses them on all his dual sports, he's tried a bunch of different tires and always comes back to the 244's. Inexpensive and decent traction on most surfaces, win/win.

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post #6 of 19 Old 10-01-2016, 09:15 AM
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I think even a forensic scientist would have difficulty distinguishing between 244 and 270 tire tracks in the dirt, but rubber compounds and casing construction likely vary. Yet another tire manufacture produces this tread clone, IIRC.
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post #7 of 19 Old 10-01-2016, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigUglyGreenKLR View Post
Bike is a 2001 (Gen 1). Says so in 3rd paragraph. I am 220#, and the bike has side-bags. I figure the Duro was just a bad batch of rubber, but I didn't want to try it again.


I got the Gripsters around 2002 when the stock Dunlap tires wore out. I am not an aggressive driver. Maybe they changed the rubber compound. Others on the old DSN_KLR650 forum also got very little mileage on their Gripsters. Most people called them Slipsters.
.
2001 got it. I was uncertain if you were still riding the same bike. The 'light' Gen 1. Yeah.

Anyways, I also will be trying different tire or tires. Being as the Gripster is No Longer Available.
Funny thing is here, it was about 2001-2002 that I installed my first set of Gripsters and loved their longevity, handling and overall grip.

Anyways. Currently I'm riding on a Kenda K270 front and a half used Dunlop K750 rear.
I'm not very pleased with the 70+ highway manners (too square?) of the K270. But it does work quite well in the dirt.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 78,000+ miles & counting
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post #8 of 19 Old 10-01-2016, 08:24 PM
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"Put the Cheapster to shame."

Tough to do. LOL
After the 270 left me uneasy getting low in the curvies I'm really enjoying
my 50 dollar 705's. The Shinko 700 is a bit more dirt aggressive than the 705
but no knobby like the 244/ 270 and big block groups.
(To be fair the K270 rocked offroad.)

I'm still rehabbin' the rotator cuff surgery, but once I go back to work we'll still
get movies from the library and pop our own corn. Total cost of movie nite: 35 cents plus gas.
That's for the whole family. Gotcha !!

Ride on no matter what tire ya choose,

Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeap

This is my son, with whom I am well pleased." ----God

Last edited by CheapBassTurd; 10-01-2016 at 09:05 PM. Reason: I wanted to edit my reply
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-01-2016, 08:39 PM
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I stayed with the OEM k750's. I just took a nail on the rear tire and the bead actually stayed on the rim. After pulling the tube I saw that it didn't shred and just had a pinhole from the nail. After that experience, I ordered not only the stock tires, but the OEM tubes as well.
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post #10 of 19 Old 10-18-2016, 06:19 PM
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I've been very happy with the Shinko 244 "Golden Boy" tires. Inexpensive, good 50/50 performance, easy to install. I've probably run thru 4-5 sets by now on my KLR and my DRZ. I'm a big fan of Shinkos, and have them on all 3 of my bikes.
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