Tires - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 13 Old 10-27-2014, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Tires

Hello, fellow riders. I have just purchased a new to me 06 KLR. Loving it so far. Anyways, this thing has straight FMX 'knobbies' on it right now. Yeah, they look cool, but I'm mainly going to be usually my bike for commutes to and from work. Weekends, hopefully, will be doing a bit of exploring (gravel roads, trails, etc.)

So, I guess I want something in the best of both worlds, probably geared a bit more towards the road.

What do you all think of these choices:

-Shinko 700 and Shinko 705
-Metzler Sahara
-Bridgestone TW something, can't remember
I know there are way more out there

Also, these discussion has probably already posted before, I'm lazy
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-27-2014, 08:31 AM
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Tire threads often result in endless venting of opinions . . . bet this one is no exception!

My own experience, evaluation, and opinion: For the service life spectrum you suggest, I've found the Kenda K270 a serviceable, versatile, affordable 50/50 tire.

I have NOT been thrown to the pavement by collapsing knobs, but then maybe I'm a more conservative asphalt rider than some.

Going knobbier, I have a set of wheels with TrakMaster IIs mounted.

Going roadier, I have Continental Trail Attacks standing by.

Just a note about the knobs: MUCH more versatile than I imagined; at home on Interstate speeds (not that I'd race sport bikes on the twisties with 'em).

Your bike, your choice.

Oh, yes; several tire manufacturers produce treads nearly identical to the K270's; I'd expect similar performance from these look-alikes.
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-27-2014, 11:34 AM
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I'll throw out another choice: stock Dunlop K750.

They work great for road and gravel/easy dirt, are readily available at your local Kawi dealer, and are priced competitively. (They do wear out pretty fast)

Kenda 270/Shinko 244/IRC GP-1 are all similar dual sport treads.
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-27-2014, 02:37 PM
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Kenda K761

Just changed my brothers rear 761 out at 15,000 miles and still had tread left.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #5 of 13 Old 10-27-2014, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbt11string View Post

Also, these discussion has probably already posted before, I'm lazy
At least you are honest and welcome to the forum. Do a forum search. You'll find a lot of suggestions from which you can make a decision.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #6 of 13 Old 10-27-2014, 08:30 PM
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I found the stock Dunlops handled well but only got about 2400 miles on the rear. Front is now trash at 5400 mls. Put a Shinko 705 on rear and it handled about the same but looks like it will last 3500 - 4000 mls. Just got a set of Avon Gripsters so we'll see how those work out once I get 'em on. My riding is 90/10 road/off road. Most of the roads I ride are the twistiest I can find.
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post #7 of 13 Old 10-28-2014, 06:59 AM
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Tires

My first experience with Kenda K-270's was not so good. ( Date-of-mfg. 22-14)
Bought and installed 2 of them from different sources. Both tires made my front end bounce up and down at 30 - 40 mph real bad.

Returned both ,and my local dealer had a Mitas E-07. It rides "Soo-much-better" now!

Both Kenda's took about 3 + oz's to balance. The Mitas only took 1 oz to balance. ( BTW: the wheel by itself, w/o tire, took about 1 oz to make it balance.)

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post #8 of 13 Old 10-28-2014, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KLRKen12 View Post
I found the stock Dunlops handled well but only got about 2400 miles on the rear. Front is now trash at 5400 mls. Put a Shinko 705 on rear and it handled about the same but looks like it will last 3500 - 4000 mls. Just got a set of Avon Gripsters so we'll see how those work out once I get 'em on. My riding is 90/10 road/off road. Most of the roads I ride are the twistiest I can find.
Plus one on the Avon Gripsters for the road. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that they've only seen dirt once and that was a well graded one. But, it was uphill with a few good turns and the Gripsters felt better on that dirt road than the Michelin Anakee 2's I had on before. Pavement through the twisty's is fine at anything less than track day speeds.
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-29-2014, 12:07 PM
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I agree with Damocles on the 270 Kendas for both traction and versatility. One can really get the elbow down on the twisties with those knobbies and they seemed to last quite well. Haven't noticed excessive balance weight but the amount does vary from tire to tire, IME, regardless of brand.

Running Shinko E700 tubeless at this time because my wheels are converted to tubeless. I've used Shinko road tires on other bike so will see how I like these. Not doing any off road these days so limited to pavement, forest service roads and the odd "horse trail".

One might also consider Damocles observation that tire discussions can become a bit testy. I think this is the case because some don't consider that road and other surface qualities vary significantly from area to area. For example, someone who is doing off road in Arizona sand may find very different results from a given tire than someone who is riding BC Interior clay. Ditto pavement. Add to that rider differences and preferences and the variability becomes exponential. I will always consider the observations of someone whom is experienced but weight most to those whom I know ride in a similar way, under similar conditions.

Can't go very wrong by listening to experienced people if you ride where they do and how they do but otherwise it may be a crap shoot where you are and how you ride.
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-03-2014, 12:31 PM
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Over the years I've had many different kinds of tires on more than few bikes, though as I look back, my street/dirt ratio for bikes, turns out to be the same as my use of the KLR which is about 90/10. ...and over those years probably about 70% of my tires have been Dunlops because when something else was on that I didn't like, I went to Dunlops and liked them. So when the OEM tires on the KLR were Dunlops, I didn't have any complaints, and I still don't. On my third set of OEM tires. Sorry, probably not much help.
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