Which front tire should I buy? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

  • 1 Post By pdwestman
  • 1 Post By Beorn
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-10-2017, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
1st Gear
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 25
Which front tire should I buy?

It's time to replace my front tire, and deciding which tire to get is turning out to be more complicated than I thought. Here's the situation: both tires are of the cheap Cheng Shin brand, but the rear is a Hi-Max and the front is a Barracuda. I don't know why the types were mixed; a mechanic changed one or both at least three years ago (memory is hazy), and I didn't bother to ask him what kind of tire(s) he was installing. The Hi-Max hardly shows any wear at all, while the Barracuda is toast. That makes sense since the Hi-Max is known for durability and the Barracuda is known for improved grip/wearing out faster (from the research I've done in the last half hour). I don't know if this combo is really considered a safe and acceptable one, but the bike has handled fine up until now, so I figured the simplest thing to do would be to replace the front tire with an identical one. However, it appears that the exact Barracuda tire I have (see below for specs) was discontinued long ago. Plan B was to get a Hi-Max for the front to match the rear; however, I don't know what specs to look for since the front and rear are going to be different.

Basically, I just need to know what I can get to replace my front tire that will match the rear. I'd rather go cheap, too, which is another reason simply buying another Barracuda was an attractive option. (I'm a KLR rider! What can you expect?)

Also, the only other things I should need for this project (besides tools) are rim tape and a replacement tube, right?

Barracuda: 3.00-21 53P
Load Range B

Hi-Max: 130/90-17 (5.00/5.10-17)

Last edited by Beorn; 03-10-2017 at 10:14 PM. Reason: Forgot to add specs.
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-11-2017, 10:17 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Lander, Wyoming
Posts: 6,471
I don't find either of the old Cheng Shins in the book I looked at, doesn't matter. As you've already ridden many miles and discovered that the KLR is fairly in-sensitive to mix n match tire choices.

Try either the Shinko E705 about $69.00 or the Kenda K761 about $66.00. Purchase a new inner tube, but Don't install it, unless you pinch the old one which I assume still holds air. I'd rather Carry or Store a brand new Spare Tube than a used spare tube. I know its NEW and should have No Holes!

Run 2 psi Higher air pressure in the skinny Front verses the Fatter Rear. Try 32,34,36 Front / 30,32,34 Rear. Solo/ w'Gear / 2 up.
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Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-11-2017, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
1st Gear
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 25
Excellent. Thank you.
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