Front Tire - Making the best of Sand Encounters - 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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Old 03-20-2017, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Mar 2017
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Question Front Tire - Making the best of Sand Encounters

Help ?

I've searched the forum and not found a really satisfactory answer, or a collection of similar opinions.

I'm the new owner of an '07 KLR650. (Its my excuse for posting this thread).

I "discovered" this past weekend just how well (NOT) this bike does in sand. Although street legal, the intention is to run this bike about 90/10. I have several other "street" bikes.

So my question is this: What would you recommend for a front tire, on an otherwise stock KLR650, to minimize the presently poor personality of this bike in the sand?

Thank you in advance!
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:16 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kelowna, B.C.
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The KLR is poor in the sand (compared to some bikes) due to the weight and relative lack of power. My advice would be to run good knobbies, lighten the load as much as possible and keep on the throttle with your weight back. Proper sag will also help to keep the suspension from wallowing.

There isn't a bunch you can do to reasonably boost power but the standard formula will help a bit;
- KLX jet kit (from Eaglemike, follow the instructions
- snorkle-ectomy and L-mod or equivalent

to go a bit further, a silencer swap and a fresh Uni-filter and you've done what you can without internal mods.

I don't do a ton of dune riding though I do run into sand on our trail systems; I like my D606 rear and MT21 front combo, myself.

Dave

ps; welcome. :-)
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:48 PM
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Dave has got it covered as far as setting up your bike. He has several other threads on the subject. (Left "Click" on his member name to go to his personal info. Find threads started by DPelletier.)

I will suggest that one will be hard pressed to find a better bike than a properly set-up Gen 1 KLR650 for truly 50/50 riding, with an average rider on-board. And I'll give a set-up Gen 2 a 60/40 rating.

Everything else available imo, will suffer more on either the dirt or the asphalt or your pocket book.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:50 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Lac La Biche Alberta Canada
Posts: 3,205
The best front tire I have found so far is the Pirelli Scorpion Rally. This is a street legal full knobbie. Very good in sand and mud with the added benefit of excellent EVEN wear on pavement and excellent gravel manners. I will be amazed if anyone finds a better all round tire....uh excuse the pun! here is a link....
http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/...otorcycle-Tire
JJ

PS....The Scorpion Rally kicks the MT21 in the knobs Dave. You should try one next tire swap. I have used both.
Here is a link to where I got mine in Canada...
https://www.petes-superbike.com/9090...nt-p-2538.html
jj

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Woooo WOOOOO!!!!!

Last edited by justjeff; 03-20-2017 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:54 AM
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The KLR650 (I have a 2016 GEN2) is not balanced well for sand riding; too much weight in the front. Then we all go and install things like crash guards and bash plates to make it worse. The trick in sand is getting the front to ride up on top. One of the things we find helpful is run as low a level as possible in the 6.3 gallon fuel tank and then put a gallon or two in rotopax cells on the back. The fuel cells provide a little more weight back there and back up fuel. It's not hard to manage your fuel to make sure you're not running those unnecessary pounds out on sandy trails.



The first leg of the AMA Dual Sport Series is near me in the Devil's Creek Swamp in Brooksville, Florida. It is a big mud hole and every road is a deep sand trap (actual photo from this year). Last year I ran Conti TKC80s at 12 psi on the KLR650 and got through it, but I got stuck a few times and I was beat! This year we put D606s on and ran at 15 psi. My son rode the KLR and I rode our DR. Much, much better on the D606s obviously. So much better, that to us it's worth keeping a set of D606s just for when we have heavy trail use and a set of less gnarly tires for the rest of the time.

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Old 03-21-2017, 01:51 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kelowna, B.C.
Posts: 2,268
Quote:
Originally Posted by justjeff View Post
The best front tire I have found so far is the Pirelli Scorpion Rally. This is a street legal full knobbie. Very good in sand and mud with the added benefit of excellent EVEN wear on pavement and excellent gravel manners. I will be amazed if anyone finds a better all round tire....uh excuse the pun! here is a link....
http://www.rockymountainatvmc.com/p/...otorcycle-Tire
JJ

PS....The Scorpion Rally kicks the MT21 in the knobs Dave. You should try one next tire swap. I have used both.
Here is a link to where I got mine in Canada...
https://www.petes-superbike.com/9090...nt-p-2538.html
jj
Thanks Jeff; I've tried a ton of different tires but never that one. I did use a similar looking Dunlop D908F but didn't like it......I'll give the Scorpion Rally a try next go around.

Cheers,
Dave
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Old 03-21-2017, 03:17 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Lac La Biche Alberta Canada
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You're welcome Dave. I hope you like it. Like you I tried a bunch of different tires. The MT 21 is pretty good and I have worn out three of them. I tried the Pirelli Scorpion on the advice of an AdvRider inmate and was seriously impressed. In circumstances where I would air down The MT21 I could drive the Scorpion at road pressure. I have no idea of what the REAR Scorpion Rally works like, I am using the KendaK270 on there right now.
JJ
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Woooo WOOOOO!!!!!
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