Tires - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

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post #1 of 13 Old 05-19-2016, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Location: East Alabama
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Tires

I've owned my klr for 5 days so far, but I've noticed the stock tires biggest weakness..... pine straw, damp grass, mud, slick dirt roads after a 5 min shower. I know there are many reviews for tires out there, but mostly for people saying they ride 90% on road, and recommend the shinko 705.

I do ride on road, but its a 4 mile dirt road rocks, loose gravel, and slick area's to my house on top of a mountain. stock tires on that road is completely fine, but on the way to my house up this road are 2,000+ acres of land, trials, service roads, ext that I know I don't have the confidence in my stock tires to attempt.

I can tell by looking at the shinko they are not going to be good on wet grass much less slick trails.. anything else out there that I can get some decent mileage out of like 5,000 miles seems ok I guess, and not have to worry about getting stuck in a spot a moped could go through?

I'm not knocking the bike because of tires, because from what I can tell that's the only real weakness keeping me from my adventures lol. I went from riding a gsxr1000 in 2009 to a 2016 klr. needless to say when I first went from on road to dirt road that scared feeling thinking i'm about to wreck to daaaaannng and hit the gas because instant confidence of knowing this bike really likes dirt, and arriving home after driving it from the dealer and its already covered in mud.
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post #2 of 13 Old 05-19-2016, 11:47 PM
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never experience a good tire for damp grass. is like water on glass, pine straw is a bit slick too. been thru 3 sets of mefo explorer and ride a lot of gravel/trails and alaskan roads and is my go to tire. For mud someone else will chime in as the knobby work best.
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post #3 of 13 Old 05-20-2016, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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I was reading up on the mefo, and leaning towards that. the stock tires aren't to bad for dry, but not worth a dime in any kind of mud around here.
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post #4 of 13 Old 05-20-2016, 03:23 PM
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Motoz Tractionator Desert H/T 130/80-17

Motoz now has the Tractionator Desert H/T available for the KLR650. It is a 130/80-17, full knobby, and DOT. Check out motoz.com.au or motoztires.com for more info.
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post #5 of 13 Old 05-20-2016, 06:34 PM
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Trakmaster IIs; can't guarantee mileage, but . . . full knobby; DOT.

No exceptionally sharp turns on hard surfaces recommended; front may wash out.

Dry, relatively straight highway speeds--surprisingly versatile, no problem.
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post #6 of 13 Old 05-20-2016, 11:20 PM
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Kenda K270 on the rear and pirelli Scorpion Rally on the front. The Scorpion Rally is a full knobby DOT approved and will go 10000miles of mixed riding. Good grip on all surfaces and very stable on high speed gravel. Much easier to ride a knobbie on pavement than a Shinko 705 in the dirt!

The venerable Kenda K270 is a true 50/50 tire with good grip in sand, gravel, dirt and mud. If you are a corner carver on pavement it gets predictably squirmy when you get up on the edge knobs.I will get 5000miles out of the one on the back of my KTM690, more on my KLR.
Good wear characteristics on both tires on long highway runs.

I put Mefo Explorers on my '11KLR and hated the front for anything more challenging than gravel. Just NO grip. The first rear cracked around the base of the lugs badly and was replaced on warrentee. The replacement also cracked. I gave up on them.

The Desert Tractionator wore very quickly on the back of my 690 as it is quite soft. It is a great off road tire but is vibey on pavement.

JJ

It's not a Tractor....It's a LOCOMOTIVE!! Chugga Chugga
Woooo WOOOOO!!!!!

Last edited by justjeff; 05-20-2016 at 11:23 PM.
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post #7 of 13 Old 05-21-2016, 06:24 AM
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Well, YOU brought up the 690 justjeff!

I have Vee 401s front and rear on my 690; can't tell about mileage so far (2000 miles, still plenty tall), but do well on pavement and gravel--no serious off-road exposure yet.

Rode with a KLR650 rider who had 'em (Vee 401s); I had K270s on my KLR650; the Vees seemed to do well on rocky terrain and dirt roads and trails, matching the K270s.
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post #8 of 13 Old 05-21-2016, 10:14 AM
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Hmmm.....Have to admit I have never heard of Vee tires before though my tire supplier seems to have a full selection of them. Every style from street to atv are available.
Keep us updated as to how they work. Just because they are on an orange bike doesn't mean they won't work on a KLR!
JJ

It's not a Tractor....It's a LOCOMOTIVE!! Chugga Chugga
Woooo WOOOOO!!!!!
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post #9 of 13 Old 05-21-2016, 07:54 PM
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i have shinko 705. i like them.
but on loose ground, its better if the lower the pressure, to like 18 front, 20 back.
all other, i go 20 front, 28 back.

CURRENT BIKES:
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post #10 of 13 Old 05-21-2016, 08:30 PM
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Don't get me wrong, I think the Shonko 705s are a fine tire and a lot of people like them. I just think there are better tires for the OP's stated use which is similar to mine. If I rode primarily pavement with the very occasional gravel I could see buying the 705s.
JJ

It's not a Tractor....It's a LOCOMOTIVE!! Chugga Chugga
Woooo WOOOOO!!!!!
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