Street 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 14 Old 04-21-2017, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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Street tires

Been riding the curvy stuff pretty heavily seeing the stock rear tire scraping the outer edge of that last little knobby lately.

Got me wondering how this bike would do with street tires.
Experiences?
Tire Recommendations?

2016 KLR 650
2017 BMW S1000RR (traded in for
2018 Ducati V4S
1983 GL1100 Goldwing
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post #2 of 14 Old 04-21-2017, 11:37 AM
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I'm sure you'll get lots of different opinions on this, so here's mine;

dedicated street tires will have more traction than 50/50's or knobbies.....OTOH, the KLR is somewhat limited by the stock frame, long travel suspension and other components compared to a dedicated street bike or any sportbike. proper suspension setup and a fork brace will help but there are still limits to it's capabilites. Personally, I ride as aggressive as I want on pavement with my KLR's on knobbies without any issues, but certainly not sportbike aggressive.

If I was doing pavement only, or pavement plus graded dirt roads, I'd probably consider a different bike; my Versys was better than the KLR in every way on the asphalt. .....off pavement; not so much.

If you find yourself doing all road and already own a KLR, then by all means go with street tires.....if nothing else you'll get longer life from them but I'd caution that you may have more traction than the KLR can/should handle.

2 cents,
Dave
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post #3 of 14 Old 04-21-2017, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Agreed but I use the KLR for both street and dirt so points well taken.
I got a little nervous since I'm riding aggressive enough to be on that last edge of knob where any further in a lean I'd be off the tread. At that point there's no more stick to ground. I have a good feel now where that edge is in my lean so I know the limit.
This bike handles exceptionally well with power where and when needed. For the most part I'm curious what others who have run street only tires have to say about it.
A pretty loaded question lol.
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2016 KLR 650
2017 BMW S1000RR (traded in for
2018 Ducati V4S
1983 GL1100 Goldwing
2017 Yamaha R1
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post #4 of 14 Old 04-21-2017, 02:37 PM
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I put 100 percent street on mine and loved it but all I rode was pavement. I had Continentals. I could drag the pegs.
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post #5 of 14 Old 04-22-2017, 12:30 AM
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Had Gripsters on mine (08), definitely a street biased tire and could routinely drag pegs as well... Mostly turning right it seemed, braver on the right turns for some reason, lol!

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post #6 of 14 Old 04-22-2017, 04:07 AM
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Continental Trail Attacks remain an excellent pavement-biased tread, with some dirt-and-gravel potential, in my experience. Mud? Not so much!
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post #7 of 14 Old 04-22-2017, 08:00 PM
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I agree with Dave about the KLR's long travel suspension, but also have a slightly different opinion/ point of view about it. No doubt that soft, long travel suspension is gonna feel all mushy on a nice groomed road. Ever notice how loose the Motogp bikes get with the slightest contact of a curb?

I've had some good handling ( not overly great) bikes in the past and the stiff, short travel suspension that makes bikes bite in to the pavement so wellat high speed is only as good as the road itself IMO. In the rough, bumpy, cracked up backroads I live and ride on, the KLR's long travel, soft suspension actually helps it conform to the road surface and actually allow it to grip the road better. Notice the sumo craze? I think that's a large part of it IMO.

For example, I had an 1980 CB750F that had been updated with CBR forks( internals had been worked over), wheels, brakes, etc. It was still riding on older twin shocks out back, but the suspension was very nice and it was running very sticky 17" sport bike tires ( Pirelli Diablo Rosso 2's). There was one particular curve that I finally managed to get that bike through at 45mph. Pegs dragging, tires skidding and giving it my best. It was doable, but never comfortable. Always a rush. I took out a mailbox once with my helmet in that corner.

However, I now ride comfortably through that same corner with my practically stock KLR on Kenda Trakmaster knobbies at 45mph daily. How? The suspension soaks up the bumps and the tires stay planted. A riding buddy has a Ninja 1000 and he cant keep up with me in the mountains on my knobby wearing KLR.Eats me for lunch on the straights, ofc. His suspension is just too stiff to handle real life roads at speed. Like my old CB, the bike stays upset and can never settle in to the road.

Anyway, speaking of street tires, my KLR had Shinko 705's when I bought it. After getting used to the bike it would take the curve mentioned before at almost 55 mph with no hint of letting go. I was astounded.The bike was completely stock at that point. I think 705's are highly remarkable tires for what they are. They are abysmal offroad and on wet pavement, though. My need for the KLR has changed slightly so I will be going away from full knobs for a while. The bike corners just fine on knobs, but I'm wasting my money chewing up knobs for street riding. I need to get more than 4-5 tanks of fuel out of a rear tire. lol. Gonna give Shinko's 244 rear and 700 front a go and see how it does.
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post #8 of 14 Old 04-28-2017, 08:44 PM
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When I bought my new to me 2012 KLR it had pirelli scorpions on it. 90/10. Great on tar and great in wet. Crap on dirt.
I put some mitas eo8 onto it and loved them. Still excellent on road and great in wet. Still not great on dirt but good enuf for me learning about riding. Got 18000 klm out of the rear and 25000klm out of the front. I've ridden 40000klm in 2 yrs. live in the country so roads are not perfect and there is graded dirt roads around. That being said I also worked in the city for a time and did highway runs regularly which included lots of heavy storms which I could still maintain 110klm/hr on( just want to get home ).loved the eo8's.
Next I tried a 2nd hand Michelin serac at 80%tread. Not bad. Got 10000klm out of it. I rode 80/20 tar dirt.
Now I'm trying a eo7 up front and a Bridgestone trail wing 22 which has a centre strip through the knobs. 8000km on them now and both half gone. Mite get to 15000klm. Love the eo7 on the dirt more than the others.
Thinking of going back to eo8 for better mileage and wet weather feel. It's my daily commute with 20 klm dirt and 130 klm tar return trip.
I know it's a road Tyre thread so I would recommend the pirelli scorpion for full road riding but the mitas eo8 is excellent on road for grip, wet and dry carving and it goes alright with a bit of dirt thrown in.
Trailwing 22 rear

Mitas eo7 front
Both at 8000klm

Mitas eo8 with 18000klm on it

Anyone get better mileage from something similar?

My 2cents
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post #9 of 14 Old 04-28-2017, 09:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klrhino View Post
When I bought my new to me 2012 KLR it had pirelli scorpions on it. 90/10. Great on tar and great in wet. Crap on dirt.
I put some mitas eo8 onto it and loved them. Still excellent on road and great in wet. Still not great on dirt but good enuf for me learning about riding. Got 18000 klm out of the rear and 25000klm out of the front. I've ridden 40000klm in 2 yrs. live in the country so roads are not perfect and there is graded dirt roads around. That being said I also worked in the city for a time and did highway runs regularly which included lots of heavy storms which I could still maintain 110klm/hr on( just want to get home ).loved the eo8's.
Next I tried a 2nd hand Michelin serac at 80%tread. Not bad. Got 10000klm out of it. I rode 80/20 tar dirt.
Now I'm trying a eo7 up front and a Bridgestone trail wing 22 which has a centre strip through the knobs. 8000km on them now and both half gone. Mite get to 15000klm. Love the eo7 on the dirt more than the others.
Thinking of going back to eo8 for better mileage and wet weather feel. It's my daily commute with 20 klm dirt and 130 klm tar return trip.
I know it's a road Tyre thread so I would recommend the pirelli scorpion for full road riding but the mitas eo8 is excellent on road for grip, wet and dry carving and it goes alright with a bit of dirt thrown in.
Trailwing 22 rear

Mitas eo7 front
Both at 8000klm

Mitas eo8 with 18000klm on it

Anyone get better mileage from something similar?

My 2cents
klrhino, You either need to practice your 'evasive maneuvers' more or quit slowing down on the Few Corners which you might have on your commute!

Them tires are pretty square.
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post #10 of 14 Old 04-28-2017, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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klrhino, thank you for the info and pics. It was very helpful.
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2017 BMW S1000RR (traded in for
2018 Ducati V4S
1983 GL1100 Goldwing
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