What size front tire? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-05-2019, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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What size front tire?

Hi all,
I have a 2018 KLR (of course lol) and I want to order a new front/rear tire. Iím going with the 5.10 rear but donít know which front to go with the 3.0 or the 3.25 width? I have the 3.25 k270 on my sons DR650 and it looks big. I also read that a DR front wheel is wider then our KLR one is and thatís why Iím wondering if I should get the 3Ē one as Iím getting the k270 also?
Hoping somebody with some experience can help as I hate changing tires so I want to do it right the first time. Lol
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-06-2019, 02:55 PM
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Either will fit no problem.

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post #3 of 14 Old 01-06-2019, 06:39 PM
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I ran both a KLR650 and DR650 (both 2016s) through June last year. The KLR and DR wheels are 21x1.60 and 21x1.85, but they both have and can accommodate the same spec tire size of 90/90-21. In inches, that metric spec width converts to 3.5 inches. So if that K270 fits on the DR, itís gonna fit the KLR.

But the questions are how wide is that K270 3.25-21 and how wide of a front tire do you want? The impression youíre getting looking at your sonís DR that itís wide may be because it is wider than 3.25. I just bought a bike with a 3.00-21 Dunlop D605 (a 50/50 dual sport tire) and it actually measured in at 3.4 inches at the widest tread mark. Different manufacturers have different measurement methods and those old skool imperial inch numbers can be kind of kooky to figure out.

Otherwise, I think tires are a selection process in terms of brands and sizes. On that motorcycle I just bought, I ultimately wanted a tire that was thinner than the stockers (90/90) cuz I think thinner works better for me in sand, and wound up with a 80/100 Michelin AC10.
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-06-2019, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Bill10 I better go measure thatís one on the Dr and see what width it really is.
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-07-2019, 11:47 AM
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Tire sizes are an approximation of tire carcass measurement, not tread measurement.

Any 2.75, 3.00, 3.25 inch will fit on a KLR front wheel as will any 80, 90 or 100 mm.

Installing a 2.75 inch or 80 mm tire will tend to 'flatten' the tire contact pattern on the road. Maybe better for flat-landers tread mileage.
Installing a 3.25 inch or 100 mm tire will tend to 'round' the tire contact pattern on the road.

I would recommend my same normal pressure (32-30psi) in any of them, or 2 psi Higher than what you use in the wider rear tires. The skinny front tire needs more psi to support the load, especially during proper braking (primarily front brake).

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post #6 of 14 Old 01-07-2019, 12:05 PM
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100mm = 3.94"
90mm = 3.55"
80mm = 3.15"

...is there a difference in where they are measured metric vs. imperial? ....there isn't on car tires. Even if you go with the "soft metric" conversion of 25 mm per inch instead of the correct 25.4mm per inch, you don't get 100mm = 3.25", you get 4".

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post #7 of 14 Old 01-07-2019, 12:08 PM
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....just wondering what the rationale is if anyone knows? Nevermind; it seems I've answered my question.....sorta; metric vs. "alpha"


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post #8 of 14 Old 01-07-2019, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone, I think Iím going to go with the 3Ē tire.
I was hoping somebody could speak to any rideability difference between the sizes but it doesnít sound like there will be.
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-07-2019, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirtymutt View Post
Thank you everyone, I think Iím going to go with the 3Ē tire.
I was hoping somebody could speak to any rideability difference between the sizes but it doesnít sound like there will be.
The flat profile of the K270 front tires resists direction changes as compared to a the rounder profile of the K761.
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-07-2019, 01:51 PM
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Good call, I think. Some people try to increase the tire sizing to help traction in certain circumstances (mud, sand, etc.) but for the most part it's a mistake IMO for the reasons Paul mentioned. I'd stick with the stock or recommended sizes wherever possible as the shape and profile is far more noticable than any traction difference due to a nominal width increase......plus the rim is designed for a certain size (or size range) and going beyond that would typically hurt more than it helps.

2 cents,
Dave
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