Tire Matrix as of 6/5/11 - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 06-05-2011, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Tire Matrix as of 6/5/11

Figured I would compile a quick matrix for tires here. Please offer opinions on the tires and particularly overall value with emphasis on mileage and overall traction with emphasis on pavement.

Bb - Bike Bandit. Mcss - Motorcycle Superstore. F-front r-rear

Shinko 244

F - 27
R - 47. Prices approx same both stores

Shinko 705

F - 47
R - 54. Prices approx same

Metzler t63

F - 62
R - 62. Prices approx same

Dunlop d606



Kenda k761

R-54. Mcss only

Kenda k270



Read many reviews on each.

Some reviewer has lug chunking issues on all of these exc the d606
Some reviewers posted getting 4000-6000 miles on all these
Some reviewers posted getting low mileage on most of these.

My suspicion is people air down for off road and do not air up properly for on road.

Input needed PLEASE
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post #2 of 16 Old 06-05-2011, 12:44 PM
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I saw someone on here posted a D606 chunking badly. 1st I've heard of that.
Picking dual sport tires is like picking a dual sport bike. My best advice is to do the research you're doing and then make a choice knowing that you will not be 100% happy with it. I guess that's why I have a garage full of semi-used tires. One of my DS buds has strong opinions for/against certain tires and bikes. I agree with him on some, I am on the opposite side of the spectrum on others. Lets just say you'll never see him on this site. LOL

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post #3 of 16 Old 06-05-2011, 01:44 PM
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Not on your list, but the Continental TKC 80s are very good tires, and have excellent grip on pavement, even in the rain. They are very expensive, and I haven't gotten much more than 5000 out of a set. Some reports that the German made are better than the Korean made, but my results were pretty much the same between sets, and I have worn out several sets of each. Amazing confidence on these tires, it was hard to make a switch, but money has become very tight so I was forced to give them up.

Lower cost, the Shinko 705s have good grip on the road - good in the wet, decent on gravel, didn't get 5000 out of the rear before it was bald (very bald). Have over 7000 on the front, and it is just starting to get a little choppy.

Replaced the rear Shinko with a Kenda K761 (the Shinko can be difficult to find in stock at various vendors), good wear so far - expect to get better than 5000 out of it. It was spooky in on damp-wet roads for the first 1000 miles or so, but good grip in heavy rain (I may have learned to just slow down a bit - enough to avoid the sudden slippage feeling).

I was on the fence between the Shinko and the Kenda tires, but the more I run the Kenda, the more likely I am to go with a set the next time around, or maybe another Shinko up front and another Kenda on the rear. I am not the only one to find the Kenda a little squirrely on damp roads, so I am a little concerned over what a front would be like.

Haven't run 606s, but if you are primarily focused on paved roads, you may not like them too much from what I have read on various forums. Grip is reported to be good, but noisy on paved roads - more of a dirt oriented tire.

South West moto tires ships for free, the prices are a little higher than most, but if you factor shipping they can be cheaper.

I have purchased many sets of tires over the years from Tires Unlimited out of Ohio - very good service from them, usually have the tires within a couple of days if I order before 10am.

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Oh, and I ran two quarts of hot oil through before filling her up cause I'm anal.
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post #4 of 16 Old 06-05-2011, 08:49 PM
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We are a cheap bunch, KLR riders... I didnt buy a cheap helmet though... I tried the cheap tires and they didnt work out for me. Thanks for the tire matrix, its a good start for some to make a decision by price. Im gonna stick with the T-63s. Excellent traction offraod, and good grip for me on the street in moderate rain. The best all around tire for me based on my riding style.

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post #5 of 16 Old 06-05-2011, 09:27 PM
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I have been very happy with the Kenda K761s. They have delivered about 9000 miles on the rear and my front is currently at about 18000 miles. Mine were squirelly at first, not wanting to turn in and hunting on rain grooves. The front cupped badly quickly, which got cured by reversing its rotational direction. Reversing it also made it handle better. I find them to be a very good road tire. They do a very respectable job on forest service roads, too.

Kenda K270s scare the crap out of me on the pavement. I find them quite unpredictable as to what they are going to do next, as it seems very dependant on surface type and speed. For example, on an asphalt surface they will usually grip pretty well at higher speeds with just a bit of sideslip. At slower speeds they will hunt back and forth, slipping and gripping, on the very same surface. Move to concrete and they may do the opposite. May not. They're like a box of chocolates. As an all around off-road tire I have been pleased with them.


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post #6 of 16 Old 06-05-2011, 11:23 PM
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I've run the Kenda K270, and the Dunlop 606, I liked both, seemed to be better in dirt than on pavement, but not too bad. The K270's as stated above can be a little unnerving on pavement on the twisties. The best tires I have ever run on the KLR were the Pirelli MT90 Scorpion S/T. Better on pavement, and pretty good on the dirt roads, but not as good as the Dunlop or Kenda, but for the fire/forestry roads the Pirelli's were great. The Pirelli's also lasted longer than the Kenda or Dunlops, the longest lasting I've had on the KLR.

On my 2004 KLR I had put over 7,000 on them when I sold it, and the rear was just around 50%. The front even less, I'd say 35-40% used. A bit expensive, but well worth the $$$. Your mileage may vary, depending on your style, I rode 80/20 street/dirt. As soon as the tires I have on this KLR I just picked up need replacing, I'm getting the Pirelli's without question.



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post #7 of 16 Old 06-06-2011, 02:47 PM
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Michelin Enduro!

This their first generation enduro tire. Im gonna say it came out before the T-63. I bought it 140-80-17 just to have as backup. I ended up givin it to a fellow KLR-ista and he loves it!

Check those KNOBS![ATTACH]random pics 033.jpg[/ATTACH]
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post #8 of 16 Old 06-15-2011, 08:12 PM
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i ran the kendra 270's at The Dragon but w/ lower pressure 24-front 28-rear,tires at 50 % they worked great,have since gone to 2.5x17" rim w/130x80x17 on front and rear michelin anakee's they wander a little in the gravel great on pavement
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post #9 of 16 Old 06-18-2011, 03:58 PM
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270 performance is VERY dependent on tire pressure. For me at 230lbs geared up, 25f 30r street is perfect. go up 5 psi on the front and its scary twitchy. I'm expecting 5-7k on the rear based on current mileage.

I drop to 20/20 in the dirt and they grab and go real nicely. A knobbier front would be nice in the dirt, but not so nice on pavement. They are a very good, very cheap tru 50/50 tire.
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post #10 of 16 Old 06-18-2011, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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I bought a set of the Shinko 244s. I am waiting for the stock to wear out before changing them. I got the set for less than $80. If I don't like them, I will wear them out and try the Kenda 270s. Then, I may try the 705 and the 761. I am sure that among those 4, I will find something I like. I am waiting until tire change time to put my new spring on. I got the 8kg one. If you see me, don't think it is wrong because it is yellow. Their manufacturer messed up on the color. I am thinking about heavier fork springs as well. Still got to put me together a tool tube, tank bag, nerf bags, aux dash with plugs for equipment. Also want to get me a set of helmet compatable Bluetooth earphones and mic for hooking up to the iPhone. I also am looking into more ppe for riding.

Going to post a preliminary review on the sweet cheeks shortly.

- David
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