Tires for mud - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-05-2020, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Tires for mud

Hi, recently bought an '08 KLR for back country purposes in New Mexico. The roads are all dirt, and my issue is in heavy rain they turn to mud that is like solid ice in terms of traction for my 4x4 truck. The KLR is specifically so I can get out to civilization in those muddy times.

Any thoughts on the 'best' tires for dealing with mud?

Maybe a stupid question, because the truck tire tread simply fills with mud and becomes slick, my hope for something different here may be fruitless. Please don't tell me to just ride around the mud, it's not actually possible in most cases due to cattle fencing.
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-06-2020, 09:12 AM
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I hear ya.

I have a Pirelli MT21 on the front that has proven itself in Appalachian mud. Would recommend.

I'm due for a rear tire and trying to make the decision. I do mud, but I also commute. I'd rather have the mud abilities when I need it, even if it means a shorter lifespan than a streetier tire. I think. If I go muddier, Dunlop D606 and Continental Twinduro TKC80 are on the top of my list; and they seem to be well liked here.

My second tier choices, none of which I know or have heard much about, especially regarding mud:
Kenda K760 (very inexpensive, tread pattern looks mud friendly)
metzeler KAROO 3 (Perhaps less mud option)
metzeler ENDURO 3 SAHARA (Perhaps less mud option)
Shinko E804/E805 - reportedly shed mud better than expected

Happy shopping!
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-06-2020, 09:39 AM
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my preferred combo; Dunlop D606 rear and Pirelli MT21 front do well in mud while still being reasonable on pavement

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post #4 of 12 Old 04-06-2020, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Patton View Post
Hi, recently bought an '08 KLR for back country purposes in New Mexico. The roads are all dirt, and my issue is in heavy rain they turn to mud that is like solid ice in terms of traction for my 4x4 truck. The KLR is specifically so I can get out to civilization in those muddy times.

Any thoughts on the 'best' tires for dealing with mud?

Maybe a stupid question, because the truck tire tread simply fills with mud and becomes slick, my hope for something different here may be fruitless. Please don't tell me to just ride around the mud, it's not actually possible in most cases due to cattle fencing.
Robert, You may find that your KLR has more problems with western mud than your truck! I'm guessing that your NM mud is a lot like WY mud. It sticks to the bottoms of your feet when you have to walk in it & pretty quickly your boots are the size of snowshoes.

The KLR650 has very little clearance between the swingarm & the front of the rear tire. The sticky mud is shaved off of the rear tire & packs on top of the swingarm, between the rear shock & passenger peg brackets & the rear inner fender. The gravel with-in the mud gets a lot of traction in that tight confined area, bringing a KLR to a halt fairly quickly.
It ain't a dirt bike, much less a mud racer.

Been many clutch plates burned up in these sticky situations, because people won't get their hands muddy & dig out the mud plug.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-06-2020, 05:16 PM
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The 805's are great for sink in it mud. Surface mud not so much because the linear lugs lack the lateral stability of a more staggered knobby.
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-07-2020, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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This mud is more surface/slippery, not the sink into it kind, and it does stick to tires. I appreciate the replies, I'm going with the D606 and MT21 in hopes it work out. I suspect the mud is similar to what pdwestman reports, so this may not help much, but any little bit helps. We get stuck for 3-4 days at a time, so if this even cuts a day off it would be worth it. And anyway, it seems like a fun bike to ride round in normal weather as well. Certainly the opposite end of the spectrum from my main bike, a Duc 998. Thanks!
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post #7 of 12 Old 04-08-2020, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hvymax View Post
The 805's are great for sink in it mud. Surface mud not so much because the linear lugs lack the lateral stability of a more staggered knobby.
My experience exactly.

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post #8 of 12 Old 04-08-2020, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Patton View Post
This mud is more surface/slippery, not the sink into it kind, and it does stick to tires. I appreciate the replies, I'm going with the D606 and MT21 in hopes it work out. I suspect the mud is similar to what pdwestman reports, so this may not help much, but any little bit helps. We get stuck for 3-4 days at a time, so if this even cuts a day off it would be worth it. And anyway, it seems like a fun bike to ride round in normal weather as well. Certainly the opposite end of the spectrum from my main bike, a Duc 998. Thanks!
Installing a smaller front sprocket will amplify the torque, lower your road speed at any given rpm and most importantly in this case, allow more clearance between rear tire & front of swingarm.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-08-2020, 05:41 PM
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I would recommend the Motoz Tractionator Desert H/T. Long lasting and great in the dirt and mud.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-08-2020, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdwestman View Post
Installing a smaller front sprocket will amplify the torque, lower your road speed at any given rpm and most importantly in this case, allow more clearance between rear tire & front of swingarm.
I must be on drugs; how does the sprocket have anything to do with rear tire/swingarm clearance?

I would have thought that tire/swingarm clearance could only be affected by wheel or tire diameter, but maybe I'm just dense.

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