Kawasaki KLR Forum banner

1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,362 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Comments welcome.



________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sensible Tire Classification
Tire Rating
Symbol
Description
Green circle

Purely a street tire. Excellent road performance in braking, cornering, and life expectancy.
Not intended nor recommended for off-pavement use. Characterized by continuous tread blocking, narrow grooves, considerable rain siping.
Example: Michelin Pilot Road series
Blue square

Similar to a street tire but with much wider and deeper grooving and less reliance on rain siping. Tread blocking may be continuous or segregated into large, close spaced blocks. Suitable for fire roads roads, firm and rocky Jeep trails,any rolling two-track.
Not suitable for loose and slippery surfaces such as uphill gravel, mud, may be difficult in sand and gravel.
Example: Pirelli MT60
Black diamond

A street-legal knobby tire. Characterized by a fair amount of open space between the knobs, which may be small in size. Suitable for easy single track and moderately loose surfaces such as shale, gravel, sand, decomposed granite, etc.
May be difficult in deep, dry sand, deep gravel, and loose deep mud.
Example: Michelin Anakee
Double black diamond

An aggressive knobby which may or may not be street legal. Has very large knobs and equally large spacing between the knobs. Uncompromising approach to off-road traction; suitable for all of road conditions.
Not suitable for road use due to poor life expectancy, excessive noise and vibration.
Example: Metzeler MC360
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,822 Posts
Comments welcome.



________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sensible Tire Classification
Tire Rating
Symbol
Description

Green circle
Purely a street tire. Excellent road performance in braking, cornering, and life expectancy.
Not intended nor recommended for off-pavement use. Characterized by continuous tread blocking, narrow grooves, considerable rain siping.
Example: Michelin Pilot Road series

Blue square
Similar to a street tire but with much wider and deeper grooving and less reliance on rain siping. Tread blocking may be continuous or segregated into large, close spaced blocks. Suitable for fire roads roads, firm and rocky Jeep trails,any rolling two-track.
Not suitable for loose and slippery surfaces such as uphill gravel, mud, may be difficult in sand and gravel.
Example: Pirelli MT60

Black diamond
A street-legal knobby tire. Characterized by a fair amount of open space between the knobs, which may be small in size. Suitable for easy single track and moderately loose surfaces such as shale, gravel, sand, decomposed granite, etc.
May be difficult in deep, dry sand, deep gravel, and loose deep mud.
Example: Michelin Anakee

Double black diamond
An aggressive knobby which may or may not be street legal. Has very large knobs and equally large spacing between the knobs. Uncompromising approach to off-road traction; suitable for all of road conditions.
Not suitable for road use due to poor life expectancy, excessive noise and vibration.
Example: Metzeler MC360
Might re-space the text portion above, Tom? And add a couple more suggested examples to each catagory?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,362 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The text was copied and pasted so folks could easily edit it. The forum won't allow the uploading of a .docx file.

I'm open to suggestions of examples as well as edits to the words. My experience with tires is rather limited.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
401 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
401 Posts
All those knobbies with huge rectangular gaps… gotta be double-diamond right? Barely for the road if at all? I've edited my earlier post and added it to the list!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,595 Posts
All those knobbies with huge rectangular gaps… gotta be double-diamond right? Barely for the road if at all? I've edited my earlier post and added it to the list!
Good job, and appropriately classified by you IMHO, samuel!

As mentioned: The TrakMaster IIs are versatile; better on pavement than one might think!

Surprising, to be sure, but . . . validated to me, from my experience, at least.

And . . . they are DOT (Department of Transportation) street-worthy! :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
401 Posts
So these are great for dirt, OK for street, noisy on the highway, and perhaps a lil' squirrelly in a crosswind (am I remembering that correctly)? Eventually I feel like I'm going to end up with >1 pair of tires… perhaps worth a look for camping days.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,595 Posts
Didn't notice excessive noise on the highway, nor particular difficulty in a crosswind. My riding style: I don't channel John Surtees on the pavement, myself, or race sport bikes in the twisties. Surely, the laws of physics apply to these tires, as they do to all knobbies. Certainly, the tread wears faster on the slab than does a less aggressive tread.

I have two sets of wheels for my KLR650; one fitted with 50/50 Kenda K270s; the other with TrakMaster IIs. I expected great road compromise with the knobbies; was surprised by their control and stability on asphalt and concrete.

No, the GP racers don't use knobbies; I'd just say I can ride TrakMaster IIs on the Interstate, within conservative reason, without becoming in my view a particular hazard and menace to safety; YMMV!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
401 Posts
Ah, I must have been remembering something else… difficult to keep track of the various snippets as I scan past/present forums. TrakMaster IIs: impression updated.

Alright, I'm off for the second wave of carb tweaks. Wish me luck…
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
Those symbols are the same shapes and colors of the mountain bike trail difficulty rating system, except for a white circle (easiest trail) is missing.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,362 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Bill,

That's by design, except for the white circle. Seemed unnecessary.

Doesn't it seem more logical to specify tires according to their use and capabilities? Would you take a Maxxis DTH Urban on a Black Diamond trail beacuse "I only ride like this 10% of the time", or would you be better off with a tire designed for that trail, like a Conti Baron?

BTW, it started as a ski trail designator...
 
  • Like
Reactions: DPelletier

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
Bill,

That's by design, except for the white circle. Seemed unnecessary.

Doesn't it seem more logical to specify tires according to their use and capabilities? Would you take a Maxxis DTH Urban on a Black Diamond trail beacuse "I only ride like this 10% of the time", or would you be better off with a tire designed for that trail, like a Conti Baron?

BTW, it started as a ski trail designator...
I think it's fair to say that the number of discussions about dual sport tire selection, particularly in the FB Groups, is an indication that there's something askew with the current state of dual sport tire definition and classification. From my own experience, I'm thinking that there's probably not much of an issue when it comes to road bikes (pure on-road) and motocross (pure off-road). But, add the two (dual sportin') and it gets murky for a lot of people because there's a big range of skill levels looking at the same surfaces and classifications. For example, I can get by with a 50-50 in sugar sand. In fact I just did last month on a three day rally in sandy Ocala National Forest on set of Dunlop D605s. I've now moved to 10-90 Michelin AC10s, but it's on a bike that will see minimal pavement. Someone with less experience in the sand would definitely benefit from those AC10s I just spooned on...but they'd make for a miserable day on the road. So, bottom line, I don't have any real good answers, but I think that skill level is something that needs to be considered with the two dimensions of dual sport. :serious:
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,362 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
To me, the real point is "What should the tire be used for" and/or "I want to ride X so what tire should I be looking at?".

What can be done by a skilled rider with an inappropriate tire for the terrain shouldn't be part of the equation for rating/ranking tires. That should be the rider's choice based upon an honest evaluation of his skills.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
401 Posts
Speaking not from experience but from the perspective of someone who is actively trying to figure this stuff out, I think the issue with choosing tires for a range of settings is that, as always, there's inherent compromise on any topic where multiple means of estimation are in play. We can try to make one choice that "averages out" the various factors, but the compromises still exist.

Tire manufacturer claims of "quiet, equally grippy on sand and wet asphalt, infinite life" notwithstanding, it doesn't seem like there's anything out there that covers all the bases. So it really comes down to being honest with yourself about the relative importance of the factors you're weighing, and accepting that, given constraints such as skill level etc., you will have to compromise your plans (or abandon some part thereof) in order to meet your more important requirements. But I think directing the conversation toward specific uses and talking about the factors that are influenced by any decision, is better than coming up with a ratio and saying, "Well you spend x% of your time on this surface category, so here's your tire." It's more like "What are you willing to lose to get X?"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
What can be done by a skilled rider with an inappropriate tire for the terrain shouldn't be part of the equation for rating/ranking tires. That should be the rider's choice based upon an honest evaluation of his skills.
No, I don't agree that a 50/50 tire is an "inappropriate" tire for sand riding (based on my comment in earlier post). I go to a lot of sandy rallies where bikes run 50/50s and riders do just fine, as I did back in December. As to the second sentence, this whole topic seemed to be tire selection across all skill levels, so my point is why not take that into consideration. Is the classification system in the initial post just for weekend warriors? Being an experienced rider doesn't mean you know everything about every tire. Any classification needs to work for the full range of dual sport enthusiasts, not just the less experienced end.

Further, my lack of skills were not the reason that I went to the AC10. I went to those because the motorcycle (a fresh off the showroom floor KLX250) is being set up purely for rallies. Trailered and carefully chosen rallies to avoid pavement as much as possible. It goes without saying that a 10-90 DOT knobby is going to do better than a 50-50 in the sand; I've never heard anyone contest that, anyway. The duality of tire use and the wide spectrum of skill level exist. There needs to be a way to put them together in a tire classification scenario...

...and, I think I have one to throw out....working....


To me, the real point is "What should the tire be used for" and/or "I want to ride X so what tire should I be looking at?".
As I mentioned and whether anyone agrees, I think this is an issue largely isolated to dual sport tires which underlies my comments. The problem with the two points is both are singular...what should the tire be used for (singular purpose) and I want to ride X (singular surface type). I believe the crux of the dual sport tire problem is that the current two dimensional approach is confusing and, perhaps, inconsistent.


***
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
541 Posts
Speaking not from experience but from the perspective of someone who is actively trying to figure this stuff out, I think the issue with choosing tires for a range of settings is that, as always, there's inherent compromise on any topic where multiple means of estimation are in play. We can try to make one choice that "averages out" the various factors, but the compromises still exist.

Tire manufacturer claims of "quiet, equally grippy on sand and wet asphalt, infinite life" notwithstanding, it doesn't seem like there's anything out there that covers all the bases. So it really comes down to being honest with yourself about the relative importance of the factors you're weighing, and accepting that, given constraints such as skill level etc., you will have to compromise your plans (or abandon some part thereof) in order to meet your more important requirements. But I think directing the conversation toward specific uses and talking about the factors that are influenced by any decision, is better than coming up with a ratio and saying, "Well you spend x% of your time on this surface category, so here's your tire." It's more like "What are you willing to lose to get X?"
I don't think skill level is a constraint. I think something like the limited time you have to practice your skills is a constraint. There is a "Sport" component of Dual Sport and like any sport we need to practice to get better. Your compromises will change as your skill level improves (you recognize that in your comment) and those changes will probably be accompanied with changes in your tire selections.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,022 Posts
Skill can make up for a poor tire choice but a poor tire choice remains a poor tire choice.....I don't think there is any reasonable way to introduce skill and experience into a tire rating system.

I certainly agree that dual sports face a level of compromises with tires (and everything else for that matter!) that pure street or dirt bikes don't have to deal with......or at least not to anywhere near the same degree.

2 cents,
Dave
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Top