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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
Yet we introduce skill as a component of virtually every dual sport rally....the platform where our motorcycles and skills are put to the test. I normally run 6-8 "Dual Sport" Rallies a year (2018 was bad year where I did only 2. one in March and one in December). Irrespective, every one has/had a component of skill in the tracks or groups that each participant follows or joins and it ain't about tires.

My most recent rally was the annual Polar Bear Rally (January 4-6) where the 150+ riders were categorized A, B, C or D. I'm attaching a link below to Adventure Rider where you can see the category definitions. There's nothing about what tires one's riding in there.

So, kind of where my thinking is going is, if you take those four categories of skill (A-D), then create categories of dual sport trail surface types, then you could plug in the tire categories (green circle-double black diamond, if you wanted to use those) by skill level in a matrix format...i.e. the basic X and Y axis analysis. Personally, I think it would be better to use actual tire models than color/shapes, but either way the result would be something along the lines of a more experienced rider having a broader selection of tires (necessary for broader pavement use consideration) and a lesser experienced rider having a lesser selection (they're just going to have to use more aggressive tires until their skills improve).

Personally, I think this actually tracks the old adage that I attribute to you that one never gets stuck on the road. Essentially, the matrix approach kind of paraphrases that by saying that a rider should get the most aggressive tire relative to their trail plans that they can reasonably put up with on pavement.


Polar Bear Rally Thread
https://advrider.com/f/threads/2019-polar-bear-adventure-rally.1339234/


Hey Samuel, going back to your post, what would your view be of a matrix that on the Y axis (vertical) had four skill levels A-B, one of which you could identify with, and on the X axis (horizontal) had several trail surfaces (minimally hard, soft, intermediate; this is how we used to look at motocross tires). Then the axis' connection was either a symbol of tire tire type or a list of actual brands and models? I mean, at the end of the day, I'm going to get by. The test of a good system is if it responds to all skill levels and, in particular, the more inexperience trying to get into Dual Sport or improve their skill levels.


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…on the Y axis (vertical) had four skill levels A-B, one of which you could identify with, and on the X axis (horizontal) had several trail surfaces (minimally hard, soft, intermediate; this is how we used to look at motocross tires). Then the axis' connection was either a symbol of tire tire type or a list of actual brands and models…
I think that would be pretty cool! I could also see dividing up the trail surfaces into categories and saying something like "beginners will want tires specific to the surface, intermediate riders can often use tires from X categories away, while experts might use tires from N categories away" — with N being a larger number than X, of course. The idea being that with experience comes latitude. What do you think?
 

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just because a skilled rider can get farther in poor conditions with a tire that isn't optimal for it doesn't make any difference as to what tire is the best choice. ....I guess I fail to see the correlation.

I completely agree that you should choose a tire for the worst conditions you expect to ride.

Dave
 

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just because a skilled rider can get farther in poor conditions with a tire that isn't optimal for it doesn't make any difference as to what tire is the best choice. ....I guess I fail to see the correlation.

*snip*

Dave
Nope. I just disagree with that. Imo, it's totally contrary to the concept of dual sport. The word "optimal" is only relevant when put into the context of the rider's individual skill level. Ya'll want to focus on the tire and what's below, such as 50/50 under current classification is totally "inappropriate" for sand. That is just wrong and it's not even indicative of what's going on out there in the real world. I want to focus on the tire and what's below...and above. Obviously we're not going find common ground on this.

Go Saints! :smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I think that what was originally proposed was an alternate, and hopefully more useful, nomenclature for tires to describe what they do. Rather than say that a K761 is a 90/10 tire it would be described as a "Green Square tire", thus putting it in a classification as most suitable for rather mild off-road circumstances, e.g street and fire roads.

I have ridden the K761 though 100 yards of mud, on slick muddy shale uphills/downhills for hours, and through 50-yard-wide sand washes every quarter mile for 5 miles. I did that because I pretty much had to as I had ridden hundreds of miles of pavement to arrive where I was. In each of those cases it wasn't much fun but it got done, I wished for more aggressive tires, I was beaten up and the worst of it was I kept spilling my beer back at camp.

My thoughts on adding variables beyond "best intended usage" is that it becomes not a tire rating system but a decision tree. We could go further than adding skill level and add cost sensitivity. Thus, "if you are an experienced rider and want to spend no more than $100/pair you will be happy with the K761 in situations where a novice would want a Black Diamond tire like the Mitas E07 at $300/pair." Going further (where do we stop?) what about the older rider who is an expert rider? With age comes reduced reaction time, loss of strength, joint deterioration, etc. The aged rider, though expert, may have only two miles of endurance where he once had 20. What then?

This is analogous to, in the skiing rating system, saying "This trail, for an experienced skier, is a Black Diamond. For a novice it is a Double Black Diamond, and for an expert it is a Green Square."
 
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I think that would be pretty cool! I could also see dividing up the trail surfaces into categories and saying something like "beginners will want tires specific to the surface, intermediate riders can often use tires from X categories away, while experts might use tires from N categories away" — with N being a larger number than X, of course. The idea being that with experience comes latitude. What do you think?
Yeah, I think that’s how such a selection procedure would naturally fall out. In dual sport circles, though, riders typically rate themselves similar to the CADS A-B-C-D I previously linked. I understand that we’re not always in a rally or enduro or harescramble or whatever, but I think that approach would be more understandable, even for the casual sportist; rather than beginner and intermediate…plus intermediate is already a tire classification relative to surface hardness. Also experience doesn’t necessarily force the classification in A-D. An experienced rider may decide he’s going to ride the slower and less technical classifications of B or C.
 

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Here's a graphic I worked up for this conversation. If we were to really try to put it on a grid, and to have the axes labelled in a meaningful way, would this be an approach? Also, would the flexibility in this case refer to the tire, or to the rider?

 

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Here's a graphic I worked up for this conversation. If we were to really try to put it on a grid, and to have the axes labelled in a meaningful way, would this be an approach? Also, would the flexibility in this case refer to the tire, or to the rider?

I kind of like your graphic, Samuel. One might could use either the LH 8 or the RH 8 fairly readily. Or even the Center 8.


But your blending of the 'Complete' RH 4 column seem to make the most sense to me. (Street legal / Dual sport)

Or you could take the top & bottom from the 'Fair' column and add to the top & bottom of the 'Complete' 4, to make 6.
And I would suggest that it is to catagorize the Tire only.
 

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Since the vertical axis is the tire classification from the first post, the horizontal axis must be the rider. So if I read this right, a rider with no flexibility in tire choice (due to skill or whatever) is going to have to go with a double black diamond. A rider who posesses the flexibility to make tire choices based on a fairly high skill level can pretty much pick from the full range of green circle tires to double black diamond tires. I think that's pretty much what we were talking about.

Now, if tires were rated by the shape/color system (as below) you'd have a nice tool for people to focus on their tire selection.

Good job, Sir! :smile2:


Comments welcome.



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I kind of like your graphic, Samuel.
Thank you. It was bugging me tho, because I had the colors associated with both table rows and tire type, so I reworked it just now, labelling the rows with text rather than icons, and being explicit about what the colors mean. I didn't understand what you were saying about moving cells from one column to another, but if you want to try explaining again, I'm down to make another draft. Here's my current one:

 
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