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Discussion Starter #1
Recently picked up an 09 KLR650 that has Shinko 705 tires on them that are mostly warn, both the front and back are down to the tread wear bars.

I'm trying to decide if I want to buy another set of 705s or switch to 244s with a more aggressive tread. Since tire choice depends on riding types and surface, here's a little info. On my plans for riding.

I rode mostly pavement 80+%in Florida and I'm a big guy at 6'2" and 300 lbs. When I do ride off road it's mostly sandy trails, I stay out of the really sugary sand. I also ride a few times a year on the NC mountain twisty roads and like good grip on the roads. I've done a few Dixie dual sport "adventure" level rides on my Ural sidecar rig with heidenaus knobby type tires and would like to try one on the KLR. I installed tusk panniers and plan to load the bike up for a few longer trips.

It's hard to tell since the 705s I have are worn down but they look like they will handle most of what I want to do, but according to the reviews here and at adv, they don't seem to do well in the sand. Even worn, they ride great on the pavement. But I haven't taken them off road yet.

From what I've read here the 244s might be better on sandy trails but not as good on the pavement at highway speeds and in the twisty turns. A few folks say they are like riding on marbles, especially when new.

Anybody here tried both or can offer any advice on these or other options?
 

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I read a great comment somewhere, perhaps here in this forum, regarding considerations for dual sport tire selection.

The comment was, " You never get stuck on the road." :smile2:

Essentially the guy was saying, no matter how much off road riding you do (assuming you do some), get the most aggressive off road tire that you can be comfortable with. That one time you "don't" get that big pig stuck will make it worth it.



As far as road handling, many of the more aggressive block knobby tires do pretty well on the road. I run Continental TKC80 TwinDuros (40/60 tires) on my KLR650 and Shinko E804/805 Big Block Adventure Tires (40/60) on my DR650. Not recommending; just saying.

I was up in North Carolina with the KLR in early April (freezing my ass off) and ran the Dragon a number of times...very aggressively with the Contis. They did better than okay...they did great!!!!



The one thing to keep in mind is the more aggressive the tire, the worse they are in wet weather conditions, something we deal with quite a bit. Specifically, tight turning and braking. Doesn't mean you can't ride wet roads. It just means slow down more for corners and allow more distance in braking.

The other thing I ran into in NC was snow up on top of the Cherohala. I had no idea how to deal with that stuff, so I turned around. Bummer, that's my favorite road up there. :serious:
__________

Also, I ride with Dixie Dual Sports, so next event let's team up. But yer gonna need something better than the 244s. I ran the Devils Creek Discovery Class this year on the Conti's. I'll be getting a set of D606s next year.
 

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Have had K270s (not unlike 244 tread design), Continental Trail Attacks, and TrakMaster IIs on my KLR650.

TrailAttacks, outstanding on pavement; wouldn't depend upon 'em too far off road.

K270s, I found to be well-balanced 50/50 tires; never folded any knobs/lugs as far as I know, but maybe I don't ride as aggressively on paved curves as some.

TrakMaster IIs: DOT knobby; more versatile than you'd think on the slab, but . . . had a bad front-tire wash-out on a hard surface road, after an oncoming UPS truck played "chicken" with me. Beware sharp lateral turns on hard surfaces.

Now have Vee Rubber 401s, more-or-less big-block tread, on my KTM690; perform well on pavement, haven't much off-road experience yet.

Sand performance of these tires? No speeka SAND! :)
 

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Have had K270s (not unlike 244 tread design), Continental Trail Attacks, and TrakMaster IIs on my KLR650.

TrailAttacks, outstanding on pavement; wouldn't depend upon 'em too far off road.

K270s, I found to be well-balanced 50/50 tires; never folded any knobs/lugs as far as I know, but maybe I don't ride as aggressively on paved curves as some.

TrakMaster IIs: DOT knobby; more versatile than you'd think on the slab, but . . . had a bad front-tire wash-out on a hard surface road, after an oncoming UPS truck played "chicken" with me. Beware sharp lateral turns on hard surfaces.

Now have Vee Rubber 401s, more-or-less big-block tread, on my KTM690; perform well on pavement, haven't much off-road experience yet.

Sand performance of these tires? No speeka SAND, but I'd bet TrakMaster IIs the best of the lot! :)
 

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I had Mefo Explorers and loved them for 7,875 miles. I just changed to Michelin Anakee IIIs and I sit here with a broken collar bone when the tire gave up the grip...where the Mefo's rode right through.
So, I don't recommend the Michelin's and won't for the next 6 weeks while I cannot ride at all! I should have returned to the Mefos!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
I read a great comment somewhere, perhaps here in this forum, regarding considerations for dual sport tire selection.

The comment was, " You never get stuck on the road." :smile2:

Essentially the guy was saying, no matter how much off road riding you do (assuming you do some), get the most aggressive off road tire that you can be comfortable with. That one time you "don't" get that big pig stuck will make it worth it.



As far as road handling, many of the more aggressive block knobby tires do pretty well on the road. I run Continental TKC80 TwinDuros (40/60 tires) on my KLR650 and Shinko E804/805 Big Block Adventure Tires (40/60) on my DR650. Not recommending; just saying.

I was up in North Carolina with the KLR in early April (freezing my ass off) and ran the Dragon a number of times...very aggressively with the Contis. They did better than okay...they did great!!!!



The one thing to keep in mind is the more aggressive the tire, the worse they are in wet weather conditions, something we deal with quite a bit. Specifically, tight turning and braking. Doesn't mean you can't ride wet roads. It just means slow down more for corners and allow more distance in braking.

The other thing I ran into in NC was snow up on top of the Cherohala. I had no idea how to deal with that stuff, so I turned around. Bummer, that's my favorite road up there. :serious:
__________

Also, I ride with Dixie Dual Sports, so next event let's team up. But yer gonna need something better than the 244s. I ran the Devils Creek Discovery Class this year on the Conti's. I'll be getting a set of D606s next year.
I did the C-FL, Devil's Creek "Adventure" level ride and the Orlando Bike show ride with DDS in 2014 on my Ural, I probably saw you there at one of those. Swampy does a great job laying out those rides and Miss Linda does a great job with the food.

I missed the 2015 and 2016 rides due to being diagnosed with cancer and going through chemo and treatment. Getting a KLR to go on longer trips was on my bucket list for a long time and I promised myself one if I survived chemo. I'm in full remission now and have most of my energy and strength back and able to ride again. Moab, the Grand Canyon, and Alaska are on the bucket list and the KLR is the tool. Not sure when I will make that first trip, maybe later this year when it cools off or early next year.

I'm not crazy, strong (yet), in shape (my current shape is pear) nor young (almost 50) enough to do the Discovery ride in the swamps yet. I'll stick to the Adventure level paved/gravel/light dirt road rides. I'm not ready for any extreme off roading yet. I damn sure aint ready to get stuck like the picture above. Most of my other riding is on the numbered roads in the Ocala Forest but not the Jeep trails with foot deep sugar sand.

From what I've seen of the Shinkos 705's I have on the bike now, if they were new and not almost bald, I think they would probably handle 95-98% of the DDS Adventure level rides with no problem. There were a couple of sandy spots on the C-FL and Orlando Bike show rides thru the orange groves that might have given them trouble. I understand from reading here if you lower the air pressure a little on the Shinkos, they work better in the soft stuff. I got a small compressor I can throw in one of the panniers to re-inflate them when it's time to ride home.

You live here in FL, so you understand wet roads are an almost daily occurrence her for at least 6 moths out of the year. Probably 80-90% of my riding will be on Florida pavement. So I am trying to decide if going with a more knobby tire like the Shinko 244 or Kenda is worth the drop in paved road, twisty road, and wet weather performance. I'm leaning toward getting the 244's and trying them out. I'm used to having to plan turns and brake well ahead of time on the Ural sidecar rig. If I don't like them, they are cheap enough to replace, and I'm sure a local KLR owner would be happy to take them off my hands.

Thanks for the advice. Hope to see you on the trails...

PS - What kind of tail bag is that in your stuck in the mud picture?
 

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I missed the 2015 and 2016 rides due to being diagnosed with cancer and going through chemo and treatment.
Dang, John. Sorry to hear this. I have a sis in DFW going through that currently. It's just horrible. Wishes for a quick recovery.

I'll tell you one good thing I did for getting the KLR unstuck. I bought a set of the DirtRacks Rear Side Bars back in December when DirtRacks offered a 20% off deal over on the .net forum. Not only have they proved to be good wipe out guards, they make the best handles for two guys to work the KLR out of that and about any other type of situation.

1987-2013 Kawasaki KLR650 side crash bar

I have about a dozen tail bags. That one is a Motocentric Mototreck Roll Bag. At 33 liters it's my biggest tail bag.

MotoCentric Mototrek Roll Tail Bag - Motorcycle Superstore
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Dang, John. Sorry to hear this. I have a sis in DFW going through that currently. It's just horrible. Wishes for a quick recovery.

I'll tell you one good thing I did for getting the KLR unstuck. I bought a set of the DirtRacks Rear Side Bars back in December when DirtRacks offered a 20% off deal over on the .net forum. Not only have they proved to be good wipe out guards, they make the best handles for two guys to work the KLR out of that and about any other type of situation.

1987-2013 Kawasaki KLR650 side crash bar

I have about a dozen tail bags. That one is a Motocentric Mototreck Roll Bag. At 33 liters it's my biggest tail bag.

MotoCentric Mototrek Roll Tail Bag - Motorcycle Superstore
No worries... Fortunately, for the type the non-Hodgkins lymphoma cancer I had, they have very good treatment for and can eradicate it in most cases. They caught it fairly early and the treatment went well.

Those side guards look good. But I've already installed a Tusk pannier racks and the Tusk pannier cans on the KLR for going touring. On DDS rides, I wouldn't have the pannier cans mounted (except for maybe the C-FL) so if I did get stuck somehow (hard to do on the Adventure level rides), the pannier racks would make good grab handles, they mount at 3 points to the frame and rear subframe.

I'm looking for a tailbag and maybe a better tank bag. I've got an older generic magnetic tank bag that I use with the Ural, but it doesn't fit all that great on the KLR.
 

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The TKC 80 is a good tire. I did 300 miles of mostly gravel, a little two track, and some twisty tar. The were very good but they do wear fairly quickly. I won't put anything but knobbies on the klr and I'm not too concerned about cost, some are but... Like stated above nobody gets stuck on the road, tar.

I really would like to try the mefo explorers though. Sounds like a great tire. My understanding is the k60 are not as long lasting with the smaller size as opposed to what is used on bigger bikes. A buddy just changed his k60 out and got 12K on it. He does do a fair amount of two track and tar.
 

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I had Mefo Explorers and loved them for 7,875 miles. I just changed to Michelin Anakee IIIs and I sit here with a broken collar bone when the tire gave up the grip...where the Mefo's rode right through.
So, I don't recommend the Michelin's and won't for the next 6 weeks while I cannot ride at all! I should have returned to the Mefos!!!
I'm now in my fifth week nursing a knee injury, MCL Tear (stands for Medial Collateral Ligament). Decent knobbies, got caught up trying to burn out of a rut a little too fast...sh*t happens. The injury really doesn't hurt, just restricts how far I can bend my knee. It seems to be coming along. Yesterday, I was able to get my heal up on the peg. I broke my collar bone in 2006 riding my YZ426F. It took way more than six weeks to heal. Of course, everything takes longer to heal when we get older.
 

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Back to the original question, 244's or 705's. I put 244's on at 4K after the OEM crap Dunlops were well....Dun...loped. The 244's were excellent on gravel roads, okay in sand and mud, and surprisingly okay on pavement below 60mph but this bike ain't made for speed. Above 60mph and you get lots of shimmy. Also, the front wore uneven and scalloped even when balanced properly at the end of it's life.

At 12K I installed the 705's which are much quieter and handle better on pavement but the off road is noticeably not very stable in gravel, sand, and terrible in mud. I ride 60-70% pavement, lots of gravel back roads, and some logging roads but nothing too hairy. I'm at 18K on the 705's and will see another 3K before I go back to the 244's.
 

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I ran the 705's F/R on my bike and I like them. They are definitely a more balanced road tire and do pretty good in the dirt. Rear traction never seemed to be an issue up here in the hard pack and rocks but the front would tend to wash out in the marbles pretty quickly if you weren't paying attention. I never aired down but that most likely would have helped along with a better suspension in the forks.
I just ordered another set for my Strom so we'll see how well they do on a bigger bike with better suspension under it.

I'm running Heidenau K60's on my Strom now and they grip the road and dirt excellent, but while stopping the rear end want's to skid way to easily IMO. I'm trying something cheaper for now before I go back to them.
 

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Had a 244 rear on my '08 for the last year and like it - no complaints.

K270 on the front and I hate it - squirmy side knobs will wake you up unpleasantly on the road as soon as you get any lean on.

Just replaced it with a 244 front - similar tread design, but much chunkier better reinforced side knobs. Haven't tested it yet.

The 244 is a close copy of the original tire of this design, the IRC GP-1, which is a great tire but expensive and wears fast.
 

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I just purchased shinko 700's, on of the fellas at the LBS had ridden both the 705 and 700 all year and suggested the 700 due to better performance in wet conditions, the tire is claimed to be a 70%/30% tire. could look into those as well.
 

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I have the 705's on my 03klr and love them put a decent amount of miles on them in South Texas lots of highway, hard packed lease roads and even riding in a few flash flood/heavy rain with no complaints I like them so much I've been toying with the idea of throwing a set on my 96 suzuki bandit

Sent from my SM-G928V using Tapatalk
 

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I ran Shinko 804/805'so on my Wee-Strom. Really pleased with them on the gravel and dirt here in the Black Hills. They worked fine on dry paveme6as well. Never got to test them in the wet or mud. Will put them on my 09 KLR as soon as the OEM Dunlops are gone. 2900 on the Dunlop now, won't be long.
 

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I read a great comment somewhere, perhaps here in this forum, regarding considerations for dual sport tire selection.

The comment was, " You never get stuck on the road." :smile2:

Essentially the guy was saying, no matter how much off road riding you do (assuming you do some), get the most aggressive off road tire that you can be comfortable with. That one time you "don't" get that big pig stuck will make it worth it.
I may have said something like that once or twice....:grin2:


I've almost stopped posting on tire threads; they remind me of oil threads!

But, in a nutshell, that's how I feel. If you commute on the slab for 2 hrs every day, then ignore me but my current "go to" is my D606 rear and MT21 front.....great offroad traction and I've managed some pretty spirited road riding as well. I can go as fast around corners as I want to in a KLR.

Another way to say it is that knobbies suck less on pavement than street tires do in the mud/sand.

I've also liked TKC80's and T63's (though somebody said they've changed and I haven't used them in awhile. If I was doing a long trip with a bunch of road, I'd also look at K60's or Mitas E07's.


Dave
 
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