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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I have a 2018 KLR (of course lol) and I want to order a new front/rear tire. I’m going with the 5.10 rear but don’t know which front to go with the 3.0 or the 3.25 width? I have the 3.25 k270 on my sons DR650 and it looks big. I also read that a DR front wheel is wider then our KLR one is and that’s why I’m wondering if I should get the 3” one as I’m getting the k270 also?
Hoping somebody with some experience can help as I hate changing tires so I want to do it right the first time. Lol
 

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I ran both a KLR650 and DR650 (both 2016s) through June last year. The KLR and DR wheels are 21x1.60 and 21x1.85, but they both have and can accommodate the same spec tire size of 90/90-21. In inches, that metric spec width converts to 3.5 inches. So if that K270 fits on the DR, it’s gonna fit the KLR.

But the questions are how wide is that K270 3.25-21 and how wide of a front tire do you want? The impression you’re getting looking at your son’s DR that it’s wide may be because it is wider than 3.25. I just bought a bike with a 3.00-21 Dunlop D605 (a 50/50 dual sport tire) and it actually measured in at 3.4 inches at the widest tread mark. Different manufacturers have different measurement methods and those old skool imperial inch numbers can be kind of kooky to figure out.

Otherwise, I think tires are a selection process in terms of brands and sizes. On that motorcycle I just bought, I ultimately wanted a tire that was thinner than the stockers (90/90) cuz I think thinner works better for me in sand, and wound up with a 80/100 Michelin AC10.
 

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Tire sizes are an approximation of tire carcass measurement, not tread measurement.

Any 2.75, 3.00, 3.25 inch will fit on a KLR front wheel as will any 80, 90 or 100 mm.

Installing a 2.75 inch or 80 mm tire will tend to 'flatten' the tire contact pattern on the road. Maybe better for flat-landers tread mileage.
Installing a 3.25 inch or 100 mm tire will tend to 'round' the tire contact pattern on the road.

I would recommend my same normal pressure (32-30psi) in any of them, or 2 psi Higher than what you use in the wider rear tires. The skinny front tire needs more psi to support the load, especially during proper braking (primarily front brake).
 

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100mm = 3.94"
90mm = 3.55"
80mm = 3.15"

...is there a difference in where they are measured metric vs. imperial? ....there isn't on car tires. Even if you go with the "soft metric" conversion of 25 mm per inch instead of the correct 25.4mm per inch, you don't get 100mm = 3.25", you get 4".

Dave
 

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....just wondering what the rationale is if anyone knows? Nevermind; it seems I've answered my question.....sorta; metric vs. "alpha"


 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you everyone, I think I’m going to go with the 3” tire.
I was hoping somebody could speak to any rideability difference between the sizes but it doesn’t sound like there will be.
 

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Thank you everyone, I think I’m going to go with the 3” tire.
I was hoping somebody could speak to any rideability difference between the sizes but it doesn’t sound like there will be.
The flat profile of the K270 front tires resists direction changes as compared to a the rounder profile of the K761.
 
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Good call, I think. Some people try to increase the tire sizing to help traction in certain circumstances (mud, sand, etc.) but for the most part it's a mistake IMO for the reasons Paul mentioned. I'd stick with the stock or recommended sizes wherever possible as the shape and profile is far more noticable than any traction difference due to a nominal width increase......plus the rim is designed for a certain size (or size range) and going beyond that would typically hurt more than it helps.

2 cents,
Dave
 

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100mm = 3.94"
90mm = 3.55"
80mm = 3.15"

...is there a difference in where they are measured metric vs. imperial? ....there isn't on car tires. Even if you go with the "soft metric" conversion of 25 mm per inch instead of the correct 25.4mm per inch, you don't get 100mm = 3.25", you get 4".
I grew up with the old imperial measurement method, but it wasn’t until contemporary times that I learned what the imperial measurements meant (my "kooky" comment). Essentially, an imperial measurement with a .00 or .50 means 100% aspect ratio relative to width. So, irrespective of what I said above, I never really expected my 3.00-21 Dunlop D605 to be three inches wide….which is why I measured it to pick a correct replacement size of a tire that I wanted…the AC10 in this case. In the case of the 0.10s (5.10, 5.60), they are supposed to be 82% aspect ratios. Again, the true width is whatever range the manufacturer has set. Bottom line, essentially, when dealing with the imperial measurements we have to get the true measurement from the manufacturer.

Having said that, the question is “where do you measure the width that’s provided to you?” Michelin says you measure at the widest part of the tread. However, my most recent experience was buying a 110/100-18 AC10 only to find it was 130mm at the widest point of the tread.

I was trying to buy a DOT Knobby that was thinner than the OE 120mm width and ended up buying a tire that was 10mm wider (130MM). I complained to Michelin and we continue to work on it. Essentially, they’re saying that they measure the so-called static width at the sidewall, which would line up with my 110/100-18. However, I can show them where they say that the first number is the widest point of the tread width.

Honestly, it really doesn’t matter. The 110/100-18 fit on the bike (a 2019 KLX250) and I’ll probably burn it out in short and get the true size I want, which is 110 mm, in within three or four months.
 

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So am I correct that a 140 series will fit on my KLR?
 
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