Pirelli Tires - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-22-2015, 09:49 PM Thread Starter
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Pirelli Tires

Hi All,

I recently purchased a set of Pirelli night dragon tires for my KLR. I noticed on the one that I purchased for the rear 130/80 17 has the word "front" embossed on the sidewall. Is that stating that it is a front tire ? I can't imagine a motorcycle that would run a tire of that size on the front but I have never owned any of the big cruiser style bikes. If indeed it was designed to be used as a front tire would there be any catastrophic events if I used it as a rear ?
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-23-2015, 06:07 AM
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"Front" and "rear" motorcycle tires are designed and constructed differently to address the disparate forces applied to them throughout the duration of their life and both are designed for optimum performance in the correct location. Construction, tread pattern/orientation overall shape, etc. are different.

Aside from obvious external design differences, in a nutshell I believe rear tires are designed/constructed to handle rotational force in 2 directions (braking/acceleration thrust) while front tires are designed to handle more braking loads without being concerned about thrust loads. Rear tires are "flatter" for improved traction while front tires are generally more triangular in shape for steering. Rear tires also carry more of a load than the front.

I wouldn't have any problem doing it as a short-term emergency fix (a few hundred miles) until I could find a suitable replacement, but wouldn't mount a front tire on the rear long-term, even if we're not talking a high-speed sport bike here.

In the end, I would get my answer straight from Pirelli. I'm guessing a "rear" is not available in the correct size?

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post #3 of 8 Old 01-23-2015, 09:11 AM
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Could be part of the "direction of rotation" note. Was the an arrow near the work "Front"?
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post #4 of 8 Old 01-23-2015, 11:33 AM
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Great advice from Planalp. That's definitely a tire designed for use on the front. As Planalp said a rear isn't made in KLR sizing.

Here is some info about the tire I found.

Brand new from Pirelli comes the Night Dragon, the first pavement peeling muscle tire dedicated to V-Twin cruisers, customs and choppers. Driven by racing technology, the Night Dragon is aggressively designed for PERFORMANCE and styled for stance; the Night Dragon intimidates when prowling or parked.

The Night Dragon is a unique, premium product oriented to Harley- Davidson® and metric-cruiser riders demanding gripperformance with forceful style. Today's custom cruisers and hot-rodded V-twins with increased engine sizes, more torque, more horsepower, and upgraded suspensions, create a combination demanding tires dedicated to driving that performance to the pavement of America's highways.

The Night Dragon's street-wise tread pattern blends biker style with riding performance by maximizing the contact patch for fast warm up, quickly giving the rider confidence of stability and traction. The hydrodynamics of its groove placement ensures efficient draining in wet riding conditions; the Night Dragon's front tread design cuts a path through water for the rear, and the calibrated grooves of rear tire disperse the residual water, for controlled grip in all conditions.

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"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #5 of 8 Old 01-27-2015, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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I would like to thank klr4ever and planalp for the direction on this issue. I went to the webb site that I bought the tires from to retrieve their returns policay. They have a phone number so I gave them a call. One of the choices was tech help so I asked the kid who answered the phone if they offered a rear that would be a good match for the front. He could not suggest one !!!! I thought that was odd or is 130/80-17 a hard size to match ? So anyway I am just going to send back the pair and start over again.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-27-2015, 07:37 PM
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I have a set of Pirelli scorpion trails that I run as my street tires. They're great and handle the corners like I can't believe. They wear pretty good too and come in the right size for the KLR. Except I bumped up to the 150/70-17.

Just my .02 worth.

Confidence is the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation."

Jeff in Napa California
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-28-2015, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Campfire,

Thank-you very much for the suggestion. I have a set on order !!!!!!
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-28-2015, 06:41 PM
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I put kenda k761 on mine and I love them. Very cheap too.

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