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Thread: Tyre choice - Road or Dual Sport?

  1. #1
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    Tyre choice - Road or Dual Sport?

    Back in the day when I rode sports bikes it was (relatively) easy to pick a tyre. It was always going to be a road sports tyre. I just had to select which sticky boots I wanted. Now I'm on the GS this is the first time I have had to put new tyres on and I find myself in two minds which way to go, road or dual sport.

    I have had Anakees from new and I have around 1000 miles on them. Much of this will be covered before I set off for the NC500 in May where I expect to cover 1600 miles, so a change will have to be made in the next few weeks. I'm not going to get into the detail of what tyre I would choose as I think I have already made my choice in both road and dual sport tyre, I just need to decide which way its going to fall.

    I have, as previously mentioned, rode sports bikes and since getting the GS I was pretty much exclusively been on tarmac. There have been times when touring in the UK and Europe that I have been on some pretty shoddy, gravel covered tracks. I don't think this would constitute as green lining but I do like the freedom to not worry where a turn may take me. That said, I wouldn't want to compromise my time on the road and want to be happy chasing down my mates on sports bikes when needed.

    To sum up, I do want the flexibility to feel I can tackle a rough country track but I don't want to do this at the expense of fast corners on tarmac.

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    Avon Trailriders

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    I was trying to avoid specific make and model and more generically discuss the pros and cons of a pure road/touring tyre over a dual sport 20/80


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  4. #4
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    Sport touring every day!

    Edges are nice and soft for cornering grip, centres will maintain the profile a lot longer than pure sports.

    Also -heat up better on roads and generally handle rain better too.

    Only fit pure sport tyres to pure sports bikes - and that's a bit of an indulgence, to be honest - as the current crop of sports-touring tyres are probably more appropriate for that also.

    Try Metz Roadtec-01, you'll be looking at around 5,000+ miles out of a rear

    [edit: I've maybe confused sports with Dual-sports which are probably somewhere between spotrtstouring and trail??]

    Al
    If I am ever on life support - Unplug me......
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    See if that works .....

  5. #5
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    Using sports touring tyres on my R1150GS and Super Tenere made the bike much nicer to ride on tarmac. My current bike, an Explorer, came with Metzeler Tourance Next. These will be changed for sports touring tyres once worn out. My current favourite are Avon Storm 3D XM. I have these on my other bike and they are excellent. There is a supposedly better version out no called Avon Spirit IIRC. I have used Conti Road Attack and Michelin Pilot Road 3 or 4 in the past and would consider them (or their latest versions) again as well.
    This space deliberately left blank as the author writes too much pretentious bollocks as it is.

  6. #6
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    A pure road tyre will handle a ‘rough country track’ no problem.

    What it won’t handle is ‘proper’ mud but then neither will a big bike dual sport tyre.

    Andres

  7. #7
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    Most dual purpose tyres are softer than the pure road tyres.

    The PR4 trail is softer over all than PR4, which has implications for bigger mileages but obviously gives more grip/fun.

    If, it is coldish/damp conditions you'll be riding in, I'd probably go for a dual purpose,





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    I've been riding "Big trailies" (adventure bikes if you like) since I bought my first Varadero in '99

    I swapped the original Michelin T66 dual sport tyres for a pair of the first model Pilot Roads and I've never looked back (weren't many choices available back then in 19")

    Sport touring tyres are perfectly suited to road riding/touring and the occasional gravel track you may end up taking really does not justify mixed tyres

    Currently running Conti Road Attack 3 on my GS

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the feedback.. it seems the general consensus is to consider a sport touring tyre.

    My intention had always been to put on the ContiRoadAttack 3. I would like to do some rougher tracks in the future but I didn't want to have the hassle of swapping tyres and had considered the option of some off road tread. Having hammered a GS on the Tail of the Dragon on Shinko Dual Sports I knew that it wouldn't be too much of an issue and the option for rough stuff was there. So when I saw the Metzler Karoo Street it started messing with my head.

    That said, I know from my experience that I would probably get no closer to 'off road' that some single track lane with a crap surface and a bit of loose gravel. I also have to consider that the guys I ride outwit regularly are on S1000XR, S1000R and K1300S so options to go off piste are limited to what they can handle.

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    Tyre choice - Road or Dual Sport?


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    After a long time umming and arring about knobbliest, I took the plunge this last time with K60 Scouts. The cost was very reasonable so a no brainer.

    The balance was so good they did not need rim weights.

    The back tyre felt no different to any other though it did buzz a bit at 15 to 20 mph. That has settled down after a few weeks use but was never really an issue.

    The front went on a week later and initially felt horrendous just like a flat tyre. I was warned so kept going. It quickly improved. Now it feels like any other tyre with a bit more tread noise.

    They are very confidence inspiring and way better on roads than they have any rights to be.

    When I needed to go onto a muddy verge (road closed) it would have been making it on any other tyre. These lagged at the mud. Absolutely no drama. On gravel they are equally excellent. Gravel feels almost as reliable to ride on as clean tarmac.

    Rated to 118, they get a bit vague at private roads speeds. But tbh it’s a handy tactile warning that your licence is at risk.
    08 R1200GSA
    76 Suzuki GT750

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