Tires and Gearing... I have read so much my brain hurts
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Thread: Tires and Gearing... I have read so much my brain hurts

  1. #1
    Junior Member armsdealer's Avatar
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    Tires and Gearing... I have read so much my brain hurts

    I picked up a 2002 TW200 with 526 miles on it wearing the original rubber. That is something I need to take care of. The tires have absolutely no wet traction on the pavement, and only do marginally better on dry pavement. I am sure they are fine in the field they have ridden in. While I have things torn down I want to visit gearing. I am considering a 47 rear to get a little tamer top end without losing much punch. I might not change it, I do like wheelie happy nature of the front end.

    I have been looking through tires and the closest thing I see that I would like are the TW203/TW204 combo, and I believe a chinese company makes a similar tire. Is this tire enough to handle off road? The nature of me living in the city it will see more road miles than off road miles, but I will take it on trail rides and we also go explore abandoned roads in the Tennessee mountains each year. I don't plan on seeking out mud, but mud will be found. I want a tire that can handle some off road while still maintaining good on road characteristics. I will probably throw some tires on it and run it through an advanced MSF course in October. I was going to use my FZ09, but I would have to hold back so much it wouldn't be fun. I should be able to let loose with this little monster single.
    1974 CB750
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    The 203/204 combo above is fairly road oriented and I fear it will likely seriously compromise ability to confidently traverse muddy zones or loose soil conditions. It can be done. I have ridden with our member bananachunks who runs similar tires and we have gone through some fairly gnarly stuff. He struggles a bit but makes it.

    The 47 tooth might be a good idea if you go with the 204 tire in the rear as it will help restore gearing to stock to compensate for the 204's lower height as seen in the comparison photo below.th-2.jpeg

    I must admit others know a lot more about road tire capabilities as I am fairly dirt oriented and run a Duro PowerGrip ATV tire. It's taller diameter requires a larger rear sprocket to maintain stock gearing, the opposite correction you seek with the shorter 204.th-4.jpeg
    Last edited by Fred; 08-23-2015 at 11:24 PM.
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    2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
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    Senior Member jb882's Avatar
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    It really depends on what you consider "off road". If you are looking at fire roads and graded dirt then those tires should be fine. If mud is in the picture then you may run into some problems.

    Is the traction issue up front? If so i would just swap that thing out to a better tire of which there are many. My recommendation is the shinko golden boy. It had great road manners and is much better off road when the stocker. There are better off road tires but there are compromises on road. The golden boy is a good balance of roar and off road prowess.

    In my opinion the rear should be a non issue, the stock one is pretty good both on the road and off. I have ridden mine in the wet plenty and have never had a traction issue on the rear and on dry i can( and do routinely) push it to the point of scraping pegs on the pavement. Bridgestone did a pretty good job on the stock TW rear tire. I would give the rear more time, at 526 mile its not even broken in.
    Pair of 2006 TW's modded to the hilt and a Ducati Multistrada.

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    Junior Member Capt. Tyler's Avatar
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    If I can jump in here...

    I'm in the same boat as armsdealer. However I've narrowed it down to the golden boy for sure. My only question is what width is best up front ?

  6. #5
    Senior Member jb882's Avatar
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    I have ridden both and personally don't feel there is much of an overall difference between the two, you cant go wrong with either one.
    Pair of 2006 TW's modded to the hilt and a Ducati Multistrada.

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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Don't forget armsdealer is dealing with 13 year old tires at the very least. They were original equipment on his 2002 TW and were not made the very day his bike was sold.I will give him credit for being aware that the poor wet traction is likely due as much to excessive tire age as much as construction or tread style. The 526 miles they have is somewhat immaterial given the age of his tires. So as far as overall difference there should be a noticable improvement between 13+ year old tires and any of the mentioned candidates.
    Dryden-Tdub likes this.
    2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
    2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
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    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Armsdealer,

    I can't give you a good answer on tires as I've not used the one's you've shown and I ride a lot in difficult trail conditions.

    Gearing though... Recently I've been testing a 45T rear sprocket from a forum buddy for my commute to work. Compared to the stock 50T, I was impressed with the lower RPM's. Not much if any is gained in top speed if that's what you're looking for. Pro's: lower RPM's, Better Fuel Mileage. Con: slower getting up to speed (5th gear) but not bad, and have to shift if going uphill or into the wind (more than 50T). I liked it.

    Not tried a 47T, but road wise I think this would still be nicer than the 50T, mostly RPM's wise.

    I used the 45T on some steep Forest Service roads and while I might have had to downshift to first gear, I was able to ride these roads no problem. However, I wouldn't even attempt using a 45T on a trail where 1st gear is needed.
    Hidden Content A ride in the woods helps me relax and release tension. The fact I'm dragging a body should be entirely irrelevant?

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    Junior Member armsdealer's Avatar
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    We don't have hills in Louisiana... However, it will be making the trip to TN with me.

    Honestly, most off road riding will be on improved dirt roads, not serious off road stuff. I will probably also bring it along when we are shooting at 600 yards. Much easier to travel with and much cheaper than an ATV.

    And yes, the old tire is hard. I would imagine a fresh tire would fair much better.
    1974 CB750
    2002 TW200
    2013 Ruckus
    2014 CTX700N
    2015 FZ09

  10. #9
    Senior Member Turtle Chaser's Avatar
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    I would like to try and help here, a couple of thoughts. If you are planing to get a new chain or preserve an almost new one consider a 15T on the front. That will be easier on the chain. I have been running 15/50 for along time now. After trying many other combos, it works well for mostly road and occasional dirt play. I think 15/50 is pretty close to 14/47. I have at least 7,000 miles on an o ring chain and have not needed to adjust it yet.

    As for tires, I can drag the pegs, actually the side of my boot on dry pavement with the stock 10 year old rear tire and a newer Kenda k270 on the front. Let me say up front, I do not recommend nor enjoy grinding my boots off on the pavement. But as we say in the Llama business, "spit happens". A fresh OEM back tire will serve you well. I cannot recommend a Kenda K270 font tire for blacktop, although it is more than acceptable around town and really good on gravel roads.

    Hope your brain stops hurting

    God Bless

    MAC
    Last edited by Turtle Chaser; 08-28-2015 at 06:26 AM.
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