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I'm thinking of replacing my original knobbies on my '07 TW200 with these Bridgestones. I mainly ride on gravel and dirt fire roads and about 30% street use. Good choice or should I stick with the Knobs? Thanks
 

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Although those tires will work fine, I think a new stock rear and a Shinko 241 or Pirelli MT 43 trials type for the front would be the best for what you describe.
 

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I have one bike with knobs on – and one with the 203/204 combination

The 203/204 tread pattern is designed to put as much rubber on the road as possible, while still allowing for the occasional off road foray. In gravel, they tend to drift, and the same goes for dry dirt, where the surface rubber has no grip at all (eg 90% of the 203/204 tires profile)

Where they do excel is on tarmac, where the rubber can get a grip and do what it’s best at. So for 70% road use, they are excellent. In such circumstances they are more capable of sustained high speed running, producing less drag for more grip – off-road the opposite is true

We have a member here (bananachunks) who swears by them, but again, the on-road/off-road suits his rides.

The TW34 (knobbly) rear is widely acknowledged as having as much grip as the smoother version, but over a wider set of circumstances, both on and off road. Sure, it will still drift in the loose stuff, but offers more grip when you need it. The TW31 (front stock knobbly) however, is lethal at best, and is usually replaced as soon as possible (followed by the front brake and clutch levers) – affectionately referred to as the “death wing” - you get the picture

There are many options for a knobbly front tire, the Shinko 241 is the current favourite, but it’s a matter of personal choice.

What I can’t personally recommend is a mix of smooth and knobbly – tried it – expensive mistake (handling issues)

Your buck – your choice – but for the riding you do, perhaps not a good idea …….
 

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You will be very happy with the Shinko 241, both on and off road. Around 18 psi on road, maybe higher for long stretches at full speed, around 12 to 14 in the dirt. I've had mine up to 60 mph at those low pressures for 5 miles or so, but beyond that I would air up...mileage is distinctly better at 18 psi and above, front and rear.
 

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Frenchy, I have the Shrinko 241's on the front of both my Tw's, I replaced the originals way before they needed it.
I can tell you this it was the one huge difference right off the bat. I love them.
I am thinking about replacing the rears only because they are over 25 Years old, they steal have a ton of tread and I have never had a flat tire, and I hardy ever have to add air.
I just wonder if they might be getting a little brittle. I hate to wast $300 bucks if there will be no noticeable difference.
 

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At 25 years old, they are dangerous!! Replace them ASAP!!
Frenchy, I have the Shrinko 241's on the front of both my Tw's, I replaced the originals way before they needed it.
I can tell you this it was the one huge difference right off the bat. I love them.
I am thinking about replacing the rears only because they are over 25 Years old, they steal have a ton of tread and I have never had a flat tire, and I hardy ever have to add air.
I just wonder if they might be getting a little brittle. I hate to wast $300 bucks if there will be no noticeable difference.
 

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Frenchy, I have the Shrinko 241's on the front of both my Tw's, I replaced the originals way before they needed it.
I can tell you this it was the one huge difference right off the bat. I love them.
I am thinking about replacing the rears only because they are over 25 Years old, they steal have a ton of tread and I have never had a flat tire, and I hardy ever have to add air.
I just wonder if they might be getting a little brittle. I hate to wast $300 bucks if there will be no noticeable difference.
I feel your pain but you gotta replace the 25 year old rear tire. You WILL notice a difference! Have we EVER lied to you?
 

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If your tires have been sitting in the sun for the last 25 years it is a wonder they still hold air -- on the other hand I have tires that old that were stored inside and I now use them and I don't worry about a thing. My experience has been once the surface wears down a little bit the rubber gets softer and they act like brand new tires and I use them until they are nearly bald. I have never had any kind of failure.

You can't go wrong with new tires. No argument there. I was just telling of my experience.

My nearly bald tire:
P8160187.JPG
 

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The knobbies are much better off road but the tw203 and 204 are great on the street. As for age of tires if you are going slow putting around I wouldn't worry about it as long as you are prepared to repair a flat. I had an old street tire which was hardened (different bike). It was great doing fish tails around the corners taking off. It was getting slick so I changed it. Has anyone ever cut a motorcycle tire in half? With a reciprocating saw it took about 20 minutes and I gave up when I saw the bundle of wires in the bead. Why I ask, look at the ATV tires some are using, there is very little bead strength compared to a motorcycle tire. I am basing this on an exploded atv tire I saw posted. I would be very careful using the atv tire on the street over 50 mph or so. To each their own risk but to all please be careful.
 

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I spent most of my TW years on 203/204 and love them. Last summer I switched to a 244 front and original TW32 from 99. Definitely better off road but I really miss my 203/204s and will likely go back to them one day. By the way I am still running my 1999 TW32 and rode in the cold for most of the winter with no issues.
 

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Yep, hurt me bad to replace the totally un worn factory tires on my 2003 tw...13 year old tires... I too went with the rear OEM tire and the Shinko... I am about 90 % road and 10% off... I only put about 1500 mi a year on my Dub.

Jim
 
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