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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I recently swapped out my stock front tire for a Pirelli MT 43 Pro Trial tire that I picked up from Amazon for $63.97 but has since increased to $80.37. I guess I got lucky. The MT 43 measure 4.36" side wall to side wall and weighs in at 13.4lbs. The rubber is significantly softer than the stock tire, but in a review I found on line stated that the rubber on the MT 43 is soft but not a soft as a typical trials tire which is why it tends to be used more on Dual Sports then actual Trials bikes.


Within the first 20 yards it was evident the tire was heavier when I would lean in to turn and there was a distinct drop off when you get a little into the lean and the tire would want to turn the bike sharper. This was a bit unnerving at first but I soon got accustomed to it. Later that afternoon I went on a 66 mile group ride, I noticed that the "shoulder roll" I was feeling in turns had went away. I also noticed that a lot of the road chatter was smoothed out by new tire. Something I may feel more of due to having upgraded to the 40 percent stiffer springs in the front shocks.

OK, so about that 66 mile loop. Myself and three other riders went on a 66 mile, approximately 1/3 of the trip was paved road with the rest being gravel and a bit of 4wheeler trails and defunct Motocross track thrown in for good measure. The first part on the ride was about 15 mile of freshly graded gravel on a road called "Old Military" that runs along Crowley's Ridge here in NE Arkansas. I traded out bikes with one of the other riders about half way through that portion of the trip and we both noticed how the MT tracked much better than the stock tire. Most of the squirrely feeling brought on by riding over the large loose gravel was eliminated and went a long way to inspire confidents in the handling of the bike. There was a few placed along "Old Military" that was covered in loose powdery sand. The tire also held a solid line in the sand as well, but more riding in sand is required to get a solid assessment, but my bike did handle it better than those I was riding with.

We stopped for diner and then hit a two lane road that took us to a gravel road that runs along a levy. We didn't get above 50mph on that paved road, but at that speed the tire still felt solid. The gravel on the levy was much smaller and I notice that the tread was real good at picking up the smaller chat and slinging it. Thank you Yamaha for a good front fender. At different places along the levy we would drop down into the bottoms and run the 4Wheeler trails. These were a mix of solid packed earth, with scattering of loose sand covered areas, and mud holes. The performed well here, holding the bike in line as threw the bike side to side working my way through around the corners and in between the ruts. In few spots I had to run up on the side of a steep incline to avoid mud holes and the MT did good job of dragging the bike up the side of the hill in the direction I pointed it. In some of the cased I couldn't avoid getting in the mud a little, I noticed immediately after the tire was spitting mud out the front of the fender like a chainsaw throwing sawdust. The MT did equally as well keeping me on track in the tight turns of the old Motocross area.

After we ran out of Levy road we hit some more two lane on the way home and at this point I was feeling more comfortable with the new tire so I pushed the speeds up above 60 would lean into the turns harder without slowing down much. I could tell the softer rubber was doing its job and the "shoulder roll" I was initially feeling was gone.

Overall I can't find much fault with the tire at this point outside of I wish it was a little lighter.












 

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What air pressure were you running?
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What air pressure were you running?
Actually, kind of high.

I'm lucky enough to live within a few miles of a Yamaha dealer, so when the tire came in I put it around me like a hula hoop and rode down to the dealer and had them put it on. I felt better about having them put it on and balance it. I didn't want to get up to highways speeds and find out my tire was out of wack the hard way. Plus I didn't have any tire spoons. Anyway I left it at the pressure they installed it at which was 28psi. Tire list recommended max pressure on 33psi. I'm sure it would have handle the gravel and the single track even better, though I don't know about the highway speed. I plan on playing with the pressures on the next few outings.
 

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Actually, kind of high.

they installed it at which was 28psi. Tire list recommended max pressure on 33psi.
That is pretty high for a bike as light as the TW. I like about 18 for road use. 10ish for off road.
Nice review, thanks. 1up
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I looked at that one first and was about to pull the trigger on one, until someone brought the Pirelli to my attention. I liked the spacing in the tread better and I found a deal on one. I wonder if that Amazon seller was just running a sale or listed it at the wrong price on accident, because the price shot up right after I ordered it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That is pretty high for a bike as light as the TW. I like about 18 for road use. 10ish for off road.
Nice review, thanks. 1up
Thanks. That sound like some good pressures to run. What do you do on a trip like the I described the runs the gambit of terrain?
 

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Thanks. That sound like some good pressures to run. What do you do on a trip like the I described the runs the gambit of terrain?
I usually just start out with 18 and then lower it as needed for what I run into off road. Being the front tire I would agree with TWlight and just drop a bit. The "semisoft" is what I often have to run in the rear tire out here in the desert. Sand, loose marble hills, like a softer tire to get enough bite.
I have run into a few hills that I had to go almost flat, 5-6 PSI to get up. That is when it is nice to have some way to put a little air back in. Small bike pump, I did a mod on a $8 harbor freight pump. There are better (more expensive) options.
 
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