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Discussion Starter #1
Yeah I know there are a thousand tire threads. Here's mine. :)

After a fun but muddy ride on Monday, I realized just how terrible the stock front tire is. So today I got motivated and swapped it out with the older Kenda Trackmaster II left from my KLX250S -- 100/100-18. It fits, and fits nicely. Went on surprisingly easily. And then I rode it. Yikes. Talk about unstable! The bike wants to just fall over to either side. No straightline stability whatsoever. So either the tire is just too narrow (doesn't look it at all), or this just isn't a good front tire.

So I said screw it and ordered up two news tires... a fresh TW34 for the rear (my current one is the older TW31) and a Shinko 241 trials tire for the front. It had gotten a very positive recommendation from a forum member here, and I figured it was worth a try over the 244, which I didn't care for at all on my DR650. With luck they'll be here Friday or Saturday. Then it'll just be a matter of getting them mounted up without pinching any tubes.


Meanwhile, on a different but similar topic... has anybody ever approached any of the other tire manufacturers (or even Bridgestone) about making a better off-road rear tire for the TW? Bridgestone is the only company that makes any, and they have two... the current TW34, and their street version, whatever it's called. We really need some alternatives, given how long these bikes have been around and how many are out there. Seems to me that Shinko or Kenda might step up and make something for us. Even Bridgestone's own TW302 looks like a pretty nice tire, but of course it's 17 and 18" only.

Maybe if we got a petition together, or, hell I dunno what. I know it'd take a LOT of people to say they'd buy a tire, but I just don't want to deal with getting an ATV tire mounted.

Thoughts?
 

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Rob, you mean you didn't like the stock front tire? Imagine that!;) Good replacement choice.
Unfortunately there are not many applications other than the limited number of TWs sold for the Trailwing 34 size tire to convince a tire manufacturer to mold us something new.

Never thought of petitioning Bridgestone. My fantasy revolves more around the idea of a group order for some machinist to mate a bunch of our rear hubs to 12" or 14" trailer rims. Benefits are easy and safe mount/ dismount of a whole world of new tire options from gnarly yet DOT approved ATV tires to higher milage "Dark Side" automotive carcasses. Tubeliss change-over saves weight and may be plugged in the field.Tubeless tires run cooler and last longer. In a pinch a replacement tire can probably be quickly found anywhere from the Dempster Hiway to Tierra del Fuego. Several have done this conversion, the most recent being TW-Brian I believe.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Bridgestone might be worth contacting. I'll see if I can reach anybody there willing to listen. Otherwise, I'm liking the idea of the trailer wheel, particularly the 12" one. Hell, how about this... let's talk to ITP or Maxxis and see if they would consider building us an aluminum rear wheel for the bike all machined and ready to go. Offer it in 12" or 14" form. They already have the wheel tooling; they'd just have to adapt the hub. And since they likely make the tire we want, they could make the wheel specifically for it.

It's another longshot, but if you don't ask, the answer is always no.

Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Haha I know I will. It'll be a much nicer tire than the existing front. I know it'll suck in mud, but most tires do. The trials tire on the back of my KLX was fantastic up until mud.

I emailed Bridgestone about getting another type of rear tire. We'll see if I get a response of any value.. i.e. beyond, "Thank you for your suggestion; we will pass this on to our product team for consideration" or somesuch.

I started writing one to ITP, but then thought wait, we don't actually use any of their tires. We use Maxxis and Duro ATV tires. So may have to talk to them instead.

Rob
 

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There are lots of exciting tires besides the Maxxis and Duro. For example here is a nice pair..
. View attachment 17902 .

Some would say these are too big and would rub unpleasantly.
. View attachment 17903 .
Interesting, Looks to me like they might be some of those new synthetic materials
Suspension could be an issue.
I would really like to see how they handle running down the road,
or in the mud
or the rough
or... sorry the mind just spins with the possibilities
 

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These two big ones just kind of popped up when I Goggled "12 inch ATV Tire images". Maybe Google knows what I like.;) For example these also look good, but would they cause too much rubbing on the back of your TW?
images-10.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My new TW tires arrived today. I just swapped the Shinko 241 for that lame Kenda Trackmaster II and the difference is huge. The 241 is a much nicer tire. The stability is back, but since it is a bit narrower than the stock front tire, the bike does turn a little more easily. That should actually be a good thing. FWIW, it sticks better in gravel now than with the original front tire. I only have asphalt and gravel to test in right around here.

I'll go back out and do the rear here in a little while. My only motorcycle jack is occupied with the mostly-dissassembled SP500 so it takes some thought to get the TW up and supported for a tire change since it doesn't have a center stand.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Aaaaand now the rear tire is on. Only took two hours. Holy cow what a PITA. I was expecting it to be bad, though. It took 20-30 min just to break the bead. The old tire had been on the bike for seven years, so you can imagine how stuck it was. Then there's the smaller diameter of the wheel coupled with the width that it quite challenging to get the tire off. Getting the new tire on was quite a bit easier, but it still took a while to get it started due to the small diameter of the wheel. And a fresh tube went in with it. Why re-use a seven year old tube? No thanks. It took 28 psi to seat the bead with a nice POP.

With tire pressures at 16 psi front and rear (where DO you set them to anyway?) I went for a quick ride around the compound here. Yep, huge improvement. The new tire seems taller and narrower, so it better matches the taller and narrower front, so handling is back to normal. Except the front end actually sticks when I hit the gravel now... instead of that wandery crap the old one did that made you wonder if it was really going to hold or toss you off.
 

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where DO you set them to anyway?
I know what a pain searching for a topic on here can be – so …..

18psi both front and rear as a starting point – depending on rider weight, up a bit for road – down a bit for trail – or you may be fine with the 18psi.

180lb rider, and 18psi works for me just fine ……
 

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I put the 241 on the front of mine yesterday. I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it went on. I run my pressures at the recommended numbers on the steering stem - 22 front and 25 rear. Unfortunately I spend a lot of miles running pavement to and from work. I find the tires wallow if I push it into the corners, so I keep the pressures up running on the street.
 

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I was browsing tires yesterday and the dealer has the new motoz mountain hybrid in.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmNao9dSbEo
I know I am going to get one for the back of my WR, but it may also be a good fit for the front of the TW.
 

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The new Moutain Hybrid tire looks like a real winner, nice find ejfranz. I would not hesitate to try one. This is the style of tire that if it were to be available for the TW's rear might really make our bikes excel.
 

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The new Moutain Hybrid tire looks like a real winner, nice find ejfranz. I would not hesitate to try one. This is the style of tire that if it were to be available for the TW's rear might really make our bikes excel.
+1! This WILL be my next front tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ooooh I like it. I googled for it... turns out it IS DOT approved. It's a 120/80-18 size. Now... could we somehow convince those guys to make that same tire to fit the TW rear? That would make our bikes completely unstoppable. :)

BTW thanks for posting the tire pressures. It's much appreciated and way simpler than searching.
 

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