TW200 Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I mostly ride in the desert, so I'm accustomed to rock gardens and loose sand. On that type of terrain, especially the rocks, I love the big fat tires on the TW. I pretty much just point the bike were I want to go and twist the throttle. I'll steer around big loose rocks but anything else in my way just just gets run over. I've ridden more conventional dirt bikes a few times but to me they didn't feel as secure as the Tdub. However, last weekend I got into some mud puddles left over from last week's rain and I was having a really hard time. The back end kept getting away from me. The back tire was skidding over the top of the mud rather than digging in. I have little experience in mud so I'm sure most of the problems were my fault.



Still, it aroused my curiosity. Are the narrower tires on a conventional dirt bike better in mud than the TW? That begs the more general question: On what types of terrain are the extra-wide TW tires a liability as compared to a more conventional tire?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,123 Posts
If it is a thin layer of mud, thinner tires would create more ground pressure (smaller contact patch, same weight) which would allow the tire to "dig down" to a firmer base, whereas the wider tire might be likely to "float" on top.



You guys have mud in the desert?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,369 Posts
Are you airing down?



Airing down helps not only with traction via a larger contact patch but in helping the tire shed mud buildup.



When you're aired down enough the tire is somewhat flat on the bottom. as it rolls it then "pops" back into its original curvature, helping to sling the mud from between the treads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Yes, I forgot to mention that. I generally run the tires about 13 lbs off-road.



The mud was an annoyance but nothing more. It created more questions than problems.



BTW, there are wild horses in the area and they like to congregate at the mud holes. So this wasn't just any old mud. It was mud full of horse manure. The idea of falling is always unappealing, but in this case it was extra-unappealing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,369 Posts
Snot is snot. lol. You get a pass on this one. There are some types of mud that no tire can shed.



It's been a long time since I've run the stock tires. I'm guessing that you could go a bit lower if need be.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,664 Posts
Low pressures will result in pinch flats in desert rocks. I run 12-13psi in the desert for that reason. Also, desert tends to have long stretches at 35-40mph on packed dirt and rock, which can build up heat and damage a tire that is flexing a lot from too low pressure, especially since deserts are subject to high temperature.



Desert mudholes usually have a dry clay or silt bottom that is wet and slimy on top, hard and slick underneath, and slicker than ice where they meet. Add in deposits from these guys
and it's slip, slide, and kersplat. It can take days for water to soak more than ankle deep, but it only takes a sprinle of dampness to turn the horizon between the layers into untractionium. Worse, there can be dry, hard clay under a thing wet layer under a dry layer covered with dust from the last sand storm--looks dry, slick as black ice. SURPRISE!!!!!



Wet red clay of Georgia and Alabama is almost as slippery.



Nothing gets traction in owl snot. A front tire with a very aggressive tread sheds mud well. Shift up a gear and keep the rear tire spinning to sling out the mud. Hope for the best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
"Desert mudholes usually have a dry clay or silt bottom that is wet and slimy on top, hard and slick underneath, and slicker than ice where they meet. Add in deposits from these guys..."



You nailed it Qwerty! That's exactly what it was. Actually, the mud layer was so thin that buildup on the tires was not an issue. But it was slick as ice.



You mentioned Georgia clay. I've seen the same thing in southern Utah. There have been times in my 4x4 when forward motion seemed due primarily to the jet thrust created by trowing mud from all 4 tires. Is there any significant difference between TW tires and skinny tires in that sort of stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,050 Posts
Wild, I don't have close to the miles that some of these guys that have already answered you have (not that they are old
) just "sperianced".

But to directly address your question about skinny and fat tires. . . skinny tires will tend to cut deeper and through that untractionium (I'm diggin' that Q!) layer. I love the big tire on the rocks, the rock gardens and in sand, but in really slick, sticky mud I feel it's a liability. To me and I'm sure not an engineer, the tire is too rounded at the corners, and the traction blocks are too close together to allow the tire to grip in the goo well. Or on slick rock for that matter.

Back when I lived in Virginia, I always ran the biggest, fattest tires I could manage on my 4X4s to help the truck not sink in the slop, because once you started down, you ceased to move forward. You wanted that huge footprint to handle that type of mud. Once I moved out here, I quickly learned that a tall, narrower tire was the ticket to getting through the mud and down to the rock layer that we have most everywhere here, and to get down through the snow layer to ground.

Simply put, where there is a solid bottom at a reasonable depth to bite into tall and skinny rules. Where it doesn't matter, or there isn't a practical bottom, fat wins the day.



I am struggling right now between accepting the TW for what it is, and making some mods to it (that many remarkable members on here have already pioneered ) that would allow it to traverse the areas that I want to explore easier.



It is a trail bike, not a dirt bike. HOWEVER, I feel it covers dirtbike duties much better than a dirtbike covers trail duties. . . .



Hopefully there is something helpful in this mush.



Bag
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
Just carry an air compressor, adjust as needed. I've got a nice Cyclepump, nice expensive and heavy, I prefer the cheapo slime pump.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
10,664 Posts
The thin desert mud we are talking about, tires really make little difference. The hard clay at the "bottom" of a 1/4-inch layer of mud might as well be coldrolled steel plate, and the mud might as well be grease. The round cross section of a TW34 probably puts more psi on each knob than the typical nearly flat contact patch of a hard terrain MX knobby with buttressed knobs along the edges. I've gone across such desert mudholes and barely dirtied half the width of the tire. Seriously, the mud is often only a fraction of an inch deep, and there ain't no digging into the "bottom". Kind of like the algae-covered caliche river crossings in the Hill Country. Ever stepped on spilled oil on a polished concrete garage floor? Pretty much the same.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top