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My son and I have been riding TW's for about 13 years - he want to move up to a 250cc dual sport but they all have narrow tires - Ihave never ridden one

What are the drawbacks and plusses for a narrow tire

Thanks
 

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No drawbacks for either. Perhaps better handling on tarmac with a thinner tire.
Some say better handling off-road with a thicker tire but I've sometimes found that to be a very false case of confidence.

Thinner will almost always be better for a faster ride if that's important to you. Your question is too wide depending on what type of riding you are doing. Like knobbies vs. 50-50 tires in mud.
What type of riding you do will determine plus or minus's.

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Every time you think you have it sussed, someone will go past you with exactly the opposite

One thing I have noticed, is that fat tires do better at low speeds, skinny at higher – but then the sentence above still applies …
 

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Not exactly based in science, but I feel the wider tires give more sidewall grip on off camber trails. My TW200 with Shinko 241 up front can track quite nicely on steep side sloped trails. When I had a WR250R it had D606's on it and it would often want to slide down those side slopes. Did it make enough difference to effect anything? No probably not. All the hardcore enduro riders ride with tires skinnier than the TW200 and it doesn't seem to hold them back at all...

One unmentioned plus for wide tires is they look sexier ;)
 

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I don't ride fast....I ride slow....IMHO wider tires are better when traction is important...like mud....snow.....sand.....streams ….. and most important for me..... ruts.....

Since I also ride slow on firm and stable surfaces.....the TW tires are what I prefer...:)
 

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Since this is a wide tire website...I'll base my opinion here from a wide tire offroad perspective and thinner tires are ofcourse the opposite in these areas.

Wide tire Pros
- back tire drifts easier
- doesn't dig ruts or sink into the ground as quickly as thin tires
- smoother ride
- less prone to flats


Wide tire cons
- front tire drifts easier. Wide tires loose traction at higher speeds on loose dirt. This is one area where thinner tires can skate around turns while wider tires can drift you off the road.
- I find the wide tire sticks you in the ruts more then a skinny tire which has more room to turn out of them.
- wider tire displaces weight on a larger foot print which can reduce friction including traction and stopping power.
- when your back tire deflects left or right off rocks it kicks further either direction then a skinnier tire.

In order for a wider tire to have more traction then a skinnier tire it would have to carry a proportionate amount of weight.
 

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Went from TW to XT, wider to less wide tires.
Light front loading of TW with wider front tire sure was less sure on gravel roads,
Mud, snow, etc.
XT does cut a deeper grove in soft ground,
Have not tried snow - yet.
 

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With the larger tire you can run a slightly lower pressure. This allows for better traction in a lot of conditions, but you have to keep your speed down.
Slender tires allow for lighter handling at higher speeds but because of their smaller size they require a higher pressure to keep from damaging your rims.
Just my opinion.
 

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Skinnier tires tend to come on lager diameter rims. Thus the XT will have a bit greater ground clearance than the TW. Skinnier tires also tend to come on bikes with better suspensions. TW often does better in snow. Wider ATV tires make the TW even better in loose sand like at out Moab gatherings.
 

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I ride both wide and skinny tired motorcycles and I still can't figure it out. The ride is different from one another but I couldn't for the life of me tell you one is better than the other. I'll let you know which tire is better in about 10-15 years from now...possibly longer. :p

Georgie preferred the wider tire. TW Fever, catch it!
 

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I agree with Admiral. My buddy rides a skinny tire Super Sherpa and other than perhaps climbing a sand hill I can't honestly see that much advantage to the wide tires. One thing I will say is I much prefer the TW to any 21" wheel bike on the street especially when riding aggressively in the twisties.
 

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The wide ones come into their own when one wishes to creep along at slow speeds in loose material without tearing things up. I replaced my skinny tire enduro bikes with the TW when I found the skinny tires were trenching my property up too much.
Stuff like this could be done on skinny tire bike, but likely at higher speeds throwing a bit more roost to keep forward momentum:

or with an even wider tire:
 
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