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Thread: Is it worth buying and changing tires for slightly off-road riding?

  1. #1
    Senior Member afan's Avatar
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    Is it worth buying and changing tires for slightly off-road riding?

    I have next month two 4-day weekends that I plan to spend on solo riding. On the first trip, about 650 miles (and if it finishes good as planned, on second trip too), it's gonna be between 50% and 60% gravel roads, no "real" off-roading.
    Right now I have Pilot Road 4 tires on my NC700X DCT. Last year I rode about 30-40 miles on the gravel road in Spearfish Canyon, SD and wasn't so bad, I really enjoyed.
    Since I'm gonna spend this time much more on the gravel road, I wonder if it is worth buying set of 80-20 or 60-40 tires, installing them, and changing them later back to PR4, after the trip, since my daily commutes to work, at least 120 miles a day, are 100% paved roads? (And eventually put them back on the bike for the next ride couple weeks later.) Would my ride improve, be easier and safer, with 80-20 over my PR4 on a gravel road, so it's worth the hassle?
    When replacing tires, I usually take the wheels off of the bike and take them, with new tires, to the Honda dealer/service and they replace and balance the tires for about $25-$30 per tire. So, first trip will cost me let's say $200 for set of TK-70 or Shinko 705 + about $100 for putting them on and taking them off - about $300 in total. And every next trip just about $100. Is it worth changing the tires for $100 per trip?
    Last edited by afan; 28th June 2018 at 14:15.
    Instead million dollars, give me million miles!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rapturee's Avatar
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    i'd keep the cash and just air the tires down a little bit when you foresee many miles of dirt/gravel, then air them back up when you return to the pavement. Just my $.02 worth.. :{)
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by afan View Post
    I have next month two 4-day weekends that I plan to spend on solo riding. On the first trip, about 650 miles (and if it finishes good as planned, on second trip too), it's gonna be between 50% and 60% gravel roads, no "real" off-roading.
    Right now I have Pilot Road 4 tires on my NC700X DCT. Last year I rode about 30-40 miles on the gravel road in Spearfish Canyon, SD and wasn't so bad, I really enjoyed.
    Since I'm gonna spend this time much more on the gravel road, I wonder if it is worth buying set of 80-20 or 60-40 tires, installing them, and changing them later back to PR4, after the trip, since my daily commutes to work, at least 120 miles a day, are 100% paved roads? (And eventually put them back on the bike for the next ride couple weeks later.) Would my ride improve, be easier and safer, with 80-20 over my PR4 on a gravel road, so it's worth the hassle?
    When replacing tires, I usually take the wheels off of the bike and take them, with new tires, to the Honda dealer/service and they replace and balance the tires for about $25-$30 per tire. So, first trip will cost me let's say $200 for set of TK-70 or Shinko 705 + about $100 for putting them on and taking them off - about $300 in total. And every next trip just about $100. Is it worth changing the tires for $100 per trip?
    If you are going to be doing this somewhat regularly then I would look for some used rims/wheels and have your gravel tires mounted on them. Then swap between them as. Needed. Me personally I have ridden my CBR 1100XX with PR4 GTs on packed gravel roads plenty. ST1300 and wings too. If it gets Sandy or loose gravel more aggressive tires would be nice. For the money a set of used rims may be worth looking into.
    If you are going to lower your air pressure as suggested by raptur above then I would look into a stop n go kit with the small compressor in it.

    Stop & Go 6000 Tubeless Puncture Pilot | eBay

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    Last edited by 1wiseguy2; 28th June 2018 at 14:29.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Krampus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapturee View Post
    i'd keep the cash and just air the tires down a little bit when you foresee many miles of dirt/gravel, then air them back up when you return to the pavement. Just my $.02 worth.. :{)
    Very first Adventure Riding Myth topic they discuss: tires and airing down; at about 30 sec in:

    Adventure Motorcycle Myths: Tires, Foot Out Forward, Standing - YouTube

  5. #5
    Senior Member Griff's Avatar
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    Imho PR's will be just fine on gravel roads travelling at appropriate speeds . I ran mine at about 37 rear and 36 front for general use. I simply would not use 42 psi as recommended on the rear unless carrying a pillion.
    It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Is it worth buying and changing tires for slightly off-road riding? 670cc's Avatar
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    Just slow down a bit in the gravel and you're fine. That extra bit of time taken will be much less than all the time an expense of switching tires. With the stock NC suspension, you won't be able to handle anything very rough no matter what tires you install.
    Greg
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  7. #7
    Senior Member DCTFAN's Avatar
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    And there is nothing wrong with commuting on Shinko705's

  8. #8
    Senior Member Is it worth buying and changing tires for slightly off-road riding? StratTuner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapturee View Post
    i'd keep the cash and just air the tires down a little bit when you foresee many miles of dirt/gravel, then air them back up when you return to the pavement. Just my $.02 worth.. :{)
    Front is 36, Rear is 42 (PSI).... how much air would you let out?
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  9. #9
    Senior Member what next's Avatar
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    Not worth the trouble changing tires for what your doing. I rode to Alaska 4 times so far, 3 times on PRs once to Prudhoe Bay, Deadhorse. Never had a problem. The one time I didn't start with new tires and had to get something along the way had a flat from gravel , ended up waiting two days for another tire.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Wildfire's Avatar
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    Unless you are expecting mud or soupy clay on your gravel you should be fine with your street tires. Bring a pump on a test ride and incrementally drop the pressure to see if it increases comfort and control for you.

    I run a TKC80/Shinko 805 combo at 26f 30r and it works pretty well for my mixed riding. If it's really sloppy out I will lower them to 20/25. Lower and I start smacking the rim, higher and they get bouncy and darty. My regular commute is over 1/3 soft gravel so I enjoy the more aggressive tires, but the bike did pretty OK with the street tires on gravel when I first got it.

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