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Tires for a DT175

  • MarkT
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Replied by MarkT on topic Tires for a DT175

On my 1979 US model (we had leading axle forks so different geometry), I originally went with the K270.  Many people recommended them. 

I hadn't ridden in many, many years mostly due to an old motorcycle racing leg/knee injury.  Surprisingly my leg just sort of fixed itself as I got older and I could straighten it out all the way again and knee stopped hurting! 

I ride the dirt primarily...  First real ride I went to was one of Dave and Don's excellent enduro events in Southern California.  Hungry Valley SVRA.  It may have been a "full moon fever" ride.  It's been too long, they all blur together. 

Anyway,  One thing I remember is I fell off the bike that weekend.  A LOT. 

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(I think Dave was secretly hoping I would go home and never come to another event. 

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  I really was that bad and I'm sure he was afraid I might get hurt.) 

I had attributed this to not riding for decades.  Makes sense, right? 

Back home I decided I needed to practice and went out in the desert near my house to attempt to regain my skills.  If you can ride slower speeds in deep sand, you can go anywhere.  I still fell.  A lot.  At least soft sand at low speed makes for a softer landing and all that was getting hurt was my pride. 

I was having a lot of traction trouble in the deep sand...  almost getting stuck at times...  so I decided to go with the main tires I used on the dirt in my youth, knobbies. I remember the difference they made to my LT2.  And it was a lot easier to blame the machine than my riding skills which even decades ago were marginal. 

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But in Nevada I've heard stories of the police stopping and impounding bikes on the streets with non-DOT tires.  I found a highly rated Pirelli DOT front knobby but all the rears were way too big...  until I found the Kenda Trakmaster. 

Wow.  Those tires transformed the bike in the dirt!  I instantly stopped falling at the drop of a hat.  In fact, that whole first test ride I never dropped the bike even once!  Dave Meis even commented about my dramatically improved skills at the next enduro event. 

I still suck at riding compared to many.  But now I was having FUN! 

Anyway, just thought I'd mention this...  my 1979 DT175 hated the K270 off the road.  Strangely enough, the USA 88-90 DT50 came with IRC GP1 tires as OEM.  (The IRC GP1 is the original tire that Kenda copied to make the K270.)  On the DT50, that tread pattern is not squirrelly at all!  So it's not necessarily a bad tire design.  They just didn't work on my DT175. 

And again, many use and recommend the K270.  I'm just mentioning this in case someone else experiences issues in the soft stuff.  It was like the front end would hit a patch of black ice...  while cornering...  and braking... BAM.  On the ground with no warning. 

 
1963 YG1-T, 1965 MG1-T, Allstate 250, 1970 CT1b, 1971 R5, 1973 AT3MX, 1974 TS400L, 1975 RD350, 1976 DT175C, 1976 Husqvarna 250CR, 1981 DT175G, 1988 DT50, 1990 "Super" DT50, 1991 RT180, 2017 XT250
03 Jul 2022 05:53 #11

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  • Ht1kid
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Replied by Ht1kid on topic Tires for a DT175

I’m glad you are able to ride again I know it brings a big smile to your face
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03 Jul 2022 07:48 #12

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Replied by darinm on topic Tires for a DT175

I'll second MarkT here, kind of. Used the Shinko 244 (essentially a copy of the K270 and or GP1) on my '72 CT2 175 and they were no better than using the oem looking Shinko 241 in loose dirt and worse on rock. So I stick with the 241 on the older bikes, but have the Kenda Trakmaster II on my XT250 and IT200, if you're riding primarily dirt yet want DOT legal, it's a great tire as Mark said.

The IRC TR8 Battle Rally Series is a great DOT legal front to match the Kenda Trakmaster rear, and affordable compared to the Pirelli alternative.
1972 Yamaha CT2 175
1972 Suzuki TS185 Sierra
1986 Yamaha IT200
2013 Yamaha XT250
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03 Jul 2022 09:29 #13

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Replied by MarkT on topic Tires for a DT175

I don't think the TR8 Battle Rally was available 12 years or so ago when this happened.  Because yes, the good Pirelli front DOT knobbies are NOT cheap!  On the other hand, fronts do last a long time.  I will check those out next time I need one.

An P.S.  I use the Trakmaster rear and Pirelli front on all my Enduros including the XT250. 

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1963 YG1-T, 1965 MG1-T, Allstate 250, 1970 CT1b, 1971 R5, 1973 AT3MX, 1974 TS400L, 1975 RD350, 1976 DT175C, 1976 Husqvarna 250CR, 1981 DT175G, 1988 DT50, 1990 "Super" DT50, 1991 RT180, 2017 XT250
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03 Jul 2022 09:41 #14

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Replied by MikeK-uk on topic Tires for a DT175

Thanks all for sharing. Reality is I am 70% road and my off road stuff is light / pottering about. Have Pirelli MT43 on the front. Hopefully the Kendo on the back will be good enough for my usage. If it’s not - I know what to upgrade to!
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03 Jul 2022 10:14 #15

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Replied by darinm on topic Tires for a DT175

Unless it's deep dust or mud you'll be just fine, these bikes don't put down the kind of power that demands a super aggressive tire off-road. I love them because they force you to go slow enough to actually see things :)
1972 Yamaha CT2 175
1972 Suzuki TS185 Sierra
1986 Yamaha IT200
2013 Yamaha XT250
03 Jul 2022 17:07 #16

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