Fresh rubber


Let’s talk tires for a moment.

The used 2008 DRZ-400-S I bought several months ago came fitted with brand new front and back Pirelli MT21 Rallycross tires. They’re a terrific tire for off-road riding. They’re also a very soft tire. Rule of thumb, soft means better performance, but shorter longevity. While they’ve been a perfect off-road training tire (likely overkill for my skill level), they’re going to fall short for my ride along the Great Continental Divide.

Dunlop_Rear_webI have no confidence that a new set of MT21’s will cover the 2,700 mile GDT ride. I need a tire that can cover the distance in one life and be able to handle all riding conditions. My research has led me to the Dunlop D606 Dual Sport Tire. It’s a very popular tire among dual-sport riders and very reasonably priced. Some riders are even able to stretch them to 4,000 miles. I’ve decided to put them to the test.

Another ingredient that factors into the new rubber equation is tubes. Most motorcycle tires are like bicycle tires: a tire on the outside with a separate tube on the inside which holds air. Tubes are prone to punctures, which lead to flats. I want zero flats! When I get around to changing my DRZ tires in a few months, I’ll inspect the existing tubes. If they’re not heavy duty, I’m going to install heavy duty tubes that offer better protection from punctures. I should probably buy two extra in case I really do get a flat… or two. All said, here are the estimated costs for the fresh rubber I’ll need.

Dunlop D606 front: $90 (USD)
Dunlop D606 rear: $96
4 heavy-duty tubes: $100

Total: $300

Let’s hope they last.

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