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Pilot Powers & gravel roads

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Roarin, Dec 17, 2007.

  1. Not sure exactly where to post this as it doesn't exactly fit in with any of the topic headings but here goes.
    Has anyone had any first hand experience with Pilot Powers & gravel/dirt roads. Or more specifically -will I tear them to bits on an extended run in the gravel? Like 100+kms at a time. None of this tip toeing along, wrapped in cotton whool, having a nervous breakdown about stone chips & dust caper mind you, but more like full on power slides, 120km/hr fishtailing, chuck it sideways into the corners while laughing madly like a crazy woman :LOL: :LOL:
    Yes yes I know there are tyres that are infinately more suitable for these antics, but I do like to press on a bit in the sealed twisties enroute to the dirty bits. Which are really no more than connecting roads between the sealed stuff if I am honest about it :grin:
    And I do have first hand experience of bitumen surfing as a result of dual pupose tyres. Not that I blame the tyres mind you. More to do with the idiot behind the handlebars. So don't waste your breath. Trying to convince me of the merits of more off road tyres that is. Cheers to all :)

  2. An otherwords riding like normal huh. I have ridden few dirts roads on de Bandido, running pilot powers and never really had any problems Andy. I did about 50km on corrugated crap in Tassie, that required replacement of head stem bearings when I got back to mainland, tyres held up fine.

    Also did about 100km dirt, but smooth gravel, somewhere in middle of nowhere NSW, when I took a wrong turn at Alberquerke. :? Again they did the trick, not a prob.
    Lets face it dude, your going to be looking for loooooooong drifting powerslide lines and reading the terrain to suit, so if she does bite on gravel, because you read it wrong, or a hidden wee beastie is embedded in there like a tick, she's going to either shred the tyre, or bite and throw you A over T.
    But if its road we where talkin about at NR BBQ yesterday, I seem to recall last time I rode it, there was some rather large golf ball size agregate boulders,mixed with clay. Granted that was a fare while ago.
  3. Your worrying about the wrong thing.
    Head stem bearings, fork seals, and loosened screws/bolts are all the things you really need to concern yourself with after riding like that in gravel. Road bikes aren't made to handle the battering that gravel roads dish out. At the very least, be sure to schedule 20mins to go over your bike once the gravel ends and check fastenings, seals, etc.
  4. I've only had mine up to about 80Km/h on dirt, because I find the front PPs can wash out really easily on loose gravel on a hard base, and that can be entertaining. On wet hard clay it's bit like ice skating, and I'm not good at that. :grin:

    Anyway, I've done a few hundred Km on dirt, and I can't say that the tyres suffered. But then, as I say, I wasn't trying to break the land speed record.

    EDIT: By the way, I assume this is on the KTM, not the 400?
  5. I have PP's on my Duke 900SS and have ridden one stretch of about 50k's in total on gravel. The tyres did not suffer at all, which is a lot more than can be said for my wrists and back...
  6. Roarin is talking about his KTM 650.....off road job with motard wheels.
    I dont think the gravel will be an issue, or the head stem bearings. the bikes built for a hard time..


  7. Geez, your chain must have been as thirsty as you were :eek:
  8. This is exactly right. I ride my R1 with PPs on about 1km of gravel everyday, and they handle it fine. The suspension on the other hand cannot deal with anything more than very minor corrugations. If the road is chopped up at all, expect to spend most of the time backtracking for nuts, bolts, pistons, fillings and so on if you travel at anything near the speed limit.
  9. i replaced it the following weekend, was getting one last good blat out of her :)
  10. Roarin you're asking if there's anybody out there who rides as crazy as you to give you a heads up...

    ...mate, there's no-one out there who rides as crazy as you. So when you're done, come back and tell us how they went o.k?

    And for the record, i've taken pp's onto dirt only once, they went all right but i soiled my pants.

  11. Oops -my bad. I guess I should have been a little more specific on the smaller details. Like what particular bike the tyres are on. Which is not such a small detail if said bike happens to be resting on top of ones self. In a ditch perhaps. But now we're getting side tracked :)

    Top of the class for Stookie -yep, Its in regards to my 625 KTM with 17 inch motard wheels. So I'm not particularly worried about loosing nuts & bolts (unless they nuts happen to be of the personal variety). For I have Loctite. And I know how to use it.
    I'm also sure the rest of the bike will hold up just fine. After watching it cartwheel down a rather steep & long hill without myself still on board. Or landing 6 foot high jumps at pretty serious speed. With no ill effects. To the bike anyway :LOL: (keep the nuts out of your minds you perverted freaks :LOL: :LOL: )

    I was thinking of just bumping the pressure up a bit from the 25lbs I usually run, packing a spare tube & tyre levers & see how it all goes.

    Movin -I have ridden the Jamieson end of that road & didn't think it was too bad. But memory is one thing that doesn't serve me too well :oops:

    PS If anyone happens to spot some nice freshly graded gravel roads anywhere -please let me know ASAP. There is NOTHING that beats a smooth evenly graded dirt road (before it gets the wheel tracks in it) for some balls out feet up powersliding goodness. In my humble opinion anyway :grin: :grin: Cheers again to all
  12. You Krazy Mofo :LOL:

    except you can only keep in veiw for a few seconds :LOL:
  14. Why don't you just run the Maxxis supermoto tyres? They'll be as good as Pilots on the bitumen and much better in the dirt.
    PP's on a motard are probably massive overkill due to the low weight and soft suspension of the bike. You'll find no difference in cornering speed going to a Maxxis SM or Michelin Anakee but they'll both be infinitely better off road.
  15. I like your theory -but I suspect in practice the block type tyres are not going to hang on like the Pilot powers. Reason being, I origionally had a standard power on the front, but was forever chasing front end tucks & slides. Experimented with tyre pressures, settled on about 25 lbs but never got comfortable with it. So much so that I took it off at about 1/3 worn & fitted a 2CT. Instant nirvana :)
    My road to dirt ratio is probably about 99% road 1% dirt (with the 17 inch wheel set) so I don't really mind the dirt compromise.

    PS I don't find the powers overkill -still spin them up relatively often in tight twisties so I'm looking to go softer if anything (for sealed road use) Cheers
  16. I dont know if you have seen or tried the Avon Distanzia which stick damn well to the road but are wicked in the dirt aswell! I do 95% road (twisty mountain -to- fast flowing) and they havent let me down so far. Great for backing it in (which im only starting to get my head around :shock: :grin: ), they will lean until your pegs are scraping and then some plus they arent expensive ($190 front $230 rear)

    I have just finished off a set and gone and got some more.... They rock \:D/


    No chicken stirps on that rear :p
  17. Funny thing is I posted the same question over on ADVRider & about 3 others mentioned the Avons. Only other mention other than Michelin pilot powers. No one had a bad word about them. This I think is telling me something :grin:
    Best I try a set me thinks. I actually have a bit of a soft spot for Avon tyres. Burnt through many a set in years gone by. Where did you get yours?
  18. I bought them off pete through Road & River (melb). Speak to peter and he will look after you (they also have them in stock all the time unlike other shops) They sell a 120/70/17SM and 150/60/17SM or 160/60/17SM

    Road & River
    5 Riversdale Rd
    Newtown VIC
    03 5222 1826

    Retail their $444 ($191 f & $253 r), although i got them for a total cost of $420 including frieght to hobart (pete gives a 10% discount to VSMR members). If your a tard rider you should join www.vsmr.net if you already havent (its free, full of good info and good blokes) :wink:

    Let me know how you go
  19. B#gger me -I know Pete quite well. Buy all my tyres off him in fact :LOL: :LOL: as I lived in Geelong for 18 years. Small world hey :)