In defense of the OEM tyres (and tubes) - Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin Forum
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post #1 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-04-2016, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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In defense of the OEM tyres (and tubes)

It has become very de-rigueur to slag the OEM Dunlop Trailmax tyres and the fact that the rims are tubed. To anyone that cares I find mine great, good traction, predictable cornering and I am sure a reasonable mileage life. They cope in the wet (a common feature where I live) and I have no doubt will cope quite well with compact hard trail with a bit of rough surface and gravel thrown in.

I am sure there are many better tyres for hard off road, deep sand, boggy, very wet environments, I am not saying otherwise. To those that are new to this type of bike ignore all the posts recommending the more aggressive block pattern tyres unless you are going across Aussie or the Rockies, Sahara or any other extreme terrain/trail. Quite why you would put an aggressive block pattern tyre on your bike for 100 miles of off-road in a two thousand mile journey made up of tarmac is beyond me. You have probably just compromised your entire road experience with a poorer handling, noisy tyre with less grip (in the wet and dry) with a much shorter lifespan. But they look good eh?

To those who moan about the tubes, get a bloody life! Any competent off-roader (not me) will tell you they would take a tube any day over tubeless when they have a flat 150 miles from the nearest road. I respectfully borrowed this text from another website.

Being someone who has spent a lot of time riding these big adventure bikes off-road, there have been about 15 instances over as many years where either myself, someone in our group or someone we came across on the trail suffered a flat on a tubeless tire that couldn’t be fixed with a plug. Ironically, we got most of the bikes going again by installing a tube allowing the bikes to limp out just fine. In a few cases, it required atv extraction (one bike had to be carried about a quarter mile before that was even possible.)

Also as mentioned, you can run really low pressure with tubes, and you’d be surprised how much more traction you get from that.


The voice of experience. Does anyone agree with me, I might be talking utter shite?

250X7 (first bike 17 years old, T-Boned it in 3 weeks), CB250K4 (needed wheels), CB350K4 (last wheels needed replacing, ran engine without oil after rebuild, DOH!), T500 (didnt handle, didn't care, 2-stroke smoke - EPIC!), 883 Sportster (oh dear, mistake), 1340 Lowrider Covertible (stolen before a year old), Daytona 1200 (heavy, 147BHP mad lump), DR350 (reliable small thumper), CRF1000 (love it)
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post #2 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-04-2016, 03:19 PM
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I have only one problem with the OEM tyres , the wet grip not good enough !
Few scary moments when the rear tyre spun and slipped on a damp road , and i was not even pushing it , right wrist traction control saved the situation .

County Durham cowboy .
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post #3 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-04-2016, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Mad Frosty View Post
I have only one problem with the OEM tyres , the wet grip not good enough !
Few scary moments when the rear tyre spun and slipped on a damp road , and i was not even pushing it , right wrist traction control saved the situation .
Glad you saved the day! I cant say I have pushed hard in the wet but never had any problems myself. Any experiences with another tyre similar to the Dunlops. i.e road biased with light trail intentions? Maybe TKC70's for you, see pic.
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250X7 (first bike 17 years old, T-Boned it in 3 weeks), CB250K4 (needed wheels), CB350K4 (last wheels needed replacing, ran engine without oil after rebuild, DOH!), T500 (didnt handle, didn't care, 2-stroke smoke - EPIC!), 883 Sportster (oh dear, mistake), 1340 Lowrider Covertible (stolen before a year old), Daytona 1200 (heavy, 147BHP mad lump), DR350 (reliable small thumper), CRF1000 (love it)

Last edited by eltel62; 08-04-2016 at 04:32 PM. Reason: pic
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post #4 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-04-2016, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by eltel62 View Post
It has become very de-rigueur to slag the OEM Dunlop Trailmax tyres and the fact that the rims are tubed. To anyone that cares I find mine great, good traction, predictable cornering and I am sure a reasonable mileage life. They cope in the wet (a common feature where I live) and I have no doubt will cope quite well with compact hard trail with a bit of rough surface and gravel thrown in.

I am sure there are many better tyres for hard off road, deep sand, boggy, very wet environments, I am not saying otherwise. To those that are new to this type of bike ignore all the posts recommending the more aggressive block pattern tyres unless you are going across Aussie or the Rockies, Sahara or any other extreme terrain/trail. Quite why you would put an aggressive block pattern tyre on your bike for 100 miles of off-road in a two thousand mile journey made up of tarmac is beyond me. You have probably just compromised your entire road experience with a poorer handling, noisy tyre with less grip (in the wet and dry) with a much shorter lifespan. But they look good eh?

To those who moan about the tubes, get a bloody life! Any competent off-roader (not me) will tell you they would take a tube any day over tubeless when they have a flat 150 miles from the nearest road. I respectfully borrowed this text from another website.

Being someone who has spent a lot of time riding these big adventure bikes off-road, there have been about 15 instances over as many years where either myself, someone in our group or someone we came across on the trail suffered a flat on a tubeless tire that couldn’t be fixed with a plug. Ironically, we got most of the bikes going again by installing a tube allowing the bikes to limp out just fine. In a few cases, it required atv extraction (one bike had to be carried about a quarter mile before that was even possible.)

Also as mentioned, you can run really low pressure with tubes, and you’d be surprised how much more traction you get from that.


The voice of experience. Does anyone agree with me, I might be talking utter shite?
I agree, well said.
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post #5 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-04-2016, 04:31 PM
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My only concern with having tubes is the fact that when punctured, they reportedly deflate far more rapidly than a tubeless.
If anyone can provide evidence to the contrary, I'll happily go with a tubed solution - once Honda has resolved the problems with the spokes, of course.
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post #6 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-04-2016, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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My only concern with having tubes is the fact that when punctured, they reportedly deflate far more rapidly than a tubeless.
If anyone can provide evidence to the contrary, I'll happily go with a tubed solution - once Honda has resolved the problems with the spokes, of course.
Its not reportedly, they generally do deflate faster and the big "tubed tyre" gods in the sky are not trying to convince you otherwise or provide evidence to the contrary.

Tubed tyres with spoke wheels offer well documented benefits to off-road capable bikes and no doubt that is why Honda chose them. Its just a choice they made, every choice will always be a compromise to a greater or lesser degree. Avoid the bike if it bothers you that much.
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250X7 (first bike 17 years old, T-Boned it in 3 weeks), CB250K4 (needed wheels), CB350K4 (last wheels needed replacing, ran engine without oil after rebuild, DOH!), T500 (didnt handle, didn't care, 2-stroke smoke - EPIC!), 883 Sportster (oh dear, mistake), 1340 Lowrider Covertible (stolen before a year old), Daytona 1200 (heavy, 147BHP mad lump), DR350 (reliable small thumper), CRF1000 (love it)

Last edited by eltel62; 08-04-2016 at 05:33 PM.
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post #7 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 06:58 AM
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The tubes are a pain in the backside if one spends most of the time on metaled roads and backroads and hardpack trails. However I can live with them. I have punctured already on the road and a can of tube dedicated spray got me home. I certainly would have preferred to take a few minutes putting in a plug on a tubeless tyre than the rigmarole that a replacement tube requires. However as I say I can live with it.


I also live in Ireland and as such there is plenty of rain. The rear tyre has come close to spitting me off several times in the wet. It also nearly spat a friend off on a demo bike when he rode it in the wet. By comparison, the Dunlop Trailsmarts on my Triumph Explorer, a much heavier bike, are confidence inspiring, wet or dry. Sadly they do not make Trailsmarts in AT sizes. I ride briskly and that includes in the wet. The OEM tyres on my AT make me nervous and I do not like that as I am not accustomed to such behaviour from my tyres. I am accordingly looking forward to parting with the OEM tyres. Currently Pirelli MT90's are being considered but I have not made my mind up yet.

Last edited by 6986; 08-05-2016 at 07:03 AM.
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post #8 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 10:40 AM
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actually; problem is not with stock tyres or other on/off-road capable tyres

in my opinion, problem is;

why do honda made a decision for us? do we ever change to low pressure for better grip on gravel?
why with tubed tyres?
why can not I choose my bike with or without tubeless?
why they dont offer us tubeless rims as original accessories?

if honda had offered any tubeless rims (like gs or tenere) with acceptable price, I would really buy them. because, I'm just a weekend off-roader, riding just 200km offroad, so I think my heidenau K60's will be with me for 2 years
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post #9 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 01:01 PM
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I have found the OEM on dry tarmack to be OK. I really don't like them in the wet. On gravel they are OK but have not encountered any mud with them yet. I would imagine I would quickly go down at first site of mud. I prefer tubed tires for off road as I find them easier to repair. I have a set of tubless rims for sale that fit a Suzuki DL 650 vee strom. A fellow inmate on another forum almost bought them but fitment was an issue. With his bent tubless rim he had to install a tube to get home. A bent tubless rim won't hold air once the bead is broken but with a tube no issue.

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post #10 of 74 (permalink) Old 08-05-2016, 01:49 PM
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Thumbs down OEM Tyres

I've now done 3800 miles in two months on the OEM tyres. At a guess I would say there's 1500-2000 miles left in them. Dry grip very good, scraped the pegs a few times. Wet grip horrendous. Slightest touch of throttle at very modest lean angles and the back steps out. With the amount of rain we get here in Scotland I'm seriously considering changing the tyres ASAP, it's that bad. I've heard good reports about Conti Trail Attack 2's so I think that's what I'll go for.
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