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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking at bikes yesterday at the dealer, just for fun...

Almost all the dirt bikes/dual sports had tall narrow knobby tires.
But one bike in the row, had much wider, and slightly shorter knobby tires.

Which is better, and why?
 

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I would guess it really depends on what you plan to ride on for terrain.
A lot of deep sand, or marshy riding the wider is likely better, but for other uses i generally like narrower tires on a dualsport bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks!

I figured since most of the bikes had narrow tires, that that was the best for road/offroad, and that the wider tires on the one "different" bike, were more to catch the buyers attention than anything else...
 

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Sounds like you were looking at a supermoto version. They're coming with tires like the Avon Distanzia, which is a dual sport tread, but available in 17" as well as 21" for the front.

The supermoto is supposedly a bit better on the road due to more tire tread contact, but per my experience with the KLX riding with other supermoto bikes the advantage is infantesimal. It takes more track like riding to gain the advantage. It's more the look. On the other hand the narrower taller front tire will cut through gravel, mud, and other loose surfaces to get traction where a wide tire may stay on top. This is a whole lot more noticable on roads with deeper gravel. They also can ride up over objects like rocks and logs due to the larger diameter.

Both will work fine fine for 99% of the riding of either type that most riders do.

I have a 21"/17" combination on my dual sport, would like to have 17"/17", but only if they're an extra set of wheels I can roll in and still keep the others. My main reason would be tire wear. I'd get more mileage from the dual sport tires by not runnig them on those pavement exclusive days and I'd get better miles on the road tired on those days. We limit dirt/gravel riding on those days, so I can go even more road type tread than the Avon Distanzias.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the great explanation!

It was a Yamaha...in a line up of Kawasakis.
This one maybe, or similar.
It really made the "normal" dirt bikes look puny...

 

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That explains a whole lot! I will tell you those tires make for a great beach bomber. High flotation on sand. They're like the tires on ATVs. Go great on sand, in mud, and on regular dirt. On loose surfaces though, they can stay on top of the gravel or whatever and skate about. A lot of riders of ATVs have been injured and killed crashing on gravel roads, due to loss of control. The wider the tire the worse it is on loose gravel, especially the front tire.
 
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