Sand Tires

16 replies to this topic
  • Beef

Posted March 08, 2005 - 06:25 AM


I was just wondering how "soft terrain" tires (such as Dunlop 773's) would compare to paddle tires at the sand dunes.

I have used paddle tires at the dunes before, and they work quite well as far as traction goes, but they pose several problems, including:

1) Hard to mount up, and can cause problems, including eating the shock mud-shield, requiring modification of the chain length, and causing the chain to ruin the swingarm.

2) Don't allow the rear tire to "spin-up" from a dead stop, which causes extra clutch wear.

3) Difficult to ride on hard surfaces.

How significant of a performance loss (say, in hillclimbing) would I see with a soft terrain tire over the paddles though? I would think that it would allow you to keep the engine RPM's up durring hillclimbs, which would actually be a benefit...? :)

  • ncmountainman

Posted March 08, 2005 - 06:28 AM


pirelli makes a sand tire thats half knobby half paddle,i forgot the name of it but it looks killer. i think its the replacement for the scorpion pro?

  • Beef

Posted March 08, 2005 - 07:56 AM


Yeah, I think you are talking about the Pirrelli MT410.

Pirelli MT410

Unfortunately, they don't make them for 18" rims... :)

  • ncmountainman

Posted March 08, 2005 - 08:07 AM


might be worth converting to a 19" rim for that beauty :) then you could keep the regular tire on the 18" and switch back and forth :)

  • Beef

Posted March 08, 2005 - 08:59 AM


I like that idea (that is what I do on my quad), but what does a rim, spokes and a hub cost??? :) That's got to be several hundred bucks isn't it?

  • timcook

Posted March 08, 2005 - 09:11 AM


My main concern with you not running a full paddle in sand is the rpm's of your motor. In soft sand the paddle provides a load for your bike in turn giving the motor something to pull. If a tire is used that spins freely you run the risk of reving the crap out of the motor. Think of it like having your bike on a stand and running it through the gears with the tire just hanging there. On the other hand, if the sand is not too soft then try a tire like ncmountianman has suggested. In Glamis for instance you will go nowhere without a full paddle!!!!

  • Beef

Posted March 08, 2005 - 11:50 AM


I know what you are saying...however, I think I'd rather have to modulate my RPM with my right wrist, than smoke my clutch not being able to get the tire spinning...

My last foray into the deep sand (on a bike) was with a CR125...I had WAY too deep of paddles on it, with the wrong gearing (in order to get the chain to fit), and I bet I smoked half the clutch on that trip, just trying to get moving every time I stopped. It worked GREAT once I was moving though.

I guess with a 450 thumper, power wouldn't be nearly as big of an issue...but you still have to deal with the beating that the full paddles put on your bike. I'd really like to find someone that's tried that Pirelli tire in soft sand...I can see regular knobbies sucking, but it looks to me like those mini-paddles would work pretty well...

...I mean, it's all about the volume of sand that you can move per revolution right? If you added up the surface area of all of those mini-paddles, I would think it would equal the same or greater surface area of a "normal" paddle. Additionally, you could control the RPM's better and maintain a higher RPM, which would allow you to keep the engine at it's peak powerband...? :)

  • scottyp

Posted March 08, 2005 - 02:21 PM


If your just riding sand, like St. Anthony, get the regular paddle tire. I have been running one at Little Sahara on my '03 450 since I got it and the only wear I have ever had was the stock mud flap. (In fact the only problem I've ever had with the bike is a water pump seal last week. Lucky for an '03 I guess) As soon as I saw it was wearing I just trimmed it off where it meets the swing arm and it does its job just as well without hitting the paddle. I run it with the stock chain, wheel, and sprockets without any power,clutch wear, swingarm wear, clearance or RPM problems. Unless your changing from dirt to sand a lot on the same ride I would keep riding the regular paddle tire. Our bikes can definitely handle them and the traction and ride will be much better than any nobby tire. I ran my bike at Sahara with the stock dirt tire and I was able to climb the less steep side of Sand Mountain without too much trouble, but my RPM's were higher and the bike was a lot slower. I don't think running higher RPM's will do any good if you don't have the traction. The only advantage I can see to the mt410 is if you were going from dirt to sand to dirt, etc in the same ride and you weren't doing any serious hill climbing.

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  • gordybrown

Posted March 27, 2005 - 04:28 PM


First of all, at the risk of being too frank, everyone I've known who's taken a 125 into deep sand has regreted it. They either have too little power, burn up clutches, have to cut paddles off the all adds up to frying that little underpowered two stroke. And it doesn't seem to matter how big the rider is. Your comment about the clutch confirms this.

I used to ride my factory 250 two stroke motocrosser in the sand back in the 70's before we had paddles. The fact is, if you didn't keep your speed up the nose would almost always dive in and make it no fun. Paddles help that. When you are entering a turn or landing a jump and feel your front end starting to dive, you just gas it! The paddles give you immediate thrust and your front end lightens up, saving the day.

Those Pirellis look cool, but after very little wear, you'd be on normal worn knobbys.

I have to agree that they would be good in like San Felipe, MX where you go from sand to dirt to rocks to.....but for pure sand, go with the tire designed for it. With the power of the big thumper, compared to the little 2 stroke, you will be impressed and have a lot more fun.

  • muz

Posted March 28, 2005 - 02:09 AM


sold my 01 250 two stroke to get 05 wr450. much easier for us older blokes. have tried the pirelli 410 scorpion and found it to be awesome in soft shit. the paddle restricted me to soft sand only as it cracks the lugs on the hard stuff also hard to corner,pirelli's the go but only make 19 inch

  • gordybrown

Posted March 28, 2005 - 04:24 PM


Hey beef, check out this link. For 50 bucks it's worth a shot!



  • Beef

Posted March 28, 2005 - 05:52 PM


Hey Gordy, thanks for the link!

Unfortunately, I don't even have a bike yet (I'm waffling between an offroad (18" rear) or track (19") bike right now...I'm kinda leaning towards the off-road version, and unfortunately, the 410 doesn't come in 18" it may all be a mute point. :naughty:

Why do off-road bikes have to have a rear wheel size that's hard to shop for??? :D :naughty:

  • ncmountainman

Posted March 28, 2005 - 05:59 PM


the 18" allows for more sidewall which is better in the nasty stuff :naughty:

  • Smokey123

Posted March 28, 2005 - 07:35 PM


If anyone wants to get rid of an 18" to buy a 19 let me know. I'm looking to get an 18" for my bike (Extra) thanks. rshosted@xmission(dot)com

  • OrionEngineer

Posted March 29, 2005 - 08:28 AM


There is another tire similar to the Pirelli but is a little beefier. My buddy runs it on his bike and it works great. Running regular knobbies is not a good idea. A paddle really helps in two ways. The obvious one of getting traction, but also to pull some of the weight off the front end. With a knobby, you are really pushing the front tire though the sand, where with the paddle, you have enough power to ride the front wheel on top of the sand and steering is a lot better.

  • Dan_Lorenze

Posted March 29, 2005 - 08:41 AM


The IRC M5B is one aggressive sand/soft terrain tire. It looks like a paddle with knobs instead of scoops.. A great tire for scooping sand, as expected it probably won't rail a corner like a conventional tire but it has its place in the sand. :naughty:

  • gordybrown

Posted March 29, 2005 - 12:49 PM


Hey Beef,
If you have a WR with the 18 inch rim for rocky terrain, then throw on a YZ wheel with the 19 for the paddle, you have the best of both worlds.



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