Dirt tire for the XR650R

I am about to purchase front and rear tires for my XR650R. I have been running Trials tires for about a year but lately I have been doing a lot of high speed desert riding on fire roads and rocky terrain. The trials tires seems to break down when you have a combination of speed and continuous hard pack roads and rocks. They have a very long life span in intermediate forest type conditions.

I have been looking at the Maxxis IT and IT Desert tires. The Desert version of the IT cost more but claims to be more resistant to chipping and tearing in the rocks. I know the IT is a good woods tire but am not sure how it will hold up in the desert.

Have any of you tried the IT Desert yet? If so, is it an all around performer and does it resist chipping, tearing and chunking?

I am not dual sported so that is not a consideration here.

The "Desert IT" is basically the same as the "IT" from what I have observed, just more expensive. My buddy got one by accident once, and we thought it wore the exact same.

Save the money and just get the plain ole "IT".

You can save an extra $4, by getting the 110 instead of the 120 rear. :)

:)

I just got the 110 and it's like a friggin pizza cutter it's so thin. Get the 120 for the pig. It still grips very nice but in the sand...good luck.

I have the desert IT for my wr450. They are supposed to have taller knobs and have a different compound compared to the regular IT. I like them a lot so far, I ride mostly on soft terrain though.

Take a look at the Cheng Shin C 755 5.30x18. It gives up a little in sand and mud, but it does very well on hard pack and rocks.I get 2 or 3 times the miles. Add a BS super duty tube and a boot.

The difference between the Desert IT and the regular IT is the carcass construction. The Desert IT is much stiffer and made to handle high-speed hits and rocks, especially with the heavier bikes. The regular IT has a very soft carcass and pinch-flats easily on our bikes in harsh conditions. I've used both. I had good luck with the regular IT in the mountains and slower, less rocky conditions. My buddy had passed the ONeal team and was in first place in the 40 pro class about 20 miles into the Mike's loop section, then got a flat and lost four places in the next 35 miles til he got to Honda Pit 5. He was using a regular IT.

I used the Desert IT's and got about 1000 miles on a 110-100 rear. I liked it a lot. Seemed to work better in the sand whoops than the 120-100. I didn't like the front as well- is kinda skatey on slippery fireroads. But I gotta say it's a tough tire and I never got a pinch-flat. One of the days prerunning Mike's loop I felt like my forks were getting harsh on little rocky stuff. I checked my tire pressure- 7 lbs! No wonder the forks seemed harsh. Next day, 16 lbs and the harshness was gone! My preference for a front is the Pirelli MT-18 HD. Also a very tough, stiff carcass. Works great at 16 lbs in the desert, 12-13 lbs in the mountains or less rocky terrain/ slower speeds.

Just my $.02...

Mike

My buddy used the regular IT in the Baja 500 and got a flat

The difference between the Desert IT and the regular IT is the carcass construction. The Desert IT is much stiffer and made to handle high-speed hits and rocks, especially with the heavier bikes. The regular IT has a very soft carcass and pinch-flats easily on our bikes in harsh conditions. I've used both. I had good luck with the regular IT in the mountains and slower, less rocky conditions. My buddy had passed the ONeal team and was in first place in the 40 pro class about 20 miles into the Mike's loop section, then got a flat and lost four places in the next 35 miles til he got to Honda Pit 5. He was using a regular IT.

I used the Desert IT's and got about 1000 miles on a 110-100 rear. I liked it a lot. Seemed to work better in the sand whoops than the 120-100. I didn't like the front as well- is kinda skatey on slippery fireroads. But I gotta say it's a tough tire and I never got a pinch-flat. One of the days prerunning Mike's loop I felt like my forks were getting harsh on little rocky stuff. I checked my tire pressure- 7 lbs! No wonder the forks seemed harsh. Next day, 16 lbs and the harshness was gone! My preference for a front is the Pirelli MT-18 HD. Also a very tough, stiff carcass. Works great at 16 lbs in the desert, 12-13 lbs in the mountains or less rocky terrain/ slower speeds.

Just my $.02...

Mike

My buddy used the regular IT in the Baja 500 and got a flat

Wish I would have read your post before I ordered. I ordered the Desert IT 120 for the rear and I ordered the front also. Now I would order a different front. :)

Wish I would have read your post before I ordered. I ordered the Desert IT 120 for the rear and I ordered the front also. Now I would order a different front. :)

The front IT is not too bad if you are just trail riding. Only when you are railing the bike pretty hard do you start to loose a little confidence in it.

It lasts a long time, is tough, and looks good. :)

We just raced the Baja 500 (450 KTM EX/C) with a set of Maxxis Desert tires and we thought they were like riding on a bag of marbles. I would start the bike sliding in to corners and it never really set to allow me to exit the corner; it just kept sliding. I do have to admit, they were tough a nails. We never changed a tire as anticipated and didn't have any flats. The rear was in good shape at the end of the race.

I've run the Dunlop 606 rear in the 130 width and a Pirelli MT 18 front. The front wears a little fast but is super stable. I also like the Dunlop 742 front as a great second choice.

Morgan

Old_Man_time, you will have to pay attention to the psi of the IT. You will have to run them at a lower psi than a normal tire or they will skate in the turns.

As you have read, even on a "bitch bike", like a KTM 450, they can be a handfull if over-inflated and ridden too aggressively.

:)

Old_Man_time, you will have to pay attention to the psi of the IT. You will have to run them at a lower psi than a normal tire or they will skate in the turns.

As you have read, even on a "bitch bike", like a KTM 450, they can be a handfull if over-inflated and ridden too aggressively.

:)

I hear ya Jack. I shouldn't of been in such a hurry to order. I may not put the front on immediately and leave my Michelin X11 Trials tire up front. The trials tire sticks like glue even at speed.

JackAttack - take it easy on the orange bikes, unless you want me to let the board in on your new little secret. :)

The IT does wear like Iron and for the Price you cant beat it.

The Deserti IT works great on everything but hard-pack roads. Even seems decent on the pavement. I found the 110 to be a little less skatey than the 120. And I agree- you have to roll the throttle on easier coming out of sweeper turns, at least on a 650. The rear does seem to work better, though, if you have a good front on it. The MT-18 HD has been my favorite for the front, but I rode Gene Lane's bike with a Michelin Desert front & really liked that tire, too. It still looked like new after about 400 miles preriding- 100+ of it on Mike's loop. Might be a new favorite...

Now... what secret? Inquiring minds want to know!

I like using a dunlop 756 up front and a TeraFlex rear.

JackAttack - take it easy on the orange bikes, unless you want me to let the board in on your new little secret. :)

I threw that "bitch bike", comment in just to see if you were paying attention. :D

:)

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