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FLboy

Best D.O.T. Approved Knobby

53 posts in this topic

What is everyone running for DOT approved knobbies. I ride a KTM-450EXC and want something DOT approved that is good in sand and mud, and safe for very limited paved road riding to connect trails.

I've seen Michelin AC10, Dunlop 606, and Pirelli MT21 but I'm not familiar with DOT knobbies.

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I used to run DOT tires on my plated bikes. However, my road mileage is very limited. I just run non-DOT knobbies. I've had good luck with them. I only ride the pavement when I have to and I just don't see the need for DOT tires. I have had encounters with law enforcement and they never looked at the tires. It is possible that a hard core officer will give a ticket, but if you are not going on the road much, the chances are very low. I would only consider a DOT tire if I was riding over 20% pavement.

That said, the D606 is a good knobby. The MT21 is longer lasting on the pavement, has good dirt traction, but it really sucks in the mud. Several of the Pirelli fronts are DOT legal and are quite aggressive tires.

I'm currently running a non-DOT Dunlop 952 front and a Maxxis desert IT rear. They work fine on the pavement. I wouldn't try carving up the canyons with them, but they do get me to the next trail.

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What is everyone running for DOT approved knobbies. I ride a KTM-450EXC and want something DOT approved that is good in sand and mud, and safe for very limited paved road riding to connect trails.

I've seen Michelin AC10, Dunlop 606, and Pirelli MT21 but I'm not familiar with DOT knobbies.

There really isnt a dot approved tire I have seen that is worth a crap in mud. I would go with non dot as well, since it sounds like pavement isnt a major portion of your riding. But, if you really want to have dot tires, check out Metzeler Karoos. Theyre pretty good as an all around tire, but again, a poor performer in mud or snow.

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I do a good bit of pavement and don't use DOT tires. My front tire is a MT83 that just happens to be DOT, it works great every where.

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Kenda TrackmasterII K760, they are street legal, really!

They are legal and very agressive. I have them on my 06 drz. Im amazed their dot approved

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They are legal and very agressive. I have them on my 06 drz. Im amazed their dot approved
Agreed. I run the kinder, gentler, K270's; themselves, one might think, at the edge of streetdom.

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The tera-flex is no question the traction king, but is heavy and does not give the best handling.

Dave

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I've run both a D606 and MT21 rear with decent success. As stated above, neither really liked slick muddy conditions, but were decent most everywhere else.

I have also run a Kenda Trackmaster II on the front and it was HORRIBLE. Terrible traction and washed out in fast corners and slick conditions. It did make me a better rider though! I've never run a Trackmaster rear, but I hear they are really good.

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Flboy, it all depends on where you ride to answer your question. I ride in the Ocala Forest alot. Which means I ride mostly in sand. If it rains, it's mud and quite often clay mud = slick. But you probably know this already about the forest.

I have tried a few DOT knobbies. Some good, most suck in the forest. I can say from my experience that there is NO DOT front knobby that works worth a damn there. And when I say worth a damn, I mean a tire that doesn't make your butt pucker when you hit a deep sand wash at high speeds. First off, forget about the Dunlop D606 or any type of trials tire in sand. The D606 is great for harder terrain but not sand and trials tires work really well everywhere BUT sand. My most recent DOT knobby test was with a set of AC-10s. The rear tire is ok. Not great but ok, but the front is nearly uncontrollable in sand. And they are no cheaper than a good sand tire like my favorite (S-12s). Same with the front Kenda Trakmaster II K760. You will crash if you use these tires in the sand. That said, the rear K760 is my tire of choice. It is cheap (less that $50 shipped if you shop around), lasts a long time and has remarkably good grip in sand. I hear good things about MT21s but haven't tried them.

My setup is Kenda rear and S-12 front.

In summary

Front tires that will make you crash:

AC-10

Trials tires

D606

Kenda TrakmasterII K760

Rear tires that are ok:

AC-10 (but not the best price or longevity)

Good rear tire:

Kenda TrakmasterII K760 (good price and long lasting)

The only front tires for sand:

Dunlop 773

Michelin S-12 (the best-like velcro)

but neither of these are DOT approved.

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I am running a Dunlop D606 front and a Kenda 760 Trakmaster rear on my XT225 and the combo works well on woods and mud trails. I don't ride in sand, however.

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To me absolutely nothing beats a Terraflex in the sand and mud. I did many years of sand and mud riding in coastal SC on MT-21's and I was always happy with them. I ran all kinds of non DOT knobbies and never really saw enough difference in the beach sand and gumbo mud down there to justify not running the MT-21's.

But my all time favorite combination was a Terraflex rear and MT-21 front. I could power through deep sand and mud, have a decent shot at turning in sand without washing out and still be able to stop reasonably well on asphalt. But the Terraflex is dang pricey and wears out very fast on pavement. So I always ended up with an MT-21 rear. But I sure had fun playing with the Terraflex rear tire the three or four times I bought one.

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The Terra Flex is a great offroad tire and lasts forever on the pavement. You can run with it flat and the pressure should be kept at around 3-5 pounds. The tire weighs a few more pounds due to the steel belts and the ice cube size knobbies. The 450 exc has more than enough power to run this tire.

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They are legal and very agressive. I have them on my 06 drz. Im amazed their dot approved

Same here. I run the kenda trakmaster on the rear of my DR650 and i love it in the soft stuff. You would never guess by just looking at it that it was street legal. Don't plan on keeping the square edges on the knobs if you do more than just a little street riding though.

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Check out the metzlers that come stock on the 2007 ktm exc's

very agressive and dot approved

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