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Discussion Starter #1
I swore I was never going to put any tires on my 2011 Multistrada other than road tires because I never ride it anywhere other than on pavement. That's why I have the other bike, a dual sport, right? Well, because of some ongoing construction around my house that will probably last well into the summer my entrance and exit to and from my house on the Multi has become an interesting, albeit short, off-road adventure, so I've decided to put more offroad-oriented tires on the Multi to help with navigating what used to be my driveway. Once I reach the road I'll be a pavement-only rider again, at least on that bike, but right now getting there is a challenge, particularly when it's wet. I was looking at Conti TKC70s and TKC80s, but noticed that the widest the rear TKCs come is 180/55ZR-17, while the OEM spec is 190/55ZR-17. I've never run anything on the Multi other than a 190. Has anyone had any experience with running a 180-width rear tire on a Multistrada, and if so, how did it work out?
 

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I would think putting on a set of TKC’s to cross a temporarily rough driveway a bit extreme. Just a bit. :)

You might consider the TrailAttacks.


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Discussion Starter #3
I'll look at them, thanks. And I oversimplified the situation a bit when I referred to it as my driveway; the route I have to take to go between the road and where I keep the bike has gotten challenging; not impossible, but challenging. I'm just trying to make my life a little less stressful, at least at the very beginning and end of a ride. 🙂
 

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Just out of curiosity, if the way from your house to the road is "challenging" on a multistrada, how the hell do you get there by car?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Some things are easier with four wheels under you, especially when it's wet. Not better, necessarily, just easier. 🙂
 

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Why not lay down some 2x10’s spanning from garage to road?



Unless you prefer to build a jump from road to garage...



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But back to the original question, will a 180/55ZR-17 rear tire work OK when the OEM spec is 190/55ZR-17?
It will likely work but there are many street/trail tires out there that will match OEM fitment, why not go with those? Unless you're dead set on going with the Conti's I'd pick something that matches OEM.

The OEM Scorpion Trail II's that came on my bike are likely good enough for what you're describing, but if you want an alternative the Michelin Anakee and others come in 190 width I'm almost positive.
 

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It's not that much narrower so shouldn't be a problem. You could park the multi at the highway and ride the dual Sport back and forth from house to there...
 

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Gearing commander is your friend. What is suggests is that you will get more revolutions of the wheel with the new tire (meaning slight more wear on the chain for the same amount of mileage) but other than that is seems quite doable. You may also notice (very difficult cause the change is minimal) a slight difference in RPMs relative to real speed in every gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Interesting, I didn't know about Gearing Commander; pretty useful resource. I didn't realize that the actual outside diameter of a 180/55ZR-17 is a little less than the 190/55ZR-17. I thought it was just a 10 mm difference in width. Tire sizing can be pretty complicated, and I suspect it's hard to compare apples to apples among different manufacturers.
 

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I believe that for your driveway at least you will see a big difference regardless of the manufacturer because you are looking at tires with very different tread pattern. Similarly you may end up feeling a bit let down on asphalt, again, regardless of manufacturer.
For an 180 tire to be of similar/same circumference to a 190 one, the ratio must be higher (60 instead of 55). You can try all these calculations with gearing commander, in case you are looking to minimize geometry differences (but sacrifice the more direct feel of a 55 ratio tire).

Yeap, tires can be (very) complicated :)
 

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Tire geometry is all math, none of it should be that complicated (unless you're bad at math, lol)

The modifier for circumference is the width to aspect ratio relation (55 in this case) if the tire height (from bead to crown) is 55% of the width of the tire, it should be fairly obvious why the rolling distance of a narrower tire is less (assuming both tires have the same ratio).

 

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Not a lot of clearance on the left side of the swingarm so going wider is probably a bad idea... but narrower by 10mm shouldn't pose a problem (though I've not done it so have not personal experience). You're already compromising the handling characteristics with the tread so you'll already be a lot slower though the twisties (the change in profile will be the least of your problems), and 5mm on each side isn't much of a change really. Don't expect them to last long if you're only on dirt for a few hundred yards per ride, I'd put the bike in low power mode, that might help the rear last a bit longer.
 

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Personally... for a challenge of this magnitude I'd go for proper capability:

979623
 
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