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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planning a trip to the far north and want to run a tire with more gravel capability. The closest I can find is a 180/55 ZR17 (73W) versus the stock 190/55. Has anyone used this tire size on the back (with the stock 120/70 on the front) and if so what impact has it had on the traction control, ABS etc? I have been told by the dealer that it will affect the function of the nannies, and cannot get a clear answer from Ducati yet...I am looking at the TKC 70 as the tire choice.
 

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Can't answer your question but be aware the TKC 70 has a relatively short tire life, especially if you're riding on gravel. Maybe 3,000 mi.? If you're traveling far, you'll have to replace them along the way. There aren't many places that can--or will-change the rear tire on a Multistrada. Very few and very far between. You'll need to carry the sprocket to remove the wheel (a good idea anyway) because no shop will have the Ducati sprocket, except a Ducati dealer or Ducati repair shop, which as I said, are very few and very far between in the far north.
 

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180/55 TKC80 on a 2013.
A TKC80 is pretty square after 5,000 km, but by no means worn out.
I can't say about the 70.

All the nannies work just fine, no issues at all.
Turn the traction control right down if you're goofing around in deep sand. Not just Enduro Mode, turn it right down.

After a year with these tires I'm going back to the Scorpion Trails.
I've found that there's nowhere that I want to be (on this bike) where I need that much tire.
 

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So regarding the multi on dirt... my random observations from (quite a few) miles on the soft stuff:

Scorpion Trails perform well on roads like Shil's pic above, IMO TKC 80's are overkill if you're on firm clean fire roads or seasonal roads (which lets be honest... out of the small fraction of Multi owners who do ride dirt... the vast majority of those folks will never ride anything more 'dirt' than this.

To repost some footage I've put up before as example - I can ride stuff like this all day:


Angel GT's and other "Touring" tires perform pretty close to ST's on those roads... that is to say - decent. The real impact is that I find myself riding slower than I would on a bike with full knobblies, but other than that not much impact.

Where ST's and other ADV tires struggle is when it gets REALLY soft. Mud is a problem (to the point that I'd avoid riding mud AT ALL without a tire like the TKC 80, just cakes on and leaves you with no traction). Sand is a struggle because of the small diameter front wheel and I doubt knobblies will solve that.

If you're on stones... ST's and AGT's cut REALLY easily if the stones are sharp, I'd look at other vendors if I was going to ride a lot of sharp stones (I've never had a Metzler cut on sharp gravel for instance).

Here's an example (later in the same day) where I got onto stuff that was close to the limit of what I'd want to ride on a touring loaded Multi on ADV tires (was essentially single lane):

Gopro was a bit overexposed so it was hard to see... but there were a lot of rocks, ruts, and debris on the trail... and the trail got progressively narrower until it was basically single track (at that point I turned around and found another route). I loved roads like that on my old 500 dual sport but with a 525lb bike loaded with a months worth of gear and on "fragile" touring tires it was pretty nerve wracking (oh and I was running low on fuel too... just to make it more exciting).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your reply and good to know that the smaller tire will work ok. My trip is up the Dawson Hwy and I've heard the gravel is sharp there, so concerned about the tires getting cut. Thinking I might stay with the Scorpions, based on other comments here, but I will be carrying the correct socket for the rear axle nut so shouldn't have too much trouble changing tires I hope!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks DaveK, that has been my experience so far with limited time on gravel and some mud, that the Scorpions work OK. My plan is to go up north to Tuktoyaktuk, so will have about 2,000 kms of gravel. The plan was to change tires in Whitehorse, but carry spares as well, so could change on the road if required (likely using a tube inside for awhile). I've heard the gravel on the Dempster Hwy is sharp, hence the idea of running a tougher tire for that section.
 

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Thanks DaveK, that has been my experience so far with limited time on gravel and some mud, that the Scorpions work OK. My plan is to go up north to Tuktoyaktuk, so will have about 2,000 kms of gravel. The plan was to change tires in Whitehorse, but carry spares as well, so could change on the road if required (likely using a tube inside for awhile). I've heard the gravel on the Dempster Hwy is sharp, hence the idea of running a tougher tire for that section.
Based on what I've heard of the Dempster I was figuring on mounting knobbies when I rode it. There's a shop that you can ship them to right at the start and they'll hold your ST's for when you get back.

I want to do an Arctic trip on the multi... probably going to be a few years before I can get the planets aligned.
 

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In June I'll be riding from Nevada up through Banff National park, into Tok Alaska then up to Dawson City via the Taylor hwy and Top of the World hwy. I'll be mounting a set of Heidenau K60 Scout tires to take care of any "rough" spots.
 

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A few years ago I went up the Dempster on a KLR.
I ran K60s. I had a flat.
Carry a plug kit and practice using it.

Why would you use a tube? It's that much harder to plug.
I'd converted the KLR to tubeless for the trip and am glad i did.
 

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A few years ago I went up the Dempster on a KLR.
I ran K60s. I had a flat.
Carry a plug kit and practice using it.

Why would you use a tube? It's that much harder to plug.
I'd converted the KLR to tubeless for the trip and am glad i did.
I always carry a Stop & Go plug kit. I've practiced with it a few times on old tires; pretty easy. I'm not going up the Dempster. Some years back a couple guys I worked with at The Motorcycle Shop in Anchorage rode to Dawson City via the Taylor and TOW hwys. On the way back one of them had a rock go through their GS tire; putting a LARGE hole in it. They had a Stop & Go plug kit with some vulcanizing glue and plugs with them. It took 5 or 6 plugs to close the hole. They rode back into the shop in Anchorage, took the tire off the rim and found the rock still inside!! It was about 1 inch by 2 inches! We cut the plugged section of the tire out and placed it on the parts counter along with the rock. Sold a ton of those plug kits after that!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It was suggested to me that knobbies are an issue on the Dempster because the sharp gravel will cut the carcass between the knobs, so a closer tread pattern like the TKC 70 is a better choice...I hope to connect with a local biker in Dawson and ask for his thoughts. I'll let you know what I learn :)
 

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If I were doing it again I would:
Not ride a KLR across Canada.
Change tires in Whitehorse.
Take more time. I was gone for a month and still felt rushed.

Have a great trip!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've since connected with the fellow who organizes the Dust 2 Dawson rally and his answer was very straight forward - put the biggest set of knobbies you can on the bike. So I am going to get the TKC 80s for it and change them in Dawson. Apparently there are sections that is all marbles and you really need knobbies, and to drop the air pressure too.
 
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