Despite the fact that a 17inch rear tyre isn’t as easy to come by as they once were, I finally managed to obtain a set of Dunlop D606s for the KLR a week ago. I’ve probably only changed a motorcycle tyre once before, but with the help of the KLR workshop manual and a very useful YouTube video, I had the two tyres fitted in around an hour and a half, and 2 beers. I reckon I could probably halve that (the time, but not necessarily the beers) now that I know what I’m doing.

I’ve probably ridden around 200 kays on the new tyres, and for what they are I’m happy with them. They don’t inspire the same confidence on the bitumen that the road tyres did, but I wouldn’t expect them to. That said, I didn’t find myself holding back though the corners on the D606s… I was just more aware of them.

I’m also aware of the noise. At higher speeds I can’t hear it for wind and engine noise, but at low speed the tyres make a but of a howl. Not bad, and certainly not unexpected.

On the dirt they’re great. I repeated a 100km ride to Mt Donna Buang and back, taking the same route I’d taken the previous week on the road tyres, and while the on-road experience was not wildly different, riding on a variety of other surfaces was much better. Hard-packed dirt, muddy corners, thick gravel and water on the track where all much easier to negotiate.

While I’d still probably choose the Trailmaxs for a long highway run, I’d be happy enough with the D606s, if that’s all I had.

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