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#33 Tests the Golden Tyre!


Golden Tyre

When was the last time someone came out with a front tire that you heard was the latest and the greatest?  I had been hearing some noise from the off roaders about such an oversize (90/100 21) front tire so in an effort to keep the MX43 readers from having to wait I found a couple and tried them on a couple of different bikes. A KTM 500 XCW and a Honda XR 650 L were at the opposite ends of the scale and would give me a wide range of riding/testing.

This is not an inexpensive tire with a $124 retail list. I found them for $95 delivered to my door. So away I go on two different bikes over sand, rock, hard pack, shale, powder and anything else I could find.

I noticed a different front feel right off the bat but was not immediately sure if it was better or not due to the wide variation I rode throughout the very first day. I liked the way it turned in sand, also in loose shale rocky terrain. However, I was not as satisfied on the hard pack especially with rougher ground, like ruts.

I did like the way it dampened impacts on rocks and harder objects due to the oversize 90\100 profile. It was like softening your suspension a bit.

Now back to the sand. It turned quite well there with the taller, wider foot print. For you REALLY Old Timers you may have had the opportunity to run a 3.25x21 Cheing Shin back in the day. If you did you probably rode in the desert and that is why you ran the oversize front tire.  Well think of this 90/100x21 as a modern day Cheing Shin. Very similar characteristics with a leg up on the harder ground due to rubber advancement and modern technology. So in the desert and in sandy/loose conditions it scores very well over the standard size tire.

As I moved on to more trail oriented riding I found things that were not as appealing. It was a bit heavier steering on harder ground, almost like a slightly low tire. The other thing I found was the tendency of the oversize tire to follow the contours of the terrain. By this I especially mean ruts. I could feel the tire grab the side of ruts and feel a bit less stable there. So for trail riding I would prefer a standard size front tire.