BOX1

School Me on Tire Profile

Cobweb

Member
Mar 2, 2019
41
81
18
Hexi Hollow
Ownership

Talon X
So looking at various tire shapes, there appears to be two primary tread profiles. One is a more rounded profile while the other is square or flat.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of each?

Thanks!!
 
  • Like
Reactions: FOOTS and Isaiah
box4

Lil_Steve

Well-Known Member
May 22, 2019
205
404
63
Gilbert, AZ
Ownership

Other Brand,
Talon R
I have tried both on my Talon R and prefer a rounded profile for the type of terrain (rocky faster open desert trail, no mud, very little sand) I mostly encounter. With the stock rounded profile Maxxis tires the steering is quick and more precise. Going to (also rounded) 32" Tusk Terrabites are similar if just a bit less nimble. Having swapped square profiled 29" ITP Ultracross R spec tires onto my Talon temporarily, I didn't much care for the vague, slower steering response, especially in faster two track terrain. It pulls the steering into ruts significantly more than the more rounded tires, overall it required more correction/input.

I could see an advantage in a more square profile for mud, maybe rock crawling, snow, it's going to depend on what the terrain is like where you ride.
 

Cobweb

Member
Mar 2, 2019
41
81
18
Hexi Hollow
Ownership

Talon X
Good feedback. I ride in PA and WV 95% of the time so rocky, muddy mountains are what I ride. I just bought a set of ITP Blackwaters (very round profile) and have about 200 miles on them so far. I like them better than stock of course, but always want to understand why thing are different and their pros and cons.

Thanks!
 

Code54

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
Club Contributor
Jan 31, 2015
529
450
63
Hurricane West Virginia
Ownership

Other Brand,
Talon X
Im in WV and love my Carnivores (square profile) for the mountain riding we do. They seem to hold up a little better than rounded from what I observed from others around here and handle the terrain very well. They also are decent on the road (we can plate our SxS's for use on the road).
 

FOOTS

Member
Jan 30, 2020
32
19
8
North Carolina
Ownership

Talon x4
Good feedback. I ride in PA and WV 95% of the time so rocky, muddy mountains are what I ride. I just bought a set of ITP Blackwaters (very round profile) and have about 200 miles on them so far. I like them better than stock of course, but always want to understand why thing are different and their pros and cons.

Thanks!
What size Blackwaters and what pressure are you running? I ride the same kind of trails you do.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
  • Like
Reactions: Isaiah

Hometeam

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
Nov 26, 2015
395
508
93
Normal, IL
Like @Lil_Steve stated....The rounded profile will handle better than a flat top profile. The rounded steers and corners noticeable better than flat top does. I personally run a rounded top profile (32" Kanait Terra Masters) and I ride in WV and Tennessee trails mostly. I just spent the last weekend in WV and the Terra Masters were absolutely awesome. They did it all.....fast trail speeds, climbs, etc. 300 miles and they took a beating and look great! When I have used a flat top tire it does not feel as good nor as under control as a round top. The flat pushes in the corners and the rear is too loose in the corners! Just my .02!)
 

CID

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
Supporting Member
Oct 27, 2019
851
1,975
93
SE Denver-ish
Ownership

Talon R
Although not very tough or particularly long wearing, the stock, rounded profile tires on a Talon are pretty good in my environment (hard packed gravel for the most part). The one weakness I noticed is that they'll occasionally push in a turn, understeer. Those happenings wake me right the hell up :oops: since it happens at higher speeds.

Being cheap frugal, I was looking at tires with more rubber on the ground, a square profile. But, thinking about it (above posts), they would probably be more likely to push, not good. Fortunately(?) my first choices were out of stock and I needed tires so I ordered a set of STI Chicane RX. They're reported to have good tire life and have a more rounded profile. The tires are here but my new Talon isn't, so I won't know for a while how well they work.
 

Lil_Steve

Well-Known Member
May 22, 2019
205
404
63
Gilbert, AZ
Ownership

Other Brand,
Talon R
Although not very tough or particularly long wearing, the stock, rounded profile tires on a Talon are pretty good in my environment (hard packed gravel for the most part). The one weakness I noticed is that they'll occasionally push in a turn, understeer. Those happenings wake me right the hell up :oops: since it happens at higher speeds.

Being cheap frugal, I was looking at tires with more rubber on the ground, a square profile. But, thinking about it (above posts), they would probably be more likely to push, not good. Fortunately(?) my first choices were out of stock and I needed tires so I ordered a set of STI Chicane RX. They're reported to have good tire life and have a more rounded profile. The tires are here but my new Talon isn't, so I won't know for a while how well they work.
The stock tires didn't last long in my environment. Off-road they handled very well, they're just not very tough. Last year when I was talking to a Honda rep at Sand Hollow, he mentioned that the tires were a compromise, they're goal was a light, responsive tire. That leaves a better first impression on test rides from regular Joe's to people in the industry. Had Honda chosen a seriously heavy duty squared off tire, handling would suffer and people wouldn't come away with a very good first impression.

I've seen barely used stock tires for sale locally very cheap, I should have grabbed them since now I'm thinking about having my stock wheels ready to go as a second set.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CID
box4

CID

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
Supporting Member
Oct 27, 2019
851
1,975
93
SE Denver-ish
Ownership

Talon R
The stock tires didn't last long in my environment. Off-road they handled very well, they're just not very tough. Last year when I was talking to a Honda rep at Sand Hollow, he mentioned that the tires were a compromise, they're goal was a light, responsive tire. That leaves a better first impression on test rides from regular Joe's to people in the industry. Had Honda chosen a seriously heavy duty squared off tire, handling would suffer and people wouldn't come away with a very good first impression.

I've seen barely used stock tires for sale locally very cheap, I should have grabbed them since now I'm thinking about having my stock wheels ready to go as a second set.
Since they aren't very tough and I'm usually solo, I'm not likely to buy another set. Having a spare becomes mandatory (it was anyway). I like the way they handle but that's a pretty big tradeoff (prone to punctures and quick wearing). HondaBob has over 10k miles on his Terrabites IIRC in a similar environment to yours (rocky, desert and higher speeds than I usually see).

I bought 30" RXs, not willing to take the performance hit of 32's at my altitudes. I'll have 2 spares for my desert trips (it just worked out that way) mounted on a front and rear stock rim. If the weight isn't onerous, I'll always run 2 spares, to be determined. With the Talon's stock spring rate, it may work out just right. 🤔
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lil_Steve

Cobweb

Member
Mar 2, 2019
41
81
18
Hexi Hollow
Ownership

Talon X
So here is what I found so far with my Blackwaters. I put them on new wheels and had my stock as well for backup.
I did my first ride near home and found that did very well. Ride was much better than stock and traction in the woods/muddy was greatly improved. I noticed that on gravel roads the tires were not grabbing very well compared to stock, but I rarely ride gravel anyway.

Then we took a trip to the mountains of Southern Utah to ride for 5 days. I put my stock tires/wheels back on as I figured they would do better in that environment. They did provide good traction until day 4 when I blew out a front and took 5 plugs in one hole and 1 in another an inch away. Since we were riding a few more days and were getting up to 50 miles from the house we stayed at, I didn't feel comfortable using them Luckily I brought along the Blackwaters just in case. The blackwaters rode much nicer on the rocky trails, but again did not bite on the loose gravel. We then went to Colorado and rode the Alpine loop area for two more days with the Blackwaters. They did fine, just not great in the loose gravel sections.

I've put another 100 miles on them at Hatfield McCoy and am heading to Spearhead in VA in two weeks. This is the environment Blackwaters are made for. So you see the theme of the Blackwaters. Great for east coast mountains where you have muddy dirt, not so great for loose gravel like you have out west.

The stock tires did OK for east coast mountains, nothing great, but OK. They did suffer in the mud for sure, but otherwise handled pretty good. Ride quality I thought was OK until I rode the Blackwaters. Night and day difference.

Just my experience riding both sides of the country.
 

Lil_Steve

Well-Known Member
May 22, 2019
205
404
63
Gilbert, AZ
Ownership

Other Brand,
Talon R
I'm not sure any tire will do great in loose gravel since the ground is literally shifting under the car, especially while turning. The only thing I can think of that will help a little in loose gravel is lowering the tire pressure, it certainly helps on my dual sport bike in those conditions.

It sounds like the Blackwaters are working well for what you mostly ride. That's the thing about tires, they can work great in one environment while sucking in another. I bet you really enjoyed Southern Utah, that's one of my all time favorite places to ride.
 
BOX2
box3

About us

  • Our community has been around for many years and pride ourselves on offering unbiased, critical discussion among people of all different backgrounds. We are working every day to make sure our community is one of the best.

User Menu

Buy us a beer!

  • Lots of time and money has gone into making sure the community is running the best software, best designs, and all the other bells and whistles. Care to buy us a beer? We'd really appreciate it!

    Beer Fund!