Preparing for winter

Studded winter tires for Honda CRF 250 Rally. The rear doesn't fit though. Mitas CO2 120/90 -18 rear with studs is too tall to clear the rear swing.
Studded winter tires for Honda CRF 250 Rally. The rear doesn’t fit though. Mitas CO2 120/90 -18 rear with studs is too tall to clear the rear swing.

Winter is around the corner. The current cold dark misery will hopefully soon be slightly less miserable with snow on the ground. With that in mind, I’ve bought studded winter tires. I have zero experience in winter riding, but how hard can it be… right? The tires I got are hand studded ones and made to order. (From kisarengas) The studs itself are not full crazy enduro spikes, but somewhere in between ordinary car studs and enduro ones.

The rear has around 270 studs and the front has around 240.

The front tire is a Black X 80/100 -21 and the rear is Mitas C-02 120/90 -18

I haven’t mounted the tires yet as I’m missing some tools, but they should arrive next week.

Amazon has 110/100 – 18 Mitas Trelleborg rear tires and 80/100 – 21 Trelleborg fronts that look rather similar.

Link: Mitas Trelleborg Winter Studded Motorcycle Rear Tire 110/100-18 XT-454


Things wen’t south. The rear is too tall for the bike. My mistake, I didn’t make sure it would fit before ordering.

I removed the mud flap and there was exactly 3mm of space between studs and the swing. Way too little.

Plan B is in the works.

Well, s**t.
This works only in theory. In real life the clearance is too little.
This works only in theory. In real life the clearance is too little.


Got a new smaller rear (110/100-18) and things are looking better. Now there is no scraping of any kind and the mud guard can be left in place. The clearance isn’t too big still, so I added a smaller 13 tooth front sprocket to gain some extra room between the tire and the swing. After adjusting the chain I’m confident that the bike is now good to go. Only thing missing now is snow. More about the sprocket in here.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Henrik Nyhus says:

    Cool stuff! Getting ready for the winter myself. I ordered the Heidenau K60 M+S with a Silica ( I have used the same tire on my 650GS with good experience. I got the dealer to put in studs – the same that are used for cars. They drill holes and then shoot them in (not screwed). I got the dimensions 90/90-21 and 120/80-18. Why did you go for your dimensions, and not the recommended ones?

    I sprayed the whole bike, after cleaning it properly first (off with the panels), with lithium-grease to protect it from all the salt they use on the roads. Did you do any other preventive actions on your bike?

    I also got the crash-bars from Demo Moto. They are mounted on some weak places, but I recon they can take a potential drop without a problem.


    1. 250rally says:

      I got my tires based on the recommendations of the tyre guy. He is a seventy year old guy who has been doing this stuff for decades and he still rides enduro. I’ve treated the bike with ACF-50 and sprayed some car underbody protectant on some places. The car rust protectant is horrible dark brown stuff so I’ve been using it sparingly. How much did you end up paying for the Demo Moto bars including shipping?


  2. forsatan says:

    Ok. I have also read about the ACF-50.. but its nowhere to be found here in Norway. The lithium grease is clear and is simply sprayed on – getting into all the small areas.

    With shipping it cost about 250 Dollars. Was lucky and got it cleared through customs with no VAT paid.


    1. 250rally says:

      ACF-50 isn’t available in Finland either. Got mine from Nippy Normans in the Uk. The bottle has lasted for several years and it came with a spray applicator bottle too.


    2. Aleks says:

      To be found at www corrosion-control eu


  3. busfyr says:

    Just a note regarding the Mitas C-02 tyre. I managed to use this tyre successfully on the CRF250L by changing the front sprocket to 13t hence allowing the wheel to move backward a bit to make it work. It also helped with the power since with the taller tyre the little thumper was struggling for power even more. I ended up using 13/45 sprocket setup with this tyre for some real offroad use. Then the 14/45 was actually okay on the road for what I needed.

    Great post by the way!


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