Studded winter tires for CRF 300 L

I already have some experience on winter tires and winter riding as I had similar tires on my CRF 250 Rally a few years back. I was planning on skipping winter riding with the 300 L, but the winter is just too long and ended up getting studded tires anyway.

The grip with this type of tires is nothing short of amazing. While there are limitations on speed and amount of aggression you can apply to your riding , they really do allow for seriously extended riding season. Messing around in the snow with regular tires is giggle, but actually riding somewhere in Finnish winter without proper tires is gamble with very poor ods.

Things to take note of

TIRE SIZES

Knobby tires sizes vary. While the size markings are the same with every manufacturer the ACTUAL physical size of the tires are not always what you expect. Case in point: my previous winter tire set (250 Rally) came with a 120/90 rear that was too big to fit. (The studs rubbed against the swing mud guard) I got another tire (110/100) with the same type studs and it fit fine eventhough it should not have fit any better.

Mitas C-02 120 / 90 – 18 > cross section height 120*90% = 108 > DID NOT FIT
Mitas C-16 110 / 100 – 18 > cross section height 110*100% = 110> FIT
So know your tire profile and actual dimensions if you don’t have much room for error.

The other point is that using ”spikes” requires extra space and a tire that fits fine without studs may not fit anymore when you add studs. This issue only comes up with the rear tire. You can throw allmost anything up front and it will fit.

This shot is from the CRF 300 L and current tires

FRONT SPROCKET

IF the rear ”almost fits” you have the option to switch a smaller sprocket up front. This will end up moving the rear tire backwards a bit and will likely save the situation. I have a 13T on order, but I`m on the fence if I really need to install it.

PRESSURES

I haven`t tried it, but wise men of the north tell me not to go below 0,8 bars when using these type of tires. Going for very hard pressures is obviiously not recommended either.

ASPHALT

One should avoid riding on asphalt with these type of studs. First of all, they are a bit slippery and secondly they will ruin the spikes after a while. Exceeding 80km/h is not recommended. Apparently the biggest issue is the heat that running on asphalt will generate to the studs.

MY TIRES FOR THE CRF 300 L

Mitas C -16 110 / 100 – 18, 289 studs
Deli Maxi Grip 90 / 90 – 21, 280 studs

HONDA CRF 300 L STOCK RIM SIZES

In case you were wondering and did not happen to find the markings on the rims.

REAR: EXCEL J 18 x 2.15 DOT 561 121 SSS
FRONT: EXCEL J 21 x 1.60 DOT 561 1220 SSS

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