Hi, David...I waited to respond. I've mounted and tested Michelin T63 tires on the Honda XR650R. This is a bona fide 50/50 dirt and pavement use, DOT rated tire. See my mounting article and video at the magazine: http://www.4wdmechanix.com/4WD-Mechanix-Magazine-Tests-Michelin-Dual-Sport-Motorcycle-Tires.html. The sequel is the road test video now in post-production edit phase.
Dual sport tires are often known to wear quickly, and the DOT-approved dirt tires wear even faster. I did my homework and went with the T63 tires in the sizes noted at the video. This week, I did extensive dirt and pavement testing, and the HD video results should be uploaded to the magazine within a week. In a nutshell, the T63 works very well on pavement and requires, like all other dual-sport tires, some riding adjustments off-pavement.
Any tire in this niche will wear faster than a full asphalt design; however, the Michelin T63 gets a lot of positive reviews from users. My preliminary riding, mostly asphalt until this week, has shown negligible wear. I shared with "Forman" (KLR650 owner and fellow forum member) the weight recently added to the XR650R. I installed TCI Products' rack and skid plate systems (see the HD video coverage shortly) with Nelson-Rigg bags. I'm about 340 estimated pounds "wet" weight without cargo in the bags or me on the bike. I'll hold to 40-50 pounds of luggage/video equipment, which will bump the weight to 380-390 pounds—plus me.
Frankly, in tests without cargo in the bags, the added/estimated 340 pounds wet weight is not that noticeable. This fresh XR650R engine is a beast, really wants to run through the torque band, which is incredibly strong. I'm not sure where the Hot Cams Stage 1 camshaft comes into play, it will be interesting to compare our two bikes when you get yours running...The camshaft is supposed to improve lower end to midrange rpm torque, and this engine has plenty of both.
So, for the weight and load demands, and the overall compromise inherent to any dual-sport tire for the dirt, I'm okay with my choice. I do adjust the throttle a lot off-pavement, but that's the monstrous torque wanting to spin the rear tire in any gear. You can literally steer the XR650R with the throttle—instantly. This is more about the XR650R's power than the tires.
For primarily dirt use, Michelin has the Cross AC10 tires, a true enduro tire with 90/10 rating for dirt versus asphalt riding. I have a set of these with heavy duty tubes for backup. They would be used if I have a lengthy, strictly dirt trip planned.
The Nelson-Rigg bags and TCI equipment transformed my bike into a bona fide dual sport for adventure riding. Really like the looks and performance of this machine! Remarkably versatile and adaptable...It's now the video filming platform that I set out to build.