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A man without Ale.
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2,666 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Mitas E-09 tyre – 0/5 stars CANNOT recommend.

Background: I was given a brand new Mitas E-09 tyre, for free to review, by the South African distributor for use on our overland trip through South East Asia on a Honda Africa Twin. We are two-up and fully loaded. I think that the Continental TKC80 is the best tyre I have ever used and Avon Distansia is the worst tyre. (I tell you this so you know my style preferences). The Mitas E-09 is closer to the Michelin Desert tyre than the TKC80 we have used through the majority of our trip though Africa. We used the Michelin Desert from Ghana though to Namibia.

I have to say that we went for the more aggressive Mitas E-09 as we did not know what the road conditions in South East Asia were going to be like. Well in Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia, the roads are rather good to excellent. The dirt roads that we did take were hard packed red earth, but we did not take many as we were travelling in the wet season so many roads are in very bad shape. In total, we did less the 200k on dirt. This means for this trip, the Mitas E-09 profile was too aggressive.

My initial feelings towards the Mitas E-09 was that it was one of that hardest tyres to rim that I have put on. The wall thickness and stiffness made it hard to do without a machine (although I did eventually manage). FYI, I have done Bajas, Michelin Deserts, Anakee, Pirelli Scorpion, Continental TKC80s, as well as a few others. I also had a very difficult time seating and balancing it.

During the first 120k, the tyre felt washy on dry roads, but I eventually got used to it. At any speed above 75kph it sung like a bitch, getting worst until 100kph when the pitch changes to a less ear-piercing wail. My pillion reports that it was the nosiest tyre we have had. This however is the same as many similar tyres such as the Baja or Desert (the best). On dirt it gave a very confident grip, and even fully loaded I felt as if I was in good control at reasonable speeds. In fact, I would say it was one of the better dual sport tyres off road.

On road it was not great, but surprisingly it was not excessively vibey as many of these tyres can be. However, it never lost the washy or floaty feel around corners at speeds above 60kph. In the wet, the Mitas E-09 was not quite as bad as the Avon Distansia but it was not good, e.g. speeds had to be well below 50kph to keep traction (this was in the monsoon rains that we were experiencing). In the smaller rains, it was still necessary to keep speed below 65kph to maintain control.

I also noted that at above 100kph the bike would seem to surge, I checked out all bearings, fuel and timing and could not find the cause. I had a feeling that it was tyre-related but could not prove it. When I eventually changed the tyre, I found it was not perfectly round and assume the surging at speed was caused by this, as the replacement tyre has no such problems.

I was extremely impressed with the rate of wear that the tyre was going though. We were well into 4500k - 95% of that was two-up fully loaded on paved roads at speeds between 80-110kph and there was approximately 80% of the tread left. At that rate, I believe we would have got over 10,000k out of the tyre. I normally get 6-8000k from a TKC80. At this stage, the Mitas E-09 tyre was doing well and I was impressed with it.

At 4675 kilometres, we were riding from the Cambodian coast to the capital city when the rear tyre went flat. The previous day we had done about 70k of dirt riding (hard packed red earth), and several stretches of 2-5k of dirt roads (road works) that day. We had gone a total of about 150k that day. I pulled over to find the problem/fix it when I noticed that there were 10 (up to 2.5cm long) splits along the seam in the centre of the tyre (where it was joined during manufacturing). The tyre was literally splitting in half. There was no other cause of the flat. If this had happened at speed it would have caused us to go down. The manufacturing quality was poor and it is a risk to use this tyre. I would rather have a tyre wears out quickly than one that splits and could explode suddenly but still has plenty of tread on it. The tyre was now useless and we were forced to find a replacement at a premium cost (and it took two days to find).

I have since read (on the net) that several other people have had quality issues with Mitas E-07 and E-08 tyres, but cannot verify or vouch for this.

Breakdown out of 5 (5 is best):
Cost: N/A (it was free)
Wear: 5 (4675k still had ~80% tread)
Road Noise 2 (Desert gets a 3)
Road Grip 2.5 (Washy in the dry and not good in the wet)
Dirt grip 4.5 (not true dirt tyre but close)
Stopping distance 2 (no real emergency stops preformed but lots of fast stops)
Cornering 2.5 (65kph in the dry is not great)
Build Quality 0 (Seam split and uneven build)

Overall rating 0 The seam splitting overrides any (all) advantages that it may have had. The risk of catastrophic failure is too high.

Bottom line, I was initially impressed with the Mitas E-09 despite it being too aggressive for the conditions we were riding in (this was of course our choice, not the tyres’ fault). However, the poor manufacturing quality simply means that it self-destructed before wearing out. I have over 30yrs of riding experience (dirt and road) and I have never had a tyre split down the seam like this. I cannot recommend the Mitas E-09, and would warn anyone to think carefully about any Mitas product if the quality control is the same for all models. Even as a pure dirt tyre, I would be wary. I for one will not be giving Mitas a second chance.
 

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SHW'MAE BUTT
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3,270 Posts
Good Tyre review, what about the weight loading on the bike, was it to high? what about ambient temperature and rubber temperature ? that normally makes the tyres fall apart.
But stick to tried and tested models your safety is Paramount. :thumb:
 

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Wing Commander
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14,437 Posts
Great review Xander. May still try them over here sometime next year. Hope the build quality issues are resolved.
 

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Wing Commander
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14,437 Posts
Great review Xander. May still try them over here sometime next year. Hope the build quality issues are resolved.
 

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A man without Ale.
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2,666 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Good Tyre review, what about the weight loading on the bike, was it to high? what about ambient temperature and rubber temperature ? that normally makes the tyres fall apart.
But stick to tried and tested models your safety is Paramount. :thumb:
thanks mate, I have just been raked over the coals on the South african forum where i was asked to put the review, "because the tyre was given to me and i was not complimentary about it". I tired to be honest and fair. (truth is i was much more pissed off!) i had a bad experience and i told it.

But to answer your questions...Yes we are too heavy and it is bloody hot here, so this could be the cause but it was hotter and we had more stuff loaded when we went though africa and neither the TKCs or the Desert tyres fell apart! Splitting down the seam is just unacceptable, it is not like it just wore out quickly. This brand was susposed to be designeed for Hot countries (e.g. australia and south africa)

I cant be that hard on tyres.. i got 8800k on the deserts and close to 10,000 on the TKCs in Africa!

Wheelie, I hope you have better luck, maybe i had a one off bad one.. and no one else will have problems, but with that kind of failure i could not say anything but what i did. If the split happens on a 110kph M road it could be very bad.


I have a pic if anyone wants to see the splits!

Cheers
Xander
 

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Registered
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262 Posts
interesting read zander, especially since i went for the E09's after a lot of research! well, you know the conditions in namibia. i am clocking up miles at a rate on mine, mostly on hard desert tracks with bits of sand. so will watch them closely from now on, and give feedback when i get to around those miles. thanks for the effort!
 

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Wing Commander
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14,437 Posts
I have a pic if anyone wants to see the splits!
I'd like you to be the man with no Ale and no tyre splits.

Despite being wordsmith the phrase is: A picture speaks 1,000 words. So yes please to the pic.
 

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one-legged member
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4,493 Posts
I used a E-09 on my KTM 640 Adventure with no problems at all. Better grip off-road than a TKC and no issues on the tarmac.

Maybe you were unlucky :dontknow:
 

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Registered
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4,456 Posts
I used a E-09 on my KTM 640 Adventure with no problems at all. Better grip off-road than a TKC and no issues on the tarmac.

Maybe you were unlucky :dontknow:
Or they suit a lighter bike . I had one on the XR400 and it was fabulous, very good on the road and surprisingly good off road
 

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Registered
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232 Posts
Works very nice in my AT, I rate it higher at rear than Karoo. And when fitting on or off there haven't been any issues. Rather easy than hard.

We don't have such a high temp here so that can offcourse affect.

Front E09 have a bit funny knobbies, it haven't been recommended at least around here.
 
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