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Old 07-16-2012, 01:42 PM   #1
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Default Motorcycle Tires 101


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Motorcycle Tires 101

Please discuss the Motorcycle.com article Motorcycle Tires 101 in our Motorcycle Forums below. Use the reply button to let others know your comments or feedback on the article. Constructive criticism is always appreciated, along with your thoughts and personal opinions on the bikes and products we have tested.
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:42 AM   #2
trenttheuncatchable
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Nice article, but I mostly disagree with "best practice is to select replacement tires identical to those currently on the motorcycle."

For example, if you ride a Diavel, which comes with custom Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tires, then the statement makes sense. But if you ride a pre-gen Ninja 250 or 500, then most aftermarket tires are better than the oem tires that came on the bike from the showroom floor.

Manufacturers usually don't put the better quality tires on bikes, because that would increase the cost of the bike.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:29 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by trenttheuncatchable View Post
Nice article, but I mostly disagree with "best practice is to select replacement tires identical to those currently on the motorcycle."

For example, if you ride a Diavel, which comes with custom Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tires, then the statement makes sense. But if you ride a pre-gen Ninja 250 or 500, then most aftermarket tires are better than the oem tires that came on the bike from the showroom floor.

Manufacturers usually don't put the better quality tires on bikes, because that would increase the cost of the bike.
+1 on that. The OEM tires on my Ducati Sport Classic were designed with a "classic" tread pattern but they sucked overall. I replaced them with modern Pirelli's.

My MV Agusta Brutale came with a 190 tire on the back. It was much wider than the rim. At a track day the Pirelli rep suggested switching to a 180 rather than a 190 and it improved the steering.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:36 AM   #4
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That's a good point, Trent. The Ducati 1199 Finagle also comes with a specifically designed Pirelli, but my DL1000 comes with Bridgestone DeathWings, which apparently are specifically designed to lose traction on wet surfaces. Changing over to Contis was a huge improvement to handling, braking, etc. in all conditions.

Having said that, maybe what the article meant by "identical tires" was the size and type., and not necessarily the brand and model.
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Old 07-17-2012, 05:27 PM   #5
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^^^ sure they weren't avon slipsters? uh I mean Gripsters? I thought I had an oil leak on the KLR the first time I rode them in the rain.
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Old 07-18-2012, 07:17 AM   #6
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^^^ sure they weren't avon slipsters? uh I mean Gripsters? I thought I had an oil leak on the KLR the first time I rode them in the rain.
Really? I ran Avon Venoms on my '77 HD FX for years, and thought they were excellent in every area except mileage.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:09 AM   #7
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The article states in part:
Nearly as important as avoiding mixing tire construction types is installing one new tire instead of two – specifically replacing a new front tire while still using a worn rear. This cheapskate mixing of new versus worn could potentially cause instability in the bike’s handling.

--

Well, I do tend towards being a cheapskate but I also don't like to litter the environment with needless waste. I have a V-Strom that uses 2 rear tires per 1 front and an FJR that does the exact opposite. Assuming that (yeah, I know), does the recommendation stand or should the recommendation be more closely related to wear?

For example, replace both tires when both are at the same stage of wear requiring replacement?


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Old 07-20-2012, 08:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by glb51 View Post
The article states in part:
Nearly as important as avoiding mixing tire construction types is installing one new tire instead of two – specifically replacing a new front tire while still using a worn rear. This cheapskate mixing of new versus worn could potentially cause instability in the bike’s handling.
I'm definitely NOT cheap when it comes to my bikes, and I've been replacing rears to fronts at a 2 to 1 ratio forever. Throwing out a perfectly good front simply because the rear has squared off on Florida's flat, straight roads would be wasteful and needlessly expensive. Not to mention that tire carcasses are one of the most difficult waste items to cleanly dispose of.
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:16 AM   #9
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You could always make an artificial reef out of them...
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:45 AM   #10
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You could always make an artificial reef out of them...

Funny you should say that. Back in the '70's me and a fishing buddy heard about tire reefs being put offshore and decided to try it in the Indian River out in front of Mom's house. We got about 50 tires, roped them together, and arranged them along the bottom. About 6 months later they'd sunk into the sandy bottom and completely disappeared.

The offshore tire reefs didn't do much better, IIRC they had to go out and haul them away; the coral wouldn't grow on them and they started washing up on the beach.

Tire reef off Florida proves a disaster - USATODAY.com
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