What's Your Rubber?

Discussion in 'Motorcycles' started by JohnBM01, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. JohnBM01

    JohnBM01 Premium

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    This thread is about what are good tires to use for motorcycles? I've actually wanted to come along with this thread for a while, but never got around to releasing it. The thread is somewhat inspired by how much the Pirelli Diablo tires are praised for superbikes and such. Why talk tires? Because as any automobile or motorsports enthusiast knows, the best-performing machines mean nothing without quality rubber (unless we have hovercrafts for anti-gravity machines).

    Think of this thread as the tire version of "Recommended Riding Gear." So what are some good tires to put on your motorcycle? What should you look for when shopping for motorcycle tires? Comment away!
     
  2. Dragonistic

    Dragonistic

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    5,677
    I'm using Pirellis on my motard, Pirelli Sport Demons to be precise.

    Here they are dirty after a ride up the local uncleaned mountain roads which had turned them brown but they still didn't let go even though they were dirty. The wheel is similarly dirty :lol:
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    They've served me well, plenty of grip in the dry and wet, coupled with a good feeling of progression so you know when they're going to let go. They've also lasted a long while, as far as I know they've never been changed since the bike came out the factory (10,000+ miles) and there's still plenty of tread left all round. (The picture is making them look pretty bald in the middle but they're not at all in the flesh)
     
  3. wfooshee

    wfooshee Premium

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    I'm running a Bridgestone BT-021 at the rear, on my second one. Dual-compound, harder in the center for mileage, softer on the sides for handling. Got nearly 11,000 out of the first one, which looked like this about a month before I replaced it! (Short city riding only during that month, but the thin parts got shiny with steel showing through.)

    [​IMG]

    When it came time to get a front, I'd seen reports that the -021 front tire was poo-poo on the FJR, disintegrating within 3 or 4 thousand miles, so I opted for another Pirelli Diablo Strada to replace the one that was on there when I bought the bike. It, too, was well worn by the time I replaced it, with about 12,000 miles on it. It had the grooves worn into it off the center, so it wanted to fall into the lean, and then lean no more. Was glad to get rid of it, but it wasn't the tire's fault, that's just what they do when you keep them too long because you're poor! In the pic you can see the worn area in the lean areas, with the center showing as a ridge. The arrow points to the scuff mark from the lowside incident related here.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Duke of Pendle

    Duke of Pendle

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    Methinks you have a death-wish.
    Motorcycle tyres are done for when they get below 2mm tread. They don't have the capacity to tolerate the heat cycle, so the properties of the rubber diminish. Result: drastically less grip - hence dangerous.
    Change the tyres Man - even if you have to go for cheaper ones :)
     
  5. FLASH48

    FLASH48

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    I agree with Duke! You do have a death wish, riding a bike with a tire like that!! I had a GSX1100 E with about 500 miles on it, ran over a nail. Parked the bike and went and bought a new tire!
     
  6. wfooshee

    wfooshee Premium

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    Nah, no death with. A serious lack of fundage at the time, though. ONly rode to work and back during that period, about a 3-mile trip.
     
  7. PAPPACLART

    PAPPACLART

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    Just some of the tyres I have had on my TL1000S. I don't think I have ever used the same tyre twice and to be honest they all feel pretty much the same, fantastic when new and rubbish when they are shot. Modern sports tyres are just too good for the majority of riders, despite this some riders feel that they need the most sticky tyres when in most cases sports touring tyres are more than capable.

    I am currently on Avons, can't remember the exact model, but they are illegal now so am not riding the bike as with all of my expsenses at the moment I can't afford new tyres. I think that I will have to sorn the bike as my MOT is due in August!



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    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
  8. Duke of Pendle

    Duke of Pendle

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    And there's a good point too!
    A few years ago I bought a nice '99 Aprilia RSV1000 Mille:

    [​IMG]

    It was fitted with Dunlop D207RR tyres (I think thats correct) which were supposedly sticky trackday type rubber.
    Problem was, I bought the bike in March and the weather was quite cold. These hoops may be sticky, but they don't work until you get heat into them.
    In fact they will afford considerably less grip than a touring tyre when they're cold.
    In cold weather, on public roads, there was no way to get up to operating temperature - hence they were just downright dangerous. I lost count of the number of times I had front-wheel slides going into corners.
    So I just scrapped the tyres and replaced them with some dual-compound Bridgestones.
    Totally transformed the bike, and gave me my confidence back.
     
  9. PAPPACLART

    PAPPACLART

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    Very true, those tyes are awful!! I worte off a streefighter GSXR600 on a cold february night after loosing the front under just moderate braking as the tyres were cold!! Those tyres were really a death trap and only work on a hot summers day while keeping up a fast pace.

    PS

    I love the Mille and can be had for as little as £2500!! Yummy!!

    The most important thing about a set of tyre is how they feel, and the confidence that they inspire when riding. For me I like a tyre that is neutal and is stable as my bike is a little flighty. Most Supersport tyres I buy, the rears only last about 2500 miles if I use them hard so recently I have been choosing sports touring tyres. I would like to try those Pilot road 2s as I heere that they are the best wet weather tyres in terms of grip but are sporty enough for a fast road rider to be happy with and also offer decent milage.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2009
  10. UnoMOTO

    UnoMOTO Premium

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  11. JohnBM01

    JohnBM01 Premium

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    Do some of you go for performance tires/tyres, or do you mostly go for some all-season tires (if there is a such thing for motorcycles)?
     
  12. PAPPACLART

    PAPPACLART

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    Depends really, Sports touring tyres would I guess be equal to an all season tyre. These are good in the wet and offer more than enough grip for some good lean angle but at the same time offer good tyre life.
     
  13. ripping_silk

    ripping_silk

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    On the two bikes i have on the road I use Pirelli Diablo SuperCorsa Pro. They come in a variety of compounds soft, med, hard (SC1, SC2, SC3). I usually split the compounds, so go for a softer one on the front and the next hardest for the rear.
    You could say that these tyres are a little over the top for street use, but i do like to lean, and these provide so much security, the grip is immense. Even in the wet they are very surefooted and predictable, as long as its not standing water.
    Downsides are they only last about 3 - 4000kms, and they have too much grip to slide the rear around on the street.
    I've been running Supercorsas (Dragon, then Diablo) for about 10 years. I did try Dunlop D207GPs a while ago but the front profile was very triangulated and the Triumph didn't like that at all, shaking its head at anything over 180km/h.
    The Pirelli's have a nice rounded profile and offer very sweet handling. Highly recommended if you like to push the envelope, and you don't tour.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Dragonistic

    Dragonistic

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    Well I'm replacing my rear rubber today, its began to show a couple of bold spots finally (the pictures I showed you all were a while back now), I'm not looking for an expensive tire so I'm going to go cheap, my mileage has dropped drastically now I've finished college, I was doing 200miles per week now I'm barely doing 40 most weeks.
     
  15. Dragonistic

    Dragonistic

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    Disaster! Whilst putting the wheel back on with the new rubber (oh and sorry for the double post) one of the rear brake pads fell off (snapped), fine, pads aren't expensive, but the problem is the rods holding the pads on are seized into aluminium and won't budge. At worst, I might need a whole new caliper if we can't get them out. Tried the standard WD40 and such, no joy. I could really do with not having to shell out just before I head off to uni, however, there are worse things which could've happened.
     
  16. TwistedNav

    TwistedNav

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    Dragonistic, try PlusGas if you can find it - leave to soak overnight. Reaches the places WD40 can't reach - don't get it on any plastic/rubber though, it'll eat through it!
     
  17. UnoMOTO

    UnoMOTO Premium

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    Ugh...I hate it when something like that happens. When your intended project leads to other things that didn't need to be messed with.
     
  18. wfooshee

    wfooshee Premium

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    Are the rods threaded or just cotter pins and they should slide out? Surely they weren't thread-locked by some buffoon. . . .
     
  19. Dragonistic

    Dragonistic

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    I'm not sure of the technical terms, All I know is a 5mm allen key should get them out no problem, but they will not shift at all. I'm now staying at a friends house, so my stepdad could have fixxed it by now, I'll update you all when I get back home at the weekend.
     
  20. wfooshee

    wfooshee Premium

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    Allen key implies threads, like they screw into the caliper. Hopefully some jerk hasn't put some permanent-type thread-lock compound on them. Only so much torque you can put through an allen key. . . . better than a phillips-head screw, but still there's a limit.
     
  21. ripping_silk

    ripping_silk

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    These allen head screws are ALWAYS very difficult to break their 'lock' with the alloy caliper. As long as you use a decent quality allen wrench it should not have much problem 'breaking' the initial bite, and then one you do, they will wind out easily.
    But to break the initial bite, it will take a good amount of force, and when it does start to move it will often 'snap' ... sounding as if it has snapped something , but actually its only the thread 'lock' breaking.
    I usually used a ring spanner or something to extend the allen key's effective length. If your allen keys are a reasonable quality, there won't be any danger of breaking your tools.
    Also , keep the caliper on the bike as well. Don't try to do it while holding the caliper in your hand, you just can't apply enough force.
     
  22. Dragonistic

    Dragonistic

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    Well we tried everything, we took it to different shops, various mechanics and none of them could get them out. They were locked in for good. So I bought a used (better condition) caliper lifted from the same model bike and slapped that on today, worked a charmed. Back to topic, this gave me a chance to try my new rubber and it worked great, inspiring alot more confidence in the bike and I no longer feel afraid of turning at any reasonable speed.
     
  23. toni_cro

    toni_cro

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    Bridgestone Battlax TH-01r (maxiscooter)
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  24. rovens

    rovens

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    Just fitted some Dunlop Qualifier 2's to my bike. replaced the squared off B021's. The difference is profound, the dunlops warm up a lot quicker, even on cold days and feel like they steer a lot quicker as well. Was going to put Qualifier RR's on but with winter coming up i decided to compromise.
     
  25. wfooshee

    wfooshee Premium

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    Get any life from those -021s? What kind of bike?

    I run the 021 rear on my FJR, the dual compound serves me well on Florida's flat straight roads, but the front (not dual compound) has a reputation for very short life, on the order of 4,000 miles.

    I'm wondering if the weight of the FJR contributes to that wear, even though the -021 is OE on some of them.
     
  26. JohnBM01

    JohnBM01 Premium

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    I was doing some reading online about so-called bald tires, and how dangerous they can be for cars... but infinitely more dangerous for motorcycles. So I'm sure you'll need to regularly purchase some new tires and have them inflated properly and such.
     
  27. ksino1100

    ksino1100

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    My OEM tires were Bridgestone Battlax BT-014.
    Nice tires, the front was very good (handles nice and the rider knows whatever is happening down there) but the rear was bold after 4500km.......
    After one change of the rear tire, and 4500km more, I changed both tires (front and rear). I have Bridgestone Battlax BT-016 (2 compound the front and 3 compound the rear) and they are much better (handling) but I can't answer about how many km the 'll last.......
    I have all ready 3000km and both looks fine.....
    The handling is really awesome, very steady, top for nice braking, top during corners and S-curves and nice turn in.
    Nice job in Bridgestone Headquarters
     
  28. TwistedNav

    TwistedNav

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    Just had some Dunlop Sportmax Roadsmarts fitted to my old ZZR600, replacing a mismatched Avon Azaro on the front and a Metzeler RoadtecZ6 on the rear which came with the bike when I bought it.

    Have scrubbed them in over the course of 100miles or so, and have to say, they are absolutely superb. Really confidence-inspiring. Turn-in is much quicker and much more stable. The front had a tendency to wash out before, but now stays precisely on-line.

    Another important change has been pressures. I previously used the Haynes Manual recommended values of 32 front/36 rear, and am now on the Bridgestone Pressure Guide recommended 36 front/42 rear. When the tyres are worn-in a little more I'm going to revert back to 32/36 to see what that does.

    The Roadsmarts are at the top end of the price scale, but apparently give great durability, and the feel is as good as any road tyre I've used. The only set that previously came close was a pair of Michelin Pilot Sports I had on a CBR600, so I'd say money very well spent. They also have a reputation for being superb in the wet, although suprisingly for the UK I've not had a chance to try that out yet.

    Won't be putting them round the track until next year, but for now, a big thumbs up :tup:
     
  29. Darth_Firebolt

    Darth_Firebolt

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    Pirelli Diablo front with a Diablo Strada on the back of my Firebolt.
    it eats a rear diablo in about 5,000 miles. :[
    I am trying a set of Michelin Pilot Road 2 when these Pirellis ever wear out. i usually get 12k miles out of a set, including 2 track days and lots of commuting miles.
    http://www.michelinmotorcycle.com/index.cfm?event=pilotroad2
    hoping to get the best of both worlds. :D
     
  30. CB750Kguy

    CB750Kguy

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    Michelin Metzlers