Fitting different tires to the V - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 196 (permalink) Old 09-08-2010, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Fitting different tires to the V

Hopefully Chris will see this thread and jump in, he has alot of research experience on this subject.....other folks, please chime in with your research and your experience, everyone's input will be summarized at the end of this post #1.

I found a chart that explained what size tires will fit what rims. I think Chris knows what size rims are on the V. Near as I can tell, the rear is a 4.5" rim. I want to put a 150 tire on the rear. The chart shows that a 150 will fit on a 4.5" rim. I realize the profile may not be exactly as anticipated by the tire manufacturer but I can deal with that, as long as its safe and all that stuff.

17in Tyres Permitted Rim
100/70*17 2.50/2.75/3.00
110/80*17
120/90*17

130/80*17 2.50/2.75/3.00/3.50
130/90*17

120/60*17 3.00/3.50
120/70*17

130/60*17 3.00/3.50/4.00
130/70*17

140/70*17 3.50/4.00/4.50
150/60*17
150/70*17

160/60*17 4.00/4.50/5.00
160/70*17

SUMMARY/DECISION POINTS/RIDER INPUT:

Best tire set for dirt is TKC front and rear. The 150 TKC mounts to the rear with no changes, no mods needed. The front requires the 130/80x17 rear TKC and will require the front fender to be raised and some knobs trimmed on the sides. A smaller 120 trail type front tire can be selected (Shinko, Kenda) and the fender will still need to be raised or a Pirelli MT60 can be used, its the stock size.

Shinko E-705 Trail Master tires on the rear have been reported to suffer from tread separation, knobs separating from the carcass.

I have mounted a 120/90x17 Kenda on the front and the fit is excellent, the tread is wider than the stock 120 but still fits inside the fender. I had to raise the fender 1 3/4", with no change in the cross-over line, I do however, have a mudflap mounted and the cross-over line rides on the flap somewhat. (by Jake)

CORRECTED FROM PRIOR INFO: The Avon Distanzia 150/70 CAN BE used on the rear of a V, it IS rated for a 4.5" rim. (by Chris)

Cont TKC 130/80x17 will work on the front, the fender will need to be raised, side treads may need to be trimmed. (by Jake)

The Avon Distanzia is good for a front tire. Its in our size (120/70) it's a supermoto compound so its sticky but is consistently reported to wear well on the front of these bikes. (by Chris)

The Pirelli MT60 is good for a front tire. Its in our size (120/70) (by Chris)

FROM ANOTHER FORUM Well at almost 3000-miles, my fears came true. The Pirelli MT60 in Versys size are not going much further. Great tire, but look elsewhere.

130/80/17 Anakee II is a rear tire that may be difficult to get seated on the V front rim (from Ednukey)

Anakee2 are awesome on wet pavement, and great on dry pavement. The TKC80s were surprisingly good on dry pavement, but very sketchy on wet pavement, as I experienced a sliding rear-end on multiple occasions in the wet. (from Ednukey)

I'm running Metzeler Roadtec Z6 Sport Touringz6 right now and am happy with them. First set the rear gave me about 9000 miles, the front about 12,000 but was changed because it started to cup (from Marc11)

I put on a set of Pilot Road 2CT at 8,000 miles when the OEM tires wore out. I now have over 19,000 on them and I figure to get a couple of thousand more before I need to replace them, (from Rponiarski)

I had a Scorpion Sync on the rear that lasted about 5,500 miles. It was a good tire that preformed well on pavement as well as dirt roads. (from Brothercannon)

Been riding on Pirelli Angel St's since April and have been very pleased with them good grip and wearing fine so far and I ride every day. (from Ayermedic)

Metzeler Tourance 150/70 r17, original design not the Tourance exp. I heard many people say the tourance exp is inferior to the original. As far as fitment goes there are no clearance issues and the bead is seated well. (from Brothercannon)

I ran Avon Distanzias, and got about 8K miles from the rear, , and got about 15 k from the front (from Miguelito)

1st: Original OEM Dunlop tires: @ 10,438 miles, daily commuting & weekend rides
2nd: Bridgestone BT021 120/70-17 & BT020 170/60-17: @ 5351 miles, daily commuting, weekend rides, 1 up w/ gear secondary highway interstate trips
(I never really felt confident with this pair, especially in the wet)
3rd: Pirelli Angel ST's 120/70-17 & 160/60-17: @7,800+ miles (tread depth at 0.125) daily commuting, weekend rides, 1 up w/ camping gear cross country ride (85mph for 800 miles across Texas's I-10), backroads, fire roads, secondary highways. No complaints great in the wet. (from A2RON)
Avon Distanza, very confidence inspiring, great rain tire. It's the only tire I will put on my Versys and 650 DR from now on. (from Aleeoop)

So far I have gotten 9800 on the Continental Conti Road Attack Sport Mileage Tires and it looks like about halfway on the rear and the front looks almost new. FYI this is the stock tire for the BMW GS models and is designed for large dual sports. I love the feel of these tires on both dirt and asphalt. They corner great and are settled at high speed with the bike fully loaded. Hands down the best rain tire I have ever ridden. I’ll report back when its time to replace for top mileage on both the front and rear.(from Douglasgraham)

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Jake Sabre
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post #2 of 196 (permalink) Old 09-08-2010, 10:59 PM
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I did a 12.5k mile trip with a 130/80/17 Anakee II front and a mixture of 150/17 AnakeeII & TKC80 rears.

After my experience, I don't know if I will bother to go back to a 120/17 front. I really like the larger front tire. I managed to bottom the front suspension five times on my trip on deep rocky ruts without bending my front wheel. They also roll over curbs REALLY well - all this with an additional 100+ lbs of gear onboard.

The only difficulty I encountered was seating the bead on the front tire - largely a function of its stiffness. I wasn't able to get it to seat myself; in fact, it took three different guys trying at two different shops to seat it. But, all it ended up coming down to was using a really good (sticky) rim lube and a heavier ratchet strap than I used (greater compression). The rear was cake and I did it with a bicycle pump.

The front AnakeeII has ~13k miles on it. The rear TKC90 has 6.5K miles on it, with >1000 on gravel. The rear Anakee two had 6.7k miles on it when I switched it. It will go back on later. The only reason I switched was that I knew a single rear wouldn't make it for the enture trip and I had reached a point in the trip I wanted to try the TKC.

Other forum members have used TKC80s front and rear, and Metzler Tourances front and rear - look around, you'll find postings. I was/am VERY happy with the AnakeeII's for mixed use and will probably continue to use them in the future, once I use up a couple of other pre-purchased tires.

I found the AnakeeIIs to be awesome on wet pavement, and great on dry pavement. The TKC80s were surprisingly good on dry pavement, but very sketchy on wet pavement, as I experienced a sliding rear-end on multiple occasions in the wet.

I have never scraped the pegs with this combo, though I also have not tried, as I was carrying a pretty large load a long way from home during the majority of their use. However, I did get very close during a point on the trip when I had AnakeeIIs front and rear and was riding minus ~55lbs of gear.

Hope something in there was useful.
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post #3 of 196 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Ednukey, I put 2 of your observations in the Summary.

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post #4 of 196 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 11:53 AM
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Damn. Great thread! I know it will answer a lot of questions!

Oh, and thanks for doing the research. I know it took a lot of time.
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post #5 of 196 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 12:35 PM
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Yes, thanks Jake, for pulling everything together in one post.

I've read so much on the subject I'm starting to forget what I read where.
Been staying up late at night reading through threads of enthusiasts, adventure riders, super-moto guys, everything my search engine can drudge up on the subject. BTW, the best way to search ADVRider is using this syntax in google: site:advrider.com (subject)
Or any specific site for that matter. Most of us are on the other forum as well, but it's search function is virtually useless because there are just way too many poeple, subjects, and threads. Google will crawl for related text to your search subject and report all of the forum pages that contain your subject word.

Bottomline: every tire has somebody that doesn't like it. Or they liked what they had okay but were trying something different next. This is a very hot subject of debate and there are thousands of posts on it.

It's very difficult to choose a tire until you have a specific type of terrain target for your riding. If it's all street or all dirt it makes the choice much simpler. There lots of great road tires to choose from, aggressive to long wear, rain specific, in V sizes. For all dirt there are some good ones, TKC80's are probably the defacto tire for a full knobby. Hands down, it is the opinion winner in this category.

For some of the rest of us, like me, I want to retain the good road manners the V offers while still being able to cover 50 mile stints of graded gravel or dirt type roads. If I ride to the mountains I want to be able to explore when the pavement ends - not looking for offroad, just dirt roads. I have my KTM enduro bike for offroad.

I'll post later on this last subject with what I've been able to glean from all of the forums, riders, and their likes and dislikes and why. We have some good things going for us on the V, it's not too heavy nor too high powered, so doesn't shred tires as bad as some of the heavy-weights and superbikes. The bad news is there aren't a lot of choices for a 17" front wheel. However it does fall into sumo category and there are some solutions. Them guys know how to shred tires!

The GS and 'strom crowds have discussed this subject ad infinitem. I'll try and summarize their comments and experience. If you want to read for hours, use the search function and put your favorite tire in the search subject. Tons of content will come up for you.

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post #6 of 196 (permalink) Old 09-10-2010, 01:37 AM
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I'll add some notes in yellow from memory based on what I've gathered on the 'net.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeSabre View Post
Hopefully Chris will see this thread and jump in, he has alot of research experience on this subject.....other folks, please chime in with your research and your experience, everyone's input will be summarized at the end of this post #1.

Thanks for the plug, however I'm rather short on experience really, and have been trying to get feedback from riders that have actually run these various tires styles and brands.

I found a chart that explained what size tires will fit what rims. I think Chris knows what size rims are on the V. Near as I can tell, the rear is a 4.5" rim. I want to put a 150 tire on the rear. The chart shows that a 150 will fit on a 4.5" rim. I realize the profile may not be exactly as anticipated by the tire manufacturer but I can deal with that, as long as its safe and all that stuff.

The Versys has a 3.5" wide front and 4.5" rear.

(size chart deleted)

SUMMARY/DECISION POINTS/RIDER INPUT:
Don't use a 120/90x17 on the front. The 3.5" Versys rim is too wide for that tire size. (by Chris)

Due to the aspect ratio on these tires they are all bias ply. I assume this is to increase rigidity to the sidewall because it's so much taller than the 120/70. I also understand this makes the tread area less compliant and consequently there is less contact patch as well. Mounting it on a 3.5" instead of the rated 3" max, it flattens the tread area out even more leaving an accumulated reduction in contact area for lean angles. This isn't a problem for a bike that isn't ridden hard on the street, as I understand it, and it provides an overall diameter within less than an inch of a 19" standard tire, like a 110/90-19. Also, many of these 120/90 tires do not have the rounded profile across the tread like a true road tire, further compounding the reducation in contact patch. This tire in particular scares the hell out of me just thinking about it.

CORRECTED FROM PRIOR INFO: The Avon Distanzia 150/70 CAN BE used on the rear of a V, it IS rated for a 4.5" rim. (by Chris)

Every 150/70 tire I looked up specs on had a max rim with recommedation of 4.5". And there is a big selection in 17 as they are found on a ton of different models, most all the BMW's, even the big ones as the earlier models had narrower rims, Buel, V-Strom, Tiger, and a host of others.

What is surprising is the Distanzia gets mixed reviews. They either love them or they want to leave them. They have a nice rounded profile so turn in is very good. They have a medium compound it the dual sport sizes and super-motard compound in the sizes that fit the versys. Some are getting decent mileage even with the SM compound, others are burning them in less than 2K miles. The fronts seem to go a bit longer. Again, some complain they are not nearly as sticky as a road tire on wet pavement, and most will say it's not much better than a road tire on dirt. Some of the dual sport riders rave about this tire, others go to a TKC80 Continental or to a more roading tire. The super-moto guys seem to really like this tire. Some riders have reported running a half dozen sets of this tire and would never use anything else. Our lady rider on this forum, Roadstergal says her boyfriends sumo runs these tires and they are always sliding out. But competitive motard riders will tend to do this will any tire. Some of the BMW riders also complained that they are unpredictable and will slide out without warning. There are very few positive comments for wet performance. All in all, from what I have read, it's just so-so.

Cont TKC 130/80x17 will work on the front, the fender will most likely need to be raised, side treads may need to be trimmed. (to be verified by Jake)

The TKC is hands-down the favorite tire for anyone wanting real knobby tires. They are reportedly fairly noisy and you can feel them vibrate some, but wet and dry pavement performance is surprising and they are VERY popular for dual sport bikes, especially the larger ones. The smaller ones will tend to use a cheaper more common knobby tire. They are a 60% offroad tire, not a first choice for anyone that rides a lot of tarmac.
As far as the larger tire up front, I have not had the chance to try one out so I am at a loss here. But there are a few that run them, the shinko seems to be the most popular for this app, JDROCKS ran Tourances in this combo, and they all say the bike is ridable with this size. It is also within about 3/4" in diameter of a 19" standard tire setup.
One big downside to this tire size is they are designed for rear tire application, so the shape and compound it not well suited for the front. The shape becomes an issue as some have quite a flat profile, so again, that contact patch gets smaller for road holding at higher lean angles. The width and shape combination is reported to severly slow turn-in response.


The Avon Distanzia is good for a front tire. Its in our size (120/70) it's a supermoto compound so its sticky but is consistently reported to wear well on the front of these bikes. (by Chris)

Distanzia again, as mentioned these and the Pirelli MT-60 are reported to work very well on road and on dirt, with an edge toward the Pirelli. Because they are sumo tires they were designed with soft rubber to be sticky wet, dry, or dirt, for a motard racer. Riders running them on the Versys give very high reviews for both of these tires. And they have a nice rounded profile so turn in is good.

The Pirelli MT60 is good for a front tire. Its in our size (120/70) (by Chris)

There are a lot of dualsport and motard riders that run this tire and there is not a single negative complaint on them other than durability. Most will say it's the best tire for dirt without going to a full knobby, and because of the tread design and compound stick extremely well on wet and dry tarmac. This tire is on my short list for a front tire. Wear is reported anywhere from a couple of thousand to up to ten thousand miles. I guess it depends on bike weight, how aggressive they are ridden, and the type of surface they are run on. A few versys riders have gotten good mileage out of them and report very positively on them.

FROM ANOTHER FORUM Well at almost 3000-miles, my fears came true. The Pirelli MT60 in Versys size are not going much further. Great tire, but look elsewhere.

Would want to ask this was actually on a versys, how it was ridden, air pressure, etc. General comment for performance was "great". A lot of dualsport riders on long treks want a tire that can give five or more thousand miles so they aren't trying to get tires sourced and fitted mid-trip.

130/80/17 Anakee II is a rear tire that may be difficult to get seated on the V front rim (from Ednukey)

If you look at the profile of Ed's tire in his pictures you get an idea of how flat this tire looks, especially for the front. Turn in will be considerably slower and require a lot of muscle to get the bike to turn, both due to profile as well as it's shear size. Anakee's are known for being fairly slow to turn in. I swear, most Vstroms I've seen have this tire on them. The Anakee2 has an updated rubber compound and are purported to wear better than the previous model. Most are report eight thousand or more miles with this tire. Another common complaint with the Anakee is that is hums. Due to the tread block spacing they are noisier than it's competitors, like the Tourance or Distanazia.

Anakee2 are awesome on wet pavement, and great on dry pavement. The TKC80s were surprisingly good on dry pavement, but very sketchy on wet pavement, as I experienced a sliding rear-end on multiple occasions in the wet. (from Ednukey)

The 'strom people really like this tire. There are a lot of positive comments on the Anakee2. I would consider running one on the rear, with an MT-60 or Distanzia up front. My concerns with it are the profile and the hum. They are also reported to be quite good on dirt, with a good bite due to that aggressive tread design.


Continued next post...

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post #7 of 196 (permalink) Old 09-10-2010, 01:52 AM
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Continuing on from Jakes original post...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeSabre
I'm running Metzeler Roadtec Z6 Sport Touringz6 right now and am happy with them. First set the rear gave me about 9000 miles, the front about 12,000 but was changed because it started to cup (from Marc11)

No comment - I have not researched road tires.

I put on a set of Pilot Road 2CT at 8,000 miles when the OEM tires wore out. I now have over 19,000 on them and I figure to get a couple of thousand more before I need to replace them, (from Rponiarski)

Another road tire. I'm not concerned or interested in a 19K mile tire! Wow though, that's fantastic.

I had a Scorpion Sync on the rear that lasted about 5,500 miles. It was a good tire that preformed well on pavement as well as dirt roads. (from Brothercannon)

This tire gets a LOT of positive comments. The riders that have run them really like them. They are a road tire, so they're built to run twisties. And they have enough tread that many have said it does just as good as any dualsport tire on dirt, aired down, unless you're going to go full knobby. Wear is reportedly in the 4-5K mile range. This is the tire fitted for the earlier Multistrada and Buel Ulysses. Those that have run them on the versys have nothing but positives to say. These tires are on my shortlist as well. The updated version is the Scorpion Trail. Supposedly it better due to it's newer CAD designed tread, multi-compound construction, and a stiffer carcass. Was introduced for the brand new Multistrada and other mostly road-going heavy dual sport motorcycles. Pluses for the Sync is that they are available in the exact size fitment for the Versys.

Been riding on Pirelli Angel St's since April and have been very pleased with them good grip and wearing fine so far and I ride every day. (from Ayermedic)

Another tire that has quite a few positive reviews, although it is a 100% road tire.

Metzeler Tourance 150/70 r17, original design not the Tourance exp. I heard many people say the tourance exp is inferior to the original. As far as fitment goes there are no clearance issues and the bead is seated well. (from Brothercannon)

The original is like a legend on the BMW's. Long wear, good performance on wet and dry tarmac, and satisfactory for dirt roads. Many of the strom and BMW riders say the Anakee is a superior tire for performance though, at some sacrifice in longevity. This is the tire JDROCKS used on his first 'big gravel' trip and he swears by them. He has now gone to Conti TKC's with a 19" strom front wheel. The Tourance has crossed every continent.
I would consider on on the rear with a MT-60 or Distanzia up front. Some will try the 130/80 on the front like JD did.
The EXP version was a softer compound in a more roading tread design for the newer BMW's. Most did not like it better than the original Tourance if they did any dirt riding.


I ran Avon Distanzias, and got about 8K miles from the rear, , and got about 15 k from the front (from Miguelito)

I'm not clear if this was a versys or not, and no indication if this was the dualsport compound or the sumo compound. If the latter would make it a first choice for my use.
1st: Original OEM Dunlop tires...>snip

I'll comment on the dualsport tires since that's what I've been researching.

Avon Distanza, very confidence inspiring, great rain tire. It's the only tire I will put on my Versys and 650 DR from now on. (from Aleeoop)

This guy loves this tire. A very strong proponent for them. CUFF is another with them front and rear with a motard front fender. Awesome looking bike that is claimed to perform very well on and off pavement.

So far I have gotten 9800 on the Continental Conti Road Attack Sport Mileage Tires and it looks like about halfway on the rear and the front looks almost new. FYI this is the stock tire for the BMW GS models and is designed for large dual sports. I love the feel of these tires on both dirt and asphalt. They corner great and are settled at high speed with the bike fully loaded. Hands down the best rain tire I have ever ridden. Iíll report back when its time to replace for top mileage on both the front and rear.(from Douglasgraham)

I haven't looked too much for comments on this tire, but it's Conti TRAIL ATTACK version gets mentioned quite often and everyone that has run them raves about them. Dual compound, good road profile, and enough block spacing to give good bite on dirt. A few have said it's no comparison to a TKC80 but then who would expect it to. One of the Versys owners runs this tire on the back with a Distanzia up front and swears by the combo.

There are just a few comments on the new Pirelli Scorpion Trails, but I guess they're so new that there just hasn't been a lot of feedback on them. One BMW rider wore out a set in under 4K miles so he was unhappy with the longevity, but also said performance was excellent with good wet and dry pavement and that it did as well on dirt as any of the dualsport tires like Tourance, Anakee, or Distanzia. They are also not the most expensive tire out there. This is also on my very short list to purchase in the next 30 days.

Speaking of price, I believe the Continental TKC's are the most expensive tire in the mix. I have not even considered tire prices, instead focussing more on what kind of performance to expect.

If anyone brave enough to read through all this crap and has corrections or edits, feel free to make them. My belief is that we all would like to hear as much real-world experience user input that we can get.
I posted a query on a BMW forum about the tires they run and there were three questions that I could not get a definitive answer to. If anyone can help it would be much appreciated:

1.Will the Distanzias match on-road performace of my stock dunlop sportmax?
2.Is the Anakee2, Tourance, or Trail Attack any better off pavement than the Distanzia? In otherwords, should I mix tire styles for something better on the the rear or run the match set of Distanzias if I'm going to go that way?
3.Am I just kidding myself and over thinking this and should just get a road tire and not worry about it? Syncs, Trails, Angels, pilots, etc.?

Many have said that a good road tire with an aggressive tread design will do as good as any dualsport tire on the dirt if if you air them down, and that the weight of the bike and the suspesion become the limiting factors. Especially for the Versys since it's designed as an on-road motorcycle.

Thanks for wading through all of this - my hope is that it will help others choose something that will best fit their needs. Bear in mind that my focused research was not on all road nor all dirt tires, but a combination tire for good roading performance that would allow some off-pavement riding.

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post #8 of 196 (permalink) Old 09-14-2010, 06:25 PM
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Nicely Done Guys
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post #9 of 196 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 08:33 AM
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Not that this will affect the fitting of the tires to the V but I recently went through the exercise of choosing a new rear for the bike and tabulated some costs for each. I figured it might be good general info for other folks to use :

( Note : This is as of 9/8/2010 and is for just REAR tires of the standard size unless noted, cost in US dollars )
Conti Attack Mileage - $150
Dunlop Roadsmarts - 141
Pilot Road 2 - 143
Bridgestone BT023 - 123
Pilot Road - 146
Metzler Tourance ( 150/70 ) 153
Avon Distanzias - 175
Avon Storm 2 - 160
Pirelli MT60 ( dual sport ) 170
Pirelli Angel - 143
Pirelli Scorpion Sync 146

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post #10 of 196 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 09:14 AM
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Excellent.
Add:
Pirelli Scorpion Trail - $132
It's a 150/70 though.

There is the Distanzia 150/70 tire in dual sport compound, or the 160/60 in super motard compound. The latter is more expensive, wears out twice as fast.

Some of the tires are higher or lower depending on where you shop.

Other 150/70's that will fit:
Metzler Tourance - $158
Continental Trail Attack
Continental Road Attack
Michelin Anakee 2
Shinko 705

Sorry, I did not price them all here.

There are no dual sport tires in 160/60 size. Quite a few good road tires though. Closest thing in a DS tire the Pirelli Syn, which is a road tire but everybody that has run them likes them and are reported okay on compact smooth dirt road.

A lot of guys are running the 150/70's and seem to work fine.

Jake had some more coments on tires that he was going to post.

IMHO, if you are a road rider and want a good tire on the cheap, I would go with Roadsmarts or BTX. Either will perform well and give good mileage.

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post #11 of 196 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 10:04 AM
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The combo of Scorp Trail rear and Distanza front work very well. Sat's run to Stecoah, NC had 4 gully washer squalls, as in can't see the front tire and tires stuck very well. Can't say as I slowed down at all in the curves.

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post #12 of 196 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 10:29 AM
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The combo of Scorp Trail rear and Distanza front work very well. Sat's run to Stecoah, NC had 4 gully washer squalls, as in can't see the front tire and tires stuck very well. Can't say as I slowed down at all in the curves.
I've been thinking real hard on a similar combo - MT-60 front and Tourance, Anakee 2, or Sync rear.

I really like the scorp trails - been eyeballing them at the Ducati store. They are definitely a 95/5 tire though. If I go this way would just run them both front and back.

If I went Distanzia would probably do the 150/70 rear in the DS compound to get some wear, same tread pattern.

Seems the front tire on our bikes are fairly easy on wear so the SM compound holds up pretty well.

The Tourance is a good tread pattern match to the MT-60 but I've read the stroms and beemer riders like the anakee 2 better for traction, wet dry and dirt. However it is has a flatter profile, they say, and for our bike could end up riding to the edge of the tread. Its a softer compound and sticks better than the tourance, at some sacrifice for wear.

I guess I'm going to just have to run a few of these tires and get first hand experience. Everybody's ride style is a little different, and the bikes are all a little different, so it's hard to discern the overall best. For me the real question is how much road/offroad will I realistically see, and choose accordingly.

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post #13 of 196 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 10:38 AM
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I just removed a SHINKO E-705 Trail Master from my KLR because the 'knobs' (at least 12 of the 17 on the left side of center on the rear) were in a state of incipient tread separation, with about 4200 miles on it (at 42 PSI). A buddy with a GS1200 had several TOTALLY separate off his rear. I won't use the 705 again, or recommend it. (And don't forget - the KLR has significantly LESS HP than the V!)
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Ed
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'08 V - BIG RED - AZ, '15 V650LT - the GREEN HORNET TOO - BC, and ('09 V - the GREEN HORNET - recently deceased..
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My Versys trip to D2D 2013, June '13

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My Versys trip to D2D 2015, June '15

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My Versys trip to D2D 2016, June '16

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post #14 of 196 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 11:07 AM
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I think most have seen the Conti road test on tires, but here's the write-up which I find more valuable, worth a read. These are for road-going dual sport tires.
Summary for each tire by MOTORRAD 11-2008

Avon Distanzia
Not perfectly steady on straights, and a bit of unrest when cornering where recognized. This is probably somewhat unavoidable for a tire using such big profile blocks. The biggest disadvantage: Once it comes to its limits it smears away out of a sudden, with no warning signs. The tire provides no much feed-back. In the wet it starts skidding early, and has the longest wet breaking distance. The Avon trails this test field.

Bridgestone Battlewing
The problem with the Battlewing as well is giving a warning feed-back before the tire reaches it's limits. In particular in the wet it does not give any response before disaster steps in, and both tires at the same time loose ground contact. The strengths of the BW are staying on track without the need for corrective steering input, good handling, and good stability when cornering. Together with an average wear result, this tire in the end stays in middle of the test field.

Continental Trail Attack
This tire delivers an excellent performance in all relevant departments, like straight line stability, cornering stability, handling. And it does all well regardless riding solo or loaded with a passenger. The no. 1 ranking in the dry environment is accompanied by a second no. 1 rank in the wear test - that's a well rounded showing indeed! Alone the wet performance could be a bit better, and here in particular suddenly skidding without warning should the tire be brought to its limits.

Dunlop Trailmax D607
The D607's handling is not quite as feather-light as some of the competitors. It requires some more steering input. But once in inclination it stays on track there solidly. The performance ratings are never the best, but it is a predictable performer and it always stays consistent, regardless the load of the bike. The wet tests reveal as well a very narrow transition zone before the tire skids away; in this case its the rear first.

Metzeler Tourance EXP
While the EXP's handles very easy, it also behaves a bit more nervous than the competitors from Pirelli, Bridgestone and Continental. For example, under extreme inclination it feels a little unsteady. Some of the measurements relevant for riding safety are absolutely top. So is the wet performance. This tire is the no. 1 choice for all-weather riders, indeed. Another one of the pluses is good feed back when approaching limits, for example before it skids away in corners. The biggest drawback of the EXP is the mediocre mileage.

Michelin Anakee II
On the dry it is a strange tire. We could feel a certain instability already when we rode with average speeds on country roads. With passenger the tire looses out even more. It does not provide a planted and solid feeling, in particular when cornering. Fast breaking action is not the domain of the Anakee as well. Surprisingly it comes to top performance showings in the wet. There we got short breaking distances and very good feed-back, before it reaches the limits. The Anakee is a two-sided sword: Blunt on the dry side and sharp the wet side.

Pirelli Scorpion Sync
While the handling is not quite as brilliant as some of the competitors, the Sync compensates with solid straight line performance and stabil cornering, regardless road surface, and with or without load. No surprises anywhere, even the feed-back before it reaches limits is good and reliable. As good as the dry performance is, the wet performance is average only. Another negative is the relative short mileage of the rear. This makes it a bit difficult to actually recommend the tire for something, even though overall result is not a bad 3. rank.

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post #15 of 196 (permalink) Old 09-15-2010, 02:27 PM
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The Tourance is a good tread pattern match to the MT-60 but I've read the stroms and beemer riders like the anakee 2 better for traction, wet dry and dirt. However it is has a flatter profile, they say, and for our bike could end up riding to the edge of the tread. Its a softer compound and sticks better than the tourance, at some sacrifice for wear.
Interesting, my perception was that it (AII) had a more significant radius than the Tourance, when I compared them side-by-side. You won't run out of lean-over space with an AII on the rear. I didn't drag pegs while on my trip, but I got pretty close a couple of times (while significantly unloaded due to theft). I looked at the rear afterwards, and the scuffing was just starting to approach the edge.

Regarding your previous comment about the 130/80/17 on the front - the picture is deceiving, because the tire has a pretty significant radius. It certainly won't be a limiting factor in how far you can lean the bike over, as you normally only use about 1/3 of it, maybe half if you are continually getting your pegs near the asphalt.

Also, related to that front tire; I didn't perceive any change in turn-in rate/ease as a function of the tire. There was some change in these, but I would attribute it (more logically, to me, anyways) to effective increase in rake and trail due to the effective raising of the front end, due to the "taller tire/wheel combo. The slightly increased effort required in turn-in can also very logically be attributed to the significant change in rotating mass/inertia.

With regards to wear, any of the street type tires (with the exception fo the Dunlop D616 - the rear version of this tire is too "big" for the V, but the front is a 120) are quite soft and will wear very quickly. Even though the AII is a "softer "compound than the Tourance, it is significantly "harder" than the "off-road" street bike tires.
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post #16 of 196 (permalink) Old 10-06-2010, 06:14 PM
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So I was looking at the Anakee-II tires to replace my stock set in the future, but I have a question to make sure I'm thinking correctly.

I need a tire that will work well in the wet or dry, but needs to have less "wiggle" on grooved and tar-snakey pavement. My thinking is that the Anakee-II's have such a flat profile they would do well by having more contact on the ground at any given time and therefore be less likely ti "wiggle" on grooved pavement.

What can I say, Seattle LOVES it's grooved pavement, and my 52 mile commute each day round trip consists of about 36 miles of grooved pavement.
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post #17 of 196 (permalink) Old 10-06-2010, 06:54 PM
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So I was looking at the Anakee-II tires to replace my stock set in the future, but I have a question to make sure I'm thinking correctly.

I need a tire that will work well in the wet or dry, but needs to have less "wiggle" on grooved and tar-snakey pavement. My thinking is that the Anakee-II's have such a flat profile they would do well by having more contact on the ground at any given time and therefore be less likely ti "wiggle" on grooved pavement.

What can I say, Seattle LOVES it's grooved pavement, and my 52 mile commute each day round trip consists of about 36 miles of grooved pavement.
There is only a rear that will fit unless you run the 130/80 size rear tire on the front. Ednukey likes that combo. I haven't been willing to give that a try yet, in comparison to the stock 120/70 it's a huge tire.

I would say it would be worth a try, at least for the rear. They are highly rated for wet, and good for dirt. Dry is just okay, but stable anyway, according to user reports online.

Unless you are looking for more off-pavement capability, my recommendation would be for a proper fitting road tire with a high rating for wet stiction. The scorp sync's would be an excellent choice and they come in the right size. The Pilot Roads are another. Both would do well on the groved pavement.

I was out to Chapparal's last weekend and they have a huge warehouse full of tires and got a chance to look close at all these tires we've discussed. The AII's are really a good looking tire, but they are quite a bit smaller than a 160/60 and are very much more round in tread profile than a standard road tire, like the sync, angel, etc. The latter are much more pointed in the center and are obviously made to provide a larger contact patch once leaned over. I got to see close up the syncs, anakee, conti attack series, distanzia, tourance, angel st, mt-60's, roadsmart, PR2.

For a dual sport type setup, without going to an off-size tire for the front (which I don't favor for myself) the MT-60 has to be a good combo tire and best for any off-pavement. It does have a pretty shallow tread depth, but wear seems to be quite low on the front of our bike. The distanzia second with a matched rear - very soft rubber compound on them, you can actually feel it. For the rear, longest wear would be the tourance, better traction and performance would be the anakees. For the most part, the strom riders prefer the anakees over the tourance by a quite a margin based on their thread discussions. I really liked the look of the MT-60 front with a sync rear. Right size, same brand, great looking combo but I have not ridden any of these types of combos as I still have the stock sportmax on mine. From all the studying and research that's probably what I would buy today. The only tire they didn't have was the scorp-trails, but I got a good look at those on the new Ducatis and I really like the way they look and the reports on their performance. Not very aggressive for dirt, but have been said to be as good or better than any of the others, like tourance or anakee2, and just excellent on road. One would think they would have to be, being they are fitted on the new 1200 multistrada.

For a road tire, the roadsmarts are really nice, as are bt023, PR2, and particularly the angel ST's.

Let us know what you decide on and how they perform for you.

Chris Brown
In SoCal
2009 V - custom black-on-black - SOLD
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post #18 of 196 (permalink) Old 10-06-2010, 07:13 PM
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Lets talk about the Bridgestone BT-023. (not a mix of 020 and 021). Who's got 'em, who loves 'em?
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post #19 of 196 (permalink) Old 10-06-2010, 11:02 PM
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Lets talk about the Bridgestone BT-023. (not a mix of 020 and 021). Who's got 'em, who loves 'em?
Here is some pretty good feedback on them, just not versys feedback.

http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=611991
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=601978
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=613008
http://www.st-owners.com/forums/showthread.php?t=82860

Some have said it's a pretty heavy duty tire, popular on bigger bikes. But they have a neutral profile for neutral turn in.

Seem like a good price for a dual compound sport touring tire from a reputable company. I don't think you could go wrong.


EDIT: I see there is a 'GT' version, heavier carcass for heavier bikes. The standard should perform well on the Versys.

Chris Brown
In SoCal
2009 V - custom black-on-black - SOLD
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post #20 of 196 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 10:32 AM
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Yeah, no off-road for me really, but the groovy pavement makes me a bit nervous and that's what I want to deal with. I don't mind having to put a little extra work into turning, I'm 300lb and have a lot of oomph to throw the bike around.

If not the Anakee-II's, what would the Hive Mind reccomend for wet/dry grooved and tar-snakey pavement with little to none off-road?
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