Long trip - Get new tires or test my luck on stock? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Long trip - Get new tires or test my luck on stock?

Hey all,

After reading through various threads about tires, it's got me wondering....and hoping for some advice from those much more knowledgeable and experienced than I.

So I'm taking the V out on 2 week trip from Ohio to the Grand Canyon, Utah, Colorado, and back (appx 4 thousand miles). Camping all along the way. My concern is.....are my stock tires, which only have a little over 1k on them right now going to be sufficient for the trip?

I've noticed in other threads that most people don't like the stock tires ability in rain, let alone gravel and dirt. This will be my first trip of this magnitude, so I'm not quite sure if I need to be getting better tires, or if the stockers with only 1k on them will hold up.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 10:25 PM
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just a thought.........swap to better tires for the trip.
keep the stock and use them later....
if you do your own tire changes then this wont be a big deal.
you dont want to be worrying about tires on your trip. that would be a buzz kill.
the front stocker sucks in the rain. you just have to tip-toe through the turns a bit more.
they should hold up though. check your psi every day.

have a great time!
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 10:41 PM
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tires are like your thoughts. if you are comfortable with stock go along, but if you feel otherwise then get something that gives you confidence.-IMHO.

on your long trip and hope you have a whale of a time.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2012, 10:51 PM
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That's the perfect use for stockers- burn 'em up on the highway on a long trip... get what you want when you return. Unless you were planning a lot of gravel or dirt?
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 07:41 AM
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If me, I'll change to the tires of my liking.
At 1K, there is a lot of miles to go. Best to have shoes you confident with.
Better not to ask "What if?" than I should have done this/that. Good Luck and good rides, Dave.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 09:06 AM
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback everyone. Yeah, don't plan on any big off-road excursions. It'll mainly be pavement mixed in with gravel and dirt from campgrounds. I haven't had any issues with the stock tires yet, so I'm leaning towards leaving them on.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 11:56 AM
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Only problem with the stock tires for me was in the wet. They were pretty slick other than that no problem just if you get caught in the rain be careful in the corners

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzItLies View Post
+1

That's the question imho. I've got about 2500 on my stockers, they still look new. I'm running 36 front and 40 back. They are scrubbed in almost out to the edges. They did feel more squirelly than most when scrubbing them in though.

If yer planning mostly roads and high ways, a long with the occasional grass / dirt of a camp ground, I'd say now's the time to use em and abuse em

And good luck with that trip. That's the way I like to do it. Camp the entire way!
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I did long trips to use up the OEM tires on BOTH of my Vs. Some guys don't like them and I offered to buy take-off sets from other members, but no-one took me up on the offer. They may not be great, but I believe they are "alright". I got OVER 10,000 miles on my '08s, and around 8,000 on my '09s (which I changed out because I didn't want to trust they'd last over ANOTHER longish trip I was going to do).

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 12:14 PM
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I would run them out.. You can worry yourself to death about prep for a trip (I considered a new battery because of age on my last trip) but near new oem tires would be the last thing I would be concerned with unless you were hitting some dirt.. I had all kinds of people tell me the stock tires that came on my Vstrom new were going to kill me.. I actually had the best wear and felt most comfortable with them after changing to numerous tires of the life of the bike. I just picked up my first Versys a couple weeks ago and rode it back 220 miles in the rain with a large portion in twisty farmland / mountains.. Granted I wasn't banging through at 90mph but I had read all the complaints and paid extra attention on the ride home.. I have no qualms with the the stock tires and will not be changing them out until they are worn out.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 12:52 PM
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I started one of those threads because I slid on a corner in the rain. I'm still burning my stockers up and here is the thing to watch. Air pressure! I have been keeping mine on the low side of the pressure scale and found they have better traction. From the factory way too much pressure! They wear out faster lower pressure but who cares.

Other than that burn them up!





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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 02:36 PM
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I'd keep the stockers on, personally. Especially if you're going to be on the slab for a fair percentage of the trip. Then, when you get back home, put a higher performance shoe on to enjoy for your local twisties.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 03:20 PM
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I would (a) put on tires I like, and (b) ride on roads I like.

Enjoy your trip.


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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 04:12 PM
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I did a US cross country Fly & Ride on my 08 Versys last month, 5,500 miles total. Unlike my previous cross country ride (4,900 miles in 2010) I changed from my normal Angel ST's to the Scorpion Trails.



Unfortunately about 1,000 miles from home I started a desperate search for new tires enroute.....most shops don't seem to carry Versys stock sizes on hand, I lucked out and found a set of tires on a Saturday Pilot II's..........$550 later I was back on the road. Yes-$550!

I got 8k out of the OEM tires, 10-11K off the Angel ST's and just under 6k on the Trails.

One up with camping gear.



I would probably change them out if I were you. I skipped some spots on my trip because of the condition of my tires.



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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 04:54 PM
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 05:35 PM
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I went on a ride about 2 months ago out west that ended up being about 3500 miles. I had about 1/2 tread left on the back so I thought it wise to put a new tire on the back. I mainly ride with sport bikes and was thinking about that type of tire. After talking with the mech. at the bike shop, I went with a Michelin Commander, he said it was more of a tire for a cruiser, has a nice looking tread design. After the trip app. 3500 miles, still plenty of tread, just flat in the middle. One of the riders on the trip had a well worn tire to start the trip, we had to make a special stop for him to get a tire and new chain. It worked out ok, but at times, we where in the middle of no where. Why chance it?
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 06:40 PM
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I'd stick with the stockers...you are traveling in the dryest time of year and not expecting to do alot of gravel running. Sure there are better tires out there if you are going to be railing corners or getting dusty, but if you are predominantly on highways and paved sideroads, save your hard earned dollars for farkles for your bike or the occasional motel room on your trip, you'll appreciate a shower and bed after a couple long days in the saddle, I pulled an 8,000+ km trip last year and was pretty happy to see that Super 8 sign after 12 hours on the bike...

have a wicked time and happy trails to you!
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 06:48 PM
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I got 8k from the stockers. Then I traded to a pair of roadsmarts bit of an improvement overall. 8k miles later I switched to a pair of scopion trails. Trails are significantly better on and off pavement, wet or dry and not much more expensive. However, availablity might be a problem. I had to wait a few days to get the rear.

I ran the stockers wet and dry as well as in well graded gravel roads. They are not the best but not bad enough to throw them away before wearing them out.

BTW if you do not already have a route decided through Colorado I can sed you through some interesting routes across.

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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzItLies View Post
+1

That's the question imho. I've got about 2500 on my stockers, they still look new. I'm running 36 front and 40 back. They are scrubbed in almost out to the edges. !
Most important is the pressure, I found out from the dealer, OEM suggested tire pressure is low, I had cupping at 3000KM, after changing pressure, they lasted to around 12000 KM.
Enjoy the ride,
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-16-2012, 10:33 PM
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For a 1k mile tire, the grips are still ok. I would just use them and wear them out. When you find the front tire slipping when you do the turns, let off the pressure by 1 psi, and the grip would be better. I've use the Dunlop rears until it reached the wear indicators. I can feel it was trying to catch up in the grip department versus my Scorpion Trail front. The wear rate increases exponentially when it nears the wear indicators. Just slow it down as necessary when you fell them slipping, and that's about after 8k km of usage.

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