Rear tire used on front wheel. - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Rear tire used on front wheel.

Looking at what's available in 17" front dual sport tires makes me understand the draw of the 19" vstrom wheel.

So I'm just going to ask this.. nobody freak out.

Say you could find an appropriately sized 17" (120/90 or so or a 4.60) dual-sport rear tire.. could you run that as a front on the Versys? Or would it rip a hole in the space time continuum? Should I be sent to prison for even thinking such a thing.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 10:06 AM
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if it fits it fits right?
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 10:24 AM
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If it is direction you need to run it backwards.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 11:33 AM
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There is a thread on here somewhere on the same subject. In the end, it wasn't a pretty discussion.
You may want to search for it anyway.
In the end - I recall that the manufacturers did not recommend it. I mentioned that if the tread has a "V" pattern, that it should be "reversed" because 1) that is how all front wheel "V" type treads are oriented, likely for best directional stability during braking 2) but that then puts the "rotational arrow" backwards, which may or may not cause odd sidewall flex and maybe heat build up, and maybe tire failure. On the other hand, forum members presented actual experience / evidence / photos that showed that mounting a rear tire on the front, with the "v" the "wrong way for a front tire" worked just fine, ... so far...
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 11:48 AM
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Do whatever floats your boat. It is your ride and your preference.

I would never run a car tire on the back of a bike but there are hundreds if not thousands of riders who do it everyday. There are even videos showing how they lean it over with the best of them.

I ran Dunlop D606s on the KLR. 90% off road tires. Sounded like a mudder going down the street. The tires walked during hard cornering, but I never felt out of control.

Better to be safe in the riding conditions you want to enjoy and be extra careful on the commute to get there.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 12:30 PM
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The TKC 80 comes in a FRONT 120/70Q-17
No need for anything else.


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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 12:41 PM
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We're putting car tires on Gold Wings and Yellow Wolf is making tracks on the Tail of The Dragon with them. Google that. You may be surprised.

On the front, many are using a motorcycle rear BT-045, turned backwards.

So, it's not unheard of.

In my mind, the plies on rear tires are designed in such a way to accept braking and acceleration. The front? Not so much.

Rear tire on the front? Maybe
Front tire on the rear? Probably not a good idea.

It will all work, as long as it fits. It all boils down to "optimum performance"
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddlewis View Post
Looking at what's available in 17" front dual sport tires makes me understand the draw of the 19" vstrom wheel.

So I'm just going to ask this.. nobody freak out.

Say you could find an appropriately sized 17" (120/90 or so or a 4.60) dual-sport rear tire.. could you run that as a front on the Versys? Or would it rip a hole in the space time continuum? Should I be sent to prison for even thinking such a thing.
I run a rear Tourance 130/80x17 on the front of BOTH my Vs (got the idea from "jdrocks" and Gary in South America), and w/ the arrow pointing forward. Check the treads in this pic.



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If it is direction you need to run it backwards.
No you don't...!

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 12:59 PM
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Tread pattern is designed for maximum traction, acceleration on the back and braking for the front. Will running the tread pattern the wrong way work? Certainly, you just won't get as much traction.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 01:34 PM
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the 130 shinko 705 is a rear/front - has an arrow point one direction for rear and the other direction for front.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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I searched more and found more on this topic. It did get a little touchy. I see there could be fender clearance issues with the taller sidewall - which means brake line mods to raise the fender. Didn't think about that.

I have several 17" 120-130 width DR650 rear take-offs in the garage, mostly tube type shinkos 700 and 705, with decent life left in them. The 700's especially would make a gnarly front for the V.



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The TKC 80 comes in a FRONT 120/70Q-17
No need for anything else.
I didn't know that was an option. well that kind of ends it right there.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by ddlewis View Post
I searched more and found more on this topic. It did get a little touchy. I see there could be fender clearance issues with the taller sidewall - which means brake line mods to raise the fender. Didn't think about that.
i had to raise the fender for the 130's about 1.25 inches using adapters i made from 3/4" wide 3/16" thick aluminum bar stock.

no line mods necessary but I did have to drill 2 new holes in the fender to relocate the hose clamps.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 07:30 PM
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I started riding on small bikes (125-150cc) and it was quite common to use same size on both axles, the tires even had printed arrows on both directions depending on which position the tire would be used.

Just reverse it and enjoy.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddlewis View Post
I searched more and found more on this topic. It did get a little touchy. I see there could be fender clearance issues with the taller sidewall - which means brake line mods to raise the fender. Didn't think about that.

I have several 17" 120-130 width DR650 rear take-offs in the garage, mostly tube type shinkos 700 and 705, with decent life left in them. The 700's especially would make a gnarly front for the V.





I didn't know that was an option. well that kind of ends it right there.
I've had one on my 2011 from day 1 this spring. 6 thousand miles and going strong. It looks to be less 1/3 worn. I've had it on many different terrains from fresh new pavement to 4-6" of mud soup and it's handled them all with grace. I usually air down to around 20-22 ish on loose gravel and the like. You won't be disappointed.


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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-21-2014, 08:15 PM
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Manufactures "don't recommend" stuff they never tested. Doesn't mean it won't work. Drug companies are famous for this.
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddlewis View Post
Looking at what's available in 17" front dual sport tires makes me understand the draw of the 19" vstrom wheel.

So I'm just going to ask this.. nobody freak out.

Say you could find an appropriately sized 17" (120/90 or so or a 4.60) dual-sport rear tire.. could you run that as a front on the Versys? Or would it rip a hole in the space time continuum? Should I be sent to prison for even thinking such a thing.
The direction of rotation vs tread pattern is normally reversed from front to back. This is so the tread pattern on the front wheel enhances braking while it enhances acceleration on the rear. If mounting a rear tire on the front you should mount it opposite the direction of recommended rotation.

I would check the tire manufacturer's web site for a chart on recommended rim width vs tire size. Tires are manufactured to fit a specific rim width and this is somewhat independent of their own width. For instance a 150 tire from manufacturer X may require a 3.5 inch rim, while a 150 tire from manufacturer Y may require a 4 inch rim.


Rear tires are normally heavier made so they may be heavier than necessary on the front wheel with stiffer than necessary side walls. Not a safety issue but many have a slight effect on handling.

Front and rear tire profiles normally vary and are designed to work together. Front tires normally have a rounder profile to promote consistent feel during turn in while rear tires normally have a slightly more mushroom shaped profile. A front tire that does not have a round profile will feel a little unstable during cornering.

Last edited by twowheels; 10-22-2014 at 03:04 AM.
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 07:19 AM
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Manufactures "don't recommend" stuff they never tested. Doesn't mean it won't work. Drug companies are famous for this.
As they should.

It is nice that there are those folks willing to be guinea pigs and try the untried.

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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-22-2014, 11:56 AM
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...I see there could be fender clearance issues with the taller sidewall - which means brake line mods to raise the fender. Didn't think about that....
Here're pics of the brake lines on my '08 after I raised the front fender. ALL I had to do, was disconnect the plastic brackets freeing up the lines.

BTW - I followed jdrocks advice on running the REAR 130/80x17 Tourance (on the front) w/ the arrow pointing forward, and I've ridden AT LEAST 20,000 miles that way, between my two Vs. So it WORKS...! (These pics were taken just before I mounted up the Tourance rubber....)








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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 10-23-2014, 12:35 AM
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i also run the same tourance tires as fasteddy, mounted the same. i've got about 20,000 miles on the front and it appears to be 50% left. i'm getting about 9,000 miles out of each the first two rear tires.
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-05-2014, 08:57 AM
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Great topic, ya-all.

Just my two cents, my used VERS came with Bridgestone Battlax tires, certainly with some wear, no idea how long they had been on the bike. They were visibly squared off a bit, and the creepy ride they provided, corners, or even staying vertical in straight lines, once you started to lean just slightly, it felt like you were loosing control.

To me, and another guy that had ridden my bike for some distance, what I experienced with stock tire sizes front and rear, tires that were meant for this bike-

The ride pretty freaky.... anything else would be an improvement in handling or safety IMO.

If running a rear tire in front wreaks havoc on the space-time continuum, and tears a new *sshole in the earth's atmosphere and Al Gore get's sucked out of it.... so be it.

I think it's ok, and will give the concept a go next time.

Last edited by unstable_rider; 11-05-2014 at 09:02 AM.
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