new rear tire - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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new rear tire

after 2700 miles on the stock rear tire, its down to the wear bars and developing a flat spot, so it was time for a new one. I've read good things about the Michelin Pilot Road 4's, so I bought a rear for my versys.

I don't want to risk traction issues on my bike, so replacing earlier than later is better in my mind.

the front still has plenty of life left in it, could probably get 6-7000 mile out of it. I think it will be fine, but will it cause any handling issues keeping the stock front with the new Michelin in the back? I don't think im too aggressive in the corners with it. I've never scraped the pegs with the versys, and honestly would never want to with a bike this tall.

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-19-2015, 09:55 PM
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after 2700 miles on the stock rear tire, its down to the wear bars and developing a flat spot, so it was time for a new one. I've read good things about the Michelin Pilot Road 4's, so I bought a rear for my versys.

I don't want to risk traction issues on my bike, so replacing earlier than later is better in my mind.

the front still has plenty of life left in it, could probably get 6-7000 mile out of it. I think it will be fine, but will it cause any handling issues keeping the stock front with the new Michelin in the back? I don't think im too aggressive in the corners with it. I've never scraped the pegs with the versys, and honestly would never want to with a bike this tall.
No. Well, not unless you have tires with vastly different grip and turning profile characteristics on either end, like say an off road/adventure tire on one end and at grippy sport touring tire on the other. The PR 3's have been the best tires I've run on my Versys, so far, out of several I've tried. Think I may either go for the PR 4's or the also highly rated Pirelli Angel GT next time. Keep us posted on how you like them.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 12:44 AM
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Pilot Road 4......excellent choice.
Great tire!!!
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 08:49 AM
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I would change the front to match PR4. You will not be getting the full handling benefit of PR4's with the stock tire on front.
The difference between the stock and PR4's will be very evident and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 10:14 AM
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I would change the front to match PR4. You will not be getting the full handling benefit of PR4's with the stock tire on front.
The difference between the stock and PR4's will be very evident and guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
+1

...and if you really push it in the corners, you may find that the front tire will want to slide or wash-out a bit.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 10:25 AM
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Even though people love to hate the OEM tires, I didn't find them THAT bad, they just wore out too fast. Now, on the PR4, it's a terrific tire, and I'd replace both just to get the full PR4 experience as the front is the one responsible for giving the bike that nice sharp feeling.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 04:38 PM
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new rear tire

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThunderBlue View Post
after 2700 miles on the stock rear tire, its down to the wear bars and developing a flat spot, so it was time for a new one. I've read good things about the Michelin Pilot Road 4's, so I bought a rear for my versys.



I don't want to risk traction issues on my bike, so replacing earlier than later is better in my mind.



the front still has plenty of life left in it, could probably get 6-7000 mile out of it. I think it will be fine, but will it cause any handling issues keeping the stock front with the new Michelin in the back? I don't think im too aggressive in the corners with it. I've never scraped the pegs with the versys, and honestly would never want to with a bike this tall.

I have seen four different styles of PR 4 tires – which one did you select?
I guess this question goes to anyone who has purchased the Pilot Road 4 tires.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-20-2015, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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it was the standard pr4 rear tire. the pr4 gt is for heavier bikes, and the trail is a softer compound. I might order the front, but I doubt I will until next season. just not enough time left in the season.

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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-21-2015, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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took the versys for a slightly spirited, back country ride on the way home from work and decided I wanted the extra grip from the new front tire too. I will feel better knowing the traction levels are the same front and rear. the front just didn't seem to grip like I wanted it too today, but it was cooler than in the past couple days, so maybe that was it.

either way, im going to be rocking a full set of the pr4's!

denniskirk had BY FAR the best price on the pr4's, $134 for the front and $163 for the rear.

I also ordered a set of tire spoons and rim protectors to change the tires myself.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-21-2015, 08:58 PM
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Good move buying both. I buy tires from Dennis Kirk also. They always seem to have the best deals. They are really good about returns too. A few weeks ago I bought a tire that was defective out of the gate. First time ever for me. Had a wobble that couldn't be balanced out. They send a return shipping slip so I was able to send it back for a refund. Got the replacement and I'm back to smooth.

I haven't changed my own tires in many years, but I've seriously been thinking about getting a tire changer from Harbor Freight and starting to again. I get dinged 30-50 bucks for a mount and balance when I bring in the wheel and tire around here depending on which shop I use. With three bikes it starts to add up.

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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 04:41 PM
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I haven't changed my own tires in many years, but I've seriously been thinking about getting a tire changer from Harbor Freight and starting to again.
I have a Harbor Freight tire changer, but I moved things around in the place I had it bolted to the floor. This last time I changed my front tire I decided not to setup that rig. I just changed the tire with spoons on top of a furniture blanket. I think that is was actually easier than with the tire changing rig.

I have found that changing tires is about out-thinking the tire. On the ground I can use both of my knees and my hands to get the tire where it needs to be to slip on relatively easily. Otherwise, I have found tire changing to be one of the most annoying bits of maintenance for me.

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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 07:14 PM
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I use 24" wire ties (6 or 8, depending on the sidewall stiffness) to pull the opposite beads together. As you know, the first bead goes on easily. The second is difficult because the first bead wants to seat, making you stretch against the sidewall. Pull the two beads together and they go on at the same time, cut the ties and inflate. Hint; make sure the wire tie lock is on the tread. (damhik)
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-22-2015, 08:35 PM
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Good tips guys thanks. I've still got my old spoons in the garage....somewhere. I have fresh tires on the Versys now as of last week, but my ZR will need a rear within 1000 miles or so. Maybe I'll bite the bullet and give it a try.

Are you guys balancing them? If so are you doing it in a traditional way using weight or with those new dyna beads. I've heard mixed results for the beads, some guys swear by them, others swear they don't work. Would be easier than rigging a balancing stand though.

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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 01:32 PM
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I tried to post a reply last night, but I seem to be having troubles with this forum since the change to the new format. Then again, it might just be my connection to the interwebs altogether.

I have a Harbor Freight wheel balancing rig (something like this Motorcycle Wheel Balancer w/ Stand). I use it to balance my wheels after mounting my tires. I apply the stick-on weights to the rims. After the last front tire change, I did not need any further weights to balance the tire - I do not do things the "recommended way" every time in that I do not remove the old weights prior to installing the new tire.

I do not ride in the most aggressive fashion, but I do not notice any problems with the bike in motion after I change a tire.

Have fun changing the tire and remember that plenty of soapy water or some tire changing lube are your friend.

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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-23-2015, 05:10 PM
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Are you guys balancing them? If so are you doing it in a traditional way using weight or with those new dyna beads. I've heard mixed results for the beads, some guys swear by them, others swear they don't work. Would be easier than rigging a balancing stand though.
Dyna-Beads... and I removed the wheel-weights when I got home from the dealer, then added the 'beads'. I've run them for close to 100K MILES!!!

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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-24-2015, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by ThunderBlue View Post
took the versys for a slightly spirited, back country ride on the way home from work and decided I wanted the extra grip from the new front tire too. I will feel better knowing the traction levels are the same front and rear. the front just didn't seem to grip like I wanted it too today, but it was cooler than in the past couple days, so maybe that was it.

either way, im going to be rocking a full set of the pr4's!

denniskirk had BY FAR the best price on the pr4's, $134 for the front and $163 for the rear.

I also ordered a set of tire spoons and rim protectors to change the tires myself.
What about balancing them?
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-24-2015, 09:11 PM
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What about balancing them?
Fast Eddie and I have given him two choices about balancing. I have a friend who rides a Speed Triple (and very aggressively I will add) who has given up on balancing motorcycle tires altogether. His machine still performs great.

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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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well, I got the tires installed tonight and took it for a spin to see how it was tracking, since I needed to tighten my chain a little at the same time. I adjusted it by the marks on the swing arm and it tracks PERFECTLY straight. I must be one of the very few who's swing arm marks are accurate I guess.

I do need to balance the tires though, so im going to get a harbor freight wheel balancer with the stick on weights, I just don't trust those dynabeads.
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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well, tried the harbor freight balancer. PIECE OF CRAP!!!!! It found the heavy spot, so I put weight at the top so that it wouldn't spin at any orientation. so then I spin the shaft while keeping the tire stationary(turning the shaft and bearings in the wheel hub) and all of a sudden the wheel has another heavy spot! so either the shaft is bent or the cones are not tight enough to the shaft to be accurate, either way, its going back and im having a shop balance them.

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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 08:17 PM
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I have balanced quite a few tires using the Harbor Freight rig. It does seem to take a bit of time to decide that there is no longer a heavy spot. Now I just make a few cursory passes with the balancer and then accept what I get. I have not ever noticed a problem. Then again, I ride a "vibey" 2008 Versys and so perhaps the problem was just conflated with all of the other sources of vibration. Personally, I love riding this bike. My friend rides quite aggressively and has now given up entirely on balancing his tires. I would not take that approach, but I am not sure that balance matters that much - there that should get some comment.

I would recommend riding the bike some before you think that you need a professional to balance your wheels. Why do you think that they know what they are doing any better than you?

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