What tires for Versys 650 - Year 2016 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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What tires for Versys 650 - Year 2016

Hi guys, I'm about to change my original manufactures tires in my Kawasaki Versys 650 (year 2016).

I was thinking to put 170/70/17 on the rear and 120/70/17 in the front. Do you think that would make sense? Please correct me if I'm wrong. Honestly, this will be my first time when buying motorbike tires.

Regarding the brand, I heard that Metzeler is very good and available in my part of the world.

Any suggestions are welcome.

Versys 650 LT '16
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 04:49 PM
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Metzeler makes a good tire for sure. I would probably spend the extra cash and get Michelins. Sometimes you do get what you pay for! Most retailers online ship free on tires for purchases over $100 bucks. Some of our local dealers will give a discount on the tires and mounting if you buy them from their shop.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 06:43 PM
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grnfish, some questions:

1. Where are you? When you say "Land of Cheese" are you in the Netherlands or Canada or ???

2. What type of riding do you do? 100% black top, some good dirt roads, some interesting forest trails, or Oh heck - what is blacktop? If you even occasionally go onto the dirt I recommend a 90/10 tire (90% road / 10% off road). It will give you much more control in the dirt, without sacrificing on-road performance unless you are playing boy racer.

3. Why are you looking to go away from the standard size? Unless they have changed, the stock sizes are 160/60R17 & 120/70R17. A 170/70 is both higher and wider than stock. If you want to change response you would be better to change sprockets than tire size. Some have fitted 170/60 and don't get chain rub, (it is 10 mm wider and 6 mm higher than stock) but a 170/70 would be 10 mm higher and 23 mm higher. That is a big change.

4. There are many other threads with thousands of posts re tires. What is best depends where you want to take your bike. I have been very happy Avon Trailriders that are a 90/10 and have done 100's of km on the dirt, but will be changing to a 50/50 tire for this summer.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by grnfish View Post
Hi guys, I'm about to change my original manufactures tires in my Kawasaki Versys 650 (year 2016).

I was thinking to put 170/70/17 on the rear and 120/70/17 in the front. Do you think that would make sense? Please correct me if I'm wrong. Honestly, this will be my first time when buying motorbike tires.

Regarding the brand, I heard that Metzeler is very good and available in my part of the world.

Any suggestions are welcome.
For optimum performance I would stick with the stock sizes. Why? Because changing either the width or sidewall ratio on the stock rims will affect the tire cross sectional curvature which will negatively affect turn in. It is unlikely to create a larger contact patch either as it will simply make the tire more curved on the rim which is not a good thing. (160/60-17 & 120/70-17 are recommended sizes for the Versys 650).

Sport tour tires are best for pavement riding but if you ride much on graded dirt roads (<10%) you may want to consider adventure tires like the Metzeler Tourance Next, Pirelli Scorpion II's, or other similar models. I've run the Pirelli Scorpion I's. They are almost as good as good sport tour tires on pavement but grip significantly better on pavement with loose gravel and stop better on a dirt road. They also steer better on a dirt road. They won't however help much on loose/uncompacted dirt, sand, or climbing a muddy hill, for that you'll need something like a 50/50 tire, which unfortunately will hit on pavement handling much more noticeably. If you're doing those things though, with any frequency, the Versys is probably not the best choice for a bike for that kind of riding. There is no golden unicorn of tires that works well in all conditions, it is more of a trade off.
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Last edited by twowheels; 03-27-2017 at 08:24 PM.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-27-2017, 11:10 PM
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Stick to stock sizes... no reasonable justification for deviating.
I've been through 14 or 15 different brands at one time or another, over the years... I've stuck w/ Michelin since the PR2 (Pilot Road, NOT Pilot Power), and never looked back... I've got PR4s on my V now, and still couldn't be happier w/ them... They stick like glue in the corners (the dual compound accounts for that -- softer rubber on the sides, harder down the middle for longevity), and they out-perform anything else I've ever ridden, in the wet...

Of course, this recommendation assumes mostly pavement riding, and very little, if any, fire trails...

Ride safe...

Barry
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 02:00 AM
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What you need is 160/60-17 rear and 120/70-17 front. The new Roadtec 01 would be an excellent choice.

http://www.metzeler.com/site/ch/prod...ersion=1134168

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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thank you everyone for your suggestions and opinion. I will stick to normal tires - I saw some post where someone was saying the other ones which would be good as well, therefore I thought it might be good.

Land of cheese for me is Switzerland and I will do 100% normal roads...

One more question - can you explain me what is the difference with B, R and ZR when choosing the tire?

Versys 650 LT '16

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 10:47 AM
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Michelin Pilot Road IV for paved roads. Never heard a bad thing about those tires. They get superlative reviews for wet roads, as well as twisty roads and dry roads.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by grnfish View Post
thank you everyone for your suggestions and opinion. I will stick to normal tires - I saw some post where someone was saying the other ones which would be good as well, therefore I thought it might be good.

Land of cheese for me is Switzerland and I will do 100% normal roads...

One more question - can you explain me what is the difference with B, R and ZR when choosing the tire?
B- Belted tire
R- Radial tire
ZR - tire speed rating

Ride safe...

Barry
2015 Versys 650 Pearl White
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-28-2017, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by grnfish View Post
Hi guys, I'm about to change my original manufactures tires in my Kawasaki Versys 650 (year 2016).

I was thinking to put 170/70/17 on the rear and 120/70/17 in the front. Do you think that would make sense? Please correct me if I'm wrong. Honestly, this will be my first time when buying motorbike tires.

Regarding the brand, I heard that Metzeler is very good and available in my part of the world.

Any suggestions are welcome.

As others have said, stick with the stock sized tires 160/60/17 rear and 120/70/17 front (pg 24 of your owners manual) .

As to the the brand and type of tire, go with the Michelin Pilot Road 4's. I've used Pilot Road 3's & 4's for probably 8 years +- on 3 motorcycles over many miles. They are the best sport-touring tire I've ever used by far. They have excellent grip and long life, a rare combination.

2016 Versys 650 LT, Orange


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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 12:11 PM
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At this point in time if I were to put on street tires, I would try the Metz Roadtek 01. The write ups and testing have been phenomenal. And they seem a bit more frugal than PR4. Currently running Shinko 705. Still decent on the street, a bit noise especially up front, and decent hookup on the dirt roads/trails. I ride about 90/10 street. Will be taking the bike to Big Bend next month, then BC, WA, OR, ID, MT for about three months this summer. After that, will probably try a set of street tires just for grins and giggles.

Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SteveinSunnyFlorida)

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And most of Canada too, eh?
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 02:09 AM
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At this point in time if I were to put on street tires, I would try the Metz Roadtek 01. The write ups and testing have been phenomenal. And they seem a bit more frugal than PR4. Currently running Shinko 705. Still decent on the street, a bit noise especially up front, and decent hookup on the dirt roads/trails. I ride about 90/10 street. Will be taking the bike to Big Bend next month, then BC, WA, OR, ID, MT for about three months this summer. After that, will probably try a set of street tires just for grins and giggles.
Bought a set of the Metzeler Roadtec 01 today. Will post a review when I get around to installing them. $330 CDN online per set from Pete's Superbike in Montreal plus $30 shipping. Seemed to be the best Canadian price I could find.
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 01:52 PM
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Bought a set of the Metzeler Roadtec 01 today. Will post a review when I get around to installing them. $330 CDN online per set from Pete's Superbike in Montreal plus $30 shipping. Seemed to be the best Canadian price I could find.
I just popped for a set of Angel GT's. $270 to my door, minus a $40 rebate for $230 cost.

$330 CAD seems like a good price up there.

Where about in ONT? We have riding friends south of Ottawa.
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And most of Canada too, eh?
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 03:38 PM
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Which tire?

After reading tests for a while I decided to take Pirellis, Angel GT for the rear wheel and Diablo Rosse for the front. Why not the same tire for both wheels? Well, that is a personal consideration and not everyone will share it.
In the past I had two accidents because the front wheel "went" and so I feel that a disbalance in grip (the Diablo Rosso is softer than the Angel GT) gives be better safety. Also, when the oríginal Dunlops had become old (4 years), the front ABS intervened too often, what I found irritating. With the Diablo Rosso the ABS keeps passive even during hard braking manoeuvers, unless slippery conditions occur unexpectedly.

Other posters have recommended to use the original tire sizes, but did not say why. There is a legal aspect, which may play a role in the case of an accident But in the first place it is highly unlikely that larger tires will bring an improvement of any kind, but the opposite can be expected.

In any case good luck with your new tires and happy riding!
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 04:59 PM
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I just popped for a set of Angel GT's. $270 to my door, minus a $40 rebate for $230 cost.

$330 CAD seems like a good price up there.

Where about in ONT? We have riding friends south of Ottawa.
Central Ottawa. Frequently make it to the US as Ogdensburg, NY border is only ~30-40 min ride and never busy or a wait. Current exchange rate keeps me away though.

I would speculate the Metzeler Roadtec 01's and Pirelli Angel GT's have the same carcass as Metzeler and Pirelli are the same company now that Pirelli bought Metzeler a few years back. It would be hard to imagine that they don't share technology and perhaps have the same design team.

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Originally Posted by klaser53 View Post
After reading tests for a while I decided to take Pirellis, Angel GT for the rear wheel and Diablo Rosse for the front. Why not the same tire for both wheels? Well, that is a personal consideration and not everyone will share it.
In the past I had two accidents because the front wheel "went" and so I feel that a disbalance in grip (the Diablo Rosso is softer than the Angel GT) gives be better safety. Also, when the oríginal Dunlops had become old (4 years), the front ABS intervened too often, what I found irritating. With the Diablo Rosso the ABS keeps passive even during hard braking manoeuvers, unless slippery conditions occur unexpectedly.
...
I've always had equal wear on front and back tires with previous Scorpions and Road Pilots, sometimes the front has even worn faster than the rear, except for this last set, where the rear wore much faster. Your approach kinda makes sense if you would otherwise have faster wear on rear.

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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 06:54 PM
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I know I will be going with the Pirelli Scorpion Trail II after having them on my Ducati Multistrada. Great tire, never a issue with grip.
Had the Michelin PR4's also and couldn't discern any difference in grip, and the Trail IIs did work well enough on dirt roads. YMMV
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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 07:52 PM
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I ran Shinko Ravens for 25,000 miles on the Versys and never an issue.

My Versys Travels:


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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-25-2017, 08:40 PM
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Why not the same tire for both wheels? Well, that is a personal consideration and not everyone will share it.


In any case good luck with your new tires and happy riding!
I agree with you klaser! I just replaced a well worn, flattened Road 4 rear and an already "scalloping"(3500 mile) front 4 with a Power front and Power 3 rear. What a nice change! Now I'm considering swapping out the Road 2 on my Bandit 12 for the same benefit. I'm more of a sporty rider with a long road racing history. The profile and construction of the sport tires are much more to my liking, more supple with much more front confidence. I've used the Power in the past and it's an incredible tire and delivers "enough" mileage to satisfy me. 7000 on an SV650....All that said, the 4's -are- fantastic!
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2017, 12:01 PM
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I am going to try the Dunlop Roadsmart 3. Apparently better than michelin PR4 and Dunlop has a $60 rebate on a pair. With rebate about $110 less expensive than a pair of the PR4.

I have a 2011 versys with original tires right wround 5 k miles, the bike sqirms all over the place on tar snakes. Just about anything will be better than these old stockers!

JoH
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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 05-30-2017, 01:39 PM
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FWIW - my Shinko E705s (w/ 16,736 kms front, and 7,101 kms rear - 10,399 miles F and 4,412 miles R) are still good w/ a fair amount of tread, NO cupping or flat-spotting, tho' I DID change-out a rear 705 in Anchorage last June at ONLY 5,116 kms.

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