Questions about new tires - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 03:55 AM Thread Starter
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Questions about new tires

So I just put some brand new Shinko 705 tires on my 2009 Versys. I have Tusk boxes on the bike, but after I got the rims with new tires back from the shop, I left my boxes off for the first ride. I only went around the block twice (literally around my block) and in that approx. 1/4 mile, the bike felt more "nimble" than it did with the old tires. I've put the boxes back on at this point and wanted to see if I still felt that same "nimble" feeling with them on.

I expected the new tires to feel different, but I'm now a little nervous about breaking them in. The "old" tires are Michelin Road Pilot 3, but they were made in October of 2013 so I wanted to go ahead and replace them. They felt like they would "slip" about an inch or so (randomly, not every turn) when I was taking wide turns above 40 mph on the freeway.

Is this normal during the break in or is this something I expect with this particular set of tires? Will that "nimbleness" last beyond the first couple of hundred miles?

Stock rims on the bike, 120/70R17 for the front and 170/60R17 on the rear.

Edit: I'm not sure about the tire pressures as the new tires were install at a shop. I'm pretty sure they did something like 33 psi, but I'll check when I get home after work and update this to clarify the tire pressures.

Last edited by notyou83; 04-16-2018 at 03:58 AM. Reason: forgot tire pressure comments
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 04:44 AM
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The manual recommends 32psi front and 36psi rear. I find I lose about 1-2 psi a week so need to keep them topped up. I would recommend going a little higher to say 38 in the rear with a passenger or lots of weight in your luggage. Going too high will eliminate the ability of the tires to function as part of the suspension and make you feel every pebble on the road. Too low will make the steering seem slow.

New tires always make the bike seem a little more nimble because they have a rounder profile due to lack of wear and thus turn easier. Tires once scuffed up a little will grip better. Tire manufacturers no longer uses slippery mold release compounds on tires so it is a non issue with new tires.

Higher end tires (eg. Michelin Pilot Road, Continental Sport Attack, Pirelli Angel GT or Metzeler Roadtec 01) typically use more expensive rubber compounds and in different hardnesses around the tire so you will get longer and more even wear over the life of the tire, as well as better grip than tires that just use a single lower carbon rubber compound everywhere. I notice cheaper tires do not grip as well in the rain and cold, perhaps due to their use of cheaper rubber compounds.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info twowheels. I've read about the "grease" that used to be used to remove tires from a mold, but supposedly no one does that anymore except on the sidewalls.

I was really more curious if my experience would continue with this set of tires of if that "nimble" feeling would fade a little as the tires got used more. Your response gives me the impression that its more the newness of the tires than it is the brand/type.

You mentioned having to add air every week. Is that with the Shinko 705 tires or is that just on your bike/rims?
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 06:47 AM
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It may be in part to that feeling when you were a kid & got a new pair of gym shoes.
It may not be that the new shoes are that much better (even though the factory seems to put whatever crap they have laying around), but more that the old ones wore out gradually & you got used to the sluggish handling. I still feel like I can run faster in new gym shoes and rider better with new tires.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 07:29 AM
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One should always check tire pressures as soon as possible after mounting because the shop may have over/under pressurized them. If the "nimbleness" borders on skittish, then one or both tires may be too high. But hopefully, you're just enjoying that great feeling of new rubber. Over time, they'll gradually get squared/cupped/road crown worn and you'll accommodate to that until it gets severe. This is why it's so hard to compare different tires brands/models until you've put a lot of miles on them -- any brand new ones feel like the best tires ever, at least at first.

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 01:51 PM
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Nimble?

I love the way my Vs feel w/ the Shinko E705s on, so "nimble" is a good word. I (and many others) run my tires at 36psi F, 42psi R, NEVER "air-down" from there, and have run those pressures on EVERY tire (street, ADV and full-knobbie) I've 'run' since picking up my '08, NEW, in Sept '08, on the advice of the shop mechanic, and that comes to about 150,000 miles on THREE Versys alone!

IF you decide to "air-down", you put your rims at risk of damage from impact forces.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 02:13 PM
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SHINKO E705 tires

Just took pics of my front and back E705s for you. The front has 23,106 kms (14,357 miles) while the rear has 13,471 kms (8,370 miles), and as you can see - BOTH are still nicely 'crowned', NOT flat-spotted. Run at 36F 42R as I mentioned, and some dirt miles but MOSTLY pavement.





And... YES - the bike IS on carpet....
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info. Fast Eddie, I feel like I'm starting to copy your bike. I have Tusk panniers (large size) and now shinko tires. My bike is Blue currently, but I plan to paint it the worst color of green I can find. I'm thinking almost safety vest green brightness. I may see if I can just swap fairings with someone with a green as well. Factory green was pretty to me.

I'm curious about the PSI recommendation though. Is the 36R/42R PSI because of the tire itself? The service manual says 32F/36R PSI. You said a shop mechanic recommended it to you and you have followed it for almost 10 years now. Can you expand on the reasoning for being 4 and 6 pounds more? Does it increase risk to the rim that much? I can see where something like 25/30 would be dangerous with pot holes and rocks alike.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-16-2018, 11:58 PM
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When I switched to good old Shinko-stinko's(I do like the tires) I also wondered about tire pressure so E-mail them answer was never run less than 5 pounds from what is max on the tire sounds a bit hard but that was the answer

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-17-2018, 05:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motorboy View Post
When I switched to good old Shinko-stinko's(I do like the tires) I also wondered about tire pressure so E-mail them answer was never run less than 5 pounds from what is max on the tire sounds a bit hard but that was the answer
I would assume they meant never go higher than 5psi over the manufacturer recommended 32/36. The max number on the side wall is the number the tire manufacturer says the tire will explode at or damage itself if you over inflate it while seating the bead. It has nothing to do with optimum riding pressure, which is the pressure required to keep the tire at the designed profile and stiffness, with a the bike and rider weight pressing against it. Riding pressure varies by bike and rider.

If you are of normal body weight (150lb +- 50lb) and don't have the bike loaded with a passenger or luggage, there is not really a reason to go above or below the recommended pressures. Doing so will only reduce grip and give you a harsher ride. Track and off road drivers will sometimes benefit from airing down a little.

Just purchased this and pleasantly surprised by quality and features for the price. Many tire inflation machines are a struggle to connect and disconnect without losing air, with it's flip latch valve connector this one works really well and is effortless to use without leaking air. It also allows presetting air pressures and has a digital meter which is easy to read. It also sounds like the compressor is rubber mounted or something as it does not have the harsh rattle and vibration you expect from these things when it runs.

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Car-Air-Comp...l/122848080986
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Digi...820061787.html

Last edited by twowheels; 04-17-2018 at 05:29 AM.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-17-2018, 09:01 AM
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Regarding tire sidewall ratings: the pressure listed is the maximum recommended cold pressure, that will allow the tire to safely meet the load and speed ratings on the tire. THAT IS ALL.

The sidewall pressure is NOT a recommendation of operating pressure. Nor is it the maximum mounting pressure (unless specifically stated).

Tire pressures should be adjusted based on operating condition (road/highway/dirt, hot/cold weather, wet or dry, etc) and load. The motorcycle manufacturer's suggested tire pressures are for their definition of a typical weight rider, the anticipated operating speed, and the original tires. If you are not a match for their definition of typical, and/or your bike has different tires installed, then the factory recommended pressures are not valid. You, or someone you trust with your physical wellbeing, will have to consider all the variables and determine a reasonable pressure to start with. Then, based on handling, tire temperatures, and tire wear, small adjustments can be made for fine tuning.

If someone offers you pressure recommendations without asking you how and where you will be riding, the tires installed, your weight on the bike (wearing gear) and if there are additional loads, they are doing you a disservice. A potentially fatal disservice.

Tire pressures are like gloves. What fits me perfectly, most likely will be a terrible fit for others.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-17-2018, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by twowheels View Post
I would assume they meant never go higher than 5psi over the manufacturer recommended 32/36. The max number on the side wall is the number the tire manufacturer says the tire will explode at or damage itself if you over inflate it while seating the bead. It has nothing to do with optimum riding pressure, which is the pressure required to keep the tire at the designed profile and stiffness, with a the bike and rider weight pressing against it. Riding pressure varies by bike and rider.

If you are of normal body weight (150lb +- 50lb) and don't have the bike loaded with a passenger or luggage, there is not really a reason to go above or below the recommended pressures. Doing so will only reduce grip and give you a harsher ride. Track and off road drivers will sometimes benefit from airing down a little.

Just purchased this and pleasantly surprised by quality and features for the price. Many tire inflation machines are a struggle to connect and disconnect without losing air, with it's flip latch valve connector this one works really well and is effortless to use without leaking air. It also allows presetting air pressures and has a digital meter which is easy to read. It also sounds like the compressor is rubber mounted or something as it does not have the harsh rattle and vibration you expect from these things when it runs.

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Car-Air-Comp...l/122848080986
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Digi...820061787.html
No-- on tire pressure what Shinko meant was- example if the side wall said max 42psi never run them lower than37psi--reason being they had a problem with the 705's throwing whole blocks off the tire and the cause was low tire pressure flexing the tire-but run what you like

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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by notyou83 View Post
...I'm curious about the PSI recommendation though. Is the 36R/42R PSI because of the tire itself? The service manual says 32F/36R PSI. You said a shop mechanic recommended it to you and you have followed it for almost 10 years now. Can you expand on the reasoning for being 4 and 6 pounds more? Does it increase risk to the rim that much? I can see where something like 25/30 would be dangerous with pot holes and rocks alike.
NO I can't. We USED to have a 300# fellow on this Forum who went by the name of "jdrocks", and built Versys-based bikes to ride HARD on dirt. He ALSO ran 36F, 42R, NEVER had a problem and NEVER aired-down. I had the pleasure to meet him, and ride w/ him a few times, so HIS experiences justified what I was already doing regarding tires.

FWIW - I get VERY good wear from tires using 36F and 42R as you can see from those pics a couple of posts back.... YOU asked for a recommendation, so I gave you MINE.


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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-19-2018, 06:47 PM
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I'm sneaking up on 280 American pounds (my ideal weight if I was 10 feet tall.. I carry lots of stuff in my pockets!)

I don't air down for gravel. I run 705's front and rear and love them. I run non-stock sizes as others have also done.

Alaska~Jeff was the one that convinced me to try it and I never have regretted it. Very confident on the kinds of conditions I find myself in.
But I ride conservatively and don't push it, as I often ride alone.

FRONT: 130/80-17 Tubeless Radial, Shinko E705
BACK: 150/70-17 Shinko Tubeless Radial E705


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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 10:47 AM
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Interesting, I'm planning a trip to Alaska next summer and will put on some dual purpose tires. The Shinko 705s seem like a good choice based on the comments here, but what is the theory behind the non-stock sizes?
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post #16 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-20-2018, 05:20 PM
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Hello Hank,

This is just me, but I found the stock "Ninja-like" back tire size a tad unsavory. It would inevitably square-off and leave you with a feeling that you were dropping off the squared off crown when navigating at low speeds like parking lots, around gas pumps or slow corners in traffic. It was like you were on a gyroscope, but when you reduced speed, you sort of fell off the top of the tire and over a corner, and it was very creepy, specially on wet roads. It drove me nuts.

REAR

I had read/heard about some having luck switching up the back tire-- going up one size or so and one size NARROWER. It puts you in a class of tire that is very, very common among adventure bikes, and you have more to shop from. The bike/frame swing arm handles the taller tire with ease. My tires don't square off anymore, I have run an Avon Distanzia and am on my 3rd or 4th Shinko 705 on the back. The Distanzia was a good tire, but not really any better or longer lasting than the cheap Shinko 705.

FRONT

Many will argue that a taller wheel arrangement up front is better off road, and I won't comment one way or the other, let's just say going to a 130 up front maximizes the height of your stock wheel and perhaps there is some advantage. I just don't like skinny tires up front. The 130 fills up the front fork nicely, and you just have to make up some offsets or bracket extensions for the front fender, and I ran new/longer braided brake lines that were the same length, and did away with the crossover line, just me.

Coming from a KLR 650 and other bikes, I must say I like the way the fatty 130 up front handles on gravel or in the occasional sand I may encounter. It's not as dodgy as a KLR. Think "Yamaha TW200"... it's pretty forgiving and I like the set up.

I don't feel that I gave up anything in the "twisties" or in carving up blacktop, or maybe I just can't sense any difference, I like it.

The Shinko 705 I run up front is bi-directional--- you could run it in either direction-- there are arrows specific to your use of it as a front or back tire.

I have run the Distanzia on the back and 3 or 4 Shinkos on the back and am still on the first big fatty Shinko up front. I might replace that one next year, but it has certainly been a cheap date.

Older pic, I was running the Distanzia 150/70-17 in the back but the 130/80-17 Shinko up front.

Again, I was not the first to do this, just my experience but I like it.

Other "experts" will swear you must switch your fork to a DRZ setup, and I say to each his own, I don't need it. Save the money and put it somewhere else!

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post #17 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Eddie, I appreciate the recommendation. Mine were at 33 PSI each from the guys who installed the tires on the rims for me. I upped the front to 36 and the rear to 38 and I like it much more. I'll probably won't hit the 42 level only because the tire says 42 max in cold. I don't trust my luck and experience with Murphy's law. I may go up to 40 though just to see if I like that even more.

So far, I'm liking it.
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post #18 of 25 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unstable_rider View Post
I'm sneaking up on 280 American pounds (my ideal weight if I was 10 feet tall.. I carry lots of stuff in my pockets!)

I don't air down for gravel. I run 705's front and rear and love them. I run non-stock sizes as others have also done.

Alaska~Jeff was the one that convinced me to try it and I never have regretted it. Very confident on the kinds of conditions I find myself in.
But I ride conservatively and don't push it, as I often ride alone.
FRONT: 130/80-17 Tubeless Radial, Shinko E705
BACK: 150/70-17 Shinko Tubeless Radial E705
I run those SAME sizes on my '08 because I used to run Metzler Tourances, and they didn't make 17" fronts (that 130/80 is a REAR tire) and they just plain WORKED! (ALSO I got OVER 29K MILES on the front Tourance 130/80, and CURRENTLY have OVER 21K kms on the 120/70 E705 front on my '15....)

Because of the ABS on my '15 I didn't want to 'mess-w/' the front lines to raise the fender, so it has a 120/70 x 17 E705.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hankster View Post
Interesting, I'm planning a trip to Alaska next summer and will put on some dual purpose tires. The Shinko 705s seem like a good choice based on the comments here, but what is the theory behind the non-stock sizes?
Hankster
See above for the "theory", (but another is that the 130/80 x 17 on the front has about the same 'rolling-radius' as a 120/70 x 19) - I went to AK on Shinkos last ride up there, and changed-out the rear in Anchorage as it was close to being flat-spotted. I did NOT want to try for another rear along the Alcan....



Quote:
Originally Posted by notyou83 View Post
Eddie, I appreciate the recommendation. Mine were at 33 PSI each from the guys who installed the tires on the rims for me. I upped the front to 36 and the rear to 38 and I like it much more. I'll probably won't hit the 42 level only because the tire says 42 max in cold. I don't trust my luck and experience with Murphy's law. I may go up to 40 though just to see if I like that even more.
So far, I'm liking it.
Try the 36/42. You've got several recommendations here for that, as well as a 300 pounder - jdrocks....

It has worked for me for MANY miles.


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post #19 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-25-2018, 02:50 PM
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For those that have done it...anyone have detailed pics showing the fabricated bracket that is used to raise the front fender? Anyone buy something to make it work? Thanks.

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post #20 of 25 (permalink) Old 05-25-2018, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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I like using this site to compare sizes. It has a small graphic to give an idea of the increase or decrease in tire size. It also gives some stats like increase in speed with bigger tire.

https://www.tacomaworld.com/tirecalc
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