who has changed tire sizes? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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who has changed tire sizes?

I am presently running Distanzia tires. They come in the stock sizes for the Versys.

I really like them, they do great on gravel roads and pavement as well.

The front is wearing really well,the back is ok, but will probably not go past 5000 miles.

I like the looks of some of the other dual sport tires, but most do not come in the correct size for the Versys.

Just wondering who might be using tires that are slightly different size than stock, and what issues you have with them.

The 150-70-17 rear size is available in a number of tires, but it is slighty narrower and taller than stock. Same thing goes for the front.

I have always been reluctant to change from the factory recommended sizes, but I could be persuaded to change if others have done it with no bad results.

Would appreciate hearing from those who are using a different size.

Thanks August

Anybody else think these buffalo wings taste a lot like chicken?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 01:18 PM
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Webbikeworld.com put Pirelli MT60s on a Versys (slightly different size than stock) and has a good review of those tires on its site. They are more aggressive than the Avons. Mweaver on this site has also put on a set of MT60s and I'm looking for his review of them in the dirt. I am planning to install MT60s this spring.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 10:27 PM
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Hi August,

IMHO, for a taller sidewall tyre, for straight roads, it should be ok.
Out of turns and corners, there will be an better acceleration (More centrifugal force,+1)
Your rear height will also be slightly higher.
Having taller sidewall tyres for the front,steering feels lighter when cornering.

IMHO. moving from standard 160/60 to 150/70 is ok as long the load and speed indexes are the same or not less than OEM.

http://www.pneus-online.co.uk/load-a...es-advice.html
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 06:10 PM
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Hi August,

If you did not mind, i forwarded your question to Bridgestone USA.

http://www.motorcycle-karttires.com/...spx?LookupID=1


Bridgestone's reply:

Their response:

Mr. Lee,

I cannot tell you all the ways that the handling would change by
switching tire sizes. I can tell you that Kawasaki engineers
specifically designed that bike with the 160/60R17 size. Also, the
150/70R17 size is designed to be mounted on a 4" wide rim, whereas, your
bike has a 4.5" rim. By putting that tire on your wheel, you will
change the intended profile of the tire.

I cannot recommend changing your tire from the OEM size. If you are
looking to do some more aggressive riding, I would suggest trying a
sport tire like the BT016 instead of the sport touring BT021

Thanks,

Adam Kaempf
Sales Engineering Manager - Consumer Products
Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations


Bottom line: Maybe it would be wiser to stick with OEM. Safety to you is the most Important of All. I have changed tire profile on my BM and it depends largely on how you feel and personal riding style.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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stlee29

Good idea to ask, I have seen that reply somewhere else, just can't remember where, on another forum I think someone else asked that same question of the Bridgestone folks.

I can understand these days, no one would dare say to try anything out of the factory specs for fear of law suits. Even my own dealer is reluctant to say whether it would be a good or bad idea to change sizes.

His suggestion to use the BT016 tire wouldn't work, because I am looking for something that will work on graveled roads, and those type tires won't work. I tried the stockers on gravel, and they are just too squirrely .

I found some specs on the Versys wheels, and they say that the range of tire that will work is from 4 to 5 inches.

I really am leaning towards the Metzler Tourance tire. I have read numerous good reviews on it.

I also have received a few private emails from those who have gone to the 150-70 size , and have noticed no ill effects. In their opinion at least.

I will think about this for a few days, I am in no big hurry, as riding season is a ways off yet.

I appreciate the replies I am always open to new or different ideas, or experiences.

Any more suggestions, let me know

Thanks August

Anybody else think these buffalo wings taste a lot like chicken?
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 08:12 PM
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August,

U right about the liabilty part. It a SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).

Understand now that if your on the gravel track, you would then need knobbies tyre.

That what we are all here for in this forum, looking out for one another.

Have A Good coming Ride.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 02:03 AM
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August, you get 5K miles out of a rear Distanzia 160/60-17 and you are complaining? Those tires won't make 3K miles on my bike...

Yes, it's true that installing a 150/70-17 on a 4.5" rim will alter the original profile of the tire. This will probably result in slower steering but at the same time being narrower than the OE tire, it probably isn't as significant. What will change is its behavior at the limit. You'll have to explore steep lean angles carefully to figure out what it does differently. But, every tire has a different profile, so even changing from a Distanzia to an MT60 (both 160/60-17) will result in different handling. I've had Tourances on my V-Strom, they are good, solid tires. Last more than other options I've tried, good predictable handling. I prefer Anakees, though, better handling and grip, especially in the wet.

The front is a little trickier. There are no real options other than installing a rear 120/90-17 instead of a 120/70-17. I have not ridden a Versys shod like that, but have ridden other converted bikes and the handling on pavement can only be described as weird. I'm sure that the fact that those tires were knobbies designed for smaller bikes didn't help. I wouldn't put that on my Versys if I was going to do a lot of street riding. If you get more than 5K out of a Distanzia front, I'm sure an MT60 would work well for you too and it comes in stock size.

Gustavo

Last edited by Gustavo; 02-25-2009 at 02:06 AM.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 05:47 AM
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Continental's Trail Attack 150/70-17 is actually recommended for use on 4.00, 4.25 and 4.50 inch wide rims. In service overall width: 159 mm compared to 172 mm for a 160/60-17 street tire. In service overall diameter: 656 mm compared to 638 mm for 160/60-17 street tire (9 mm higher). Page 185- http://www.conti-online.com/generato..._manual_uv.pdf

I just received mine today along with a front Avon Distanzia supermoto 120/70-17.


Last edited by invader; 02-25-2009 at 06:20 AM.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 06:55 AM
 
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Invader let us all know how this setup works for you. They look well matched together.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Gustavo.

Good comments. I presently have about 3800 miles on the rear distanzia, but I would judge that if it goes another 1000 , I would be really thin. I don't like to use tires when they get that low.

If I use it for another 500 miles, that would be as thin as I feel comfortable.

The front distanzia is wearing really well, and I like the way it works, so if the combo of the Tourance rear and the distanzia feels good to me, then I will keep using it on the front.

I don't think I would use a 120-90 on the front. Not sure, but I don't think the 90 series tires are radials. At least that's what someone told me.

A friend of mine who rides alot, and is approaching 90,000 on his KLR has used the Tourance on his 1200 GS and has only good to say about them.

With your comments about the Tourance, some reviews I have found on the internet, and my friends recommendation, I have decided to get the Tourance and give it a try.

If it doesn't work, I'm out $153 bucks. I've done dumber things.

Best price I could find was the $153 to my door from Motorcycle Superstore.

Thanks all for the replies. August

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 12:23 PM
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I go to Daytona tomorrow and plan to speak with Kawasaki reps and tire manufacturers about various dual sports tires on the V. While I am leaning toward the MT60s, I am waiting to collect data from Bike Week before my final decision. I'll post any relevant findings after I return.

Gustavo, thanks for the good commentary. I will look carefully at the Tourance and the Anakees for the V. Good info all around.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 08:05 PM
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I have the 150/70x17 Distanzia on my Versys with the stock size Distanzia up front. The front is a Supermoto compound. The rear is the harder "regular" compound. No problem at all. I like the way the bike feels. Different and more precise feeling than the stock Dunlops. And the rear doesn't lock up nearly as easily. Don't know whether this is due to brand/model or size. I do not have enough miles on the Distanzias to talk about longevity. -- Hank
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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jdrocks.

The 120-70 is the softer compound, but for some reason it is wearing really well, I've got about 3800 on the front also, and it looks like it can easily go that amount again.

hsfarber.

Glad you are liking the 150-70.Makes me feel better about trying that combination. That harder compound distanzia was my second choice if I didn't go with the Tourance.

Good feedback many thanks August

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-25-2009, 11:26 PM
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I had Pirelli Scorpion Sync's on my Suzuki SV650 before, which I think use the same size tyres as the Versys? The rear is stock size (160/60R17), front was slightly taller at 120/70R17. Didn't notice any real difference in handling etc.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2009, 05:54 PM
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For those who haven't seen it, the 'Enduro Tires benchmark test in 'German Motorrad issue 11-2008 compared TrailAttack, Distanzia, Battlewing, Trailmax D607, Anakee II, and Scorpion MT90 for wet + dry street performance and wear. TrailAttack came in 1st overall and for wear with 8900 Kms for the rear, Anakee II: 6th overall/7300 Kms rear, Distanzia: 7th overall, 6600 Kms rear/18300 Kms front.
http://www.conti-online.com/generato...twinner_en.pdf
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-04-2010, 08:32 PM
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who has changed tire sizes?

After the factory tires pooched I replaced with the factory tires with the distanzia setup. Great tires for handling and on light to medium trails. After 2 rear changes and 1 front I decided after reading this thread to change the rear to the 150/70/17. Handling has gone away at least 20% in my opinion. The bike fells totally different. The versys always felt like it had alot of rear bite to me and now I fell more grip towards the front. It has only been a few hundred kilometres on the rear. But unless I get alot more than 7000kms out of this 150 series the 160sm will be back on. One man's opinion. I now have 25,000 kms on the versys about 1/3 in the woods.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-05-2010, 09:39 PM
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Good info, thanks for posting!
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-05-2010, 11:34 PM
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DO WANT DISTANZIAS ON MY BIKE
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-06-2010, 01:09 PM
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Don't know about going down a size, but I went from a 160/70 to a 170/70 and really like the way it handles. Still easy to tip into the curves, but feels more hooked up and stable through big sweepers, as well as the tight stuff. My Michelin Pilot Road 2CT's now have over 10,000 miles on them and it looks like I'll get at least 15,000 k from the back.

Richard M. Poniarski
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AMA#: 674623
ROK #: 100024905
Everybody is entitled to the reality of their own choosing...

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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-08-2010, 05:18 AM
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Random friend told me last year that had changed the wheels on his Mazda Festival 1990 is an old 13-inch wheel, which allows him to reflect on tire tracks much more. I just changed the wheels 14x6 185/60R14 tires. The only thing that had changed was the rear struts and intermediate.
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