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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi guys.... Got my 2012 650 a month ago. Having some handling issues, and wondering if new tires (or ???) would help. Sorry for long post. ;)

(EDIT: As seen further down in this thread, I switched to E705s, and the handling difference was TREMENDOUS. Compared to worn-out ContiMotions. Much higher seat height [with new 150/70 rear] though. And, the geometry change may be partly responsible for improvement.)

Not sure how to describe the issues I'm having. Feels kind of stubborn initiating turns at low to medium speed. Kind of like there's too much bike in front of me.

Tires are pretty worn. Wear bars are showing pretty clearly on the OEM size ContiMotions. Rear is squared off a bit on the bottom; front is looking kind of triangular. (Can't recommend these tires...Don't feel planted, and slippery whe wet.) Seems like new tires would raise the rear, which could be good for handling.

Stock front suspension with preload set soft at 12 rotations out, rebound damping is 2 out. I will try the stock setting of 7 out preload, but expect that will not help turn in. Prefer soft, a main reason I avoid pure street bikes these days.

Rear suspension is low-end Ohlins, installed maybe five years ago, set to stock preload and reduced rebound damping. More preload in back seems seems to help the handling, but the ride gets rough.

About 32F 32R PSI; and lowering the front seems to hurt handling. Prefer a softer ride. Weigh 195 lb. Bike always wearing lightweight soft bags and lightweight custom top box and SW (?) rack with heavy aluminum plate removed.

I always sit right up against the tank.

My other relevant bikes are DR650 (recommended!) and 1st-Gen KLR650-- both handle much more to my liking. They just go where I point them, and the soft suspension is great for me. Maybe my expectations are all screwed up. But, the 2002 sv650 that this Versys replaced handled quite well despite being uncomfortable; prior 1999 CB750 did not handle well; and the 1985 CB700SC (60k hard miles on that) handled great, even with 16-inch wheels.

Which brings me to: Thinking of trying Shinko E705s in 120/70 and 150/70. (NOT 130.) Wonder how these affect street handling and actual (not calculated) ride height? Seems like raising the back might help. Really liked these tires on the KLR on pavement before switching to vastly dirt superior 244s.

Haven't tried raising forks yet.
 

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I run E-705s in those sizes on my BC '15 V650LT at 36psiF, 42R, and I'm very happy w/ it. Good handling, ride, economy. I don't use the 130/80 on it as I do w/ my '08, because (due to ABS) I didn't want to raise the front fender on the Gen 3.

(y)(y)

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ed, have you noticed if e705's change the ride height? Though I guess that's what you've mostly been using for many years now. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for input and would love to hear more... but I just tried a tiny ride with 34F and 34R and it seemed to make a big positive difference. :) Not surprising I guess, since going from 30F to 32F helped. Afraid to ride it again....

Pics of the tire profiles. (Had to shoot from a distance or else parallax [or something] kept the photos from showing the curvature.)

182126


182127
 

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They don't look dangerously worn to me. Looks like they just hit the wear bars near the centerline. I mean, I wouldn't be scared to ride it around town like that, but new tires are in order.

I'm curious about what you think of this bike compared to the SV650 once you get this sorted, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
...(tires) don't look dangerously worn....what you think of this bike compared to the SV650....
Thx... yeah not worried about the safety of those tires, in terms of blowing out, anyway... but definitely some tricky handling, I will write about that below. As for the sv650... I better let that one ride for the moment, but, any comparison with Versys will certainly mention the motor. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The plot thickens. Anyone interested in a mystery? :)

By running 34f and 34r, AND keeping the rear preload set at Ohlins KA907 recommended setting (10mm preload, instead of the softer setting I would prefer) AND setting front preload to fairly soft (around 11 clicks out, stock is 7 clicks)....seems the bike wants to go where I point it without fighting me. And this is with worn ContiMotion tires, front seems very triangular and rear squared off a bit.

So I'm thinking, maybe much of this is about geometry. Seems like all the factors above (except front PSI) show that raising the rear and or lowering the front is what gets me closer to where I want to be. Which suggests that Shinko e705s, with the slightly higher 150/70 rear, might just work out. And maybe even allow softer preload settings or less PSI.

And, keeping the front a couple PSI above OEM obviously will lighten the steering (and traction; and give a harsher ride). Think I can see now why high front PSI is so popular on this forum. Even though touring is not my main thing with this bike, I could probably live with 34 PSI, since it's almost always the rear suspension that causes me most of the rough ride trouble. And I usually air down for major dirt.
 

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Well I have Speedy lowering kit on my 2015, I have the trekker side cases and Give 56 top case, combined weight about 240 LBs. My front is lowered as per Speedy instructions. I am now running PR5. 38 front and 42 rear. I have a tire pressure monitor , earlier posts mentioned that 10% rise maximum from cold reading to hot = correct tire pressure

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
New Shinko E705s help tremendously.

Not sure how much benefit comes from the new, and how much from the E705. My (8 year old, worn, slippery in wet) front ContiMotion was triangular, and rear was flattened. Handling was fugly. Now, it feels like a well handling street bike. Goes where I ask it and rails around corners.

Really slippery front before it scrubbed in. Much taller seat height with new 150/70. And considerably taller gearing, now speedo is just about spot-on with 45t rear sprocket.

Kind of brutal installing with tire irons. But liking it so much, would do again. Not much of a long-distance pavement tourer, so hopefully tire life will be fine.

And they look f** awesome. :)

182433
 

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I bought my '15 used with bald tires. The previous owner went to the dealer for new tires and instead left with a new Africa Twin, back in '16

I started off running the 705s for their versatility. After a few replacement rear tires(they lasted about 3500 miles) I installed a set of sport touring tires, Angel GTs. I was so taken aback at the smoothness of the ride and the handling of those tires I quit using the 705s. Since that time I've used BS Evo T31 and Dunlop RS3. I think I liked the RS3 the best but the T31s are a lot cheaper and perform well enough to drag the pegs while lasting about 75% of the miles that the Angels and the RS3s lasted.

The bike is currently on it's 14th or 15th rear tire at 76k miles. As I'm a bit of a hooligan and about 80-90% of the miles are on really fun mountains roads, my tire life is substantially less than others here. Quite often my tires are replaced because of side shoulder wear instead of middle wear, especially in the front. Annual mileage until last year was around 20k miles. Time to get back in the groove.

This year I think I will go with the reformulated RS2 and see how they work. I've heard they perform well and are quite frugal.

Ride focused.
 
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New Shinko E705s help tremendously.

Kind of brutal installing with tire irons.
Look up using zip-ties to install new tires - I've installed an E705 in less then a minute (ONCE I got the zip-ties all on!).

IMG_0269 by Ed Copeman, on Flickr

Pic taken after I'd already removed quite a few of the zip-ties.

(y)(y)

:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks guys. Still can't get over how much better this bike is with a new tires. Don't know how much is new, how much is e705, and how much is 150/70.

In addition to easily going where I point it now, without much fight: Ride is noticeably softer; bike doesn't stand up like it did when cornering with throttle backed off; and the rear brake is much harder to accidentally lock up. All of these are major considerations for me and keeping this bike. Pretty happy about that... :)

Had Pirelli Angel GTs on the 2002 sv650n I had four six months. Really like those tires, though the rear brake would lock up if you looked at it wrong. Definitely concerned about longevity, but, though I ride almost daily, don't do a lot of miles. And my (weekend) tours are usually on a dual sport.

My zip tie collection wasn't up to the job, but maybe I should stock up on big ones. Does the scratch the paint? Dang black-painted rims... made installation harder.

182442
 

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...My zip tie collection wasn't up to the job, but maybe I should stock up on big ones. Does the scratch the paint? Dang black-painted rims... made installation harder.
No they don't scratch your rims, and made installation WAY EASIER!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Zip ties... Guess I better try that. Gator-wrestling tubeless tires with tire irons gets no fun near the end. Guess I better order a s***load of long ones. Seems like the ones used on the rear might be able to be reused once on the front.
 

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I try to use one long and one short when I 'do' mine. The short one becomes the sacrificial zip-tie, that I cut.
 

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Hi guys.... Got my 2012 650 a month ago. Having some handling issues, and wondering if new tires (or ???) would help. Sorry for long post. ;)

(EDIT: As seen further down in this thread, I switched to E705s, and the handling difference was TREMENDOUS. Compared to worn-out ContiMotions. Much higher seat height [with new 150/70 rear] though. And, the geometry change may be partly responsible for improvement.)

Not sure how to describe the issues I'm having. Feels kind of stubborn initiating turns at low to medium speed. Kind of like there's too much bike in front of me.

Tires are pretty worn. Wear bars are showing pretty clearly on the OEM size ContiMotions. Rear is squared off a bit on the bottom; front is looking kind of triangular. (Can't recommend these tires...Don't feel planted, and slippery whe wet.) Seems like new tires would raise the rear, which could be good for handling.

Stock front suspension with preload set soft at 12 rotations out, rebound damping is 2 out. I will try the stock setting of 7 out preload, but expect that will not help turn in. Prefer soft, a main reason I avoid pure street bikes these days.

Rear suspension is low-end Ohlins, installed maybe five years ago, set to stock preload and reduced rebound damping. More preload in back seems seems to help the handling, but the ride gets rough.

About 32F 32R PSI; and lowering the front seems to hurt handling. Prefer a softer ride. Weigh 195 lb. Bike always wearing lightweight soft bags and lightweight custom top box and SW (?) rack with heavy aluminum plate removed.

I always sit right up against the tank.

My other relevant bikes are DR650 (recommended!) and 1st-Gen KLR650-- both handle much more to my liking. They just go where I point them, and the soft suspension is great for me. Maybe my expectations are all screwed up. But, the 2002 sv650 that this Versys replaced handled quite well despite being uncomfortable; prior 1999 CB750 did not handle well; and the 1985 CB700SC (60k hard miles on that) handled great, even with 16-inch wheels.

Which brings me to: Thinking of trying Shinko E705s in 120/70 and 150/70. (NOT 130.) Wonder how these affect street handling and actual (not calculated) ride height? Seems like raising the back might help. Really liked these tires on the KLR on pavement before switching to vastly dirt superior 244s.

Haven't tried raising forks yet.
I am now running 705s on my 08 V650. I have 120/70/17 front and 170/60/17 rear. They are not as sharp as the former Pirelli Scorpion Trails (OEM sizes), but they are pretty darn good. I have many years of experience with that tire and I have no complaints. I used my V to do everything from getting groceries, to take me fly fishing to riding state park and state forest dirt roads/Jeep trails. The V with 705s gets me to the dirt, through the dirt and home from the dirt with ease. The combo makes for a good off-pavement (as opposed to off-road) motorcycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks, nice to hear some more input. Still loving the 705s (though not in street bike mode at the moment, just back from four days of dirt on my DR650. ; )

The 150/70 in back handles GREAT, but I'm considering going to a 170 next time, because the additional seat height of the taller tire is a bit of a problem. And will almost certainly be more so off-pavement.

Would love to hear any opinions from folks who have tried both the 150 and 170. :)
 

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Have you set your "sag" yet? I'm 5'9", 30" inseam, and w/ my sag set (about 45 mm) I can reach the ground w/ BOTH feet when my weight has "SETTLED" the bike.

Bike NOT lowered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Setting sag, good idea, I will try that. Of course, there's a low-end ohlins on this bike... And I think at least one of yours wears an R1 shock. (My actual weight is 195 pounds now, 32-inch inseam, can almost flatfoot it when wearing adventure boots.)
 
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