Kawasaki Versys Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a good friend who recently moved to be close by me, and I offered to help him swap out his tires in my garage, so he had the new rubber shipped straight to me. Looking at his tires and then some specs on his bike got me wondering something. He has a 2017 Multistrada 950, and the rear tire is a 170/60-17 on a 4.5 x 17" rim.

The V650 has the same 4.5" wide rear rim size but a 160/60-17 tire. Realizing its the same rim size on our 2 bikes, I'm now consumed by the decision Ducati made spec'ing a slightly different size rear.

I assume it is for handling characteristics. The front on the Ducati is a 120/70-19 on a 3.0 x 19" rim. So is there some matching of front and rear tire shapes/diameters going on?

The way I understand it a 170/60 on a 4.5" wide rim would have a smaller contact patch on the road than a 160/60 on the same 4.5" rim. So there must be a positive trade off in order to reduce the contact patch, right?

This may be posted in the wrong place, but it is generally about the V650. Also file under "quarantine giving me too much time to think about trivial nonsense"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
I have a good friend who recently moved to be close by me, and I offered to help him swap out his tires in my garage, so he had the new rubber shipped straight to me. Looking at his tires and then some specs on his bike got me wondering something. He has a 2017 Multistrada 950, and the rear tire is a 170/60-17 on a 4.5 x 17" rim.

The V650 has the same 4.5" wide rear rim size but a 160/60-17 tire. Realizing its the same rim size on our 2 bikes, I'm now consumed by the decision Ducati made spec'ing a slightly different size rear.

I assume it is for handling characteristics. The front on the Ducati is a 120/70-19 on a 3.0 x 19" rim. So is there some matching of front and rear tire shapes/diameters going on?

The way I understand it a 170/60 on a 4.5" wide rim would have a smaller contact patch on the road than a 160/60 on the same 4.5" rim. So there must be a positive trade off in order to reduce the contact patch, right?

This may be posted in the wrong place, but it is generally about the V650. Also file under "quarantine giving me too much time to think about trivial nonsense"
Hello asphaltaddict33,

I too am thinking of this issue when it becomes time to change my tyres. In India, the only stock size (other than the really dicey stock Dunlop D222s) is TIMSUN while I want the Heidenau K60 Scout for real off roading.

I am posting some calculations that I did for my bike, to display the difference between the two tyres IF installed on a V650.

Rear Tyre
A. Stock 160/60/17. Sidewall is 60% of 160 mm = 96 mm
B. Multistrada 170/60/17. Sidewall is 60% of 170 mm = 102 mm

Implications

1. Clearance and gearing due to height The 170 tyre is taller by 6 mm. There will not be any fouling problem with the swing arm front clearance as the stock V650 swing arm has ample place for 6 mm to be accommodated. The ground clearance is correspondingly higher. There would be a minor difference in the gearing too if you have the stock 15 front and 46 rear.

2. Contact patch due to width The 170 is 10 mm or 1 cm wider than the stock. But the aspect ratio, though the same, has increased the height of the sidewall, thereby reducing inner angle of the sector made by the arc with the centre of the hub. Given identical tyre pressures on both, the contact patch would in fact increase for the 170 as compared to the 160 as, the aspect ratio of 60% is the same for both tyres; had the aspect ratio been lesser than 60%, it would have meant a more rounded tyre profile in cross section ergo, reduced contact patch. This increase will be of some importance when the rear is loaded with luggage and in rough terrain. I don't foresee any major increase in fuel consumption over the 160 as the increase is too less to matter.

3. Handling The increased width would imply more stable (read less agile) handling but I doubt the difference would noticeable during the riding that the V650 sees in daily life. Yes, on the track (if you do take it there), the difference would be palpable.

4. Weight The 170 could be slightly heavier than the 160, again, depending on the make. Again, I don't see any major differences made to the handling.

Front

There are no changes so any differences would be due to rubber compounds, treas pattern etc.

You must check out www.gearingcommander.com which allows you to input these values, calculates the changes and displays them in a very practical manner.

Best.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Bear in mind, there are large differences, manufacturer to manufacturer, what a given size of a tyre really is. Two different 160/60/17 tyres might have noticeably different real circumferences. Dave Moss talks about this often in his setup videos, do not assume how tall a tire is based on the width and stated ratio. And certainly don't try to calculate contact patch size, that's hopeless, it depends so much on the flex of the rubber and the profile.

It would maybe be fair to compare the same make and model in two sizes, but that's also assuming the manufacturer sticks to the same profile and compound across the range (which is not true, a 140 is often different than 180 in those respects because it will be used on smaller, lighter bikes).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
600 Posts
5mm on each side or 6mm on top is insignificant (you'll have more effect just by wearing them or changing pressure).

I only put 170/60 now, for longer mileage than 150/70 (there is limited choice in 160/60 for knobbies)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
I only put 170/60 now, for longer mileage than 150/70 (there is limited choice in 160/60 for knobbies)
Exactly the reason I too am forced to go the 170 route.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
or go the 170 trail...?
:grin2:
(let me save you much trial and error: go get the motoz tractionator adv for rear, tkc80 front).
dddd,

Here in India, THE only tyres, per se, for the bike are the Dunlop D222s. A couple of years back, TIMSUN entered the market with stock sizes. If one has to change to anything resembling non-highway tyres, one has to go for the TIMSUNs else fork out large sums to get Continentals or Heidenaus imported thru agents. And the prices of these are thrice that of the TIMSUNs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
62 Posts
Wow, is this normal in India or is this due to covid / closed borders? Is the selection so limited everywhere in the country or just in the Pune region?
This is the Govt of India policy, across the country and not just for a state or city or Union Territory. More in the replies to others below

Well that sounds like a possible business opportunity, importing motorcycle tires into India.
Actually, Fly-Sig, not much of an opportunity. Because, it is only relatively exotic (read CKD/SKD/CBU bikes and cars) that have tyre choice limitations. And they make up a minuscule fraction of total bike sales yearly countrywide. So, hardly any volumes. Therefore, steep margins for small numbers.

For example, the V 650 sold just 62 units in India in the whole of 2018. And.....between April 2018 and March 2019, Hero Motocorp sold 7,820,745 units of motorcycles and scooters of which 65% that is, 5,083,484 were motorcycles of the 100 to 150 cc category. AND, the kings of the jungle, the Splendor and the Splendor Plus, combined together sold around 2,632,800 units.

And these bikes have 100% Indian designed and manufactured tyres whose average cost is between USD 14 (yes, $14) to USD 34.

Take a tyre like the K60 Scout for the V 650. It is imported thru authorized EXIM agents. Customs duty is 15.5% on them. Revzilla has the 170/60 17 rear for USD 200 but doesn't ship to India. So, the agents have to make their way thru the Byzantine Indian bureaucracy and extract their pound of rubber, so to say, from the end customer. The landed cost of the tyre comes to about USD 475 after base price, import costs, customs duty, agents fees and so on. It is only after TIMSUN entered India that we have at least a choice between them and Dunlop. Else, it was only the super-slippery, super-dicey Dunlop D222s earlier.

My understanding is the Indian government is very protective of their economy and imposes high import tariffs.
16VGTIDAVE,

Yes, to some extent, you are right there.

The Indian economy was and still is, to some extent, a hodgepodge of socialist and capitalist concepts. Till 1991, it was almost completely closed to the outside world. When the treasury ran into big-time trouble in the '90s (sovereign default on WB loans:frown2:), the WB forced it to open the economy else India would have seen a civil war without parallel in the world. All due to the most idiotic monetary and fiscal policies followed since independence. Just Google for license raj and you'll get the answers - giving monthly quotas to scooter and car makers to stifle demand artificially leading to a 6 year (for a 150 cc two stroke scooter) and 11 years (for a 1400 cc petrol car) waiting periods leading to a flourishing black market, massive corruption and so on.

Things are much better now even though most economic reforms have not been implemented yet. And the govt? Ha, what to say...bureaucrats of the Indian Administrative Service (pure generalists, no specialist) rule the roost because the average politician (say a Member of Parliament of the Lower House corresponding to a US Congressman/woman) doesn't know his arse from his elbow about just about anything but is elected on the basis of his caste and religion first and foremost. No QR for his election other than the most basic age and citizenship ones. An yes, lots of money, in most cases. And a healthy criminal record of murders and so on.

All the above and many other factors mean that there is little application of mind on banal aspects like import duty pricing of tyres for high-end (in India, the average price of a commuter motorcycle is about USD 800) so bikes like the V 650 costing 10 times that are thought to be bought only by more affluent people who can afford to pay high costs for imports so why reduce the tariff etc kind of argument.

Another factor is that Contis/Heidenaus/Avons etc are made outside the FTA that India has with littorals like Thailand. If these are made in Thailand, they will cost much lesser than the aforementioned approx USD 475. But the volumes are absent and the makers doesn't seem to have a strategic business vision like they do for other auto products in making them cheap in China.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I wasn't really considering changing sizes when I asked the question but I am now! Great breakdown of the different tire size effects @oliverider. Good to know is has very little effect and that many on the forum are running 170s already. Increased mileage is an attractive benefit, especially since the 170 is often available in a 'GT' spec.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
Great breakdown on Indias trade policy when it comes to motorcycle parts. There is so much gobblety-gook in international trade deals that you will get dizzy deciphering it. Free trade deals should be called "Free-er" trade deals but to be fair a countries sovereignty is always forefront or should be. I nominate Oliverider as Indias new minister of Motorcycles!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
804 Posts
I wasn't really considering changing sizes when I asked the question but I am now! Great breakdown of the different tire size effects @oliverider. Good to know is has very little effect and that many on the forum are running 170s already. Increased mileage is an attractive benefit, especially since the 170 is often available in a 'GT' spec.
I'm not sure with the lighter versys that a GT spec would be a good thing. Just thinking out loud, but would it not result in a less smooth ride? I did run one tire in the 170/60 size and it seemed run out OK with a mileage benefit. As I currently have three new rears and two fronts in stock, I won't be buying until next year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
529 Posts
For me tire size on the 650 is simple, the 160 rear. I spent alot of money lowering my bike and seat so I can get a bit of flat-foot and Im not gonna raise it back up again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
3mm can easily be a difference between one model and another, in the same nominal size. Granted, for the same make and model, a 170/60 will probably always be a bit taller than 160/60.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top