Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Just a rant on motorcycle tires for street riding.

I started riding street bikes back in 1997 . My first bike was a used Ducati 900SS and yup I still got that bike. When I first got it it needed some sorting out which took a while but it got done. I know Ducati has a bad reputation for not being reliable and being high maintenance. I have to say this bike never stranded me. Other then the valve adjustment every 6000 miles it really does not require anything more then any other sport bike. When I first bought this bike it had metzeler tires all the way around. I was fairly happy with those tires they warmed up fast and had plenty of grip. The only bad thing I could say about them is that I went through them really fast. After that I had a Dunlpo 206 put on which was a good motorcycle tire. I was really happy with the Dunlop. I pretty much stuck with those until the new Dunlop 207 came out. I actually was trying to get the 206 at first but that proved to be too much of a pain. So I went with the Dunlop 207 on the front and rear. I am on my second set now and have been nothing but happy with these motorcycle tires so far. I bought the last set over the Internet at a discount. I am a big believer in going with the best tire and I make sure my tires are in good shape. If they start to get worn I generally replace them right away. I would hate to have an issue out riding because of something like a bad tire. I don’t think having a blow out or something along those lines would be all that much fun since I do have a need for speed and twisties :P . My old Duc isn’t all that fast but I have plenty of fun on that bike. It handles great and the dunlops stick real nice so between the dunlop 207's grip and the bikes handling it just makes you want to lean it over as far as you can. At least as far as I dare to lean that is. I just talked to one of my friends the other day that has a R1 and he has Dunlop's on it and he has been really happy with his as well. Anyone reading this post has some experiences with Dunlop on the street or even doing track riding please let me know what youre experiences are with these motorcycle tires. I have been thinking of going back to Metzeler's or maybe trying a pair of Avons however I just have been to happy with the 207's to go an screw wiht my set up right now. I also ride a Moto Guzzi that has a pair of Bridestones battleaxe tires on it. Now this is a cruiser so the riding is not the same. Those tires have been pretty good to me on that bike. They seem to last for ever. I put around 10k on that bike and only had to change the rear out. The front still looks good and I now have about 5k on the new rear and its still got plenty of tread to go. I may trhow a Metzler or and Avon on it next time and see how that goes. I just have a hard time changing things when they work well. That old if it aint broke dont fix it mentality but maybe I missing out that way who knows.
Personally I think a good motorcycle tire definitely makes a difference on how much fun you can get out of your bike especially if you like to ride aggressively. For example years ago I bought a cheap hand me down tire for like $50 which included mounting. It was a Dunlop I can remember which one. I do know it was not a soft sticky compound so I am guessing it was more of a touring tire or something like that. Anyways I had that put on my Ducati. this was a rear tire. Maybe a few weeks after I got it I went out for a ride with some buds. Boy did I notice that this tire did not stick. Every time I would get a somewhat aggressive lean or accelerate in a curve that tire would start to slide. Well it was a great burnout tire lets put it that way. I burnt it and went back to a quality Dunlop tire. I really don’t think the issue was that that tire was not a good quality it was more that it was designed for longevity and cruising and not for what I was using it for.


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