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Old 09-17-2012, 02:01 PM   #1
MrBob OP
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Tire Mix n Match

Time for new tires on my Concours. I have the new one installed on the front, a Bridgestone BT 023. Now that I'm ready to get the rear tire installed I find the Bridgestone does not make the 150/80 - 16 that I need for the rear.
How do I determine what tire might be compatible with Battleax on the front? Just how important is matching tire models front to back?
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:10 PM   #2
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As long as they are radial.. you are fine.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:28 PM   #3
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A matched profile is optimal, if you are picky. The above guidance is accurate. I will run dis-similar tires, but prefer not to. Handling is smoother if they are matched. But the average rider (to include ME) won't much notice a difference.

On my C14 I will tell you I had headshake with my old set of mismatched tires. Put a new 190/55 on the rear, and had the same headshake. Put the matching PR3 on the front, no headshake. That was probably 100% due to the worn front tire, vice the mismatched pairs I had on there.

YMMV,
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:07 PM   #4
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Yesterday I had a long phone conversation with an engineer at Bridgestone. He tells me it's best to try to match tread profile and tire composition. He went on to recommend two tires that somewhat match my current front tire a BT023. A dozen phone calls later I can't find either of them so, fuck it, I 'll find a deal on a decent radial be done with it. That's enough fussing on this topic.
Sixteen inch back tires seem to be getting rarer.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:18 AM   #5
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I called Performance Cycle in Denver yesterday and asked to speak with a manager. I needed to whine about my tire search.
As ever, the customer service there is outstanding and I was offered two options. Performance would make an even swap for my slightly used front tire and install a new Dunlop K701. On the back they'd install the Dunlop K700G at their regular price. I'd have matching radial tires.
Or, leave the front tire as it is and install an Avon AV 46 on the rear.
Of the two options, I think I'll go with the Avon installation. In my experience Avons are on the soft side but provide excellent performance.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:28 AM   #6
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very generous, but I am a Michelin man. To each its own... if you are tight on cash, go for it.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:31 AM   #7
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Have a great ride and don't worry as long as you have two good tires on the motorcycle!
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SourKraut View Post
Have a great ride and don't worry as long as you have two good tires on the motorcycle!
At least I know when to stop being anal. On to the next dilemma to solve before my trip.
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:09 PM   #9
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Update: Almost 3000 miles into a tour with my mixed tires.
I've ridden in days of rain, one blizzard, ice, and howling winds, all on a loaded bike.
No handling problems to report.


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Old 10-26-2012, 12:02 PM   #10
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Glad it's working well for you. I've had mis-matched tires on my TLS before and it felt weird. Wasn't nearly as neutral in a turn as it normally is and was more sensitive to throttle/brake in a turn (wanting to cut or oversteer/stand up). Wasn't super extreme and bike was still very rideable, but it sure was a lot better with matched tires.
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:37 PM   #11
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The TL series was inherently dangerous.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:11 PM   #12
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Mr. Bob, you are correct in that 16" rears are becoming increasingly harder to find. Like you, I ride a 1st generation Connie. My favorite set of tires for it were, unsurprisingly since I'm a Michelin fan, a set of Michelin Macadam 100X's. Those had great grip, and the longest life of any tires so far. Sadly, those tires have not been produced in quite some time.

I'm currently running a Dunlop Roadsmart on the front and a Dunlop K591 rear that was designed for Harley tourers. They have been my second favorite combo thus far, way better than the original Dunlop's and much more stable than the Avon Azaro's that followed them. They have an amazing amount of grip but the rear is looking like it will fall short of the mileage the 100X provided.

When the time comes to replace the current Dunlops, I would have absolutely zero qualms about buying a second set if the price was right. But even for a small premium, the new Michelin Commander for Harley tourers paired with a PR3 front might fill the bill nicely too.
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Old 10-28-2012, 06:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagofast View Post
Mr. Bob, you are correct in that 16" rears are becoming increasingly harder to find. Like you, I ride a 1st generation Connie. My favorite set of tires for it were, unsurprisingly since I'm a Michelin fan, a set of Michelin Macadam 100X's. Those had great grip, and the longest life of any tires so far. Sadly, those tires have not been produced in quite some time.

I'm currently running a Dunlop Roadsmart on the front and a Dunlop K591 rear that was designed for Harley tourers. They have been my second favorite combo thus far, way better than the original Dunlop's and much more stable than the Avon Azaro's that followed them. They have an amazing amount of grip but the rear is looking like it will fall short of the mileage the 100X provided.

When the time comes to replace the current Dunlops, I would have absolutely zero qualms about buying a second set if the price was right. But even for a small premium, the new Michelin Commander for Harley tourers paired with a PR3 front might fill the bill nicely too.
I found a few 16" Macadams on eBay a few months ago.
The Azaro stepped out on me during moderate cornering once and when a deer jumped out in front of me yesterday morning the Azaro immediately went into a skid when I touched the pedal.
To be fair, this was on a loaded touring bike but I don't think I'll replace the Avon with the same tire.


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Old 10-30-2012, 11:17 AM   #14
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When my rear Avon had barely hit some of the wear bars, I had a 700 mile trip coming up. Not wanting to be far from home on a worn out tire, I put the new Michelin tires on. After removal, I felt how thin the Avon rear was well, lets just say that was the last set I bought. I already wasn't exactly a fan of their low speed instability and I also had the dreaded Avon front decel wobble, but being able to feel my finger on the inside of the tire with my finger on the outside was pretty un-nerving for a road tire.

P.S. those Macadam's on Ebay have to be WAY beyond their sell date. I'd stay away from them. YMMV.
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