ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > GSpot > Parallel Universe
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 06-16-2015, 01:13 PM   #1
mattlikesbikes OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Feb 2013
Oddometer: 231
Front tire for nervous rider

In 2013 I was trying to get through an ice storm headed home and ran into some issues. I took a bunch of very low speed falls, in the 5mph range, slipping on ice and debris. In ever case the front wheel washed on me and down I went. I eventually made it home but have since been a little gun shy on even the slightest bit of not perfect pavement. My front tire is due for replacement and rather than just throw another Battle Wing on I was thinking about something with a little more meat. I almost exclusively ride on the road, but would really like to see more gravel. The rear is a newish (2k) battle wing.

Was thinking maybe one of the Metzeler Karoo or Tourance.

So will a bit more meat up front help with normal riding hazards like gravel in the road, or dirty turns out of parking lots, etc?
__________________
2009 F 650 GS - Lava Orange
mattlikesbikes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2015, 10:33 AM   #2
Mtl_Biker
Studly Adventurer
 
Mtl_Biker's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Montreal, Canada
Oddometer: 650
How much actual riding experience do you have? Have you taken any advanced bike handling classes? If not, I highly recommend that you do.

The most common cause of low-speed falls is that the rider uses the front brake. You've got to learn to transition to only the back brake (especially when in tight turns) at low speed and pretty much only the front brake at higher speeds.

Anyway, having said that, generally the Bridgestones are considered to be pretty lousy tires. When I got my first BIG bike (was like the 6th bike of my life), a BMW K1300GT it came with Bridgestone tires. It was SO slippery on wet or even just damp roads, that I was downright scared to ride the bike in the wet. And that just make me tighten up something awful which made it even worse. I thought this was just the way it was with such a large and powerful bike. Well...

When I changed to Michelin PR3's it was as if the bike was glued to the road, dry OR wet. I've got (unfortunately) THOUSANDS of miles of wet weather riding behind me now and the right tires make an incredible difference.

On my GS I'm really happy with Anakee 3's for regular riding. They are really very good in the wet and last a long time too. For knobbies I really like Continental TKC80's. Those don't last as long as other tires (like the Heidenau K60's or Mitas) but I'd rather replace a tire more often and have it really good in the wet, than have a longer-lasting tire which is more slippery. I don't usually plan to ride in the wet but as they say, shit happens and sometimes it just can't be helped. (On a trip last fall I had 7 days of torrential downpour rain out of 13. Check my Trans-Lab trip report.)

Good luck!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mattlikesbikes View Post
In 2013 I was trying to get through an ice storm headed home and ran into some issues. I took a bunch of very low speed falls, in the 5mph range, slipping on ice and debris. In ever case the front wheel washed on me and down I went. I eventually made it home but have since been a little gun shy on even the slightest bit of not perfect pavement. My front tire is due for replacement and rather than just throw another Battle Wing on I was thinking about something with a little more meat. I almost exclusively ride on the road, but would really like to see more gravel. The rear is a newish (2k) battle wing.

Was thinking maybe one of the Metzeler Karoo or Tourance.

So will a bit more meat up front help with normal riding hazards like gravel in the road, or dirty turns out of parking lots, etc?
Mtl_Biker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2015, 03:17 PM   #3
OrcasKen
Beastly Adventurer
 
OrcasKen's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Orcas Island, Washington
Oddometer: 126
+1 on the TKC 80 (and the other advice above). Soft rubber and really great on gravel. If you plan to stay with mostly pavement though, you could find that the feel of the tire will be less confidence inspiring and it really is overkill for on-road riding. It will effectively introduce a bit of movement side-to-side in the handlebars at low speeds from the knobs and also reduce your top-end speed somewhat.

The Tourance is hard rubber and while great for long-distance road trips, isn't what I'd recommend for what you're asking for. The Karoo 3 could be a good compromise--softer tire that is more road-oriented. I don't have experience with that one though. Good luck!
__________________
2010 F800GS
2006 KLX250S
2008 CRF230L
OrcasKen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2015, 03:26 PM   #4
icebox
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: West Yellowstone, Montana
Oddometer: 1,152
Karoo 3

decent on pavement, good in the rain, really doesn't like tar snakes. Have one of the front of mt R12GS, K60 on my F8
__________________
motorcycles are like fly rods, you need way more than one.
icebox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-17-2015, 05:41 PM   #5
Full Power
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2006
Location: Homer, Alaska
Oddometer: 1,601
Favorite front , so far has been the TKC80
.
Going to try a TKC70 front next.

Rear is happy with the Heidenau K-60
__________________
Warm enough to RAIN is warm enough to RIDE.
Full Power is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2015, 06:57 AM   #6
HandKPhil
Studly Adventurer
 
HandKPhil's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Southeast Michigan
Oddometer: 508
Me likes the Tourance

I have a new Tourance on the front on my '14 F700, and I like it a lot. It's been great so far, in both (very) wet and dry conditions. Excellent grip and high-speed stability. Good on gravel. Does not follow rain grooves, and has never slipped out on me in the 1000 miles I've put on it so far.
__________________
HandKPhil
HandKPhil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2015, 02:00 PM   #7
eddyturn
Wannabe
 
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Hesperus, CO
Oddometer: 2,159
For my road and off pave I use Mitas E-07 front and rear. Like 'em. My other rims have the Mitas E-09 front and rear.

The 07 might just be your ticket for what you want to do and they will last longer than the TKC 80 on either end.
__________________
All things being equal... fat people use more soap
eddyturn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2015, 02:08 PM   #8
the_doc
Street Convert
 
the_doc's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2013
Location: Dexter Township, MI
Oddometer: 285
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddyturn View Post
For my road and off pave I use Mitas E-07 front and rear. Like 'em. My other rims have the Mitas E-09 front and rear.

The 07 might just be your ticket for what you want to do and they will last longer than the TKC 80 on either end.
I find that my E-07's follow the grooves in the pavement to the point where Highway speed is sketchy at times. Only ever a problem on brand new roads.

they are pretty solid on dirt
__________________
2013 Triumph Tiger Explorer XC (Matte Green)
the_doc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2015, 07:24 PM   #9
Captain Excellent
+ll+
 
Captain Excellent's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: North Vancouver, BC
Oddometer: 263
I know what you mean about loss of confidence with the front end. I had a front blow out at 100 kph last year while on a trip. Took me at least a day to start to trust the front again. BTW, blow out was because of a faulty patch from a slow speed flat only a couple of weeks prior. Not a tire problem.
I've had Scorpions and K60s on the bike. I don't have enough wear on the scorpions to say much about them, but never did have a scare in the wet. The K60s have been just as trustworthy, and I've had lots of wet riding on them. Though a tar snake did give me a fright in the heat last week. They're now at about 30% to 40% left at 10k kms.
If you've got front end fears, get some off rod training if you can. The tips you can pick up are huge for confidence building. Off pavement front end slip is just part of the ride, so no point letting it hold you back more than necessary.
__________________
Stay Weird
Captain Excellent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-18-2015, 11:10 PM   #10
Snowy
Beastly Adventurer
 
Snowy's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Oddometer: 1,986
The only thing that'll cure being gun shy about the front end, is lots and lots and lots of slippery off-road riding on the right tyres for the conditions. It will also make you a better rider on-road on road tyres.

Ice is ice. Not much is going to make it better. I have ridden 2 up a lot on icy dirt roads, and I always tend to stick to the sections that aren't compacted by cars. Riding in the centre between the wheel tracks, or even on the side of the road where the gravel is deeper, and the ice on top tends to give way as you pass over it. With proper full knobbies you at least stand half a chance that way. With any other tyre...you're screwed. Unless you use chains or studs. With some of the trails I use, once the underlying clay is frozen, you're pretty much restricted to walking pace with your wheels in the ruts. That way, the front can't go further than the sides of the rut. In the middle of the day sometimes the surface is sticky enough to get some traction, with the clay underneath frozen solid. At night...forget it. Studs or chains or you aren't going anywhere.

On a slippery surface the BMW seems to push the front wheel (understeer) very easily. A steering damper can actually help. It stops you over reacting, and sometimes it's all over so fast that the damping effect on the steering stops you from reacting at all. The front pushes deep into the turn and then hooks up and you feel it as a momentary loss of steering feedback.

Practise. It's the only way when dealing with ice on a bike. Muscle memory and experience in judging the conditions. Smooth upright lines, minimal braking, if at all. This time of year for me here, the biggest danger is black ice on the mountain roads. I've seen it at midday with the temp at 14C. The over nights get to minus 8C or so...and in the shadows the ice stays around all day.

Having played a lot of ice hockey, I ride with my open face helmet and I can usually smell/feel the ice before I hit it. Strange, I know. The smell of fresh ice used to get my heart rate up and put me in the mood for smashing heads. It's burned into my brain now. But it's saved my life more than once. I had one incident where right as I was turning in 2 up on a nice sweeper, I could smell ice, and I stood it up and braked wide, and went around the outside of the corner on the gravel. It was covered in black ice from the apex onward. Would have smashed us up pretty bad.
Snowy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2015, 04:13 AM   #11
Woody2627
Skinny Decaf Latte Thanks
 
Woody2627's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Jindabyne
Oddometer: 1,128
I'm not going to tell you what to get, but I will tell you not to get a Heidenau or Mitas or Mefo. They are hard tyres that last a long time, but not real flash on the road, particularly the wet. I can't believe people are recommending them, they obviously haven't read your post. TKC80,s are a knobbly, yo want a road tyre that you can use off road, not the other way round. I have used Heidenau's, great on gravel roads, but wouldn't use them on road. My preference is tourance's, but there are plenty of similar tyres. Look at the TKC70's before the 80's.
Woody2627 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2015, 04:30 AM   #12
Snowy
Beastly Adventurer
 
Snowy's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2008
Oddometer: 1,986
Don't see anyone recommending them.
Snowy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2015, 04:33 AM   #13
Capt CF
Pontificating Nobody
 
Capt CF's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Northern Virginia
Oddometer: 380
I recently switched from the stock Battlewings (12k miles...not bad!) to K60s and agree with the above. They are definitely squirrely on pavement compared to the Battlewings and I ride in the rain a lot so I do notice it. It's totally manageable, but not what I would recommend for "most confidence inspiring front tire for tarmac use".
__________________
You can't teach pigs to sing - it only frustrates you and annoys the pig.
Capt CF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2015, 11:18 AM   #14
Dansrc51
I need a cape....
 
Dansrc51's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Oddometer: 1,719
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowy View Post
Ice is ice. Not much is going to make it better.
yep. in solid frozen conditions, not much short of metal studs going to help. If there is snow and it's deep enough TKC's or some other semi knobby will work. I prefer not to ride in ice if possible.....I still have underwear in my crack from riding my RC51 once in an ice storm.

As stated above, riding in a class or with someone who can take the time to teach you proper riding technique is huge. Also, learning to ride off road on a smaller bike is often undervalued but very helpful.
__________________
hi-brow, low wit
Dansrc51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2015, 10:51 PM   #15
Saltboxlad
Adventurer
 
Joined: Jan 2015
Location: Wales, UK
Oddometer: 88
Ive rarely heard a good thing said about Bridgestone these days. 10 years ago everybody ran em on street bikes but things have moved on with Michelin and Dunlop tending to take the crown in that Dept these days.

Last winter I was lent a new water cool 1200GS while my bike was in for warranty work. It had Anakee 3's on it and try as I might I couldnt get them to budge on some pretty filthy country lanes in near zero degree temps. They would probably struggle in anything approaching "Offroad", but for everything else they were great.
__________________
Im a lot older than I should be
Saltboxlad is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 01:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2015