Motorcycle Tire Expense - Do you buy it ? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 10 Old 07-18-2007, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Question Motorcycle Tire Expense - Do you buy it ?

Ever thought it was strange that the cost of keeping a motorcycle in tires was so high ? Good tires for a motorcycle can cost as much per tire as a car or truck, but usually do not last near as long. Below you will find a couple paragraphs extracted from an article with a Dunlop tire executive which attempts to answering this question. Please read it and post your thoughts as to whether you feel motorcycle tire costs/prices are unnecessarily inflated, or whether they are justified.

"One of the questions I've always had about motorcycle tires was why they are so darned expensive, in many cases more expensive than much larger heavier car tires. According to Mike Manning of Dunlop, there is no simple answer to that question. There are a myriad of factors that contribute. First, there is a lot more engineering requirements in a motorcycle tire, because there is much more horsepower per square inch of contact patch, and many more stress forces between cornering and braking, than is put on a car tire.

Motorcycle tires can have as many as nine different compounds in its makeup, whereas a car tire might have just two or three. There is also much more development testing because a motorcycle tire is designed to fit a lot of different models of motorcycles, and work effectively for all of them. Another cost factor is that they don't manufacture nearly as many motorcycle tires as car tires, so the economies of scale aren't there. Since manufacturers only schedule a manufacturing run on some tire sizes for a week or a month each year, more tires have to be stocked in inventory, which raises the cost. "

Entire article Here.
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post #2 of 10 Old 07-18-2007, 11:55 PM
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I think they are justified. There is alot more engineering that goes into a motorcycle tire and they are harder to manufacture. I'm sure they jack the price up a little, but the article's reasons for the already high prices are true.
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post #3 of 10 Old 07-19-2007, 12:30 AM
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If you look at the price of tires for cars that have performance potentials anywhere close to that of bikes you'll see that tire prices for these are very expensive as well, and tread life is in the same ballpark. (Since I sell Porsche's for a living they come to mind but I am sure the same is true of other high-performance cars that require high-speed rated tires). Tread life is in the same ballpark as our Stroms as well but you have to replace twice as many of them.

Plus I am sure extremely small production runs and huge variety of tires factors in here. Please don't tell the tire manufacturers this, though.


My Opinion:
Vee or V= DL1000 before 2014
Vee2 or V2 = DL1000 2015 to 2019
Vee3 or V3 = DL1050 2020 to?

My Stroms:
2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 205,000+ km, 127,000+ miles.

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post #4 of 10 Old 07-19-2007, 06:58 AM
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I used to work for Goodyear and I've seen how they make tires, car tires mind you but the process is similar. I understand the cost involved, what kills me is the exorbitant prices we Canadians pay for bike tires. With everyone along the distribution network adding their chunk to the bottom line it gets pretty hard to take.

I bought a pair of Dunlop, D607's from the guy that imports them. From Motovan's online catalogue, the front tire lists at $171.99 and the rear is $223.99 for a pair total of $395.98. Say you get a 15% discount to bring the price down to $336.58. Add the tax and you're back up to $383.71. I paid $197.44 for the pair, taxes in. Tell me there's no markup in there.

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post #5 of 10 Old 07-19-2007, 10:42 AM
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I buy it, I've read similar articles in the past and it makes perfect sense to me.

My wife's car, Subaru Outback XT, came with 'sport' Bridgestone all-season tires (I forget the model number now) that were bald within the first 10,000 miles. We never once spun the tires at that point in the cars life, and we came to find out that the tires didn't even have a mileage warranty! We put Nokian WR's on after that, and they're holding up excellently after 40,000 miles.
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post #6 of 10 Old 07-19-2007, 10:59 AM
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I agree also. These are really high performance tires, and for a much smaller market.
I thought I was getting raped when I had to buy tires for my grandamn- 16" low profile tires cost about as much as a set for my Silverado pickup!
Would you really want to ride on a tire that was the motorcycle equivalent compound of a Uniroyal Tiger Paw or BF Goodrich touring T/A? I want as much stick as possible, and that means less tread life.
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post #7 of 10 Old 07-19-2007, 11:37 AM
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I belive the tire guy for the most part.There sometimes is a lot of diference when between retailers when compairing apples to apples.As long as their are many compeating companies I don`t think the "fix"is in.

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post #8 of 10 Old 07-19-2007, 11:38 AM
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Speaking strictly from an economic stand point the prices are justified.
Looking at the stages involved:
  • High levels of R&D
  • Multiple rubber coumpounds that are motorcycle specific
  • Limited market
  • high volume of inventory
  • Numerous applications (read bikes) for a specific tire
Given all these considerations its a wonder that they don't cost more.
post #9 of 10 Old 07-19-2007, 02:34 PM
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Sound's somewhat reasonable... tires require a zero failure rate or somebody dies! Cars, one tire goes flat or blows - most of the time you role to a stop and change your underwear. I think manufacturers know this and price accordingly. Mind you, they still pack in plenty of profit.
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post #10 of 10 Old 07-19-2007, 06:59 PM
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I like the items listed on why they cost so much, but you better add product liability and lawyers/lawsuits to the cost as well.
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