Tire technical questions... - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Suspension and Tire Tech For all discussions related to your suspension and tire set-ups.

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post #1 of 18 Old 07-16-2017, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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Tire technical questions...

Ok, I don't want to start yet another tire thread, but I've been searching and reading for about a week now and have been following up on some of the more popular dual sport tire choices out there. In the process I've come up with a few technical tire questions.

I've never purchased dual sport tires and I still have a bit of life left on my Vee2 original tires. Hence the early start with trying to figure out what to but when the time comes. I do mostly street, followed by mostly improved dirt roads or mild two tracks. I've been looking for something a little more dirt oriented but still want to hold onto street performance and longevity. Some popular choices are the Shinko 705 and the Heidenau K76 or K60.

The Shinkos are a pretty straight match to the OEM specs with the only exception being one step lower on the speed rating. Pretty straightforward...

However, the Heidenau line doesn't appear to be available in radial (at least not in the Vee2 size) and although the weight rating is a step higher, the speed rating is a couple of steps lower.

From what I've been reading it seems that the general rule of thumb is that the radials can support more weight and the bias are reported to be a smoother ride and support less weight due to the softer sidewalls.

How important is it to stay close to the OEM tire specs? Is it OK to use lower speed rating and just be sure not to race around? Do I really need 149+ mph tires? I don't ever plan on exceeding more than about 95mph or so, maybe momentarily while passing I could hit up to 110? Is then a 115mph rated tire adequate? Or is it advisable to get tires that are way over any expected actual speed? I guess that question comes down how realistic are those ratings, same question for weight ratings...

Also, it seems that the Heidenau is going against the rule of thumb that the bias carry less weight. Is it OK to run bias instead of radial? Isn't people I've found that recommend the Heidenau K60 are riding 650 or a few are on the older model 1000, do they have different tire specs than the new 1000? Or are those guys surviving OK using them that far out of their own OEM tire specs?
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post #2 of 18 Old 07-16-2017, 03:33 PM
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How much are you willing to compromise street comfort (wet cornering grip, noise) for off-road ability (loose gravel, etc...)?

https://www.revzilla.com/common-trea...d-radial-tires

Shinkos are cheap tires. I have about 5000km on mine, and the knobs are just starting to show cracks on the side, even though there is a lot of tread left.

Dirt/gravel capability + longetivity = Heidenau K60. Very popular on the R1200GS, Super Tenere, etc... Also used by some Iron Butt Rally riders.

Word of advice though. You may not want to mount them yourselves! Last month I helped a guy trying to pull a used one off the rim (some cord worn off!) with a bead breaker and did we ever break a sweat! That's a seriously stiff sidewall.

I went from stock -> Tourance -> 705s and I'll be running K60s next spring for their longevity and good behaviour on gravel.

Is it worth paying half as much and doing tire changes twice as often? Only you can decide that...

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Previous rides: 2012 KLX250S, 2006 VT1100C2, 2002 KX125, 1999 SV650, 1987 GPZ305
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post #3 of 18 Old 07-16-2017, 07:35 PM
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Unless you plan to run over 100 mph for extended periods, forget about speed rating.

Radial vs Bias ply? Typically bias ply tires are still found in off road oriented applications. Has to do with how they work aired down as much as anything. They are fine on the road, but as you have seen the speed rating is lower. Designed to run lower speeds in rough terrain, their heavier carcass won't dissipate heat as easily. Thus the lower speed rating ( there are other factors as well ).

Shinko 705's are a VERY GOOD all around tire. I would recommend you try them. BTW, they are available in radial AND bias ply in sizes to fit your bike! Get the radials, the seem to have a bit better tread life in street use.

If you don't mind spending quite a bit more than the Shinko's cost, the Continental TKC 70 tires ( not the knobby TKC 80 ) are very good for the way you want to ride and the rear tire is going to last near twice as long as the Shinko 705.
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post #4 of 18 Old 07-16-2017, 08:20 PM
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"Unless you plan to run over 100 mph for extended periods, forget about speed rating. "

Ain't that the truth!
Some Shinko's have been known to crack at the base of the blocks. Mostly on the Bias Ply. Especially on heavy bikes like the BMW GS.
I've not had a problem on the many sets I've used on my Wee Strom. I typically get 5-6K miles on the rear and 2-3 times on the front.
I wasn't impressed with the Heidenau K60. It didn't last longer than a Shinko and felt really squirrely at the end of the tread life.
Best Mileage I got on tires were the old Metzler ME88's Bias tires. 24K on the rear and 40+K on the front.
With all the talk of mileage, it varies with the rider. Some guys are real smooth and get more than I ever will. Damn their eyes!
As Shelby suggests, get the radial. At $150 a set delivered, on sale, it's not a bad choice.
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post #5 of 18 Old 07-16-2017, 11:19 PM
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Mitas E07......end of search.
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post #6 of 18 Old 07-17-2017, 11:59 AM
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I've been very happy with my Continental TKC70's but will try the Mitas E07's next.

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post #7 of 18 Old 07-17-2017, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Many threads and happy users recommending the continental TKC70's as well as the Shinko 705's. The general consensus has been that the Shinko's are half the price and last half as long...

What has been people's experience with punctures / repairs? I don't mind paying up for some long lasting tires, but I would hate to be 3,000 miles into a 12,000 mile tire only to have it pick up a screw and be un-repairable. I would feel better about replacing a 5,000 mile tire at 3,000 miles (especially at half the cost).

Many have said they wouldn't repair a motorcycle tire. Others have said, they won't but as the user / owner I could do it myself and thereby own the liability. Is it truly unadvisable to un-mount, patch, re-mount / balance and then continue to run a motorcycle tire? Or is that simply a CYA liability dodge?

A buddy of mine that was in the tire business mentioned that the shops like to claim that a puncture can compromise the body cords and that all the lateral forces a motorcycle tire is subjected to can result in the tire letting go. However, he also mentioned that the cord structure isn't that much different from car tires and that the puncture probably wouldn't do much worse to a motorcycle tire than a car tire. I'm not sure about the idea that a motorcycle tire is under such an increase of stress than a car tire. If so, wouldn't the cords be difference or more densely populated?

Any thoughts or insights?

Also, that same tire guy (also rides motorcycles) was recommending the Continental for the longer wear (center rib) and likely better performance on the street during adverse conditions...
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post #8 of 18 Old 07-17-2017, 01:08 PM
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Tried the K60s, hated them. The front tire wobbled hard starting at ~60mph, the back tire slid in corners and over paint on a straight dry road. Positive point: i had a nail in my back tire that i only noticed once i took it off the rim. Btw, the reputation of K60s outlasting the competition is greatly exaggerated.

I guess i'm that guy who believes that the battlewings are the gold standard when it comes to overall rating, including pricing and thread life. They are bad in deep sand or gravel though.


Then again, i've been pushing these new battlax evo t30 hard lately. I am pleasantly surprised how well they perform and how cheap they were. Haven't tested them off road yet though.

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post #9 of 18 Old 07-17-2017, 03:42 PM
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My setup, '12 DL650 with 15k miles
705 front ~1k miles
TW152 rear with ~2k miles.

I've yet to ride the 705 off pavement but don't care for it and won't get it again unless I'm very impressed the next time I find myself on gravel or worse.
My issues, which are personal preference:
- Feels dead at low speeds and takes more input to turn than any tire I've ever ridden.
- Once underway too much turn in (oversteer)
It's been great in the rain, smooth and has fine corning grip although I haven't done any spirited corning yet.
Just my take.
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post #10 of 18 Old 07-17-2017, 09:19 PM
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+1 for the Mitas E07's. They handle great on the road (I may have dipped into double digits a couple of times--slight wobble, but nothing major), and are amazing in dirt. Absolutely as confident of the tires in dirt as I am on pavement.

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