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V11 Rubber (Tyre Topic)


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I've had a couple sets of Sportmax's on my Buell Ulysses and like them alot. Not terribly expensive and wear about 5-6k miles, handle about as well worn as new ones. I love how they grip, the bike handles well and the Dunlop's are a great match for it. Recently installed Bridgestone Battlax S21's on my '02 LeMans, so far so good although I don't have enough time on them for an honest report.  I put a Bridgestone Battlax BT 23 on the rear of the Buell and they are about the same as the Dunlop Sportmax's, which is what's on the front currently. The Sportmax's and BT 23's are what I can honestly recommend. Btw, both bikes run 180/55 zr 17 and 120/70 zr 17's.

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1 hour ago, Pressureangle said:

Has anyone actually scaled their V11 for an accurate wet weight? 

My Bandit and Sport weigh about the same.  The Bandit has about 25 more horsepower but does not handle as sure as the Guzzi.  The Guzzi has a shorter power range and tops out 7k vs 10k rpm.  And of course 170 vs 180 rear tire.  IIRC the Michelin front didn't last that long either (or perhaps I never installed a Michelin front?).  

Anyway, the Dunlops costs less, handle as good or better and last at least as long.  In fact I have a half used Dunlop in my garage taken on because I was traveling and didn't want to get caught out, I still haven't put it on as the replacement Dunlop is still going.   I put the same tires on my Ducati because I was tired of replacing Pirellis$$$ and they seem the handle as well too.

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On 8/25/2021 at 8:40 PM, LowRyter said:

As I said, my Greenie just ate up Pilot Roads.  No way I'll spend that much again.   The Dunlops cost much less, last longer and handle better IMO.

The latest "Road 5" are supposed to last "longer"; or at least, this is what Michelin advertise about them.

I do not have much experience with Michelin for motorbikes, but I have with Michelin for cars. And the same observation about longevity holds true.

After having tested the well known brands, I have currently installed a set of Yokohama on my 911.

In the 70's, all the motorbikes came stock equipped with Yokohama tires, which we would ditch right away in exchange for the K-81 Dunlop.

Yokohama no longer make tires for motorcycles....

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I personally think that tires brand, type don't necessarily work the same on every motorcycle brand and type.

They are design this way. To fit the most in the best possible way. But there will always be some differences on how they handle and how they last based on weight, chassis geometry, sizes, your own appreciation, and local conditions such as temperature, asphalt composition and shape, speed and the list goes on.

At least on this forum, when we speak about tires, we generally refer to tires that equip a V11. That certainly helps to narrow it down.

How do we know we are qualified to judge tires? how can we tell one tire is better than the other? and what could we do to understand tire choice better?

Myself, my first and most important criteria is safety.

At present, I don't think I am able to have an educated judgement on the best tires for my Le Mans; I never had one before, and my experience lies with bikes from the 70's, with different size tires, and different parameters.

But there is nothing I can do but not judge the handling of the Le Mans based on the feel imprinted in my memory from those days when I was riding every day, and racing against my friends on open roads or open go-kart tracks.

Also, the choice of "good" tires was considerably less than today's.

What tool(s) can we use to pick the tire that best fits our V11?

-Brand?

-Origin?

-price?

-mileage? referred to what? normal riding, sports riding, dragster acceleration between two traffic lights?

-grip? all weather conditions? better in hot temperatures? better in milder temperatures?

-wet grip? what kind of rain? heavy rain, light, at what temperature?

-structure? more rigid for better handling? less for more comfort?

-dual compound? softer on the sides for optimal grip while curving, harder on the tire center for better longevity?

I had a few conversations about tires with other bikers here. Most of them mainly concerned about price and longevity. The thinking being: all the tires are similar, and for day to day use, cheaper is better.

 

 

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On 8/25/2021 at 7:24 PM, po18guy said:

I would not rule Avon out. I live near rainy Seattle and tyres from a rainy nation fill the bill rather well.

I knew Avon as a brand; I cannot remember why though.

I checked their website, and they have a few solutions for the V11.

The Spirit ST (dual compound) and the Storm 3D X-M "All around".

Both tires advertises as "manufactured in the UK".

When it comes to grip in the wet and cold, no doubt UK knows what they talk about.

What I cannot really understand, is what would be the difference in quality for a tire manufactured in UK from a tire manufactured elsewhere?

The machines, the compound recipes are all the same; the quality assurance too. The materials used to make the compound, all is mirrored for every factory. As I visited a tire manufacturing plant (a long time ago), I know the workers are unskilled for the major part.

If we leave ethics out, why then?

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1 hour ago, p6x said:

After having tested the well known brands, I have currently installed a set of Yokohama on my 911.

In the 70's, all the motorbikes came stock equipped with Yokohama tires, which we would ditch right away in exchange for the K-81 Dunlop.

Yokohama no longer make tires for motorcycles....

I didn't realize that Yokohama was putting out car tires. 

Iirc the Yokohama factory and production was taken over, and continues under the Shinko brand name; they have a reasonable reputation and are very affordable, I've got one set on a bike, no complaints.

Right now I'm riding on some type of Michelin Pilots on my CalVin and picked up Conti Road Attack 3's for the V11; I'm not expecting great mileage, but I'm hoping they live up to the hype in regards to ride and stiction.

Old respected brands used to be a guarantee of a standard of quality, not anymore.

In the new world economy, buyer beware when it comes to tires. Some well known names may have  3 or 4 different countries producing tires under the brand name, they are not all the same quality and standard.

 

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2 hours ago, p6x said:

I knew Avon as a brand; I cannot remember why though.

I checked their website, and they have a few solutions for the V11.

The Spirit ST (dual compound) and the Storm 3D X-M "All around".

Both tires advertises as "manufactured in the UK".

When it comes to grip in the wet and cold, no doubt UK knows what they talk about.

What I cannot really understand, is what would be the difference in quality for a tire manufactured in UK from a tire manufactured elsewhere?

The machines, the compound recipes are all the same; the quality assurance too. The materials used to make the compound, all is mirrored for every factory. As I visited a tire manufacturing plant (a long time ago), I know the workers are unskilled for the major part.

If we leave ethics out, why then?

The mention of UK manufacture is to maintain confidence in the brand. So many companies are turning to 3rd world and emerging nations for manufacture. Brazil, Thailand  and many other nations are now relied on for major brand tires. On a car,  failure is a disappointment. On a bike, it can be fatal. Confidence in both brand and quality of manufacture carries much weight in my mind. As a company, Avon has over 100 years of experience in both car and motorcycle tires. Do they make a top level racing tire? Don't know and I believe it is irrelevant to the street rider. I have ridden on their bias ply tires for just over 20 years and wet or dry have not had an issue. 

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1 hour ago, po18guy said:

Do they make a top level racing tire? Don't know and I believe it is irrelevant to the street rider. I have ridden on their bias ply tires for just over 20 years and wet or dry have not had an issue. 

Oh but they do!!! (make racing tires)

They have a specific line, including for racing side-cars.

https://www.avontyres.com/en-us/tyres/?cartype=motorsport

I will put Avon in my bucket list...

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've always had great results with Michelin Pilot Powers (on my old Suzuki DRZ400SM many years ago) and Pirelli, especially.

When I get my V11 Sport, first thing, I'm having a new set of Diablo Rosso IIIs mounted. They are awesome on my 900SS (Angel GTs are good, but don't inspire as much confidence as the Diablos). Excellent grip in turns, losing traction is something I have to really try at with a panic stop (locking brakes). So far, 1000 miles, hardly any wear. Can't speak for wet performance, as I refuse to ride on wet roads/in the rain.

Then again, I replace a set of tires every 3 years or 3k miles, no matter what. I won't save money on my safety. Tires for me are cheap insurance, and I won't be done in by substandard tires.

To each their own.

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When my ankle heals (another  V11 story), and since the rear Michelin had a nail has a repair, I think I might try the Avons. For my riding, which is moderate twisties and intertstate/motorway, it seems to be appropriate. A three minute vid.

 

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I may have ridden on Avons once 40+ yrs ago, but since starting to ride again after a 30 yr hiatus, I haven't had them.

I know the racing guys in VRRA, especially those riding old smaller bikes with taller, narrower tires, are fanatical about their Avons.

Apparently some of the higher end racing styles, aren't regularly imported into Canada and the riders have to jump through all sorts of hoops and spend big coin to get them; and they're glad when they can score a set and get the Avons they want on their bikes.

fwiw

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1 hour ago, po18guy said:

When my ankle heals (another  V11 story), and since the rear Michelin had a nail has a repair, I think I might try the Avons. For my riding, which is moderate twisties and intertstate/motorway, it seems to be appropriate. A three minute vid.

 

I understand AVON make a fine tire, but US distribution is very weak. I can get Pirelli anywhere.

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42 minutes ago, po18guy said:

New Hampshire, you say?  Cycle Gear in Manchester can get them, and mount and balance them. Or Pirellis, Dunlops, Michelin, etc.

Cool...but I go to Seacoast Sport Cycle in Derry. They are a Guzzi/Ducati/Aprilia dealer... They do any heavy lifting that I can't or won't do to lack of spare time or lack of skill.

I'm a big believer in feeding the dealership that carries your brand if it is boutique, like Guzzi in the US. Or, to a lesser extent, Ducati.

I've used them for years, and they always make things right. They aren't cheap, but you get what you pay for. Sean is the master tech there, and knows Ducati and Guzzi like an encyclopedia. I asked him a few questions about the V11, he knew it all, even obscure things like the twin vs single plate clutches, and which V11s had them. He just did a major service on a mint Rosso Mandello, so someone in NH has one of those unicorns...

Thankfully they are close to me, and they are always busy, with less than 10 bikes for sale when I last went a week ago. Most of the others had "sold" signs on them.

The shop is also choking on work, they are crammed with service bikes out back and in the shop.

"Never go to an empty restaurant.", so the saying goes.

My Triumph Daytona gets major service (tires) done at a local motorcycle garage I know that also treats me well. The closest actual Triumph dealer is 2hrs from me, and they would have no idea what to do with an ancient ('95) machine like mine, so I don't even bother.

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Some guys have all the luck. The traditional Guzzi dealer in Seattle retired and closed shop. Unless his employees are now at the two dealers who opened several years later, the new dealerships are hipster types who place the V11 in the late Pleistocene era.

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