New Tires for a New Bike
June 2, 2009 at 9:54 pm #2944
I hear tires are one of the first things I should get when I get my 650R in August. Why is this? Are the stock tired usually bad? What makes a tire less attractive to a rider anyways? If you keep the rubber side down, are you even going to notice a difference? I assume the most important thing is traction, but I can’t imagine the manufacturer putting tires on their bikes that provide bad traction…can you really ‘feel’ the difference?
humph…June 2, 2009 at 11:45 pm #19228
Mostly due to the rubber compounds on OE tires… I am already having to replace mine on the 9 after 3500 miles. The rubber compound is ridiculously soft and sticky and has no wear life. The manu. does the same things as auto manu’s, give you the softest and stickiest rides to hook you from the word go then leave you to replace it well after you have been down the road a while.June 3, 2009 at 1:44 am #19234
So the stock tires wear down easier. Do you notice a change in ride feel after getting new tires? I guess I’m having a hard time imagining a change in traction, because while you are riding you either have it or you don’t…June 3, 2009 at 1:57 am #19235
There is a degree of change yes… Responsiveness, “hook up” and even the characteristic of stability. It all depends on the compounds the shape the sidewall stiffness and even the tread pattern. More Rubber less grooves equals incredible traction as you have more rubber hitting the ground… but you suffer in wet weather and loose traction situations. Well grooved tread patterns will gain you more “security” in wet weather conditions but may lack in “hooking up”. Harder compounds don’t grip as readily but certainly do not lack it in a jeopardizing way. The harder compounds have better tread life as softer ones do not….
Help any?June 3, 2009 at 3:35 am #19236zeppelinfromledParticipant
I don’t have much experience with motorcycle tires, but I recently got new tires for my car (all 4 tires at once), and I could feel a vast difference. I don’t know how to describe it though. You can feel the traction, especially in turns. You can feel it even when you’re maintaining traction. Imagine taking a sharp curve in a ferrari versus a mini-van. Even if neither of them loses traction, you can tell that one is better. This obviously isn’t a perfect analogy, but that’s the best I can do.June 3, 2009 at 4:08 am #19237SantaCruzRiderParticipant
In general terms, softer, stickier tires will make the bike feel more planted and controllable, but wear faster. More durable tires last longer, but may slip a bit in hard cornering. This doesn’t mean the harder tires are less safe — it’s more a matter of choice and matching the tire to the bike and the rider’s needs.
It’s almost universal among new bike owners that the stock tires are less than perfect. But they are also the cheapest tires you’ll ever have — since you already own them. So unless you are immediately finding that you are pushing the bike past the limits of the OEM tires, I’d advise riding them to their wear markers and then upgrading to one of the models favored on your favorite 650R site. But be forewarned that it’s rare for even the experts to agree on the best replacement.June 3, 2009 at 4:33 am #19240eternal05Participant
It’s not so much that stock tires wear too fast (though, on average, they might). Mine, for instance, were too slippery for my taste. It’s more that stock tires tend not to be the tires for you. Between people like Munch, who want durability, and people like me, who want grippety grip grip grip, and between people like Miami Matt, who want traction in the wet, and people like California Cal, who want dry performance, tire manufacturers can’t possibly fit a stock tire that makes everybody happy. So they pick something in the middle. And that inevitably pleases no one.
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if, as Munch was suggesting (and he would know), there is a plot to fit new vehicles with fast-wearing tires. All the same, that’s not the issue for everybody.
I think SCR’s advice is great: you already have the stock tires. Ride ’em. This will let you get a feel for the bike without wasting miles on a fancy schmancy replacement tire. Many miles spent on the stock tires will give you a better idea of what you’d WANT in a replacement. When you hit the wear bars, grab a new set!June 3, 2009 at 4:37 am #19241eternal05Participant
I should also mention that, for normal street riding, my stock tires would have been just fine. Sure, I’m that much more confident on the street, but the stock tires weren’t at all unsafe. The extra grip comes in handy for more aggressive riding, which the bikes aren’t fitted for when they roll off the assembly line.June 3, 2009 at 5:44 am #19242
Yes, I have a better understanding now. Sounds like it’s dependent on what you will be riding in, and how you will be riding. I will be riding like a slow ass noob on dry AZ pavement all year long. But I have to keep in mind that the dry ground is replaced by dirty, dusty and sometimes sandy ground. Guess I’ll just ask some local streeters what they put on theirs.June 3, 2009 at 5:48 am #19243
I understand what you are getting at, but I think you’re missing the mark. Nevertheless, I get your point. I recently got 4 new tires on my truck as well. I noticed a WORLD of difference from my old mud terrain’s to my new ones. But in a car if you take a corner really quick you have a lot more weight pushing down, and a lot more surface area touching the ground. This might make you squeal a little bit, but no biggie. That’s what was confusing me, because I never hear bikes squeal on turns, they either make the turn or go down…so I was like “How different could OEM tires be from aftermarket?” I think I got my answerJune 3, 2009 at 6:09 am #19244
Sounds like I’m going to ride those OEM’s and then ask around locally what’s best for our streets after they are used up. One questions though, what are the “wear bars”?June 3, 2009 at 10:17 am #19245
On your tires look in the tread grooves. You will see in different parts of the tires a little raised area in the groove. Some manu’s make it easy to find by giving you a small arrow on the sidewall of the tire to point out each location. Some tires have even tried to get fancier ( I think Goodyear is one) that designed a message in the tread in the center that says ” If you can’t see this time to replace” ….well close enough. Most manu’s leave the wear bar indicator at 2/32’s or as most people like to dumb it down as …. if you stick a penny in the tread groove you will be touching Lincolns head. Of course if your not in the US that doesn’t help much. Typically to get good safe water shed you need about 2/32’s of tread depth.June 3, 2009 at 7:07 pm #19258
Well that’s interesting! I never knew that tire manu’s did that. I ride on big knobby truck tires in my cage, so I’m used to replacing them when the knobs are half gone! That’s good stuff to know, I think some of my rider friends don’t even know that…
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