December 2, 2010 at 5:54 am #4284skippersusieParticipant
Hey everybody, hope you all had an awesome holiday!!
So I think the time has come for me to buy my first set of tires for the Virago. My question for all of you, how in the world do I know which one to get?? I am riding approx. 50 miles a day round trip on the commute, so I’m definitely looking for something that won’t need to be replaced every two months (if that’s possible). What are some of the brands you all use and why? Any brands to steer clear of? It has been a bit slick in the mornings due to freezing overnight, but that seems to be non-exsistent on the way home.
Any help/advice or wisdom, as always, would be greatly appreciated.
S2December 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm #28875Gary856Participant
See if these tires are available for your sizes. These new generation sport-touring tires are high-performance all-season tires, and can last close to 10k miles for many people/bikes.
Perilli Angel ST
Michelin Pilot Road 2
Bridgestone BT023December 2, 2010 at 7:18 pm #28877MunchParticipant
Metzeler ME’s are some of the most touted for our type bikes. Though I only got 6 thousand miles out of each tire. I ride 72 miles round trip…does not include errands. I eventually went to a car tire on my bike. I was going through 2 1/2 tires a year with motorcycle tires. However I absolutely do not recommend that avenue for beginners. Each tire has its good and bad sides…great performance usually sacrifices mileage and vice versa. So it will depend on what your needs are.December 2, 2010 at 7:19 pm #28878TrialsRiderParticipant
Tire size availability can end up being the determining factor more than a preference for a given manufacturer, particularly if you are fitting an older bike or a small displacement metric cruiser. Stick close or right on to the original size and profile or you may experience swing arm, chain guard or front fender clearance problems.
Stay away from tires made in China their best is Cheng Shin and it’s crap, so I’d hate to see the rest of them.
Best name brands include: Michelin, Dunlop, Bridgestone, Metzler, Continental and Pirelli. I recently fitted my K bike with Avon tyres, I like the rear but the front induces wiggle and shake unless I over-inflate it. I contacted Avon about this problem and they pleaded ignorance rather than offering to replace it. …obviously they have no clue how many ‘tyres’ I buy every year and from now on I will only buy ‘tires’.
Shinko purchased their tire manufacturing technology from Yokohama, I have no experience with Shinko but the Yokohama motocross tires were good, don’t recall if I ever ran Yokohama street rubber.
Softer compound tires obviously stick way better and wear out much quicker, so selection always involves trade-offs. My personal preference is rectangular block tread pattern on the front and a rear tire with lots of rubber in the middle where they wear the fastest. I go for tires that appear better suited to rain over slicks that have the occasional grove on them. It’s not like a race bike where you might swap them out according to weather conditions.
Previously I ran Bridgestone dual compound tires and liked them, they performed better when they were new and later in life held their tread very well, eventually the sidewalls checked. In theory nitrogen filling should extend tire life in cases where the bike is stored for extended periods.
I mounted Pirelli Phantom’s on my Ascot once and the first day out discovered that some manufactures coat their tires with some kind of preservative, it makes them slippery for a while so be careful with brand new tires until the initial ‘shine’ is worn off …that was the only time I ever low sided a street bike
Take note if there is a country of origin branded on the sidewall, sometimes the same tire is made in different countries and the rubber compounds are dissimilar. An example of this is the X-1 Michelin 2-ply soft compound radial, X-1’s made in Spain out perform the same tire stamped in USA
There you go, way more information than you ever wantedDecember 2, 2010 at 8:00 pm #28879Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
I like the Kenda Kruz tires for my cruiser, and have heard a lot of good things about the low cost Continental Motion sport touring tires for bikes that use radial tires without tubes inside, if you never do track days.
It may be best to go to a Virago forum- some bike suspensions work better for some tires, while remembering that it often comes down to riding style and personal preference.
My worst tire was the stock Dunlop F24 front tire that the factory put on my new 2002 Honda- it followed every road groove and wore out quickly.December 3, 2010 at 6:08 pm #28887SpoolParticipant
As Munch mentioned, the Metzeler ME880’s are great tires. I’ve got over 10,000 miles on the rear on my Spirit 1100 and it’s just now down to the wear bar for replacement. The front has in the neighborhood of 17,000 on it and still has tons of tread, but it’s 5 years old now and will be replaced along with the rear for next seaon. The ME880’s are great and the rain, and track really well, ie they don’t get all squirlley on grated bridges or grooved pavement.December 6, 2010 at 5:03 am #28898gitchy42Participant
I have Pilot Road 2’s and a friend has the BT023’s I love mine, and he’s on the 4th set of his.
The newer sport-touring tires have ridiculous life, and nearly as much grip as similar pure sport tires.
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