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Thread: Bias or Radials ?

  1. #1
    Registered User gnmiller's Avatar
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    Bias or Radials ?

    I was told by a fellow rider, (Concours), that he gets much longer tire life out of bias type tires over radials. Does anyone in the forum have any advice on this matter. I'm due for some new sneakers on my RT and would like to cut down on the tire buying experience. it seems to happen much too often.

    Gary
    98 R1100RT

  2. #2
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    While it's true that bias ply tires do, in general, get better mileage, they also don't have as good grip.

    As an anecdote, when I started riding BMWs, I bought a new R65, and it came with Continental RB2/K112 tires. These were rock hard, but they lasted about 20k miles each. Then I bought a monolever R80 that took tubeless (but still bias ply) tires, and I discovered the wonders of the Metzeler Laser. Even though I set it up with the short S bars, it handled really nicely. But the tires wore out in 12,000 miles or so. When I bought my R1100RS with radial tires, I could stick my fingernails into them. They are wo-ooo-onderful. But I don't think I've ever had a set last more than about 7,500 miles.

    Anyway, I'd be surprised if you can find bias ply tires for your RT. The Concours is a very old design, not much updated by Kawi, and the older ones - I believe - only take bias ply tires. Radials have a much lower profile, so the bike has to be designed with low profile tires in mind.

    You might consider trying some of the radials that are further to the touring end of the spectrum rather than the sport end.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  3. #3
    RIDERR1150GSADV
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    If you are looking for long distance from tires, you may want look at Metzeler ME 880.
    I have put them on my 04 RT and have almost 3 K miles on them and they show no signs of the wear I had on the BT 020 the bike came with. After 6 K miles the BT 020 were shot.
    I think Jeff Dean uses them too and as he has tons of experience with the RT's I decided to try the Metzelers also.
    So far so good

  4. #4
    Cannonball Rider #52 darrylri's Avatar
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    I was surprised to hear that an ME-880 would fit the RT. I went out to the Metzeler site and had a look. They don't list an 880 rear in the RT's size (160/60/18), and suggest fitting an ME Z4. They do offer a 160/70/18 ME 880, but list it for chopper/cruiser segment.
    --Darryl Richman, forum liaison
    http://darryl.crafty-fox.com

  5. #5
    Registered User gnmiller's Avatar
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    I also checked the Metzler site and they do offer R1150 sizes, but not rears for the R1100's They do ffer a 180/55/18 in a radial and wonder if it would work( clearance issues). The lower profile would probably make the tire same diameter as the stock size. Has anyone tried it?

    Gary
    98 R1100RT
    Boca Raton

  6. #6
    Focused kbasa's Avatar
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    I think you need a 5.5 inch rim for a 180 section tire. Too narrow a rim may distort the profile of the tire, no?

    Does Metzeler have a recommended rim size for the 180?
    Dave Swider
    Marin County, CA

    Some bikes. Some with motors, some without.

  7. #7
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Interesting comments on the Metzelers. On my K100 I started out with a 33 in front and a 55 I think in back. Got about 3K out of the rear and about 6 I think on the front, which was 10mm too wide due to availability problems. Switched to a 99 in back when the 55 was discontinued but sold the bike a few months ago before wearing that one out but I'd guess it would only have lasted about 5K. These durability experiences put a bad taste in my mouth for Metzes, but in all other regards they seemed like great tires.
    I have learned though that tire maker's websites are the most reliable information. They sometimes do not list everything they make, opting instead just to list the 'sexier' stuff or to steer you in that direction. Check with retailers to make sure.
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

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