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Thread: Do you need "special" Pilot Road tires for some K and R bikes?

  1. #1
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    Do you need "special" Pilot Road tires for some K and R bikes?

    I see on the Motorcycle Superstore site that the BMW R12RT calls for a 'special' B rated tire, while that is not so for the Michelin tire fitment guide. So I called Michelin and spoke to Ken, customer service manager, and got some information:

    The special tires are for higher loads. They do NOT increase the weight rating of the tire, but they add an extra ply to stiffen the tire for lateral turning loads.
    This is recommended for two up or heavily loaded touring bikes.

    So, if you are like me and don't go two up, and don't carry a lot of weight, you can go with the cheaper tire.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  2. #2
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    If you're like me, you run the B tire anyway.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  3. #3
    RAINEY 187132's Avatar
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    Does the price make that much of a difference in the grand scheme of things? Since I only have 2 tires on my motorcycle I always buy the best available whenever I buy tires. I would always put on at least what the bike is spec's for. Remember even if your not 2 up or carrying luggage your bike still carry's a lot of weight when you figure bike weight + you

    Also, this is not meant to be offensive in any way. Just my opinion.
    Jason
    Grand rapids, MI
    2012 BMW R1200RT

  4. #4
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    No offense taken. I'm just saying the non B tire does meet the specs for 1 up low weight riding. That is from Michelin themselves. Look at their fitment chart and it shows the non B tire. There is only a note that the B tire is available for 2 up and loaded bikes. Of course, you might want the B tire just in case you do load the bike up. For me, I can tour a month with very little weight and I never go two up unless someone breaks down. Heck, if I could lose weight I could drop 50 pounds and carry a lot of stuff!

    So, a non B tire is what I buy. It saves about $20 and I go through about 3 sets a year, so that's $60, enough to buy that special "boxer" oil Kent tells me about!

    My post here is just informative, just for general knowledge.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  5. #5
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    there is a slight but perceptible difference in the handling with the B tire. The stiffer sidewall allows less flex and you can tell it on turn in if you're sensitive to what tires do. Not huge but noticeable.
    I prefer the B tire handling so use it even though I generally ride solo.

    There is no difference in tread life.
    Last edited by racer7; 03-21-2013 at 01:22 AM.

  6. #6
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    Interesting. The extra ply is for sidewall flex. I ride aggressively so I will see if I can feel a difference.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  7. #7
    RAINEY 187132's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoboRider View Post
    Interesting. The extra ply is for sidewall flex. I ride aggressively so I will see if I can feel a difference.
    Please report back on your findings. At least you go through them quickly enough that they won't be on that long if they're not what you expected.

    Ride Safe

    Jason
    Jason
    Grand rapids, MI
    2012 BMW R1200RT

  8. #8
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    Some additional info

    1) As I said above, the difference is not large but is perceptible
    2) The difference is what you'd expect from a stiffer sidewall. The regular tire gives a bit more of a feeling of the bike moving around above the tread surface before settling on a hard turn in, especially from the rear tire. The stiffer sidewall pretty much eclipses this feeling.
    3) Which you prefer, if you can feel the difference, is simply a personal preference. I prefer the stiffer version but some may prefer the feeling of "moving to the set tread position" given by the softer sidewall. Matter of style....

  9. #9
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAINEY View Post
    Please report back on your findings. At least you go through them quickly enough that they won't be on that long if they're not what you expected.

    Ride Safe

    Jason
    I'll book mark the thread so I don't forget. I just put on a set of PRIIs (B version, which is what I've always used) so it will be a bit until I get to the new set. I always keep a set on the rack so I am ready to go if I damage a tire.

    Racer always seems to have good info and no BS so I bet my findings are like his or that I can't tell the difference. I'm not that perceptive. I just lean and go!
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  10. #10
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    I always have warm clothes along when I travel--I don't have to wear them. I may not ride heavy/2-up but I'm ready to.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  11. #11
    NC Piedmont Rider ncstephen's Avatar
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    When using the Metz and Michelins I did the B choice as well. Called and discussed this with Michelin back then as well and was told the same. Figured they weren't just blowing smoke to make another 20 bucks so did as they recommended. Current tire brand choice doesn't offer that so from them it is a regular run of the tire.

    I tend to judge the correctness of the tire pressure by just how much the tire heats up or doesn't. I do want to say if my failing memory serves me correct that when doing the Metz Z6s I had some B and non B versions. To have the same heating levels on the tires I THINK I remember the pressure on the non B tire was run a bit higher.. like around 40-42 (solo) with the B version more like 38-40. If I remember right I only ran the B version of the PRIIs. I ran those similarly solo at 38-40.

    Just and FYI post.

    NCS
    03 K 1200RS (Black is Best)
    03 Honda RC51
    74 Honda CB750 K4

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