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Thread: Classic 1977 R100RS With New Technology Conti Radial Tires

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Jul 2003

    Classic 1977 R100RS With New Technology Conti Radial Tires

    Dear Fellow Classic BMW Twin Riders,

    Recently put a set of the new technology Conti Classic Attack Radial Tires on my early model 1977 R100RS.

    Tires are made to work on old classic motorcycles that were originally designed for biased tires, first found out about them back in fall 2012. Only became really available very recently.

    Bought a Continental Conti Classic Attack - Size: 100/90-19 - Front and Size: 120/90R18 - Rear.

    They also have a Size: 110/90R18 - Rear.

    Mounted them on Lester Wheels, the rear one being the extra wide 3" rim.

    These are more than just a new set of tires, for me, it is best described as a whole new riding experience.

    Took it easy for first 100 miles letting the tires break in, but could already feel the difference even at moderate speed in the turns.

    Once scuffed in, began to really test them in the curves at the highest speeds am still willing to risk. Have found the handling improvement to be no less than extraordinary.

    Never has my old machine felt so secure and well planted at those hard lean angles, the feeling, (feedback), am getting is far different than usual. Feels more like the R1100RS's and R1100S I had for a while. Am not saying this 36 year old machine is now able to stay with a 1999 R1100S, but that "feeling/sense" is there of real control. There is some logic in that, since those bikes all had radial tires also.

    Can run through those same turns at same speeds with my other tires, such as the GT-501's & Pirelli Demons, but I have to scare myself through with them at those speeds. By contrast, am almost in a state of relaxation using these new Conti Radials.

    This RS is an early 40/40 70hp version and I have never felt underpowered. Machine could go through anything as fast as I could run it and still stand the pressure of my heart beating against my teeth. Now have actually thought, "gosh, if I had more power, could roll out of this turn at a bit faster speed", that is a new one for me. Am tempering it with common sense, knowing that between the revenue seeking law enforcement, suicidal whitetails, unknown road hazards, and the " man, I should have known better than to try thats", it is best to keep speeds somewhat reasonable.

    The road surface irregularities, bumps, etc. are also much more smoothed out. Have been going out of my way to hit them in the straights and through curves, just to see if I can get the front end to twitch a bit, but it has held solid, (so far anyway).

    Have also found the machine stops faster, can lay into the brakes harder without tires breaking loose. Have not tested braking in the hard rain yet, that is a major test left to do.

    Mileage life is unknown only have about 400 miles on them so far.

    Only complaint I can come up with so far is it seems am getting blown around more in the strong crosswinds, (bike is being moved around more easily), but I may just be misreading that, would have to ride against some other tires to be certain.

    Am sure not all riders will like these Conti Radials, individual perceptions being what they are, but think most riders would sure feel the improvements.

    In past 10-15 years have tried a lot of the newer tires, Metzeler ME-88's, Lazertechs, Macadams, Dunlop GT-501's, Pirelli MT68 / 69's, Pirelli Sport Demons, Avon Roadriders, Bridgestone S-11's, (great handling long distance tire very reminicent of the ME-88's).

    For me none of these other tires ever came close to what these radials are like though.

    If anyone else has tried the new Conti's, would like to hear your impressions of them, especially if you got in on them early and have some idea as to what kind of total mileage that can be expected. Want to do a ride out West with them.

    Safe Riding To You All.............................George
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    Last edited by ghlubik; 06-06-2013 at 07:38 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Albuquerque, NM
    I'd think the radials would require higher inflation pressures than bias tires.

    There has been, BTW, ZERO technology change in bias tires that would suggest higher pressures than BMW original specifications despite what some would fantasize. Radial construction is a true technology change and, again, suggests higher pressures.
    Kent Christensen
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  3. #3
    Registered User georgej's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007


    Do these new radial tires still require tubes?
    1978 R100RS Motorsport
    1978 R80/7
    1977 Triumph Bonneville
    1980 Honda XL500S

  4. #4
    Registered User stanley83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Somerville, MA
    Quote Originally Posted by georgej View Post
    Do these new radial tires still require tubes?
    It's not the tires that require the tubes, it's the rims.
    Justin in Somerville, MA
    76 R75/6, 78 P200E, 63 VBB
    Lots of bicycles

  5. #5
    Nick Kennedy
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Telluride Colorado
    Interesting tire report!
    To save a search, what is your source for these tires?
    Nick Kennedy

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Good timing -- the R90S needs new shoes and I have been wondering what would provide the best handling. Apples and oranges probably, but my 650 Hawk specified bias ply tire and worked insanely well on radials.
    61 Gold Star, 76 R90S, 03 CBR600RR, '13 690 Duke, '14 Street Triple R

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by NICKRIDES View Post
    Interesting tire report!
    To save a search, what is your source for these tires?
    Nick Kennedy
    Hello Nick,

    You certainly have some great roads to try these tires out on out there in Col.

    Bought my first set from

    Was $301.00 with the free shipping and received them quickly.

    Bought a second set for another old RS from

    Were about $40 less a pair, took about 10 days to actually get them, (doubt they keep them in stock, just order as needed), but that is quite a saving!

    Have also found them at motorcycle superstore and on amazon from a few sellers. Most are priced way less than the actual retail of around $185

    Have not installed the second pair yet as am still doing some "testing".

    On the tube question, yes, if you do not have a tubless type wheel, than you will need the tubes. Recently found out about a new tube from Sedona, it is a combo of Butyl and natural rubber so should be safer than straight butyl, has anyone tried them yet? Found them on bikebandit website.

    Got to do some rain ridin' the other night in a wall of water thunderstorm, tires held really well. Took the time to do some panic stopping, and they worked great.

    Safe Ridin'....................................George

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