Need help deciding on new tire... - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-21-2001, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 51
Need help deciding on new tire...

There doesn't seem to be too many treads on oppinions of tires here. So here's my question. What should I get. My stock pilots are wearing down. I have almost 9000 km's on them. The rear has a slight flat spot and I recently had to get it plugged on a not so fun weekend road trip.

My front looks to be in surprisingly good shape so I don't want to change it just yet. I am open to trying another brand of tires though (just rear for now). I keep hearing how the pilots have such little feedback compared to 207's. This is what concerns me. I'm still pretty new at riding. I've only been at it for about 4 months now. I have put 9k on the bike in that 4 months, but I still don't lay the bike down that much. Because of the pilots lack of feedback I have no idea how far I can go. I don't want to become a statistic, but I would like to seem how far I can go on my F4.

I'm basically looking for a tire that will give me pretty good wear, but allow a newer rider to learn what a sport bike can do (comprimise between feedback and grip). Any suggestions? I've thought alot about 207's and battlax's (not sure which one though) and would still consider pilots if that is the best choice. Thanks in advance for your comments.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-22-2001, 05:38 AM
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 30
Are those the Michelin Pilot Sports? If so, you got a great pair of tires there. If they are the sports then you'll be hard pressed to find a better tire without going for the super sticky types. I believe the 207's come in the OEM version and the RR version? The ones they use for Supersport or whatever....hehe. The RR version wont last you long so i dont think you want those. The OEM version last alot longer, but they wont hold up in the grip department compared with the Michelin Pilot Sport.

Most tires are fine, if the bike feels strange while leaning it over , make sure you have the proper tire pressures...etc. Also look at your suspension setup first before blaming the tires. Of course you gotta look at the road conditions too, riding over bumpy/uneven pavement doesnt help either.

Back in '98 i had a Gixxer that came with Dunlop 207's. They had a very good feel to them, i didnt have any negative feedback from them. They lasted for awhile as well. But then i got the Michelin Sport tires...(last around 2000 miles or so) and they blew them away!

Last edited by Ducatidrms; 07-22-2001 at 05:46 AM.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-22-2001, 05:45 AM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 222
If you're going to switch brands, you should change the front tire as well. It's not a good idea to run different brands or even the same brand with different tread patterns. Just make sure the front tire is the same brand and tread pattern as the rear as they were designed to be run together.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-22-2001, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Jun 2001
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The Michelin Pilots are fine. They provide plenty of "feedback". As stated above, it's not a good idea to run different tread pattens and tire designs front and rear. If you are going to change brands on the rear, then change the front, too.

For a beginning rider, the difference in "feedback" provided by different tire brands has virtually no significance. This is only important when you get to the point that you are riding at the limits of traction while cornering, braking, etc.

Not to sound like I'm criticizing you, because I'm not, but what's limiting you is fear. Plain and simple. It has nothing to do with the design or "feedback" of your tires. This is normal and is really a good thing. Too many people make the mistake of reading too many magazine articles about this or that tire or this or that motorcycle's suspension or listening to racers standing around the shop or whatever, and assume that the same sensory inputs that the experienced riders use are already developed in them, too. Thus, this must be what's limiting them. Wrong. It's practice, plain and simple. The old survival instinct just has to be trained to know what the limits of the bike and tires really are. It takes time and exploration.

Any of the modern tires designed for your bike, Metzelers, Michelins, Bridgestones, Dunlops, Avons, are fine. Their limits far exceed yours, believe me. Assuming that the bike and tires are in good shape and the road surface is good, you aren't out of cornering ability until you start decking hard parts. Your foot pegs have an extension on the bottom of them. Those are called peg feelers. They are designed to be of an appropriate length to contact the pavement when your bike is close to it's lean angle limit. If you aren't dragging those yet, then you haven't reached the point where you would be able to tell the difference in feedback from one set of tires to another.

What you really need to do at this point is to make sure that your tires and bike are maintained to optimum condition, and go out and practice. Increase your lean angles a little at the time and you will start to become more comfortable with it. If you don't know how to countersteer and use the brakes and throttle smoothly and efficiently while cornering, then go find a school or a good rider and get someone to teach you.

Much more important than the brand of tires your are running is your technique. You have to know how to set up your line, brake before entry, turn in, and roll on the throttle smoothly and efficiently. If you can't do this every time, you are never going to learn how to corner correctly. You also have to learn how to change your line mid-corner, if necessary and how to brake mid corner, how to make a mid-corner panic stop, etc. Go get someone to teach you.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-22-2001, 12:59 PM
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Post Re: Tires

As Gabandit12 said in his post, the Stock Pilots that came on your bike are a great tire. As of now, with your limited riding experience, these tires will fit your riding abilty well. In addition to that, they will probably be cheaper, and be readly available at your local dealer, as he won't have to order your size/rim width due to the fact that most dealers keep a ready supply of oem tires in stock.
As for changing only the back tire, that too is a no-no. Front and rear tires are engineered to work together by the manufacturer and have a certain shape, or profile as we call it, to the outer carcass. If you don't use the same model front and rear tire, or even a worn front and new rear, you could possibly negatively alter your bikes handling due to the profiles of the tires being different (i.e. 207's have a very triangular profile and have a tendency to transition to lean faster, but are less forgiving at the edge of traction; whereas the battleax series has a more rounded profile, transitions or falls into lean slower, but is a little less likely to pass you on the track/street abrupty at high lean/throttle application).
I know there are a lot of riders out there who go and buy super sticky race rep rubber, but those tires have a higher operating temp than street oriented tires, and must be ridden hard before coming up to temp and providing optimum grip levels. I can't count how many $350 super sticky tires I've seen that were worn flat to the cords in the middle, but didn't even have the coscoat worn off the edges, what a waste of money.. Most of those riders didn't come close to using the rubber anywhere near it's limit, yet have to buy a new tire every 2000 miles.
I know there is alot of pressure in our sport to have the best, and look the best ( I call it the pose factor, all of us are influenced by it to a greater or lesser extent ), but don't be pressured by so-n-so on his (insert any sportbike) who has the race rep Pirelli Dragon Corse tires mounted on his bike. Even if they say something stupid like "You stayed with the stock tire?" (the manufaturer wouldn't fit the tire to the bike if it wasn't a capable tire), you can just grin and laugh at him as you point out the trick steel/kevlar braided brake lines and carbon tank protector you bought with the money you saved..

sorry to be so long, just passing some knowledge..

Follow me or get the hell outta' the way.

Last edited by markpierro; 07-22-2001 at 05:58 PM.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-23-2001, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 51
I found out something very interesting today. For some reason I thought I had Pilot Sports on my bike, but I actually have Hi Sports. My dealership tells me these were older versions of the Pilot Sport. The Pilot Sport is supposed to be much better.

I think I will stick with the Pilot Sports. The dealer doesn't think it will be a problem using the Hi Sport front with a Pilot Sport rear. Now I'm concerned about the wear. If the Pilot Sport is that much better then won't it wear out much faster? Has anyone here had experience with the Hi Sports?

The dealer is giving the tire to me for $191 CDN.

Thanks for all the above feedback.
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