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There is a lot of discussion about tyres on most motorcycle forums. There are so many opinions about which tires are best. Although I have so many years of riding experience, I have never had reason to think that my tyres are good or bad. I understand all the hype regarding, "it's a very small patch of contact" and so on, but I have never experienced an incident when I have thought that I need different tyres. Reading opinions about tyres I see these type of adjectives used, sticky, excellent, confidence inspiring, better, good choice etc. Without some form of measurement these words have no meaning. Could it be some clever marketing phycology is at work? I'm really asking your opinions on behalf of everyday law-abiding riders.
 

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If you ride in a manner that never "pushes" your tires limits, then you should be fine with whatever you are using, i.e. if it's meeting your needs and you haven't found any flaws, then keep on using what has worked!

My most notable experience was when I switched out my stock, bias-ply tires for radials on my Ninja 300. When taking corners at a moderately quick pace, the bias ply tires just felt unstable, like they really did not like what I was asking them to do. I put some semi-decent radials on after the bias tires wore out and they felt much smoother and firm on the pavement.

Here is a good primer for tire differences (and, yes, they are very different) - https://fortnine.ca/en/types-of-motorcycle-tires/

Hope that helps!
 
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If you ride in a manner that never "pushes" your tires limits, then you should be fine with whatever you are using, i.e. if it's meeting your needs and you haven't found any flaws, then keep on using what has worked!

My most notable experience was when I switched out my stock, bias-ply tires for radials on my Ninja 300. When taking corners at a moderately quick pace, the bias ply tires just felt unstable, like they really did not like what I was asking them to do. I put some semi-decent radials on after the bias tires wore out and they felt much smoother and firm on the pavement.

Here is a good primer for tire differences (and, yes, they are very different) - https://fortnine.ca/en/types-of-motorcycle-tires/

Hope that helps!
fortnine is the best, isn't he, Doc?

I agree on using whatever tire meets your needs and feel comfortable with. Though I am the exact opposite of your preference, in that I prefer Bias ply. The point being that every motorcycle, rider, and riding style will dictate what type of tire you need.
 

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There is a lot of discussion about tyres on most motorcycle forums. There are so many opinions about which tires are best. Although I have so many years of riding experience, I have never had reason to think that my tyres are good or bad. I understand all the hype regarding, "it's a very small patch of contact" and so on, but I have never experienced an incident when I have thought that I need different tyres. Reading opinions about tyres I see these type of adjectives used, sticky, excellent, confidence inspiring, better, good choice etc. Without some form of measurement these words have no meaning. Could it be some clever marketing phycology is at work? I'm really asking your opinions on behalf of everyday law-abiding riders.

Are Many Style Bikes as well as many have different styles of Riding .. Plus tires for every purpose .. Some are more concerned with Grip, Some with Miles, Some may be concerned with Handling Wet while others in Dry Climates not so much .. I won't get into Brand Names but some Brands are good for a lighter sport Ride but not so good for a Heavier Touring Ride .. That's why the Topic can be debated a lot .. Then there are a few that think the Tires they are currently using are the only tires for anyone or any style ride and this is certainly not the case or there would only be one make ..
 

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If you like how your tires ride and perform, my advice is don't overthink it. For me, the tires my bike had when I bought it were fine except in the rain. I hated riding on those when it rained, I had zero confidence in them. It was time to replace them, the back tread was getting squared off and the date code was more than 5 years old, so I went shopping and read lots of reviews looking for the best rain tires. Even if I don't choose to ride in the wet, sometimes I don't get to choose when it starts raining, so that was most important to me.

What I'm trying to say, I guess, is you should choose the tires that are right for you. When you buy the next set, think about what's most important to you and study as many reviews as you can. Don't focus on a brand, there are a variety of good brands out there. Look for the tire that suits your bike and your riding style and you.
 

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As much as possible, I am a fair weather rider. And I don't ride "at the limits". My main concern is getting as many miles as possible from a tire. So I look for tires made for touring.

I don't look at sport bike tires because sport bike riders want something different from their tires, grip, stability and traction, but long life is not their main concern. A number of tire properties will overlap, but I am willing to give up a bit of stickiness and wet weather performance for a high mileage tire.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you like how your tires ride and perform, my advice is don't overthink it. For me, the tires my bike had when I bought it were fine except in the rain. I hated riding on those when it rained, I had zero confidence in them. It was time to replace them, the back tread was getting squared off and the date code was more than 5 years old, so I went shopping and read lots of reviews looking for the best rain tires. Even if I don't choose to ride in the wet, sometimes I don't get to choose when it starts raining, so that was most important to me.

What I'm trying to say, I guess, is you should choose the tires that are right for you. When you buy the next set, think about what's most important to you and study as many reviews as you can. Don't focus on a brand, there are a variety of good brands out there. Look for the tire that suits your bike and your riding style and you.
Thanks very much for your input. It would be very interesting to know why you hated your tyres when it rained?
 

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Thanks very much for your input. It would be very interesting to know why you hated your tyres when it rained?
That's a little hard to quantify, they just didn't 'feel' secure on wet pavement. It never just went out from under me or anything, but the back tire would spin too easily pulling away from a stop and it just felt 'loose' in the rain. I can't describe it better than that, I just didn't trust them. I think they were a harder compound, intended more for long mileage life than for all-weather performance.

On the Michelins I have now I can drive in the rain just like I drive my truck. Slow down a little, go a little easier on the brakes and throttle and curves, but only a little easier. I tested these tires hard the day after I got them put on, in a parking lot in heavy rain, and they only broke loose once- braking really hard with only the front brake, in about an inch of water. As soon as I let off the brake they had full grip again instantly. I trust these tires completely, and I enjoy my bike a lot more.
 

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You can do a search for best rain tyres. Tyres are also rated by the maker for their performance in the rain, or other conditions.
Generally speaking, I think there is enough available info to make a purchasing decision. Dunlop, Michelin, Bridgestone, and others make decent tyres. The next tyres I by for the 80 Yamaha XS1100, will be as close to the originals as possible. I am keeping this bike as close to stock looking as possible.

As to rain. It seems very few riders these days, like riding in the rain, and most are fairly slow or overly cautious. IMO.

UK
 

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The next tyres I by for the 80 Yamaha XS1100, will be as close to the originals as possible. I am keeping this bike as close to stock looking as possible.

As to rain. It seems very few riders these days, like riding in the rain, and most are fairly slow or overly cautious. IMO.
I am with you on keeping a classic like that as original as possible. And you're not likely to go out knee-dragging and such, so you don't need hyper performance. I want to dig up a late 70's Honda CB750 one of these days, and I want it to look as much like it did back then as possible.

When I first started riding, about 3 years ago, I decided early on I would not be a fair-weather rider. The weather at the time helped, I bought my first street bike on a Thursday and planned to ride that weekend. It rained all weekend. I kept wanting to ride, and it kept raining, so about noon on Sunday I finally said f*ck it and put on rain gear. Rode around for a couple of hours and had a pretty good time.

Now, if it's riding time and it's raining, I put on my rain gear and go. Besides, you can be out miles from nowhere and it can start raining unexpectedly, so what then? This Texas coastal plain is notorious for sudden storms that come out of nowhere, so I have to be ready to ride in the wet whether I planned to or not. So for me, the first thing a tire has to be is a good rain tire.
 

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Or you can ride out of the rain to where it is super nice too.

FortNine seems like a good guy. I like watching him.
 

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Anyone living in Texas and other southern states usually welcome the rain and riding in it during our 100º+ days. Just drop your speed a tad and keep riding. Showers usually don't last long anyway so you have a good chance or riding out of them. But you'll feel much cooler.:grin: Even though I've wrecked in the rain, I still ride in it. That wreck was my fault for speeding anyway. Fresh asphalt and what I suspect was a chopped throttle. But you'll still see me out there riding in it. It really shouldn't be something to fear. Most tires will handle it just fine.
 

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I am a fair weather rider, as much as possible. I know when I'm traveling on the bike, you just have to take whatever comes up, so I always pack my rain suit. I think my dislike for riding in the rain came from when I used to wear glasses. Seems like rain always found a way to get on my glasses, on both sides of the lenses!

Even with a face shield on the helmet, rain got on my glasses and I just couldn't see very good. Don't wear glasses now but I still don't like riding in the rain. I'll do it if I have a destination I want to make, but if its just a summer rain shower, I'll pull off somewhere and wait for it to pass.
 
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