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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So...I'm thinking about throwing some dual sport tires on my CBR500R. Can't really find any good 120/70-17 front tires for this application. I found a pretty good 130/80-17 rear though :)

Anybody have first hand experience with this tom foolery? How does a bike handle with a rear tire up front?

Any better recommendations?

i need a 160/60-17 rear too.
 

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I can think of a variety of ways to mess up a fairly decent bike. Now I have another way to add to the list.
There was a time when I did not say nice things about the way Japanese bikes handled. I mostly stopped around 1985.
Good handling of British bikes was not the result of the higher ups in the factories. It came from outside frame makers who showed them what a better frame could do.
You would be a show in for a job alongside Turner and others.

UK
 

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Yes people have done it, you have to change the direction of rotation,
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow your up to 130 posts, You must not have tried to hard, here's 8 different 120/70-17 front dual sport tires.

https://www.bikebandit.com/tires-tubes/120-70-17-dual-sport-tires/t11h2dg0



Still waiting on that video from your snow ride 10mph high side......
i didn't try too hard no. but i did find all the ones available now and i dont like them as much as the rear i think ima put up front.

i already posted the video but u cant see the action rly...just youtube me...
 

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I can't speak to all bikes and all tire sizes, but I have run rear tires on three different cruisers on the front because the amount of tread is so much greater. Consequently I usually get over 30,000 miles on those tires, about twice what a normal front would get. I usually run it with the arrow one way for 15,000 miles, then pull the wheel off and turn it around so the tire is rotating the other way. Works just the same for me in either direction. Handling, stopping, turning, etc. is all the same that I can feel.

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My comment has to do with the handling of the bike, not the tire direction. My concern is based on the comparable size of the tires, and the side wall flex. If the outside circumference is the same, it may not be too bad. But the flex will affect cornering and braking. Difference in circumference will change the length of the bike, which will change the turning radius.
then again, put it on and find out.

UK
 

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I thought the only reason to run a rear reversed if up front had to do with water as in rain on the road. With you running both ways RonK, are you saying that's a myth? That there is no real reason to reverse them or that you rarely have rain so are unaffected?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ill be runming it through all kinda of offroad slop. reversing the direction seems important to me.
 

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I used a rear Shinko 700 Series tire on the front of my Victory Vision because there were no other options for that type of tire. 1,000's of miles with no issues.



I also used the same tire on my Honda CTX1300.

 

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Who knew. So a rear on the front should be run backwards due to the splice.
Then rain dispersal becomes and issue.
The OP says he is going to run in slop. If it is thick slop, then a different tire with a different tread pattern would be best. You can ride on gravel roads with regular street tires, but it gets tiring very quick. Trials Universal tires, or their modern equivalents would be much better, as Rollin demonstrates.
For the cost of a new tire, I would use the most appropriate tire for the job.

UK
 

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I thought the only reason to run a rear reversed if up front had to do with water as in rain on the road. With you running both ways RonK, are you saying that's a myth? That there is no real reason to reverse them or that you rarely have rain so are unaffected?
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In the past there were generally two thoughts on why tires are directional. One was for water dispersal. As to the idea that the water dispersal is too poor if not directional, then I don’t understand why it might be suggested that you run a rear tire on the front in reverse. Then the grooves are backwards. And if the grooves’ direction was so important, then when you had it on the rear and backed off so the engine or brake was applied, then the grooves would be scooping up the water, no? I have read at least one test where tires were reversed on a course and there was no difference in times or handling ability. I can’t link that right now, however.

My recollection is that those who have run in rain a lot (no, I don’t) don’t have a handling problem as much as a different splash pattern. Others notice no difference. On pavement, there doesn’t seem to be any difference.

The other thought was that the tread splices would delaminate if stressed wrong. I have never read of anyone having that problem on the tires made these days. Even so, it would mean that on a rear tire while the stress is with the arrow on acceleration, then every time you used engine or brakes to stop, you’d be stressing contrary to the splice. I can understand there being a problem if a tire was being used to an extreme, like continual riding above 100, or with an underinflated tire. (I did replace one of my tires when I realize I had ridden it 150 miles with under 10 pounds in it.)

I actually think most of the speculation is just that. I personally have never had any problem with a rear on the front either way.

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When you think about a splice on an angle ( bias or 45 degrees ) it is on the same angle when you turn it 180 degrees.
Some front tires seem to be on backwards when the arrow is facing the correct way. I think there must be a lot of different opinions in tire land.

UK
 

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When you think about a splice on an angle ( bias or 45 degrees ) it is on the same angle when you turn it 180 degrees.
Some front tires seem to be on backwards when the arrow is facing the correct way. I think there must be a lot of different opinions in tire land.

UK
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You think? It's like what oil is the best. Who you gonna' believe, the sales people or your own eyes? Yes, there are lots of "opinions" on which way matters for various reasons. The Avon Tire article was written ten years ago. You'll notice that the author did not say that tests show.... The reason is that tests do not show any appreciable difference as best as I can tell. I'll say again, I have yet to hear/read of anyone who had lots of rain channelling trouble, or traction trouble, or cornering trouble, or ply separation trouble from running a bike tire any way at all.

Let me say it a different way. Michelin, Avon, Metzeler, Dunlop, and others have all developed what they have decided is the best rain dispersing motorcycle tire in addition to their regular bike tires. They all look different. So is it any wonder that most any groves will work to disperse water. In fact, as to traction, a car tire on the rear has much more traction due to the multitude of rain grooves, or sipes, compared to a mc tire. I wonder why mc tires don't have more of those little sipes on the sides.

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We ran tyres backwards 47 years before the question was asked in this thread. The track at Westwood in BC ( Steve Bakers favourite ) had mostly right hand bends. We would wear down that side of the tyre. So we turned them around. No one that I know ever had a problem
The other remedy to was to go to SIR near Seattle, which had mostly left hand turns.

UK
 

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We ran tyres backwards 47 years before the question was asked in this thread. The track at Westwood in BC ( Steve Bakers favourite ) had mostly right hand bends. We would wear down that side of the tyre. So we turned them around. No one that I know ever had a problem
The other remedy to was to go to SIR near Seattle, which had mostly left hand turns.

UK
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And tires then were not even made as well as they are today.

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Who knew. So a rear on the front should be run backwards due to the splice.
Then rain dispersal becomes and issue.
The OP says he is going to run in slop. If it is thick slop, then a different tire with a different tread pattern would be best. You can ride on gravel roads with regular street tires, but it gets tiring very quick. Trials Universal tires, or their modern equivalents would be much better, as Rollin demonstrates.
For the cost of a new tire, I would use the most appropriate tire for the job.

UK
Yes.

Have not seen it lately but in the mid 1980's EVERY Dunlop DOT approved rear race tire (running on the rear), that I saw, at the track had the splice showing some separation.
The Dunlop guy claimed they were safe to use so we ran them anyway, that day.
None came apart that I know of and a lot of guys kept using them.
I changed to Metzeler before the next race weekend... Never saw the splice on a Metz.
Those were the old bias tires of the day but tires today still have the tread spliced together as far as I know.

I wouldn't recommend running a tire 'against the splice' so to speak because......
On the rear the main force the tire encounters is that of acceleration, even on a relatively low horse power machine.
Stress from braking is minimal on the rear tire, even on a heavy bike.
Of course the front only sees the stress of braking.
A person might get away with running a rear on the front and NOT backwards but... :plain: ?
 

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I need to clarify a couple of things.
We usually ran TT100 Dunlops on the production bikes used on the track.
On the race bikes we ran a variety of different treaded race tyres.
The Tyres we ran backwards were the first gumballs. No tread. Sticky when hot. Brilliant traction on a dry track. I know little about the construction of them.
Another tyre that was popular for the short and tight tracks, was the Triangle from Dunlop. Had a narrow center section, and large flats on the edges for cornering. Good idea, but they did not work.
I liked the TT100 tyres. They worked well on dry pavement, and were reassuring in the rain. There are still modern versions of this tyre I believe.

UK
 
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