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Suzuki Bandit 1250 Sub-Thread: Tires

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Style: Easy rider (1/2-inch "chicken strips"), daily commuter + occasional long back-roads rides on the weekends. Solo rider 99% of the time.

Stock tires: Lasted 9100 miles (and they were really "gone" 500 miles before that - rear was flat spotted, front had a weird 1-inch wide flat band around it and it was very unstable.

Current tires: Michelin Pilot Road 2 front, Pilot Road 3 rear. 5,000 miles, rear looks near new, front almost as good but a tiny bit more center wear. Should easily outlast the stock tires based on the low wear.


jZ
 
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Dude,
with you getting 9100 miles out of the OEM's ( I was passed the wear indicators by 4000 ) , I don't see any reason you won't get over 14,000 with the Mich RPs. My first set of RP2s went 14,000 to the wear bars running at an easy pace. I'm very strict on tire pressure though in checking it about once a week here at home and every day with traveling about the country.
 
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achesley - I'd be seriously stoked to get 14K out of a set of the Michelin's, not just for the extra mileage, but because these tires also transformed my Bandit with how they handle and stick. Better stick AND longer life from a tire? Does it get any better than that??

jZ
 
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I'm on my 4th set. 1st set was 14k miles + to the wear bars, 2nd was 12500 and changed them out just a bit early due to up coming trip, 3rd set I did about 5K on and took them off due to an up coming trip that I had no idea where or how far I was going. The 4th set, the ones I put on for the trip, I ran 12,000 miles and took them off for another trip with about an easy 2 more thousand in them. I have the 3rd set back on now and only have about 6K miles on them due to my trip ending in West Texas with a crash avoiding a deer in a curve. But, the bike is back ready for the road as soon as my shoulder gets it's self ready LOL! My KLR doing the duty at present.
 
Y

ywgbandit

I just changed out my rear BT023Gt at 10K miles...they had at least 2K more, but doing a long trip tomorrow. I flogged these babies the last 3K...tore it up right to the edges in the BC interior...no chicken strips at all. These tires stick...even at the end of their life. I was able to drag the foot pegs and the bike still felt totally planted. I just put another one on for the trip. The bad news is it's going to be replaced with the T-30 late this year or early in 2014. Sometimes I wish they would leave well enough alone. T-30 is supposed to stick way better, but they aren't making any durability claims. Might have to try the Pirelli Angel GT's..supposed to be the Bomb.
 
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achesley -

Sorry to hear about your little dodge-'em encounter with the deer. Hope all heals well for you. I'm now pushing 6K miles on the tires (still 90% commuting), the rear PR3 continues to wear beautifully and evenly, but the PR2 front is developing that same odd 1-inch wide "flat strip" (almost looks like a raised strip) in the middle like the OEM tire did. Is this anything you've seen?

jZ
 
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The fronts always do that way before the rears. Might be because there is 36 up front versus 42 in the rear! :doh:
 
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I tried running my fronts at 40 psi and they still did the 1 inch strip. All 4 sets of RP2, Also the 3 other brands of dual compound tires I did before the RP2's did the same. One set, forget at the moment which one, was plumb slick right off the hard middle which caused me to shorted some time playing in the Ozarks years back. When you would come off the middle onto the side diving into a corner, the front would get a bit loose.
 
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Thanks for the info, achesley and tazman2 - apparently your experiences show the odd wear pattern on the front tire is a characteristic of the bike and there isn't a fix for it. I was going to try the additional pressure as you did, achesley, I guess there is no point in that now. I know the OEM tires felt just as you said once they wore that way - when you came off the center it felt slick as all. The last 500 miles of them were NOT fun. So, I'll live with it. Appreciate very much the wisdom of your experience.

jZ
 
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PR2s being a wonderful tire do NOT do that! My OEM tires were not very confidence inspiring especially when they were getting worn down! The PR2s on the other hand (after breakin of course) are leaps beyond the OEM tires! :D
 
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PR2s being a wonderful tire do NOT do that! My OEM tires were not very confidence inspiring especially when they were getting worn down! The PR2s on the other hand (after breakin of course) are leaps beyond the OEM tires! :D

It was only when there was no thread to the immediate sides of the center strip and I would come into a corner pretty hard that it was get a bit loose. And, not on all surfaces. Just to older blacktop where it has worn pretty slick. On Newer asphalt or concrete it would probably stick till past the cords showing ;-) . When I got home I notice the back had about a 8 inch by 3/8" of cord showing at one section. Teaches me to rotate the tires when inspecting them. :eek2:
Now these tires I'm talking about are not the RP2s, I have not run a front or rear down to slick yet. I looked back and it was a set of Avon Storms and I had 7800 miles on them when I took them off. I'm on my 4th set of RP2s at present. And 8th set of tires with the OEMs included.
 
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achesley - you are a braver man than I to run a tire that far to the cords! And judging by your tire count you put some serious miles on your bike. I commute to work about 85% of the days each year, according to my logs, but my commute is a whole 7 miles one way now. Then I take some weekend day rides of a couple hundred miles. Now, once I retire ... Alaska ... cross country ... Newfoundland ... Key West ...
 
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I am looking for a tire switch. I have been running Conti Road Attacks. I have a pretty new Conti Road Attack on the back but I need a new front tire. Can I go with a PR2 on the front and keep the Road attack on the back?
 
Y

ywgbandit

I am in the same boat right now, my back tire is fairly new and the front is done. I don't want to get the same brand front as I have now because it's going to be discontinued and I don't like what I'm reading about the replacement. I will have to mix and match brands. I can't see a problem unless they are totally different....like a sport tire on the back and a touring tire on the front probably wouldn't be a good idea. At some point you will end up mixing two brands, or throwing out a perfectly good tire, which ain't in my blood.
 
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ywgbandit

Thanks for the info, achesley and tazman2 - apparently your experiences show the odd wear pattern on the front tire is a characteristic of the bike and there isn't a fix for it. I was going to try the additional pressure as you did, achesley, I guess there is no point in that now. I know the OEM tires felt just as you said once they wore that way - when you came off the center it felt slick as all. The last 500 miles of them were NOT fun. So, I'll live with it. Appreciate very much the wisdom of your experience.

jZ

I have been running the balancing beads..either Counterac or Dynabeads, and I get even wear with no cupping all the way to the wear bars. I don't ride them to the cords. Static balance doesn't! The beads work!
 
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Changed the stock Done-flops (2500 miles) out for Pilot Road 3's, they feel so good it's close to sex... or maybe I'm not doing right? :lol2:
Anyway, as a friend who used to sell and mount tires at the track said "Spend the money on good rubber now or plastic and plaster (casts) later"
BTW they static balanced the race bike tires, Brainerd Intl. Raceway deemed the fasted turn (one) in north America.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqezaEASVa0"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqezaEASVa0[/ame]
 
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ywgbandit

The problem with a static balance is just that…it's static. I doesn't take into consideration the interface between the road and the tire….the beads do. They also balance the entire assembly as a spinning unit. I have only heard of 2 situations, BY PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY USED THE BEADS that were a problem.
1- Too much sticky grease type lube used to mount the tire and it caused clumping of the beads….problem was solved by using a liquid type lube
2- There have been times when the recommended amour of beads wasn't enough to balance the tire….problem solved by adding more beads.
If you haven't tried them you don't know what you are missing. They work and they are reusable on your next tires. What's not to like.
 
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One benefit I could see is as the tire wears the beads would compensate for wear and balance as needed. As for the road and tire interphase I'm not tracking how balancing would effect the contact patch, other than being out of balance and having wheel hop.
I won't use them for 3 reasons. First, some tire manufacturers void warranty's with dyna-beads. Second, I have seen photos of black rubber swarf from the inside of a tire caused by the beads wearing the inner surface (hence voided warranty?) Third, there are documented cases of pressure loss due to beads fouling valve stems. Yes they offer "filtered" shrader valves to prevent this but still has occurred after the install.
Certainly to each his own and I'm glad they work well for you.
Call me old school but I will continue to static balance my own tires.
No matter what you use to balance keep the rubber side down!:rider:
 
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ywgbandit

I too have "heard" that tire manufacturers will void warranties, but not from the tire manufacturers themselves…so far just rumours.
I have never seen any rubber swarf from either DynaBeads which are ceramic or Counteract beads which are tempered glass. I have however seen severe swarf from people who have used steel shot, which isn't perfectly round and much more abrasive.
The valves are an issue, so I always give my tires a shot of air before I check the pressure and make sure the valve is horizontal, and I carry a spare core.
The interface I mean is when you balance a tire statically or even spin it dynamically on a machine the tire is "in the round" and under no compression load. When it's on the road it's no longer round and it's under a compression load. The beads work as you ride, they will even compensate if you create a flat spot from locking up the tire.
I have personally had a 2 oz weight on a tire and used the beads and then removed the weight and the tire was in balance both ways. That 2 oz weight on the rim at 80 mph had to generate about 10 lbs of force, at least and the beads balanced the tire no problem.
I'm personally sold on the beads, but to each his own.
 
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Years back, Tire sealer goop ( SLIME ) was also call Flat and Balance sealer. Same as the no flat stuff many use today running about the cactus plants in the deserts of West Texas. Have not used it in years, even in my tubeless tires. But, it did work very good. Reckon the beads do the same thing.
But, I really don't think the little , about 1 inch ridge that is pretty equal for the whole circumference of the front tire that many get on the dual compound front tires is caused due to a balance problem. It's where the soft rubber meets the hard rubber. I think I'm on my 5th or 6th set of dual compound tires from 3 different manufacturers on my Bandit and they all wore with the same pattern. Maybe if they triple compounded them it would not be so? Any how, I'm still getting 12,000 plus miles per set of the Pilot Road 2's with just static balancing, so, why mess with a good thing and not deal with extra stuff. Slime or Beads , during tire changes.
Side note is I had the wheels off the Bandit last month to strip some paint off the rims where it was all scratched up from my large tire irons. Decided to put the front on the stand to check balance and it was not off enuff to add or subtract any weight even after about 7,000 miles on the tire. I also run 90 degree curve valve stems which makes my weekly checking the tires much easier.
 
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