Correct RT tyre pressure - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 43 Old Jul 25th, 2012, 3:41 pm Thread Starter
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Correct RT tyre pressure

I have Bridgestone B23 tyres front and rear on my RT. I also ride with no side panniers and a 28 litre top box. I weigh 200 pounds. What tyre pressures do you recommend for front and rear. Also if I do fully load all panniers without a pillion what should the PSI be increased to. The manual for my bike has listed front at 32 and rear at 36 but talking to a few RT owners they seem to be running much higher than this. All opinions gratefully received, thanks Richard.
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post #2 of 43 Old Jul 25th, 2012, 3:53 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

36 psi front, 42 psi rear,

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post #3 of 43 Old Jul 25th, 2012, 4:03 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

The stock answer should be "whatever is indicated on the sidewall of the tyre, in accordance with the manufacture's specifications."
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post #4 of 43 Old Jul 25th, 2012, 4:23 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

Maximum recommended pressure listed on the sidewall will give you the longest tire life.


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post #5 of 43 Old Jul 25th, 2012, 4:52 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffdean
36 psi front, 42 psi rear,

+1
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post #6 of 43 Old Jul 25th, 2012, 5:30 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

I don't mean to hijack the thread, just wanted some more info. I have been putting 38-39 front, and 42 rear since reading a lot of posts here that recommended those pressures. I just put a set of Michelin PR 3's on last week, and put in the same pressure. I noticed that the bike seemed a little "squirmy" when coming up behind transport or other vehicles that disturbed the air a lot when following them. I am wondering if the pressure is too high on front wheel causing it to have this issue. I am thinking maybe higher pressure makes the front wheel to have less contact with the road causing this "squirmy" feel. It was like the front wheel couldn't decide which way it wanted to go. I see Jeff Dean recommends a lower pressure and I really respect his knowledgeable posts, so I think he may have addressed my problem, I just wanted some more feedback.


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post #7 of 43 Old Jul 25th, 2012, 7:35 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

I tried the factory recommended 32/36 with the OEM Bridgestones and got pretty poor mileage and unimpressive handling. First set of PR2s was about when I joined this forum and settled on 36/40 per the consensus here (no doubt heavily influenced by Mr. Dean). Much better, crisper handling. I ran that for both sets of PR2s. Got a set of PR3s a couple of months ago and set them at the same pressures. For some reason I bumped them up to 38/42 and find even better handling without being squirrelly. I've tried higher but the ride seemed to get harsh without any corresponding increase in handling quality. So I've settled on 38/42, but I do allow them to drift downwards a couple of psi before I break out the compressor.

BTW, that's single rider, dark side of 200 lbs and kinda dumpy, with panniers.

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post #8 of 43 Old Jul 25th, 2012, 10:58 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

The BMW tech at the dealership here in Dallas told me 36/42 regardless of load, all the time. Rode the twisties all the way to MOA and it's the best it has ever handled (some credit to the brand new PR2's). 2K miles and no noticeable wear.

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post #9 of 43 Old Jul 25th, 2012, 11:56 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

skydiver, once you get about 1k miles on the tires that squirming might go away. If not, then you might try changing psi in two lbs increments and see if it changes. Good luck.

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post #10 of 43 Old Jul 26th, 2012, 2:01 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

Quote:
Originally Posted by patsmith
skydiver, once you get about 1k miles on the tires that squirming might go away. If not, then you might try changing psi in two lbs increments and see if it changes. Good luck.
+1

The stuff they use for the mould release hangs on a bit and make things feel slick now and then. After the tires are scuffed-up a bit, you'll notice a good difference.

FWIW,

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post #11 of 43 Old Jul 26th, 2012, 2:40 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

38 - F

42 - R
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post #12 of 43 Old Jul 26th, 2012, 4:12 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

Quote:
Originally Posted by four12
The stock answer should be "whatever is indicated on the sidewall of the tyre, in accordance with the manufacture's specifications."

NEVER NEVER NEVER

The ONLY thing indicated on a tire sidewall is the MAXIMUM permitted inflation pressure. This is seldom or never the manufacturer's running recommendation.
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post #13 of 43 Old Jul 27th, 2012, 8:39 am
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

Quote:
Originally Posted by lkchris
NEVER NEVER NEVER

The ONLY thing indicated on a tire sidewall is the MAXIMUM permitted inflation pressure. This is seldom or never the manufacturer's running recommendation.
I agree. Only the max.
The bike manufacturers tend to recommend lower pressures, but I spoke to the Michelin rep at a dealer open house and he confirmed that higher is better. I'm also running 38/42 and like it with the new PR3s. They're new (about 400 miles) and the handling is fine. I weigh 185 and usually only have a top box on the bike, one up.

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post #14 of 43 Old Jul 27th, 2012, 9:36 am
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

Yes Yes Yes. The maximum on the side of the tire is the maximum amount of air that the tire can ever hold. Not not not what you should be riding at, and that is true on any tire, including your car, truck or motorcycle.
I cannot understand why that mis information persists.
The recommended tire pressure for almost any vehicle is ON THE VEHICLE. On your bike it will be on a sticker near the rear wheel. On your car on a panel around a door or on the glove box.
Also it may be in the glove box book. Not the repair manual.
The glove box book is also known as the owners manual and is not the repair manual.
On my RT I usually shoot for 36 and 41. I think that's what's on my book or sticker.
Oh, here it is. Single rider, cold tire: 31.9 and 36.3.
Rider, passenger and/or load, cold tire: 36.3 and 42.1
dc
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post #15 of 43 Old Jul 27th, 2012, 9:53 am
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

Quote:
Originally Posted by lkchris
NEVER NEVER NEVER

The ONLY thing indicated on a tire sidewall is the MAXIMUM permitted inflation pressure. This is seldom or never the manufacturer's running recommendation.
+1

The tire manufacturer has no idea what bikes the tires will be fitted to, so they list the maximum safe pressure for any application. Just as my compressor has a label reading "125 lb max" on it, that doesn't mean that's the correct pressure for every particular application.

The motorcycle manufacturers do extensive testing of the factory-fitted tires and have the best idea of the correct pressures when installed on their bikes.

Dave

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post #16 of 43 Old Jul 27th, 2012, 1:04 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

38/42 Psi

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post #17 of 43 Old Jul 28th, 2012, 7:35 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

I run 40/40.

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post #18 of 43 Old Jul 29th, 2012, 9:42 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

Quote:
Originally Posted by skydiver
I don't mean to hijack the thread, just wanted some more info. I have been putting 38-39 front, and 42 rear since reading a lot of posts here that recommended those pressures. I just put a set of Michelin PR 3's on last week, and put in the same pressure. I noticed that the bike seemed a little "squirmy" when coming up behind transport or other vehicles that disturbed the air a lot when following them. I am wondering if the pressure is too high on front wheel causing it to have this issue. I am thinking maybe higher pressure makes the front wheel to have less contact with the road causing this "squirmy" feel. It was like the front wheel couldn't decide which way it wanted to go. I see Jeff Dean recommends a lower pressure and I really respect his knowledgeable posts, so I think he may have addressed my problem, I just wanted some more feedback.
When I first got my PR3s they felt unstable to me when in the straight vertical, whether riding os stopped. At some point this feeling went away. I think the center tread needs to be flattened out with mileage. It is a harder compound than the side treads.

I just follow the mfgr recommendation for pressure.

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post #19 of 43 Old Jul 30th, 2012, 3:14 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

Look under the seat. There is a sticker that tells you. When in doubt, look there.

That's all I have ever gone by and no issues thus far. I have run Conti Road Attacks and Metzlers (don't remember the model name).
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post #20 of 43 Old Jul 30th, 2012, 5:55 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

I get the owner's manual stating pressures, I get the sticker under the seat with recommended tire pressures.

What I don't get is how they know what tire I'm running. I would think that would make a difference.

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post #21 of 43 Old Jul 30th, 2012, 6:22 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzzmusician
I get the owner's manual stating pressures, I get the sticker under the seat with recommended tire pressures.

What I don't get is how they know what tire I'm running. I would think that would make a difference.

bob

Not if it's the specified size.

If someone out there's making a tire in the correct size that is somehow significantly different than usual, you should count on them to provide a pressure specification. This is highly unlikely of course.

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post #22 of 43 Old Mar 17th, 2017, 1:25 am
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

I tend to stick with Mfg stickers on my bikes and autos. I fudge a pound depending on weather. In spring, summer and fall I run 36 and 42. Winter months I run 37 and 43. I know there is a .3 plus to the 36 and 42 pressures. Works for me.
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post #23 of 43 Old Mar 17th, 2017, 2:26 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

38-40/42-43.

I found running 36 in the front they start cupping very quickly. With 38 in them they don't start cupping until they are really getting down. The RT is a very heavy bike and makes those tires work so need a bit of extra pressure.


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post #24 of 43 Old Mar 17th, 2017, 4:33 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

When I had the LT I called Metzler direct and they recommended the tire pressure for the tire and bike.

You can not put any tire on your bike or car and run what the sticker on the door jamb or owners manual says.

It is what the tire manufacturer says for the application.

You yourself can look on the sidewall and see MAX PSI and run anything up to it and be in the correct pressure for the tire.

Experience from many people have shown 40 and 42 is a good area to work with for our bike.

To ignore that is a waste of a good resource. If you have doubts call the tire manufacturer and ask.

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post #25 of 43 Old Mar 17th, 2017, 7:09 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

Quote:
Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
NEVER NEVER NEVER

The ONLY thing indicated on a tire sidewall is the MAXIMUM permitted inflation pressure. This is seldom or never the manufacturer's running recommendation.
Same thing applies to Passenger and Light truck tires....
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post #26 of 43 Old Mar 17th, 2017, 7:18 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
38/42 Psi
I have been running 42 in my rear and is wearing in the middle. No interstate mileage at all and all back roads. If I get 10K out of it I will be doing good. I am not an aggressive rider at all....Michelin PR-4
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post #27 of 43 Old Mar 17th, 2017, 7:33 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

40 front, 42 rear. I bumped up the front front 38 to 40. I had cupping on the front tire. So far so good. I'm running Bridgestone T30's on my Camhead.
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post #28 of 43 Old Mar 18th, 2017, 4:51 am
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

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Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
Not if it's the specified size.

If someone out there's making a tire in the correct size that is somehow significantly different than usual, you should count on them to provide a pressure specification. This is highly unlikely of course.
These tires fit multiple bikes. My FJR took the same size.

What about standard and reinforced tires? What about with passenger and baggage and without?

If you call and talk to a tech I can tell you from past experience they will recommend a good tire pressure.

As far as MAX PSI yes you can run MAX PSI without any problems. That is the MAX PSI calculated for the tire to hold traction within its traction rating, load rating, and wear rating. Your tire will not explode if you are at MAX PSI they are capable of running much higher pressure and keeping the tire inflated. I do not recommend MAX PSI but if for some reason you had to run at it, it will be fine.

This is very subjective and tire specific due to compounds and tread patterns. Also ride preference. I do not like a soft tire or suspension as I do not feel as connected with the road surface. However I have been caught in snow and lowered pressure to get more contact patch on the snow/road And road type and temp will affect wear. Here on the Right Coast I may get 10 K out of a tire we have pretty decent roads, mostly blacktop and concrete. Get down south like WV you have tar and chip and everything else in between. Old dried tar and chip is tearing tires up as every chip embedded in that old tar is hacking at your tires.

If you follow you bikes recommendations you are in a safe area. However is that the best for tire life, grip, and comfort for a particular tire/bike combo you do not know. It is a starting point or reference at best.

Again 40/42 has given the best results over more tires for more people in more areas by the posts on this forum and many others. Like I said to throw that data away is not too smart. And if you really want to know for sure get a tech on the line from your tire manufacturer and let him tell you what their recommended PSI is.

Temp/PSI rise is a good indication you are running in correct PSI. Unfortunately there is not a TPS on our bikes capable of giving us that information. The last I knew that gave Temp and PSI was Smart Tire aftermarket I think. There is a % of temp and PSI range that is considered just right for tires but you need the TPS to see it.

And this is a oil thread in disguise for sure

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post #29 of 43 Old Mar 18th, 2017, 7:58 am
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

36/42

+1

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post #30 of 43 Old Mar 18th, 2017, 10:43 am
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

I use 41/41. I do not notice a lot of difference +- a pound here or there. If you like a little softer feel 38/41 works good. I think that the rear wants to be 40-42.

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post #31 of 43 Old Mar 18th, 2017, 11:02 am
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

The link at the bottom is to a Michelin Tire company information sequence. About 3/4 the way through is a minimal pressure paragraph. But it all is informative. I'd also like to say that not all tires are functional on all bikes. Yes they are all round, but some brands and types inside that brand work better on your bike. This is a pressure thread so I'll not start the tire wars, except to say that using the pressure on the side of the tire as your normal go to pressure does not let you use the tire to its greatest potential.
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post #32 of 43 Old Mar 18th, 2017, 11:58 am
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

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Originally Posted by beech View Post
The link at the bottom is to a Michelin Tire company information sequence. About 3/4 the way through is a minimal pressure paragraph. But it all is informative. I'd also like to say that not all tires are functional on all bikes. Yes they are all round, but some brands and types inside that brand work better on your bike. This is a pressure thread so I'll not start the tire wars, except to say that using the pressure on the side of the tire as your normal go to pressure does not let you use the tire to its greatest potential.
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Thanks Beech. Way more than I ever wanted to know about tires. Interesting read though.

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post #33 of 43 Old Mar 18th, 2017, 7:21 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

Glad no one asked if you use psi or bars to measure your tire pressures. 😲

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post #34 of 43 Old Mar 18th, 2017, 8:39 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

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Glad no one asked if you use psi or bars to measure your tire pressures. 😲
Checked under the seat after reading this and the label is in bars. Thank goodness for Google.
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post #35 of 43 Old Yesterday, 9:43 am
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

I can tell you what pressure not to use. I was traveling in Florida last week and scheduled a 12K service at a dealer in Sarasota before I took off North for home. I asked the dealer to inspect the tires and we replaced the front but he said the rear was OK. The Mechanic informed me that he bumped up the pressure on my tires because of the load. He put 50 psi cold on the rear. Metzeler Z8 clearly shows 42 psi on the sidewall. I had panniers and a large soft bags but no passenger. I rode about 500 miles and noticed the rear tire was down to the cords. I had just driven through Atlanta on the Interstate with heavy traffic. I can only imagine the consequences of a blowout at 80 mph on the freeway. I called the service manager to let him know and sent him a photo. Attached is a picture of the tire.
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post #36 of 43 Old Yesterday, 9:58 am
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

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Originally Posted by Littlebriar View Post
He put 50 psi cold on the rear. Metzeler Z8 clearly shows 42 psi on the sidewall. I had panniers and a large soft bags but no passenger. I rode about 500 miles and noticed the rear tire was down to the cords.
I had the Z8's on my F800GT and indeed this is what they dd on short notice towards the end of their service life. How many miles on the Z8's when they did this? The 50 psi sounds like the mechanic was trying to do you in and maybe nearly did!

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post #37 of 43 Old Yesterday, 10:06 am
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlebriar View Post
. I rode about 500 miles and noticed the rear tire was down to the cords.
The Metzlers came on my '15 and went from looking like they had a good bit of mileage left in them from one check to cord showing on the next also.

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post #38 of 43 Old Yesterday, 10:48 am
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

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Originally Posted by CWRoady View Post
The Metzlers came on my '15 and went from looking like they had a good bit of mileage left in them from one check to cord showing on the next also.
I like Metzler Z8's, They work really good on an RT. But as you say, if you are not familiar with their end of life cycle, it can surprise you. And keep in mind, in general tires are worn out before they look worn out.
That guy who bumped up to 50 psi, I can't figure that out. What cave has he been living in?

Beech
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post #39 of 43 Old Yesterday, 11:16 am
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

It had about 8500 miles on it. So maybe it was a combination of over-inflation and end of life. What's been your experience with mileage on the Z8's? I like the tire but the dealer who replaced it only had the new Metzeler Roadtec 01 in stock so I get to try this newer model.
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post #40 of 43 Old Yesterday, 11:55 am
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

I tend to get 7k +/- on my tires, regardless of manufacturer. I'm less concerned with squeezing out another 500 miles from a tire than I am with how comfortable I am on them. I have been running the Michelin PR3's & 4's (before and since the Metz's that came on my '15) for several years, so I decided to try something new. I mounted a set of the Dunlop Roadsmart 3's last change (2k miles ago). I find them more sensitive to tire pressure than the PR4's. The front end feels less planted with pressure above 37psi, but otherwise, ok. I will go back to the PR4's next set. My expectation is to again get 7k miles +/- out of them.

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post #41 of 43 Old Yesterday, 12:04 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

I get 8K miles out of a Z8 on past RT bikes. I do not try or extra. I caution folks about them when I install them on their bikes. I go strictly by the minimum tread depth recommended on tires, about 2 to 3/32" . The UK has a good standard, 1mm over 3/4 of the tread pattern. In a good rain storm you might wish for more.

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post #42 of 43 Old Yesterday, 4:29 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

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I can tell you what pressure not to use. I was traveling in Florida last week and scheduled a 12K service at a dealer in Sarasota before I took off North for home. I asked the dealer to inspect the tires and we replaced the front but he said the rear was OK. The Mechanic informed me that he bumped up the pressure on my tires because of the load. He put 50 psi cold on the rear. Metzeler Z8 clearly shows 42 psi on the sidewall. I had panniers and a large soft bags but no passenger. I rode about 500 miles and noticed the rear tire was down to the cords. I had just driven through Atlanta on the Interstate with heavy traffic. I can only imagine the consequences of a blowout at 80 mph on the freeway. I called the service manager to let him know and sent him a photo. Attached is a picture of the tire.
Z8 tires wear out like that. I had the same thing looked good and a light 200 miles and it was just as your picture.

They have no rubber in the center and no sips in the center to see wear. They just go without notice.

I was never so happy to get them off at 7900 miles, as they were so scalloped in the front they scared me, and just starting to show center scuff on the rear which was enough for me.

PR3's just came back from scuffing them in a bit and love them to death. Of course new tires always feel good.

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post #43 of 43 Old Yesterday, 9:53 pm
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Re: Correct RT tyre pressure

I'll watch this new 01 closely just in case the same thing happens. I replaced the front because of bad scallops too. Looks like they'll be some pr4's in my future. Thanks all for your experiences.
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