TIRE RANT (not too long) - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 22 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 6:29 pm Thread Starter
 
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Angry TIRE RANT (not too long)

First, let me say I visit this site often and have benefitted considerably from all the wisdom and insight from you guys.

Second, I want to bitch about my tires. My '05 LT has 5,500 miles on it and the Bridgestone Battlax bias ply front tire is cupping so badly that I experience this tremendous vibration on any curve or turn.

Took the bike to the dealer today hoping that I might get a replacement on warranty and he stated that they have tried it in the past with no success. According to him, Bridgestone is stating the the front tire is good for only about 6,000 miles due to the weight of the bike and the rear should be good for up to 12,000. That's kinda disappointing because I don't really like the idea of having to replace the front tire every summer.

I know many of you will write that you are getting many, many more miles than this out of your Bridgestones, but I am going to assume that many are getting no better than 6,000 to 8,000. I am keeping the psi at 42f and 48 rr as has been suggested by many on this site and the guy at the dealership.

Question: I'm thinking about switching to the Metzler to get higher mileage. I have had Metzlers on two previous Guzzis and liked them. Can I put a new bias ply Metzler on the front and leave the Bridgestone on the rear until it wears out? Are there any other manufacturers that make a tire for the LT?
Sorry, that was two questions.

Thanks
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post #2 of 22 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 8:05 pm
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My favorite tire combo for the LT is the AVON front and BT020 rear.(Bias or radial)

Brian Ley
WA State of mindless sheep
USA where everything is illegal
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post #3 of 22 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 8:34 pm
 
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Ditto: My wife rides with me about 80% of the time. When you think about how small of a patch of rubber keeps you on and around the road, tire mileage is my least worry. You can get "swmoto' to deliver to your door for $209.90. My third replacement set just arrived this week and I am just shy of 12000 miles on my current 05. I changed my first set at 5500 miles only because I always put fresh tires on before major trips. At about 6500 miles the second set is just starting to show cupping wear. Right after install/balance I have been putting “ride-on sealant" in them”. It seems to keep the tires balanced longer and air loss is minimal the entire life of the tire. The Bridgestone does not last as long as the Metzler but they are a whole lot quieter and have a much softer compound. That gives me a lot better feel on those higher speed corners and occasional highway evasive maneuvers you sometimes have to take. Both brands take a lot of stress keeping a 825+ lb. m/c, + passenger(s) and gear on the road. I have run Metzler on just about every m/c I have owned, including my prior LT. From my experience Metzler cup wear just as bad as Bridgestone and the Metzler road growl will just grow louder with age. Life is a trade-off. If I slow down and keep it more upright on the corners I would significantly incease my mileage but that would be no fun.

May we never find the end of the road!

Perry Ridgway

oknplm



Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveDragon
This is a very heavy bike and a small variation in tire pressure makes a dramatic difference in tire longevity.

That being said; I view Tires as a safety wear item and don't concern myself with the mileage I get out of a set of BT020's.

I keep the pressure 44 Front and 50 Rear and insure they stay in balance.

I use an additive in my tires that keeps them balanced and seals punctures.
Another positive side effect of use the additive is it keeps my tires from leaching air so the pressure stays correct.

At $210.00 for a set of tires delivered to the door, I don't sweat it!
I replace them when they need it and worry about other things.
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post #4 of 22 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 8:36 pm
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I have had that tire combination that you asked about and had concerns when I did it, but I had no ill effects that I could feel.
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post #5 of 22 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 8:37 pm
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ME 880's

I have 11,000 miles on the front and rear Metzeler's and have been extremely pleased with the traction and ride. Looks like I can get a few thousand more miles out of the tires before replacement. I keep the pressures at 42F & 48R. I had the Bridgestone radials as OEM and they were really toast by 7,500 miles. I was, like you, really disappointed in the original tires.

2003 K1200LT Titan Silver - The Great Escape
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post #6 of 22 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 8:41 pm
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Smile Yup!

My front BT020 lasted about 6000 miles and the rear about 8500 miles. So as you can see it is pretty consistent across members on the site.
Around $210.00 for the set and $20.00 each mounted and balanced.
I love the grip!!!
For reference my ME880 lasted me about 11 k miles and I had to replace the front and rear at the same time.
I prefer the BT020s, but that is just me.

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post #7 of 22 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 9:05 pm Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the responses. I think I'm going to try the Metzler on the front and leave the Bridgestone on the rear until its time to change it.... then I may try the Metzler on the rear also.

Might look into the Avon. I was told by the dealer that only two manufacturers made tires for the LT; Bridgestone and Metzler. He didn't mention anything about Avons
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post #8 of 22 Old Nov 6th, 2006, 9:46 pm
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Steve, at CCR one of the best seminars I've attended was on tires. It was given by "TJ" Tennant who is the North American Chief Engineer for Bridgestone and is also an avid motorcyclist. It was a very informative seminar with a couple of eye openers. One thing he said was that cupping/scalloping of the tires is caused by improper inflation. He also said if you aren't happy with one of their tires he is happy to discuss it with you. He also said he would gladly replace any of their tires that has a defect as long as you send him the faulty tire.

Tim Frederick
Woodbury, MN
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post #9 of 22 Old Nov 7th, 2006, 7:24 am
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Metzeler tires have been on my last 3 LT's and my Triumphs before that. I have never had any cupping problems and get between 12-15,000 on the front and rear. I ride 2 up most of the time and usually long distances-as in cross country....not much city driving. I have ridden them in 70 mph gusts and horrible rain storms and some hail and snow. I, personally, like the tires.....there are some that feel the opposite.

The front tire will talk to you as it gets some age.

I want to die young...at a ripe old age.

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post #10 of 22 Old Nov 7th, 2006, 8:19 am
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tires....

My 2006 came with the same tires, changed them at 6k.
Currently on my 3rd set of Metzlers.
I changed to Metzlers for the mileage.
Change them when they start howling about 9,000 to 10,000 miles on the front.

All heavy bikes have issues with the front tires usually due to low pressure.
I run 44 to 46 in the front and 48 - 50 in the rear.
All my riding is one up, high speeds and abusive to the tires.

Where can I get Metlzers for these prices???

Jeff Goodwin
Austin, Texas

"Life is a coin.
You can spend it anyway you wish,
but you can only spend it once."



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post #11 of 22 Old Nov 7th, 2006, 8:42 am
 
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Steve, I feel your pain. Or perhaps I should say, I "felt" your pain. I no longer ride an LT, so I don't have to worry about crappy wear. Now with the GT, I just have to change my tires every 8K because of "natural" wear.

I highly recommend you buying Metzeler tires the next time around, and run them at 45 front and 50 rear (cold). You'll be much happier with the wear. But remember to check the pressures religiously.

All the best...
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post #12 of 22 Old Nov 7th, 2006, 8:49 am
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Hello; I just had to pay $231 for a Avon and Bt029 from SW Tire.

DON
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post #13 of 22 Old Nov 7th, 2006, 9:16 am
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Every 6 K

I change to a new set of 020 (radial type) every 6K miles. Oil change=tire change.

I mount my own tires so the expense isn't too bad.

And I love the way the bike feels with new tires, it's like have a new bike.

At 6K miles the front tire is trash. The rear still has miles left and I "donate" it to my local bike shop to be given to someone who needs a tire to pass inspection but doensn't have lots of bucks.

If I was going on a cross country ride and didn't want to deal with too many tire changes enroute, I'd put on Metzelers and change my riding style a little for longer wear.
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post #14 of 22 Old Nov 7th, 2006, 10:14 am
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I'm currently running the Metzler 880's, and I have to say that it is without a doubt the longest lasting tire I have ever run!! Am sitting at 13,00+ right now, and it has a LOT left!!

But.........I have heard about them (the 880's) being slippery in the rain....and i just said to myself "gees....you're probably driving like Mario Andretti too....slow down a bit when in the rain, and you should be good to go..."

So........I'm here to tell you that I have had the 880's break traction on 3 separate occassions now. Yesterday evening, (in the rains you've all heard about, by now) being the latest. Had just completed a merge onto the freeway, and went to accelerate (in 3rd gear going to 4th) prior to moving into the diamond lane. Was doing 60-65mph when I gave the throttle a turn, and HOLY CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP....the rear end is sliding to the right on me!!!! Of course, backing off the throttle got me back in line without any further problem. I am amazed that one could break the rear end loose at these speeds......but then again, with 117 ponies on tap, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, eh? So.............be danged careful with these things.

Due to an incurable front end wobble, the dealership has gotten the OK to install a new set of the 025's (I think that's what they were...) on their nickel.....so we'll see. Maybe I'll just keep the 880's to install during the dry part of the year.....oh, wait.......I live in Seattle!! OK....will put them back on when there's a chance for less of it!!

Patterson/USAF1....'05 LT
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post #15 of 22 Old Nov 7th, 2006, 11:58 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airborne
Metzeler tires have been on my last 3 LT's and my Triumphs before that. I have never had any cupping problems and get between 12-15,000 on the front and rear. I ride 2 up most of the time and usually long distances-as in cross country....not much city driving. I have ridden them in 70 mph gusts and horrible rain storms and some hail and snow. I, personally, like the tires.....there are some that feel the opposite.
My experience with Metzeler's is very similar, and I too have never had a weather-related issue. I changed front and rear before I rode to all 48 States this last June, the rear lasted 16k before getting near the wear bars and the front looks like it will easily do 20k.

Motor On ,/'


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post #16 of 22 Old Nov 7th, 2006, 12:36 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oknplm
and the Metzler road growl will just grow louder with age.
Isn't that a safety feature - like loud pipes?!

I'm on my 3rd set of 880's - never had a performance issue or felt they weren't grippy enough but that's just me. The important thing is no matter what tire you choose - check the pressures religiously and try not to squeeze every last mile out of them - it just isn't worth it!

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post #17 of 22 Old Nov 7th, 2006, 1:26 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zimbazi
My 2006 came with the same tires, changed them at 6k.
Currently on my 3rd set of Metzlers.
I changed to Metzlers for the mileage.
Change them when they start howling about 9,000 to 10,000 miles on the front.

All heavy bikes have issues with the front tires usually due to low pressure.
I run 44 to 46 in the front and 48 - 50 in the rear.
All my riding is one up, high speeds and abusive to the tires.

Where can I get Metlzers for these prices???
www.swmototires.com

--Bo
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post #18 of 22 Old Nov 7th, 2006, 1:45 pm
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As Dave Shealy pointed out some time back. the Metzler's are good for long mileage but really do have issues on wet roads. I used to run Bridgestones. but beacuse alot of my riding was two up and long distance, I went for the ME880's. Let me tell you , the first time the back end cut loose on a wet pavement and or tar snake, the ole pucker factor went up by a factor of 100! It really gets your attention. I used to lean over very agressivley with the Bridgestones, but since changing to the ME880's and the experience, I am very conservative now.

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post #19 of 22 Old Nov 7th, 2006, 1:54 pm
 
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+1 to OKU. Purchased LT with 11k, replaced 880s at 20k (I believe the front was replaced but the rear was the orig tire). Often feel tar strips and wet roads lead to slight slippage; henceforth, I ride especially conservatively in the rain. I'm not looking to win any races in the rain on my LT.

I love the longevity of the tires. I most often ride alone. Sometimes have the side & top cases fully loaded. Also do a fair share of riding with the g/f. Plan on getting a trailer someday, adding even more weight to rear tire. 90%+ riding is on dry pavement. Around here, it only rains seemingly 1-2 days a week on avg, maybe. Could not imagine replacing my tires every 5-6k miles, and that alone will keep me on the 880s despite having the pucker factor raised once in a while. Hell, I rode 10k miles in 5 months already! - the equivalent to 2 sets of $300 tires? No thanks
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post #20 of 22 Old Nov 7th, 2006, 4:56 pm Thread Starter
 
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Well guys, I think I've decided to try the Metzlers for sure. I don't ride hard and I rarely ride in the rain so it looks like the ME880's might be just what I'm looking for.

As far as drivability on these tires, I would expect that they would ride somewhat like the same Metzler ME880's I had on both previous Guzzis.

Can I get away with putting on a Metzler bias ply on the front and keep my Bridgestone on the rear until it wears out, or should I just splurge and get two new ME880's and be done with it?

Steve
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post #21 of 22 Old Nov 7th, 2006, 5:06 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMGray
Can I get away with putting on a Metzler bias ply on the front and keep my Bridgestone on the rear until it wears out, or should I just splurge and get two new ME880's and be done with it?
I rode my bike in to the dealer (Milw). I had plenty - probably at least ~3k miles - left on the front. I had both replaced while I was there purely for my own convenience. I figure as long as I'm there for one, may as well get the other so I don't have to jump through the same hoops in a month... or have a new tire lingering in my mind when the weather gets nice again. Getting the bike to the shop is hard enough and I'm certain it won't be any easier in spring when motorcycles start coming out of hibernation.
Nothing wrong with having 2 different tires on though. I could've done that too. Personal pref I suppose.
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post #22 of 22 Old Nov 7th, 2006, 5:50 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SMGray
Well guys, I think I've decided to try the Metzlers for sure. I don't ride hard and I rarely ride in the rain so it looks like the ME880's might be just what I'm looking for.
Don't worry about that. I'm one of the hardest riders on this forum and I never felt the Metzelers slip once...wet or dry. Just keep those pressures UP!


Quote:
Originally Posted by SMGray
Can I get away with putting on a Metzler bias ply on the front and keep my Bridgestone on the rear until it wears out, or should I just splurge and get two new ME880's and be done with it?
There have been several that have mixed and matched the bias ply and radial tires with no bad side-effects.
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