Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 27 Old May 24th, 2019, 7:33 am Thread Starter
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Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

Hi !

Preface:

I know there has often been thread about tires, and about the type of tires that can be used on the K1200LT.

However, during these years some tire models have gone out of production, and some brands do not have tires with the necessary features for the K1200LT.

I know someone uses Avon tires, but I (in Italy) have never been able to find them.

On my 2004 K1200LT (second series) I have to use this type of tire:

Rear: 160/70 B17 79V Reinf. TL
Front: 120/70 B17 58V TL

These are the ONLY tires that I can use to avoid problems with the police in the event of checks or accidents.
For example, I can't use the "R17" version, the radial version.

The only tires that I find with these characteristics are the Bridgestone and the Metzeler. I do not find them in the Avon catalog in Italy.

After the preface, the questions:

1) Are there any Avon tires with these characteristics in your country?

2) Do you know other manufacturers that offer tires with these sizes?

3) Are these tires mandatory for your bikes too?

I thank in advance every answer you can give me.

Marco "Pollix"
K1200LT -00 (sold after 130.000 km)
K1200LT -04 (bought used, with only 12.000 km)
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post #2 of 27 Old May 24th, 2019, 8:11 am
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

There are very few tires that " FIT " the rear of the LT by the required spec 79V with reinforced sidewalls. If the police are going to inspect that on an accident or a stop, I suggest you stay with those Met and Bridge you have already mentioned. There is one other Mfg, ( Shinko ) that makes a 79H tire SR777 HD but only an H speed rating so that may put it off the table for you but some have run them. You can look to see if it is acceptable but there is no fittment listed for the LT. I also think it is a radial so early models only. We probably have a little more flexibility in what we can put on but in the end, we still could be held to the required standards for a tire in case of an accident and running sub standard equipment and have some liability issues. That has been mentioned on the forum every time someone wants to run a tire that doesn't meet the OEM standards. You can do it if you want but it isn't a good idea and if you are in an accident, you could be liable for running the wrong equipment.

Gordon
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2001 K1200LTI – Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
1998 R1100RT – Never should have sold it
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post #3 of 27 Old May 24th, 2019, 9:07 am
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I have a 2005 lt and have always ran the Bridgestone 020 tyres. These came as standard fitment on the bike and really suit it for handling and giving it a slightly sporty feel. You will get better milage from the metz me88 but a slow steering tyre in my humble opinion also not quitequite as good on white lines as the Bridgestone. But tyres are a very individual choice.
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post #4 of 27 Old May 24th, 2019, 9:31 am
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpollix View Post
Hi !

Preface:

I know there has often been thread about tires, and about the type of tires that can be used on the K1200LT.

However, during these years some tire models have gone out of production, and some brands do not have tires with the necessary features for the K1200LT.

I know someone uses Avon tires, but I (in Italy) have never been able to find them.

On my 2004 K1200LT (second series) I have to use this type of tire:

Rear: 160/70 B17 79V Reinf. TL
Front: 120/70 B17 58V TL

These are the ONLY tires that I can use to avoid problems with the police in the event of checks or accidents.
For example, I can't use the "R17" version, the radial version.

The only tires that I find with these characteristics are the Bridgestone and the Metzeler. I do not find them in the Avon catalog in Italy.

After the preface, the questions:

1) Are there any Avon tires with these characteristics in your country?

2) Do you know other manufacturers that offer tires with these sizes?

3) Are these tires mandatory for your bikes too?

I thank in advance every answer you can give me.
On my 2000 KLT, I am running the Metzler ME 888s (160/70 B 17 79V REINF TL & 120/70 B 17 58V TL).
I am impressed with the way they handled on unpaved gravel and packed desert sand on my last run through Joshua Tree!
They are also great in pouring rain at speed, and during 30+ MPH crosswinds.
No fitment problems, and so far no issues at all after 2 years. I would buy them again!

Bob
Covina, CA
2000 K1200LTI Champagne


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post #5 of 27 Old May 24th, 2019, 8:30 pm
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

I believe the Avon Cobra Chrome meets your needs. Info from Avon here ---->

https://www.avontyres.com/en-gb/news...ches-new-cobra


A quick visit to eBay shows that several retailers selling the 160/70-B17 79V on eBay Italy. For example ---->

https://www.ebay.it/itm/PNEUMATICO-G...MAAOSwIApcOUGf


Now, you might say that this tire doesn't have the all-important reinforced sidewall. But I'm fairly sure that Avon ONLY makes this tyre in that size with a reinforced sidewall. "RF" indicates "Reinforced" and the RF should appear on the sidewall. You could send a question to the eBay seller asking them to go look. Many tire sellers would not know to mention the RF since this is not a normal designation that they usually see with moto tyres.

Hope this helps.

2007 K1200LT "BUTKA"
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post #6 of 27 Old May 24th, 2019, 8:48 pm
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbob12 View Post
On my 2000 KLT, I am running the Metzler ME 888s (160/70 B 17 79V REINF TL & 120/70 B 17 58V TL).
I am impressed with the way they handled on unpaved gravel and packed desert sand on my last run through Joshua Tree!
They are also great in pouring rain at speed, and during 30+ MPH crosswinds.
No fitment problems, and so far no issues at all after 2 years. I would buy them again!
I ran a few sets of Metzelers and they worked fine for me also, but when I learned that the BT020 rear works as well and lasts 50% more miles and costs less, I switched and never looked back. Still run Metzeler fronts as they have the longest life in front and handle fine for me. The combination allows me to make 12,000 mile trips without a tire change.
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post #7 of 27 Old May 24th, 2019, 8:49 pm
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRONE View Post
I believe the Avon Cobra Chrome meets your needs. Info from Avon here ---->

https://www.avontyres.com/en-gb/news...ches-new-cobra


A quick visit to eBay shows that several retailers selling the 160/70-B17 79V on eBay Italy. For example ---->

https://www.ebay.it/itm/PNEUMATICO-G...MAAOSwIApcOUGf


Now, you might say that this tire doesn't have the all-important reinforced sidewall. But I'm fairly sure that Avon ONLY makes this tyre in that size with a reinforced sidewall. "RF" indicates "Reinforced" and the RF should appear on the sidewall. You could send a question to the eBay seller asking them to go look. Many tire sellers would not know to mention the RF since this is not a normal designation that they usually see with moto tyres.

Hope this helps.
The only way to know for sure is the tire maker’s fitment guide or a written OK from the tire maker. Avon does not list a fitment for the K1200LT so this tire is not approved for use on the LT.

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post #8 of 27 Old May 24th, 2019, 10:11 pm
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
I ran a few sets of Metzelers and they worked fine for me also, but when I learned that the BT020 rear works as well and lasts 50% more miles and costs less, I switched and never looked back. Still run Metzeler fronts as they have the longest life in front and handle fine for me. The combination allows me to make 12,000 mile trips without a tire change.
Thanks so much!
I will need tires when I get back from my coast-to-coast ride coming up soon... I will opt for the Bridgestone Battlax BT020 rear tire then.

Bob
Covina, CA
2000 K1200LTI Champagne


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post #9 of 27 Old May 25th, 2019, 6:05 am
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbob12 View Post
Thanks so much!
I will need tires when I get back from my coast-to-coast ride coming up soon... I will opt for the Bridgestone Battlax BT020 rear tire then.
Tires are a compromise and the right ones depend on how you ride. Saddleman rides the twisted a lot and likely needs much stickier tires than me as I am mainly a long distance rider. I need tires that last a long time and I learned from JZ and others here that the BT020 rear/ME88x front is the best combination for mileage. They may not be the best combination for grip, but that isn’t my priority. I could scrap the pegs with 880s front and rear and with BT020s front and rear and that is more than I need. However, with the all Metz combination, I had bout 8,000 mile range before the rear wore out, but 16+ for the front. I ran 2:1 for my first couple of sets. I then ran all Bridgestone just to see what the mileage would be and the rear ran close to 13,000 miles, but the front only 6,000, but I replaced it before it was completely worn out as I had a trip coming up so I would say it might have lasted 7-8,000. So, put the two together and you have at least 12,000 mile range on one set.
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post #10 of 27 Old May 28th, 2019, 11:52 pm
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager View Post
The only way to know for sure is the tire maker’s fitment guide or a written OK from the tire maker. Avon does not list a fitment for the K1200LT so this tire is not approved for use on the LT.
What Voyager says is technically correct. Even though the Cobra Chrome meets all of BMW's requirements for the LT rear, it's a new tire for Avon and Avon only lists bikes in their fitment guide that they have actually tested with the specific tire in question. It's unlikely they will ever reach back and test a bike that went out of production 10 years ago so the LT/Cobra Chrome will probably never show up in the Avon fitment guide.

I would feel perfectly comfortable and safe using this tire while Voyager obviously would not. But as far as the Italian police go, if all they check is to see if the tire meets the specification as stated in your Post #1 (Rear: 160/70 B17 79V Reinf. TL) then the Avon should pass their inspection no problem.

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post #11 of 27 Old May 29th, 2019, 8:07 am
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRONE View Post
What Voyager says is technically correct. Even though the Cobra Chrome meets all of BMW's requirements for the LT rear, it's a new tire for Avon and Avon only lists bikes in their fitment guide that they have actually tested with the specific tire in question. It's unlikely they will ever reach back and test a bike that went out of production 10 years ago so the LT/Cobra Chrome will probably never show up in the Avon fitment guide.

I would feel perfectly comfortable and safe using this tire while Voyager obviously would not. But as far as the Italian police go, if all they check is to see if the tire meets the specification as stated in your Post #1 (Rear: 160/70 B17 79V Reinf. TL) then the Avon should pass their inspection no problem.
Although he stated he could not find Avon tires there ( may just be the LT size) , it might be an option if he could. Nice to have another option for the LT that meets the published specs and won't raise too much argument on fitment other than the MFG does not have the LT in the list of bikes. Most other offerings like that fall short in some way. If in Italy, they go by if the MFG has it listed, then currently still out of luck but it matches up for those that can't run radials and need those numbers for the LEO.

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2001 K1200LTI – Champagne (current ride) Lazy Susan
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post #12 of 27 Old May 29th, 2019, 9:01 am
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRONE View Post
I believe the Avon Cobra Chrome meets your needs. Info from Avon here ---->

https://www.avontyres.com/en-gb/news...ches-new-cobra


A quick visit to eBay shows that several retailers selling the 160/70-B17 79V on eBay Italy. For example ---->

https://www.ebay.it/itm/PNEUMATICO-G...MAAOSwIApcOUGf


Now, you might say that this tire doesn't have the all-important reinforced sidewall. But I'm fairly sure that Avon ONLY makes this tyre in that size with a reinforced sidewall. "RF" indicates "Reinforced" and the RF should appear on the sidewall. You could send a question to the eBay seller asking them to go look. Many tire sellers would not know to mention the RF since this is not a normal designation that they usually see with moto tyres.

Hope this helps.
Are you sure RF means reinforced? I have seen RF mean both Rear Fitment (some tires are only made for use on the rear or on the front) and Run Flat (in the auto world mostly). I could not find the meaning of RF on Avon’s web site.
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post #13 of 27 Old May 30th, 2019, 1:07 am
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

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Are you sure RF means reinforced? I have seen RF mean both Rear Fitment (some tires are only made for use on the rear or on the front) and Run Flat (in the auto world mostly). I could not find the meaning of RF on Avon’s web site.
You have to look at their fitment guide. Seven of the 22 front Cobra Chromes are reinforced and 21 of the 42 rear sizes. Interestingly, some of the reinforced sizes are radials and some are bias ply, and the unreinforced sizes are also split between radials and bias ply.

I think it's a matter of concern that Bridgestone doesn't list the BT45 Rear that we use for the LT on their current website or in their current catalogue. Sure makes it look like it's being discontinued. If that's the case, does that only leave the ME888 and the Cobra Chrome as tires being made in 160/70-B17 RF 79V?

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post #14 of 27 Old May 30th, 2019, 1:22 am
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

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You have to look at their fitment guide. Seven of the 22 front Cobra Chromes are reinforced and 21 of the 42 rear sizes. Interestingly, some of the reinforced sizes are radials and some are bias ply, and the unreinforced sizes are also split between radials and bias ply.

I think it's a matter of concern that Bridgestone doesn't list the BT45 Rear that we use for the LT on their current website or in their current catalogue. Sure makes it look like it's being discontinued. If that's the case, does that only leave the ME888 and the Cobra Chrome as tires being made in 160/70-B17 RF 79V?
I have not heard of the BT045 being used only the BT020.

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post #15 of 27 Old May 30th, 2019, 1:39 am
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

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I have not heard of the BT045 being used only the BT020.
Brain fart on my part--I use the BT45 on my other BMW. The BT020 is still listed on the Bridgestone website.

For what it's worth, this whole discussion is not overly concerning to me because my LT "BUTKA" is a sidecar rig and, like most LT sidecar drivers, I run car tires on the sidecar and on the rear of the bike. Throwing a 1500-lb sidecar rig into a tight turn requires rear and side tires with more resistance to lateral deflection than what moto tires can offer. On lighter sidecar rigs you can get away with it (mostly) but I wouldn't want to try it on my big boy. I drive too fast.

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post #16 of 27 Old May 30th, 2019, 8:16 am
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

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Brain fart on my part--I use the BT45 on my other BMW. The BT020 is still listed on the Bridgestone website.

For what it's worth, this whole discussion is not overly concerning to me because my LT "BUTKA" is a sidecar rig and, like most LT sidecar drivers, I run car tires on the sidecar and on the rear of the bike. Throwing a 1500-lb sidecar rig into a tight turn requires rear and side tires with more resistance to lateral deflection than what moto tires can offer. On lighter sidecar rigs you can get away with it (mostly) but I wouldn't want to try it on my big boy. I drive too fast.
I would run car tires on a sidecar also. Can’t imagine running bike tires on something that doesn’t lean.

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post #17 of 27 Old May 30th, 2019, 9:06 am
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

I run bike tires on 2 of the SC bikes, one on a 82 FLTC cruise at 80 and the other one 00 LT going thru PA doing 90-95 I had no problems. One day I will get a SC with car tires I sure they handle better, but for right now I like the look of a bike with the stock tires on it. That is just me.
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post #18 of 27 Old May 30th, 2019, 11:25 am
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

I asked Avon Tire if they would recommend their new Cobra Chrome for the LT. Here is their "surprising" response.

Unfortunately we don’t ‘technically’ have a recommended fitment for your bike, which is very rare.



We do produce the correct sizes in our Storm 3D X-M range, but unfortunately the required criteria was not met when carrying out our own internal high speed tests. Note these tests are carried out at the bikes top speed and the criteria is very strict. Therefore we are technically unable to recommend this fitment, however we are aware of other consumers who run this fitment on a K1200 LT with no issues.



Many thanks,



Avon Motorcycle Technical
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post #19 of 27 Old May 30th, 2019, 11:47 am
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

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Originally Posted by pshoffman View Post
I asked Avon Tire if they would recommend their new Cobra Chrome for the LT. Here is their "surprising" response.

Unfortunately we don’t ‘technically’ have a recommended fitment for your bike, which is very rare.



We do produce the correct sizes in our Storm 3D X-M range, but unfortunately the required criteria was not met when carrying out our own internal high speed tests. Note these tests are carried out at the bikes top speed and the criteria is very strict. Therefore we are technically unable to recommend this fitment, however we are aware of other consumers who run this fitment on a K1200 LT with no issues.



Many thanks,



Avon Motorcycle Technical
Like limiting the top speed on the new GA for stability issues over 100MPH. Bummer. Too bad they didn't state whether it was stability, temp or some construction issue leading to their conclusion. Again, it is a take your chances if you want but no factory backing for that fitment.

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post #20 of 27 Old May 30th, 2019, 12:16 pm
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pshoffman View Post
I asked Avon Tire if they would recommend their new Cobra Chrome for the LT. Here is their "surprising" response.

Unfortunately we don’t ‘technically’ have a recommended fitment for your bike, which is very rare.



We do produce the correct sizes in our Storm 3D X-M range, but unfortunately the required criteria was not met when carrying out our own internal high speed tests. Note these tests are carried out at the bikes top speed and the criteria is very strict. Therefore we are technically unable to recommend this fitment, however we are aware of other consumers who run this fitment on a K1200 LT with no issues.



Many thanks,



Avon Motorcycle Technical
At least they are honest. Did you happen to ask them if RF means reinforced? I guess it doesn’t matter as if the tire doesn’t meet the tests required for use on the LT, then it doesn’t matter how it is constructed.

I suspect this has some dynamic response issue similar to radials on a later model LT. However, you will never get a company to give you specific failure modes in a public email.

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post #21 of 27 Old May 30th, 2019, 11:35 pm
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

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Like limiting the top speed on the new GA for stability issues over 100MPH. Bummer. Too bad they didn't state whether it was stability, temp or some construction issue leading to their conclusion. Again, it is a take your chances if you want but no factory backing for that fitment.
Notice that Avon did not talk about the Cobra Chrome in their reply which they haven't tested yet with the LT. Instead, they told you their Storm 3D X-M was a no-go. The Storm 3D X-M is a radial not a bias ply, and doesn't have a reinforced sidewall, so it definitely doesn't meet the BMW requirements. Of course it's a no-go! Why are they replying to you about stuff you didn't ask about?

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post #22 of 27 Old May 31st, 2019, 12:48 pm
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

My 3DXM rear Most certainly does have a reinforced side wall.
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post #23 of 27 Old May 31st, 2019, 4:37 pm
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

Just an attempt at clarity...

OP was asking about a Euro ’04 which is the facelift a year before the US and can not run radials like the US ’05 and up, so the Avon won’t work.

james216 has a US ’04 and can run radials.
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

Quote:
Originally Posted by james216 View Post
My 3DXM rear Most certainly does have a reinforced side wall.
Avon makes the Storm 3D X-M AV66 Rear in 10 sizes. 9 are not reinforced. One IS reinforced -- the 160/70-17.

I hate being told I'm wrong but, in this case, mea culpa. I stand corrected, James. Of course, it still is a radial so doesn't pass BMW's recommendation. But if you're not riding your bike at the extreme limits you're not really challenging the tire, and a lot of guys prefer the way a radial performs.

I don't ride on two wheels anymore but when I did I never exceeded 100 mph and rarely ever exceeded 90, so my tires were never used anywhere near their performance limits.

2007 K1200LT "BUTKA"
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post #25 of 27 Old Jun 1st, 2019, 5:51 am
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I run the 3D-XMs on front and rear at normal riding speeds (60-80mph) and have been very happy with their sticky performance. Even if they only last 6k, I’d buy another set and recommend them for the twisties without hesitation.

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post #26 of 27 Old Jun 1st, 2019, 9:22 am
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

No. You are right in the aspect of 9 are NOT Reinforced sidewall. And the representative better be paying attention when you order them. But mine being a 2004 radials are ok. It was LT's 2005 and up With the redesign in steering geometry that BMW wouldn't recommend them. I like spirited riding on twisty roads. So i prefer sticky tires. Would i get another set?? Ahhh. Not sure. Kinda noisy when half worn.

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post #27 of 27 Old Jun 1st, 2019, 5:31 pm
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Re: Which tyres for K1200LT in 2019?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DRONE View Post
Avon makes the Storm 3D X-M AV66 Rear in 10 sizes. 9 are not reinforced. One IS reinforced -- the 160/70-17.

I hate being told I'm wrong but, in this case, mea culpa. I stand corrected, James. Of course, it still is a radial so doesn't pass BMW's recommendation. But if you're not riding your bike at the extreme limits you're not really challenging the tire, and a lot of guys prefer the way a radial performs.

I don't ride on two wheels anymore but when I did I never exceeded 100 mph and rarely ever exceeded 90, so my tires were never used anywhere near their performance limits.
The issue is generally not the performance limits that most people think of: namely load rating or speed rating. The issue with a bike like the LT is almost always a dynamic interaction between the tire response and the response of the bike’s suspension, steering or chassis. And the issue is often started by a perturbation such as hitting something on the side of the tire. And you never know when it will happen. That is the risk you take running a tire not tested specifically on the LT.
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