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post #1 of 22 Old Sep 4th, 2011, 1:45 pm Thread Starter
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Newbie here with tire question.

Hello to every body and want to express my thanks to all de knoledgeable posts and comments from all the members in this forum. I have been checking this forum out for the pass couple of weeks and finally decided to sign up since there is a world of help and resources in here. Just purchased a 2007 K1200LT with 10k miles with factory tires that needed to go. Visited the guy that`s been doing all my bike tires for years without problems and he installed a set of Michelin Pilot Power 2CT but the rear size is 160 60 17. Since this is my first time on a Touring like this and also just go it a week ago with no experience on how it rides, I don`t feel a problem with it, in fact, it handles better on curves and straightens right back up without hassle, the abs don`t seem to have a problem with the diffence size and I measured the floor to rim distance and the back rim is almost a inch further from the ground than the front with the stock size wich means that the back tire still is taller than the front one. I know that the load capacity is less (69V) instead of 79V but I figure me and my wife conbined are about 295 lbs and we don`t carry much luggage anyways, and life expectancy is going to be less. I`m not worry about that as long as the tire grips strong in corners and handles smooth. Question is, have anybody experience the same situation? and please give me the downs on this issue for future refference. Thank you for your response in advance.
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post #2 of 22 Old Sep 4th, 2011, 2:12 pm
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

First, welcome, Ricardo. The LT is an awesome bike, and you and your wife are gonna have lots of great fun on it.

Now onto your question. The tire size difference is pretty trivial, with the factory 160/70 tire giving a sidewall height of 112mm, and a 160/60 tire giving a sidewall height of 96mm. The overall tire height difference is 2*6mm, or 12mm. That's just about 1/2", and shouldn't cause any noticeable difference in ride, although it may affect your speedo/odo readings.

But I would be very concerned about the difference in weight rating. A tire with a 69 load rating (V is the speed rating) is rated to 325 Kg, or 716 lbs. A tire with a 79 load rating is rated to 437 Kg, or 963 lbs. That's a pretty significant difference.

I sure wouldn't ride an under-rated tire on my LT, even if I was solo and no luggage. The LT is a big, heavy bike, and tires are pretty damn important.

In addition, the Pilot Power tires are a softer tire, meant for much lighter sport bikes where ultimate traction is a priority over tread life. Even if they do hold up to a two-up LT, you're probably only gonna get a couple thousand miles out of them.

Put it this way. What would you do if someone came into your shop and asked to have seriously under-rated tires installed. Would you have any concerns as to your own liability if something terrible happened?

I'd take the bike back and get properly-rated tires fitted.

Ken
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post #3 of 22 Old Sep 4th, 2011, 2:38 pm
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mechanic
Hello to every body and want to express my thanks to all de knoledgeable posts and comments from all the members in this forum. I have been checking this forum out for the pass couple of weeks and finally decided to sign up since there is a world of help and resources in here. Just purchased a 2007 K1200LT with 10k miles with factory tires that needed to go. Visited the guy that`s been doing all my bike tires for years without problems and he installed a set of Michelin Pilot Power 2CT but the rear size is 160 60 17. Since this is my first time on a Touring like this and also just go it a week ago with no experience on how it rides, I don`t feel a problem with it, in fact, it handles better on curves and straightens right back up without hassle, the abs don`t seem to have a problem with the diffence size and I measured the floor to rim distance and the back rim is almost a inch further from the ground than the front with the stock size wich means that the back tire still is taller than the front one. I know that the load capacity is less (69V) instead of 79V but I figure me and my wife conbined are about 295 lbs and we don`t carry much luggage anyways, and life expectancy is going to be less. I`m not worry about that as long as the tire grips strong in corners and handles smooth. Question is, have anybody experience the same situation? and please give me the downs on this issue for future refference. Thank you for your response in advance.
I would absolutely not run a motorcycle tire with a load rating less than specified by the manufacturer. Others who have done so have reported issues with delamination and such. Having a tire fail catastrophically on a motorcycle is a much bigger issue than on a car and I simply would not risk it. The issue isn't life expectancy, but rather heat tolerance. An under rated tire will run a lot hotter and that is what will cause the failure.

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post #4 of 22 Old Sep 4th, 2011, 3:06 pm
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

Hi, Ricardo - glad to welcome you here on the forums. You're right about there being a LOT of information available to those who have added a K1200LT to their garage!!

In regards to your tire question - - - we've had several instances in where folks either installed the wrong weight rated tire, or had someone else install the wrong tire. I think in most cases, the situation was corrected quickly, once they were informed of the possible negative results. Click here to read through just a recent thread involving this issue.
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post #5 of 22 Old Sep 4th, 2011, 4:49 pm
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

I want to commend all three of the above posters for the kind responses to a new member. We all were newbies once...and it's this gentle approach that indicates the character of our members. Good job gentlemen.

Wade
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post #6 of 22 Old Sep 4th, 2011, 5:10 pm
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

Quote:
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I want to commend all three of the above posters for the kind responses to a new member. We all were newbies once...and it's this gentle approach that indicates the character of our members. Good job gentlemen.
Hey, Ken - hey, Matt --- you guyz take a bow. Me? I'm sending Wade that 10-spot I promised him for the kudos!!!

BTW - didn't somebody once coin the phrase "that's what we do"??
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post #7 of 22 Old Sep 4th, 2011, 6:34 pm
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

+1 Wade!!! I couldn't agree more. And thanks to the guys who responded to the post. Never any reason to "bust someones chops" on this forum.

Loren

Quote:
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I want to commend all three of the above posters for the kind responses to a new member. We all were newbies once...and it's this gentle approach that indicates the character of our members. Good job gentlemen.

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post #8 of 22 Old Sep 4th, 2011, 6:51 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

Thank you for the fast responses. I will contact the tire place tuesday first thing in the morning and express my concern about the tire weight capacity issue. Hopefully I won`t get a hard time from the guy especially since I have only put 6 or 7 miles on the new tires since saturday. I will post the results later on. So there is no problem with leaving the michelin in the front? even if I put a Metzeler in the back?
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post #9 of 22 Old Sep 4th, 2011, 7:01 pm
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

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Thank you for the fast responses. I will contact the tire place tuesday first thing in the morning and express my concern about the tire weight capacity issue. Hopefully I won`t get a hard time from the guy especially since I have only put 6 or 7 miles on the new tires since saturday. I will post the results later on. So there is no problem with leaving the michelin in the front? even if I put a Metzeler in the back?
Yes, I believe there is a problem. I was just on the Michelin website the other day and couldn't find ANY tire (front nor rear) that was specified to fit a BMW K1200LT. If I were you, I would put the same brand and model tire on both ends of my ride. Making positive that the load rating is correct. Good luck with your tire installer - he definitely needs to do what is right!!!
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post #10 of 22 Old Sep 4th, 2011, 7:07 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

I will express the concern on both tires but if I get a negative response I think I can leave the front one since is rated 58W wich is what BMW recomends for the 2007 K1200LT.
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post #11 of 22 Old Sep 4th, 2011, 7:14 pm
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick
Hey, Ken - hey, Matt --- you guyz take a bow. Me? I'm sending Wade that 10-spot I promised him for the kudos!!!

BTW - didn't somebody once coin the phrase "that's what we do"??
Well, at least now I can stop scratching my head.

I didn't think I was all that gentle, just matter of fact which tends to be my style. I would just hate to see someone get injured or killed for something as preventable as having the wrong load range tire on the LT. They don't call her the fat lady for nothing! Big women need big shoes!

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post #12 of 22 Old Sep 4th, 2011, 7:18 pm
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

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Originally Posted by mechanic
Thank you for the fast responses. I will contact the tire place tuesday first thing in the morning and express my concern about the tire weight capacity issue. Hopefully I won`t get a hard time from the guy especially since I have only put 6 or 7 miles on the new tires since saturday. I will post the results later on. So there is no problem with leaving the michelin in the front? even if I put a Metzeler in the back?
If they give you any hassle, just ask them to call Michelin and ask if Michelin approves this combination of tire and motorcycle. I suspect the Michelin rep will set them straight in a NY minute.

I honestly don't think there is a safety issue in mixing different brands of tire as long as both are the same construction (bias or radial). However, I personally like to keep the same brand and model on both ends. I can't justify that technically, I just like it that way.

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1976 Kawasaki KH400
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post #13 of 22 Old Sep 4th, 2011, 8:21 pm
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

I agree. I was chatting to the Michelin Rep. at the BMW MOA in Bloomsburg, PA this year. The exhibit was pushing their Pilot series. I asked the rep if Michelin made any tires for the LT, since the annoying loud Metzlers were coming to their end or their lifetime in the Spring of 12.

He laughed and said, "Sorry, no, but maybe for your next bike."

+1 for the suggestion to ask the tire place manager to call Michelin if there are any issues about the load range mis-match.

Bill

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post #14 of 22 Old Sep 5th, 2011, 6:30 am
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

Great responses from all. Welcome aboard Ricardo . Please never hesitate to ask a question here, in my opinion, the only stupid question is the one that didn't get asked.

Now on to your problem; What did you instruct the tire dealer to do? Put new tires on same as originals? Check BMW tire specs? Or did you just leave it up to him? I would certainly think that someone in the tire business would check specs before sending a bike out the door with improper load rating on the tires. Could lead to a liability issue. Keep us posted on the follow up visit.

Bill
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post #15 of 22 Old Sep 5th, 2011, 9:18 am
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

Please don't ride the bike till you get the correct tires on it...

As one who's experienced a rear tire failure at speed let me tell you it's not fun..

We'd be dead if there had been anything to hit...Luckily I got it off the road before she flipped us off...

The dealer almost has to make it right unless you told him to put those tires on...It's a liability issue...

Good Luck

John

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post #16 of 22 Old Sep 5th, 2011, 2:01 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

Thank`s for responses and concern. I will post the results after the phone talk with the tire guy tomorrow.
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post #17 of 22 Old Sep 6th, 2011, 9:26 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

UPDATE. Talked to the guy this morning, and Metzeller me880 79V coming in to put on the bike thursday. He was nice and understood my concern about the weight rating on the Michelin Pilot and said he wanted to make right on it. He will keep getting all my business, he also fixes Jet Ski`s and has a hobbie shop . Ater the conversation I even offered to dismount the wheel my self and take it like that to his place to avoid putting wear marks on his Michelin tire that still has the hairs on it. Thank you for the concern and advices from all you guys. This forum is really good. He just got a customer I send this afternoon with a Jet Ski to fix. All thanks to his kindness.

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post #18 of 22 Old Sep 7th, 2011, 10:41 pm
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

I am so glad to hear you are getting that rear tire swapped out. The Metzeler ME 880 has reinforced written right on the side of the tire and it is so for a reason. The LT is a great bike and as you have already experienced handles like a dream at speed, but it is heavy and the tire needs to be up to the challenge. Now you will be able to fully enjoy it without worrying about a catastrophic failure, especially with your wife aboard.

Ride Safely,
Steve

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post #19 of 22 Old Sep 7th, 2011, 10:56 pm
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

Just be sure your new tire is labeled 160/70 VB 17 and not 160/70 HB 17.
The VB is a "C" rated tire good to 963 pounds. The HB tire is almost identical in appearance but is a "B" rated tire good only to 805 pounds. There is only about 20 dollars difference in the price but a world of difference in compatibility for the LT.


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post #20 of 22 Old Sep 8th, 2011, 8:12 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

Got a 79V reinforced. It says it on the sidewall.

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post #21 of 22 Old Sep 8th, 2011, 8:15 pm
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

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Got a 79V reinforced. It says it on the sidewall.
You are good to go!

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post #22 of 22 Old Sep 8th, 2011, 8:19 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Newbie here with tire question.

YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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