New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 17 Old Aug 24th, 2013, 10:10 pm Thread Starter
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New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy

Today, Bob's BMW replaced the front BT020 tire on my '99 K1200LT with a new BT020. They put 42psi in the new front tire (I usually ran 38.) and raised my rear from my normal 44 to 46psi. The bike now feels very squirrely even after a 150 mile "break-in" ride back home. In my 1/2 mile loose gravel driveway, I almost dropped it several times as it weaved its way down the hill. Very disconcerting experience. I've had this bike since new and today something changed. Any ideas as to why? Or, is it just my imagination?

Also, Bob's replaced my front brake pads today. Could anything in this process contribute to this problem?

Thanks for your thoughts. Joel
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post #2 of 17 Old Aug 24th, 2013, 10:29 pm
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Re: New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy

Those pressures are the recommended street pressures for the ME 880's, and more than likely the Bridgestones. I know that's the pressure recommended to me by a long time BMW rider/mechanic for the Metzlers.

But like in dirt or adventure biking (which I still do at this age) it's normal to run a bunch less tire pressure on dirt roads and gravel. With your front tire way filled and stiff, it's not letting the tire find it own path through the gravel, but it's wanting to plow right over and through it and that's a squirrely feeling at best.

In your case, it might behoove you to run less in the front. If your driveway is only like 50 or 100 feet, I'd just stay with the correct pressure and if you feel the need, get on the pegs. Your call there.

Good luck, as dumping it in gravel at any speed is a bugger and the bike's going to suffer.

Tommy
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post #3 of 17 Old Aug 24th, 2013, 10:51 pm
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Re: New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy

I can't speak to your current issue with the Bridgestones, but I really like the way my bike rides on them. I was running Metzlers, and switched to the Bridgestones. Like them much better.
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post #4 of 17 Old Aug 25th, 2013, 8:19 am
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Re: New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy

I run the Bridgestone's and am currently experimenting with the tyre pressures. I have lowered the front to 39 and the rear to 43. The bike just feels more grounded without the bouncy sensation I was getting with the pressure at 42 + 48. I am yet to see if this changes the klm's I get out of tyres. If it is not significant, then it is worth the comfort.

I went on a 400 klm's run today, solo, and found the ride much smoother in all aspects. Especially over small ruts and corrugations.

I do not find the snakes an issue and there were plenty of them today around the Hunter region, just north west of Sydney.

Brian

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post #5 of 17 Old Aug 25th, 2013, 2:26 pm Thread Starter
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Re: New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy

I just read the sidewall markings to make sure that Bob's sold me the same BT020 120/70ZR17 that I've run for the last 2 tire changes. IT'S NOT. Instead, it's a BT020 120/B17. Doesn't the absence of an "R" mean that it's NOT a radial? Could the mix of radial on the rear and non-radial on the front be the reason it feels so squirrely?

I told the service writer at Bob's that I was happy with the tires I've been running and needed to replace the front only. He read the sidewall, went to his computer and said "we have one left." I replied "good I'll take it." He never informed me that it was a BT020 "B" instead of a BT020 "ZR." And, I never checked. Just trusted them and then took off for a 150 mile "wear-in" ride.

I've been checking the internet for prices and found that the BT020 has been replaced with BT023 anyway. Are there actual improvements or should I try to find a BT020 – maybe at a better price? I'm concerned that the actual dimensions might not match? With only a 29" inseam, I definitely wouldn't want a tire with a larger circumference which would raise the bike any further.

It's been 6 years since I've been in the tire-buying market and I've really lost touch. Hopefully, with your help, I'll be up to speed before I call Bob's BMW when they open again Tuesday am.

Thanks for your time and assistance. Joel
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post #6 of 17 Old Aug 25th, 2013, 2:45 pm
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Re: New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy

I have a BT023 on the front, 12K miles on it, probably 3 or 4 left in it, it has been a good tire, have an Avon on the back and when I replace front will go Avon

Gary
2018 R1200RT
Past rides
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2000 K1200LT
1992 K1100LT
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1985 K100RT
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post #7 of 17 Old Aug 25th, 2013, 5:33 pm
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Re: New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy

R is for radial, B denotes Bias belted construction. The mismatch is likely the difference you are feeling. So now the argy-bargy begins - what was requested at the dealership vs what was fitted etc, etc.

Dennis
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post #8 of 17 Old Aug 25th, 2013, 7:30 pm
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Re: New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy

Different bike, but I switched my 1150RT from radials to bias ply and I feel a huge difference. With radials it was very sensitive and fell easily into the corners. With the bias ply tires it feels much more like a tour bike. It now has the urge to go straight down the road. Personally, I'm more of a tourer than a sport rider so it was a great change for me. I imagine that radial tire is what is giving you the squirrelies.


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post #9 of 17 Old Aug 25th, 2013, 8:01 pm
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Re: New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy

I've ridden with all bias, all radial and a combination of both (radial front, bias rear and vise versa). The only time I got the slightest feel of something odd was with radial (Avon) front and bias (Metz) rear. And that feel wasn't enough to cause me to slow down at all.
I'm leaning toward too high a pressure in your front. Easy enough to check though.
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post #10 of 17 Old Aug 25th, 2013, 9:42 pm
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Re: New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy

If you have a radial on the rear and it's a Bridgestone, this is the wrong tire. Bridgestone stopped making radials rated for the LT some time ago. It must be a 79V reinforced. Check it to be sure.

I tried a BT023 GT (heavier weight rating) radial on the front of the 2000 LT once. It was very sticky in the curves, but wouldn't track straight at highway speeds. I was constantly having to make steering connections. Made riding feel a lot like work!

Lee
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post #11 of 17 Old Aug 25th, 2013, 9:45 pm Thread Starter
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Re: New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy

Thanks all for your very helpful responses.

I haven't mixed radial with bias since purchasing the LT 13 years ago and, considering your comments and experiences, I decided to not chance it now. With that decision made, the remaining question is will I have to pay for their error? I wish I felt confident removing the front wheel and taking it to the dealership for the swop so I wouldn't have to risk riding up my hilly gravel driveway again with this tire combo. I'll study the manual more carefully tomorrow and decide.

A final question... Can someone please decipher the DOT number stamped on the new tire? It reads 0003243. I'd like to know the tire's date of manufacture. I tried the internet but I can't make sense of it with this number. Seems there should be an 11 or 12 digit number. I can't find a longer number. However, there is a shorter number, PCCO113. Do either of these provide a "born" date?

Thanks again for your help. Joel
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post #12 of 17 Old Aug 25th, 2013, 10:22 pm
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Re: New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy

dot is usually 4 digits week and year - if the 0113 is in its own oval stamped area then it is week 1 of 2013

Gary
2018 R1200RT
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2000 K1200LT
1992 K1100LT
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post #13 of 17 Old Aug 27th, 2013, 8:49 pm Thread Starter
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Re: New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy

Update:

When I called this morning, Bob's BMW said come on in and we'll replace the front... Great! No arguing needed. However, when I got there, they informed me that Bridgestone no longer makes a radial tire rated for an LT. I wanted to stick with stones so, instead of changing the front tire, we changed out the rear for the front-matching bias tire. They never acknowledged, or apologized that on Saturday they sent me out the door with mismatched tires. They did, to their credit, discount the rear bias by about $90 from what they called their "regular" price – almost matching internet pricing.

I think I'll miss the radials that I ran for years.

Are the bias tires giving me a harsher ride or is that just my imagination?

I went in for only a new front tire expecting to spend about $200, including labor and wound up spending around $700 for a front tire, front brake pads, a rear tire and labor... and shop supplies, etc. etc. Oh my, that hurts!

Joel
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post #14 of 17 Old Aug 27th, 2013, 9:39 pm
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Re: New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy

BT 023 is a radial - look on Bridgestone site - I have one on now

Gary
2018 R1200RT
Past rides
2012 K1600GTL
2000 K1200LT
1992 K1100LT
2000 V Star 650/Velorex sidecar
1985 K100RT
1965 R60/2
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post #15 of 17 Old Aug 28th, 2013, 12:01 am
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Re: New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy

Quote:
Originally Posted by gary45
BT 023 is a radial - look on Bridgestone site - I have one on now

If you are running a BT-023 rear you are not running a correct tire as these are 73 W vs. the required 79 V
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post #16 of 17 Old Aug 28th, 2013, 8:28 am
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Re: New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
If you are running a BT-023 rear you are not running a correct tire as these are 73 W vs. the required 79 V
thread is about front tire, have an Avon on the rear and will run Avon on front when the 23 wears out, it seems to be a very good tire if anyone wants to run Bridgestone radial on front

Gary
2018 R1200RT
Past rides
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2000 K1200LT
1992 K1100LT
2000 V Star 650/Velorex sidecar
1985 K100RT
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post #17 of 17 Old Aug 28th, 2013, 9:22 am Thread Starter
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Re: New front Bridgestone – bike feels squirrelyy

Now, my LT is fitted with BT020s front and rear. And, they both are "bias belted."
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