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Discussion Starter #1
Is there any technical reason why any 120/70-17 tire with a "58V" or higher load/speed rating couldn't be used on an LT (like maybe a Shinko Raven 120/70ZR-17 58W)?
 

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You need a belted tread, reinforced sidewall for the LT. Unless the actual load rating is equal to or higher than the Metzeler, don't do it. Here are the 880 specs. Note that it is a load capacity "C" rated at 963 pounds.

CAPACITIES AND CONSTRUCTION
Load Capacity/Inflation Pressure: 963 lbs./50 PSI
Load Range: C
Bias or Radial Ply: Bias
Tread Plies/Material: 5 Polyamide
Sidewall Plies/Material: 3 Polyamide
DOT Approved for Road Use: Yes
Tube or Tubeless: Tubeless-Can be used with a tube

Here's the Shinko:

120/70ZR-17 W (168 mpn) 58 (520 lbs)

I can't guarantee it will kill you but there is a strong likely-hood you will experience a tire failure at speed if you try it.
 

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Beemerick said:
Is there any technical reason why any 120/70-17 tire with a "58V" or higher load/speed rating couldn't be used on an LT (like maybe a Shinko Raven 120/70ZR-17 58W)?
If you want to put a tire on the LT, there is no reason any 17" tire can't be put on......But, If a person values their life, they should consider that the LT is a heavy weight in the motorcycle world, and being a performance touring bike, it is in a world of its own when it comes to tires that are designed and rated for the unique demands put on them by the LT. A few dollars extra to insure you are riding on a tire that will give you the optimum in performance and safety, just has to be worth it. I personally don't understand the concept of fighting the facts, some tires are rated for use on the LT and some simply are not. If you do a search of the forum, you will find the tire subject has been beaten to death, of course there is always the LT rated tire that is preferred over another LT rated tire, but I think you would find that just about every LT rider won't deviate from tires that are rated for the bike by the manufacturer... :soapbox: :rant: :deadhorse :bike:
 

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Go ahead if that's what you want to do.

Won't find one on my LT. I value the hide on my butt too much to be scrimping on a tire. Especially one made in China, that's just wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
deanwoolsey said:
You need a belted tread, reinforced sidewall for the LT. Unless the actual load rating is equal to or higher than the Metzeler, don't do it. Here are the 880 specs. Note that it is a load capacity "C" rated at 963 pounds.

CAPACITIES AND CONSTRUCTION
Load Capacity/Inflation Pressure: 963 lbs./50 PSI
Load Range: C
Bias or Radial Ply: Bias
Tread Plies/Material: 5 Polyamide
Sidewall Plies/Material: 3 Polyamide
DOT Approved for Road Use: Yes
Tube or Tubeless: Tubeless-Can be used with a tube

Here's the Shinko:

120/70ZR-17 W (168 mpn) 58 (520 lbs)

I can't guarantee it will kill you but there is a strong likely-hood you will experience a tire failure at speed if you try it.
Dean,
First off "C" is a load range and not a load capacity. Second, I believe the data you've provided above is for the Metzeler ME880 160/70-17 rear tire, not the 120/70-17 front.

For the LT, BMW calls for a rear tire with load rating of (at least) 79 which equates to a load capacity of 963 lbs, and a front tire with a load rating of (at least) 58 which equates to a load capacity of 520 lbs.

I am not asking for opinions on brand X, Y, or Z. My question is: technially speaking, other than size (120/70-17) and load/speed rating (58V), is there any additional qualifying spec?

Flame shield up...
 

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You should be fine with that tire on the front. Looks like everyone dive bombed it as a rear tire. As far as Shinkos go there were some delam problems with the GS tires that were radial but the bias have been very reliable. I am running them on my GS right now and like them very much.
 

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Concur. The LT does not require any specially extra reinforced high load tire for the FRONT.
The 58 load rating is the standard load rating for any tire of 120/70-17 size.
 

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I stand corrected. My mistake.
Load range is load capacity. Here's the front Metzeler in a bias tire.
There is no reason to avoid that Shinko tire based upon load capacity.
Personally I don't worry too much about speed ratings as I never go that fast.
If you try one check back in and let us know what sort of mileage you get out of it.
For me it's all about safety of the tire and cost per mile.

CAPACITIES AND CONSTRUCTION
Load Capacity/Inflation Pressure: 520 lbs./42 PSI
Load Range: B
Bias or Radial Ply: Bias
Tread Plies/Material: 4 Rayon/1 Polyamide
Sidewall Plies/Material: 2 Rayon/1 Polyamide
DOT Approved for Road Use: Yes
Tube or Tubeless: Tubeless, use tube with tube type rim
 

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Hey Rick, that was a good question. I always used the 880 tire on my LT. I drive a fast as I can so the speed range was important to me and the mileage...
I am interested to see what kind of mileage you get out of a set of these tires.

Let us know...
 

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Beemerick said:
Dean,
First off "C" is a load range and not a load capacity. Second, I believe the data you've provided above is for the Metzeler ME880 160/70-17 rear tire, not the 120/70-17 front.

For the LT, BMW calls for a rear tire with load rating of (at least) 79 which equates to a load capacity of 963 lbs, and a front tire with a load rating of (at least) 58 which equates to a load capacity of 520 lbs.

I am not asking for opinions on brand X, Y, or Z. My question is: technially speaking, other than size (120/70-17) and load/speed rating (58V), is there any additional qualifying spec?

Flame shield up...
Rick,
You are correct about the front tire. There are more available (120/70 - 17 with 58w) than the specifically rated rear tire 79v with Reinforced side wall. The one consideration would be if it is radial or bias ply? Prior to 2004 ( I think) the LTs came with radial tires. Due to a design change after 2004 manufacture date, the LTs required bias ply tires. My 2 cents
 

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I mounted a Bridgestone BT-023 "GT" radial on the front of the LT I had previously. The tire seemed to be wearing well and was "sticky", as in stuff on the road stuck to it when it was new. Sort of like a racing slick. The tire handled well on secondary roads, but always seemed to feel squirrelly on the interstate. The bike didn't want to track right at speed. Since I had used Metzeler and Bridgestone BT-020 bias tires in the past, I had to attribute that to the radial tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
gunny said:
Go ahead if that's what you want to do.
Won't find one on my LT. I value the hide on my butt too much to be scrimping on a tire. Especially one made in China, that's just wrong.
At ease, teufel hunden. Although "Danger" is my middle name, I do not wish to be unsafe; that's why I'm asking...

And FWIW, Shinko's are not made in China; from their website: "In 1998 the Shinko Group purchased the motorcycle tire technology and molds from Yokohama Rubber Co., and began production of these products under the Shinko Tire brand. With manufacturing based in South Korea and design based in Japan..."
 

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Beemerick said:
With manufacturing based in South Korea
Guess that is better than North Korea... :rolleyes:
 

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For what it' worth I've been running Kumho (South Korean) tires on my car for the past several years and been VERY pleased with them, on my second set. They typically rank just below Michelins in satisfaction, and are MUCH less expensive. When the Michelins go on my wife's car she's getting new Kumhos.

I've also run Shinkos on some of my classic Japanese bikes with no issues.

The Korean stuff has come light years recently: Kia/Hyundai are absolutely smoking the Japanese car makers right now with several of their vehicles tops in quality in the sub compact and family sedan classes. 10 years ago they would be lumped in with Yugos. ;)

Chinese tires? :eek:

Not a CHANCE.... My new travel trailer came with them. The first thing I did was pull them off and put them on Craig's list. Then I replaced them with some quality trailer tires made in Mexico. :D Trailer tires made in the US? They don't exist!
 

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I guess the question I'd have is: How much money are you saving? $60? $80? Is it really worth that, considering you're meddling with 50% of your traction budget?

There was a lot of that going on over in the Honda forums...going Darkside with Auto tires in back. Yeah, you could double or triple the mileage, but the savings wouldn't cover the insurance deductible and I just can't see how the differing profile could help ANYthing with handling.

Sure, I could see jumping to another, unknown brand if known-good wasn't available...but that's not really the case here.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Rocketsled said:
I guess the question I'd have is: How much money are you saving? $60? $80? Is it really worth that, considering you're meddling with 50% of your traction budget?

There was a lot of that going on over in the Honda forums...going Darkside with Auto tires in back. Yeah, you could double or triple the mileage, but the savings wouldn't cover the insurance deductible and I just can't see how the differing profile could help ANYthing with handling.

Sure, I could see jumping to another, unknown brand if known-good wasn't available...but that's not really the case here.
Again, the question was not about opinions on "unknown" or "known-good" brands. The question was: Are there additional tire specifications other than SIZE (120/70-17), LOAD/SPEED RATING (58V) that an LT front tire must meet?

Also, installing a motorcycle tire that meets (or exceeds) ALL OEM specs is NOT REMOTELY SIMILAR to installing a car tire on a motorcycle.
 

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Beemerick said:
Is there any technical reason why any 120/70-17 tire with a "58V" or higher load/speed rating couldn't be used on an LT (like maybe a Shinko Raven 120/70ZR-17 58W)?
On the front tire as long as the ratings are equal or better it's not a problem. There are a LOT of front tires available that meet the minimum rating for the LT. I've thought about using the softest compound available for the front & then soaking a rear tire to soften it's compound to match the front just to see what it would feel like on the switch backs in the mountains. My guess is that type of combination would be completely worn out in two days of riding. But it would be fun :D .

I know you didn't ask about a rear tire but I'll throw this in anyway. There are tires available for the rear that meet the specifications for the LT that were not made specifically for it. They don't always have the reinforced side wall and where the tread meets the sidewall the profile is different which puts it closer to the swing arm. You can correct the clearance problem by using two wheel spacers instead of just one. Both of my LT's have two wheel spacers installed just to give me a little extra clearance.
 

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Beemerick said:
Again, the question was not about opinions on "unknown" or "known-good" brands. The question was: Are there additional tire specifications other than SIZE (120/70-17), LOAD/SPEED RATING (58V) that an LT front tire must meet?

Also, installing a motorcycle tire that meets (or exceeds) ALL OEM specs is NOT REMOTELY SIMILAR to installing a car tire on a motorcycle.
No doubt, and if ALL of the specifications are met, then it should be peachy...but if the criteria is saving money, then it's not like there's a lot to be saved, based on the consequences of failure.

I'm the first guy to admit there's frequently a LOT of improvements in tires, often for less money (specifically from buying tires for the Vettes), and honestly, I missed the part about it being for the front tire. And yet.
 

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Rocketsled said:
No doubt, and if ALL of the specifications are met, then it should be peachy...but if the criteria is saving money, then it's not like there's a lot to be saved, based on the consequences of failure.

I'm the first guy to admit there's frequently a LOT of improvements in tires, often for less money (specifically from buying tires for the Vettes), and honestly, I missed the part about it being for the front tire. And yet.
Spending more money does not guarantee there won't be a failure as I have had tread bubbles on an ME880 front and I have seen(not mine) tread delam on a rear ME880.
 

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First thing I learned when digging a hole is to stop digging. I have no dog in this fight. My personal feeling right now two months into LT ownership is: Stick with the accepted norm where it comes to tires. I used that to throw an ME880 on the front of my bike (which has a Battleax on back)

That's all. Don't have any other qualifications on this topic.
 
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