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Discussion Starter #1
Letter to Bridgestone


TJ

Been reading the BMW K1200LT forum on tires and have become confused and worried. I bought my 2005LT in July and had Las Vegas BMW install new tires on the bike before I purchased it I am from Canada and did this over the phone. I picked up my bike and rode it home and have done 9200KM since putting on the new tires. After my last trip I noticed both my tires were wearing badly to the point I'm afraid to take another trip which I would have too since my nearest dealer is 3hrs away. After reading the forum I checked the tires much to my dismay both tires are radial and the back one is not even load rated for my bike. We run the bike at heavy loads as we are both larger individuals and with luggage come close to allowed GVW of the bike. The front tire is cupping badly and the back is pretty well toast. I will send pictures if you want. Please could you supply me with all the details of the proper tires for my bike I don't want this happening again. I would go as far as to say the dealer put me in harms way by putting the wrong tire on the back as well as damaging the reputation of your company.

Daniel Magee
2005 K1200LT (BUZZ)
Medicine Hat AB Canada

Reply

Hi, Daniel! These are the tires that you should run:



BT020 Category: Street Application: Sport Touring

Front
Rear
Features



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Sport Touring & Cruiser Radials designed for touring oriented sport riders offering solid performance and good mileage

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Silica enriched compound offers exceptional level of grip on both wet & dry surfaces

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Mono-spiral belt construction (rear) offers high speed stability and outstanding shock absorption

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The letter code in some tire size and rating columns is stamped on the sidewall and the tire label, for easy identification

Article
Number
Tire
Size
Rim
Size
Tire
Description
OE
Code
Load
Rating
Speed
Rating
O/A
Dia
Tread
Width
Tread
Depth
(32's)
Approved
Rim
Max
Load
Max
PSI
O.E.

057537
120/70B17M/C
17
BT020F BW TL (BIAS)
M
58V
V
23.9
4.8
5
(3.50)3.50-3.75
520
42
BMW K1200LT 2005

057537
120/70B17M/C
17
BT020F BW TL (BIAS)
M
58V
V
23.9
4.8
5
(3.50)3.50-3.75
520
42
BMW K1200LT 2005-2006 (Bias Ply)

057554
160/70B17M/C
17
BT020R BW TL (BIAS)
M
79V
V
25.8
6.3
8
(5.00)4.25-5.00
963
48
BMW K1200LT 2005

057554
160/70B17M/C
17
BT020R BW TL (BIAS)
M
79V
V
25.8
6.3
8
(5.00)4.25-5.00
963
48
BMW K1200LT 2005-2006 (Bias Ply)




If you guys are riding two up run the air pressure at 42FRT/48Rear, if one up run the pressure at 42FRT/48Rear (That should resolve your cupping issue). Next year Dunlop may be producing a tire for the K1200LT and the GL1800 that has extra load carrying capability. You may want to take a look at it when it comes out (I’m not sure what it will be called).



Norris "T.J." Tennent

Engineering Product Manager/Motorcycle, ATV, Kart, Fuzion

Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC

(615) 937-3591

www.motorcycle-karttires.com
 

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Daniel,
The 05's are supposed to use the bias Bridgestones tire but I am sure the proper radial is just fine. What tire and load rating did they put on your bike? 42 front and 48 rear is correct for tire pressure. If you were running less than that cupping will be a big problem.
 

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sanjaun2 said:
... but I am sure the proper radial is just fine.
I'm sure T.J. would say "Are you a tire engineer?" According to him, as the 020 radial heated up, its section width would expand and could come in contact with the swing arm. The Bias ply doesn't suffer from this because of the a different cap ply used in its construction.

The LT is designed for either bias of radial tires.

Avon make a set of radials for the LT. I've used Avon fronts with excellent results in the past. I've got the new Avons on now but am waiting for a warranty replacement for a bad front, so I'll postpone judgment on them for now. Although I will say they have outstanding tech support.

I got the PowerPoint Presentation the T'J. gave at CCR and uploaded it to the files section here.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the input

I just orderd two new tires as per TJs reply and will see if they will stand up better or not then what was put on the bike in Vegas. If I get the same result I will have to look at trying something else. it sure is nice though to have such a quick reply from a supplier.
 

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Guys,
Be gentle with me on this question, but I just don't know. With a recommended tire pressure, is that warm or cold? If you check it cold, what will the difference be when the tire is warmed up? Thanks.
 

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Check the pressure cold. The difference will be the number,:rolleyes: (probbaly higher but it dosn't matter, check it cold).
 

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mrmagoo said:
Letter to Bridgestone

Norris "T.J." Tennent

Engineering Product Manager/Motorcycle, ATV, Kart, Fuzion

Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC

(615) 937-3591

www.motorcycle-karttires.com
Did he have an email address? Just took off a set of BT020's Radials and looks like I have a side wall separation. I guess I just changed them in time.

Garry
 

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We've proven that the BT020 radials were not a good choice for the LT and it's heavy load on the tires.

I got 10K from the front BT020 bias tire.
Put a new metzler on it at CCR cause it was just getting too noisy from cupping. I'm not religious about tire pressure and thought I got a good life out of it at 10K

The rear is still on but it is also cupping. I'll probably change it next spring.


The V rating is what you need to be looking for. It's a LOAD rating. The Z rated tires are not good enough for the LT's big a$$.

I think you'll be very happy with the bias BT020's I was.

John
 

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No, we haven't "proven" that Radials are bad for the LT. The Radial tires do have to be load rated for the LT, but many of us have put on tens of thousands of miles with Radials on the LT, some of us more than 100K miles each.

Bias tires do have some advantages, but they also have some disadvantages. Each rider needs to choose for himself based on his own balance of comfort, safety, grip, and tread life. That's why we have choices in the first place. :)
 

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zaphod said:
Check the pressure cold. The difference will be the number,:rolleyes: (probbaly higher but it dosn't matter, check it cold).
Thanks, Malcolm.
 

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JPSpen said:
The V rating is what you need to be looking for. It's a LOAD rating. The Z rated tires are not good enough for the LT's big a$$.
The letter "V", "Z", etc. is the speed rating, 149mph and >149mph in this case. The load index (rating) is the two digit numeric, 79 = 963 lbs for the big girl. Looking through the Metzeler catalog there are "V" rated 880's with as low as a "69" load index or 716 lbs.

TJ's Powerpoint has a couple of charts on this too.
 

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garry_kramer said:
Did he have an email address? Just took off a set of BT020's Radials and looks like I have a side wall separation. I guess I just changed them in time.

Garry
 
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