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Hello,

I introduced myself a few days ago with a thread about air pressure and was convinced by just about everyone on this site that 42F and 48R was the way to go. When I wrote asking for advice, I was under the impression that I had Metzler radial tires on my bike. I took a good look at them yesterday and found out I had Bridgestone bias-ply tires! It blew me away! Bias-ply tires in this day and age on a motorcycle this big? This doesn't make any sense at all to me.

Anyway, I stopped by the dealer and asked about it. He explained that BMW switched to bias-ply Bridgestones either at the beginning of '05 or sometime in late '04. He didn't know why. Does anyone on this site know why BMW would go from radials to bias-ply tires? Does the 42F and 48R rule still apply with these tires? And for those who are experiencing the notorious "wobble" at 40 45 mph, is that "wobble" with radials or bias-ply tires? And finally, what's better for my '05..... Metzler radials or Bridgestone bias?

Lots of questions, but I know I've come to the right place.

Thanks,
Steve Gray
Canton, MI
 

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I went with bias Metzlers at 44f & 48r on my 05. I have run Metzlers at that pressure on my Venture & Wing with good results. I don't get any wobble & didn't on the other bikes either, but I always expect it. People on the Venture & GL1800 sites complain about the same thing, all bikes will do it sometimes so always expect it.
 

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Steve - welcome. Your question re; Metzeler or Bridgestone? The general rule around here is: for mileage, choose the Metz. For graption, but far less mileage, choose the BT020s. The Metz has a hard compound formula and thus gets added mileage, although some folks feel that the hard compound sacrifices some grip in the wet. The BTs are a softer compound and thus yield fewer miles before the time comes to change tires.

HTH a leetle. Enjoy the ride whichever tire you choose.
 

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You said;
"It blew me away! Bias-ply tires in this day and age on a motorcycle this big? This doesn't make any sense at all to me".
Think 850 lb. bike and load rating. The Metzler rear tire size for the K12LT is only made in bias-ply reinforced design.
 

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SMGray said:
Hello,

I introduced myself a few days ago with a thread about air pressure and was convinced by just about everyone on this site that 42F and 48R was the way to go. When I wrote asking for advice, I was under the impression that I had Metzler radial tires on my bike. I took a good look at them yesterday and found out I had Bridgestone bias-ply tires! It blew me away! Bias-ply tires in this day and age on a motorcycle this big? This doesn't make any sense at all to me.

Anyway, I stopped by the dealer and asked about it. He explained that BMW switched to bias-ply Bridgestones either at the beginning of '05 or sometime in late '04. He didn't know why. Does anyone on this site know why BMW would go from radials to bias-ply tires? Does the 42F and 48R rule still apply with these tires? And for those who are experiencing the notorious "wobble" at 40 45 mph, is that "wobble" with radials or bias-ply tires? And finally, what's better for my '05..... Metzler radials or Bridgestone bias?

Lots of questions, but I know I've come to the right place.

Thanks,
Steve Gray
Canton, MI
I read an old post that mentioned the Bridgestones are just under the specs to be considered radials. Search on the old forums. I know nothing about the technical difference between a radial and bias ply but it did always bug me that my '04 V-max did not have radials and in fact nobody made radials in the size of the rear stock rim. A lot of V-max owners changed out the rims to allow radials as the general consensus was that it made a huge handling difference. I haven't heard of people making the same claim about the LT (possibly because the stock tires on the '05 are about as close to radials as you can get with out actually having radials).

I am sure some knowledgeable '05 LT owners will chime in to clear all this up.
 

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Go with the Metzlers

Personal choice-- the Metzler tires. Better handling, and better yet, a lot more mileage. Ran thru first set of original B's in 5,000 miles. Metzler 880s get me 16-18K. Have had three sets of M's. Just make sure your tire pressure is maintained. I run 42 front and 48 back. Just my 25 cents worth!
 

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Safety is far more important then longer mileage

For my money, safety has been and always will be top priority. I was not satisfied with my first set of bridgestones (radials) that were stock on my '03 because of scalloping. But, then again, the pressure that BMW recommended was wrong and they made good on it. On this set, I am doing alot better. But I have piece of mind knowing that these are the stickiest. Living in Colorado and being a year round driver, I believe that stickiness in all kinds of road conditions (and temperatures) is paramount. Question to self: Self, would I rather have a little bit less mileage and tires that hug the road better, or more mileage and tires that don't quite hug as well. The answer is a no brainer !!!! After all, we are on motorcycles, right???? Two wheels, higher risk, etc. Great brakes call for tires that hug the road.

That is my thinking.. I'll stick with the bridgestones myself. Again, safety.. All it takes is one bad slip and.....

Just my humble opinion for what it is worth
 

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SMGray said:
Hello,

I introduced myself a few days ago with a thread about air pressure and was convinced by just about everyone on this site that 42F and 48R was the way to go. When I wrote asking for advice, I was under the impression that I had Metzler radial tires on my bike. I took a good look at them yesterday and found out I had Bridgestone bias-ply tires! It blew me away! Bias-ply tires in this day and age on a motorcycle this big? This doesn't make any sense at all to me.

Anyway, I stopped by the dealer and asked about it. He explained that BMW switched to bias-ply Bridgestones either at the beginning of '05 or sometime in late '04. He didn't know why. Does anyone on this site know why BMW would go from radials to bias-ply tires? Does the 42F and 48R rule still apply with these tires? And for those who are experiencing the notorious "wobble" at 40 45 mph, is that "wobble" with radials or bias-ply tires? And finally, what's better for my '05..... Metzler radials or Bridgestone bias?

Lots of questions, but I know I've come to the right place.

Thanks,
Steve Gray
Canton, MI
I have the Bridgestones on 2005 LT & after 8.5K's the front one looks pretty scary!!
I am going to switch to the Metzlers. lets see how they handle & last.
PS. did anyone experience the front tire wearing away on one side of it more than the other??
 

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Pressure?

Are you guys saying that the air pressure in the manual (36F and 42R) is wrong? I've not put 1500 miles on my LT since I got it, and I've been running the pressure in the '02 manual. I've got the Marathons on the bike, btw. If I'm running a low pressure I sure would like to know.

Thanks,
Robin
 

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Most here running the Metz 880s run 42F/48R to help avoid feathering, for better grip and for better mileage. Thats what I run and I have never suffered from slippage, even in the rain. I had 16500 miles on my first set when I changed them. Probably could have gone another 2K but had a big trip coming up and changed them.
 

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Bridgestone BT020 Radials for me! As if everyone here does not already know that. :D :D :D

If I were to buy a used LT, and it had 880s on it, that is the first thing I would change, within a week! If a new bike at a dealer, the deal would be for the 880s to be replaced with 020s before I picked it up.

I rode year round, regardless of weather, and would not go through another set of 880s. They scared me too many times.
 

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I am running 42 in the front and 50 in the back of my Marathons. That is the max stated on the side of the tires. I only have about 7500 miles on them at the moment but they look to be good for another 7500-hopefully more.
 

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My experience is that the stock Metzeler tires did not offer as much traction on wet pavement and seemed less compliant on the road than what I expected or wanted.

I put on a set of BT020's this summer and that was 5,500 miles ago. I did like the handling and traction, but the front tire has cupped badly and is beginning to have some wierd handling characteristics. The rear is still in excellent condition.

I plan to replace the front with an Avon. The Avon/Bridgestone combination seems to have worked for others.

Don't worry about bias ply vs. radial. Use what provides the best service for you, and you can only figure that out, personally, by riding. My personal preference is to replace tires more often because I value traction and safety more than high mileage. Good luck.
 

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Bridgestone vs Metzler

In my opinion... neither is a good tire for the LT. In fact I consider the lack of a well suited tire one of the major shortcommings of the LT (besides the rear drive)

Metzler: Handles ok. Lasts a long time. Does not seem to have any out of round or belt seperation issues. As soon as it gets wet outside the ride gets real exciting (i.e. unsafe). I retired mine after about 5k. Thought I would get used to them, but everytime it rained it got too exciting for me...

Bridgestone: Handles great, wet roads: no problem. Several front tires cupped out after 5k. regardless off pressure. The only way to minimize that is very sparing use of the front brake, but how much fun is that?
Rear tires: I had three of them severly seperate after about 6k. I consider that a safety issue.

Currently I have a Bridgestone at front 5k on it, maybe 2k more to go. Rear, I have an Avon with about 4K, still looks great and the combination handles well, even in the rain

Sooner or later there should be a good allround tire available. If there already is, I love to hear about it.

Wolfgang
 

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Steve,
on the question, I would go for the BT020.
I had a recent experience with Metz on my trip to Alaska (http://www.viajareua.com/alaskaCanada.html) and it wasn't good. If you want read detailed comments see the first page of my site, at the bottom.
At the end of my trip I was under the impression that I had to replace my shocks, but was only the tires. I put back a set of BT020 I had with 3000 miles on it already, and then I realized that I don't need new shocks yet...
 

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I've got over 50k miles on my LT with Metz's. Being retired, none of my smileage is commuting - virtually all is touring or sport/touring. I've never felt any unease with the 880's in the wet or mud including Alaska Highway construction and winter travel on dirt roads in Northern Arizona. Now, am I blasting down those roads like a flat tracker? Hell no. Will you pass me in the rain? Be my guest. But I'm not riding that slow either. A couple of weeks ago I travelled from Elk City, OK to Flagstaff in a day of fog, rain and hail; averaged over 70 including stops; wasn't passed by any other two wheelers. Didn't see any other LT's, only HD's and Wings.

Some folks prefer the perceived safety of better grip in the wet. I don't like riding on a tire with less than, say, 20% tread left. If you're satisfied getting 8K out of a tire, great. To me knowing that I don't have to start looking to replace a worn out tire as soon as I mount one is priceless. And safer than riding on a tire in its last phase of wear.
 

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I've run Bridgestone, Dunlops, Avons, and Metzler on several different models of bikes. My choice for all is Metzler. Why, better mileage with better than average handling. I got tired of changing tires at least once a year, sometimes twice a year.
 

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Well. I did not try the Bridgestone yet. But my point of view is that the Metzeller are really bad when it's raining... I used to have Michelin tires and I felt so confident with the LT even when it was wet. Unfortunately they were out of stock when I had to change both tires. Now I no longer feel confident with the Metz...

I've read your posts saying Metz were good even when raining... Really sounds weird to me! I suspect that the pressure setting might explain this. But I don't understand the unit you're using to measure pressure... Must be an american/english one right ? :) Could anyone help me to convert it to european "bars" ?

Cheers,
 
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