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Bought a front and rear Metzler from a local cycle shop with low prices. Guess I did so with insufficient knowledge and here is what I got: Steel Radial ME880 MBS 160/70 R17 M/C 73H (rear); 120/70 R17 M/C S8V (front).

Have been experiencing what I call head shake, like when accelerating a sport bike out of a corner expect I feel it worse on the LT between 20-40 mph in a straight line, like on grooved pavement. Feels like a high speed vibration as speed increases. The above front tire is on the bike and appears good. Had it rebalanced and that was ok also. During the rebalancing at the BMW dealer I was told that I had the incorrect tire on the bike.

Advice and thoughts! I probably need to dump these tires and take the loss as a lesson. Any other head shake issues with the LT (mine is a 2000 with 24,000 mi)?
 

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The front will wear much faster than the correct bias tire and the rear is not weight rated fore the LT. I would replace them both, but that's just me and my 2 cents.
 

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amarider said:
The front will wear much faster than the correct bias tire and the rear is not weight rated fore the LT. I would replace them both, but that's just me and my 2 cents.
I agree you need to replace both fast. here the ME880 you need

K1200LT
Front 120/70VB-17 58V #110-10447
Rear 160/70VB-17 M/C 79V REINFTL #110-10448
 

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Kens1200lt said:
Think the head shake issue is also related?
Hard to tell but tires are the first place to start. Check wheel bearings and steering dampner.

IMO tires are the most important and cheapest part of a motorcycle.
Don't try to save money where the rubber meets the road.
 

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Avon also makes a tire you might want to consider... the earlier models of the LT (1999 - 2003) work well with the tire and it has a stickier feel than the Metz. If you ride highway, go Metz. If you are into twisties or ride in the wet, try the Bridgestone or Avon... You'll pay less also...

AVON:

Storm-ST
Front size: 120/70ZR17 (58W)
Rear size: 160/70R17 79V

BRIDEGSTONE:

BattleAx-BT020 "M"
Front size: 120/70B17
Rear size: 160/70B17

my $.02 worth... and I change BMW tires as a side line... so I been dere and done dat!
 

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I think your under rated rear tire is your issue. JM2CW.
 

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+1 on replacement

This could be also a faulty front tire.

Happened to me a couple of years ago on the 'LT with recently-installed Metzeler 880's and just several months ago with brand new Conti Trail Attack's on the 'GS.

The symptoms were, in both cases, side-to-side wobble at about 30-40mph. When slowing down to stop, the wobble became more pronounced.

I do not know what caused tire failure - it could be a pothole hit on the LT or over-stretching while mounting on the GS. In any case, I tried the basics: rebalancing, remounting and even rebuilding the spoke wheel on the GS. Replacing the front tires cured the problems for both bikes.


Since you already did the basics (rebalanced), just start with a replacement.
 

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This is a very common issue with the ME880 series tire I bought a new 09 LT and after a few weeks the wobbling started at first between 50-40 mph while slowing down and then it slowly became worse like the front tire was failing in a major way mind you this was a brand new bike with brand new tires.

The issue was resolved by replacing the ME with a set of Dunlop tires.
 

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Kra961 said:
This is a very common issue with the ME880 series tire I bought a new 09 LT and after a few weeks the wobbling started at first between 50-40 mph while slowing down and then it slowly became worse like the front tire was failing in a major way mind you this was a brand new bike with brand new tires.

The issue was resolved by replacing the ME with a set of Dunlop tires.
I was unaware that Dunlop made tires properly rated for the LT. Could you give the specifics for the tires please?
 

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Don't think they do...

The recommended tire for my '06 is:

Front: 120/70 R17 58 V tubeless
Rear: 160/70 R17 79 V tubeless

The most important values here are:

Front 58 V
Rear 79 V

The number portion indicates the weight rating for the tire. Here's those values:
50 = 419 lbs
51 = 430 lbs
52 = 441 lbs
53 = 454 lbs
54 = 467 lbs
55 = 481 lbs
56 = 494 lbs
57 = 507 lbs
58 = 520 lbs
59 = 536 lbs
60 = 551 lbs
61 = 567 lbs
62 = 584 lbs
63 = 617 lbs
64 = 617 lbs
65 = 639 lbs
66 = 662 lbs
67 = 677 lbs
68 = 695 lbs
69 = 717 lbs
70 = 739 lbs
71 = 761 lbs
72 = 783 lbs
73 = 805 lbs
74 = 827 lbs
75 = 852 lbs
76 = 882 lbs
77 = 908 lbs
78 = 937 lbs
79 = 964 lbs
80 = 992 lbs
81 = 1019 lbs
82 = 1047 lbs
83 = 1074 lbs
84 = 1103 lbs
85 = 1135 lbs
86 = 1169 lbs
87 = 1201 lbs
88 = 1235 lbs
89 = 1279 lbs

As you can see, the front tire requires a weight rating of 58 = 520 lbs. Most manufacturers can get a tire rated for the front, hence the ability to run Avon's etc. on the front of a 2005 or later LT. The critical tire is the rear. It has to be wight rated at 79 = 964 lbs.

Once weight rated right, the final value "V" comes into play. This is the speed rating and here is a simplified chart. (this does not mean you are to go out there and run these speeds... the manufacturer says that they are rated for this speed)

R = 106 mph
S = 112 mph
T = 118 mph
H = 130 mph
V = 150 mph
W = 169 mph
Y = 188 mph
ZR = over 150 mph


The Dunlop D103 rear: 160/70-17 73V 805 @ 42 is not speed rated for the later LT's. In fact, if I read the fitment chart right, it's really a Honda ST 1100 tire... It even says that the max load at 42 PSI is 805lbs. Way under the 05 and later LT's weight classification.

Dunlop recommends the D205B for this year, make and model. The D205B does not exist so far as I can see. Trying to find one on the net is, well, not easy. Some of these tires reported a rubbing on the BMW LT swing arm in some cases.

I can find other tires rated closer, but there is no tire size that will work on the LT that I can see. I keep an open mind about all of this and I have a question sent in to the company regarding this very discussion. But as of right now, Dunlop, in my opinion, does not have a tire available for the 05 and later LT's that I would feel safe running or using.

Unless other wise edumacated :) there are only two tires manufactured for the '05 and later LT's and they are Bridegstone BT020's and Metzler ME880's....

My $.02...

and one last thing... from Dunlops website:

"Tires offering different load-carrying capacities are available. Consider carefully the weight of the motorcycle, the weight of any optional equipment and whether it will carry passengers. Remember, the load- carrying capability of the tires is also reduced by underinflation. It is possible to overload a tire even though it is the size specified by the motorcycle manufacturer. Maximum loads and corresponding pressures are indicated on the sidewall of all Dunlop street tires.

Never exceed the accessory restrictions and vehicle load capacity found in the motorcycle owner's manual, or the maximum load molded on the tire sidewall. Before a trip, be sure to determine the total weight of luggage, equipment, and rider(s) to be added to the motorcycle.


Trailers may contribute to motorcycle instability, grossly exaggerated tire stresses and overload. Such stresses and overload can cause irreversible damage resulting in sudden tire failure and accident. Dunlop does not recommend the use of trailers, nor warrants tires used on motorcycles fitted with trailers.

Sidecars should not be fitted unless approved by the motorcycle manufacturer.
"
 

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D205F 120/70 B17..... Radial rated as a OE replacement


BigGeo said:
I was unaware that Dunlop made tires properly rated for the LT. Could you give the specifics for the tires please?
 

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Kra961 said:
D205F 120/70 B17..... Radial rated as a OE replacement
According to Dunlop's Website, the D205B (bias ply) tire is recommended for the LT. I have heard that this tire is discontinued.
 

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Well the Storm is rated for the rear of the LT.

Storm ST AV56 (rear) 160/70R17 79V

I love the rear Storm compared to the Metz. The front Storm Sucked. I am running an old Azzaro by Avon and love the hell out of it. I got one more in stock then I need to find a new type to run up front. Will continue with the rear Avon for as long as they are made.

I may try this on the front:

ROADTEC Z6 120/70 ZR 17 M/C (58W) TL
 

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Dunno about that one... here's an excerpt from the AVON fitment guide for a K 1200LT (K12LT) (2004 - 2008)...

Front tyre
Where's Avon Taken You?
Pressure front: No Avon Tyre Fitment
Front size: 120/70ZR17

Rear tyre
Where's Avon Taken You?
Pressure rear: No Avon Tyre Fitment
Rear size: 160/70ZR17

The last time I was in touch with Avon, the weight rating for the 79V tire was shy on this bias ply tire. That's about the time when everyone started screaming about "reinforced" being emblazoned on the sidewall... It may look like the tire will work, but will it?

So if they don't have a fitment... and state that in their fitment guide... I have to stand by my statement that there are only two tires for 2005 and later... And AVON is very couched about what will AND won't work on the LT.
 

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After have my failure with the Metzeler me880 which may have been a manufacture flaw; who knows. It sure doesn't leave many choices out there for good solid tires..

Dunlop was the original tire for the LT not sure why they've switched to the ME series


UncleMark said:
Dunno about that one... here's an excerpt from the AVON fitment guide for a K 1200LT (K12LT) (2004 - 2008)...

Front tyre
Where's Avon Taken You?
Pressure front: No Avon Tyre Fitment
Front size: 120/70ZR17

Rear tyre
Where's Avon Taken You?
Pressure rear: No Avon Tyre Fitment
Rear size: 160/70ZR17

The last time I was in touch with Avon, the weight rating for the 79V tire was shy on this bias ply tire. That's about the time when everyone started screaming about "reinforced" being emblazoned on the sidewall... It may look like the tire will work, but will it?

So if they don't have a fitment... and state that in their fitment guide... I have to stand by my statement that there are only two tires for 2005 and later... And AVON is very couched about what will AND won't work on the LT.
 

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hallzee said:
According to Dunlop's Website, the D205B (bias ply) tire is recommended for the LT. I have heard that this tire is discontinued.
I got this email from Dunlop about the tires for the LT


Garry,

Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding Dunlop replacement
tires for your '99 BMW K1200 LT . Unfortunately, we no longer manufacture
a tire model in the correct sizes for use on this vehicle. We are very
sorry.



"Dunlop Tire"
<[email protected]
torcycle.com> To
[email protected]
02/28/2009 06:19 cc
PM
Subject
Dunlop Tire Contact Form Submission
Please respond to
[email protected]
userve.com
 

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While I am not going to fuss over this too much.

A 79 V rating is a 79 V rating. Period!

The reason Avon list no sizing for 05 up is that radial tires are not recommend on those model years due to the low speed rake change.

That does not change a load rating or a speed rating on a tire.

Now why not recommended? From who? BMW?

As a tire manufacturer if a Company would say they do nor recommend your tire on fitments, then you would not list it.

What is the difference from a 04 and 05 that affects the tires?

Your guess is as good as mine.

To soft a side wall and hits the rear swing arm? Never seen it happen on mine in all but 17,000 miles.

Overheating? Nope the tire pressure increase is never more then 7 PSI front and 8 PSI in the rear according to the TPI.

Some type of handling problem? Nope, I have the foot peg, center stand grinding issue and never been afraid while leaned over.

I run the snot out of them and never an unpleasant moment. Ran them hard on a recent 2500 mile trip in a LOT of rain and NEVER lost confidence.

I personally will ride any tire but a 880 on my LT. I pulled the stock Metz off at 3000 miles because they slipped and slid in the rain like I have never experienced.

Ride on what you are confident in.

Me, I have "tested" the Storms and I will continue to run the rear as long as they make the Speed and Weight rated tire I use.
 

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Lee...

You are absolutely right... 79V is 79V...

However, if the manufacturer does not recommend the tire for the particular application, for whatever reason, then it's not recommended.

Like you, I don't like the 880. Squirrely when wet... That's why I do Bridgy's in the winter wet months and I do Metz during the summer. I'd actually like to try a set of Avon's and see how they run. On a set I installed for a 2000 LT, the owner says they stick like hell. I do know the BT021's from Bridgestone make the LT (no matter what year) want to swap ends at speed.

But I go back to my original statement... there are only two tires manufactured for the '05 and later LT's and they are Bridegstone BT020's and Metzler ME880's. If someone were to ask professionally what tire would work on their '07' K1200LT, I would have to tell them that there are only two available.

I had hoped that one day Michelin would make a tire for the LT as that's all I run on the sled's, but alas...

If the Avon's working... rock on... Would I run them? I might... but as of now, the Bridgy's have my vote... :) And with three sets in the garage, I don't think I'll be in the market soon.
 

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We're talking about the rear tire, right?? So, in Avon's fitment chart for the Storms, they list the following for the rear --- AV56-ST 160/70/R17(79V). I get the first two numbers; the 'R' is for Radial ; and I get the 17: and I get the weight rating at 79. Butt, what is the speed rating?

I went to Avon's website page and answered the questions that give them the opportunity to specify a tire for the LT. Make/model/year. They say there are no matches for the BMW K1200LT - for any model year. Damn, this can be confusing if I get away from ME880s!!! :D
 
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