BMW Luxury Touring Community banner
1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone had experience replacing the original Metzlers (which I believe are bias-ply) with radials such as the Bridgestone Battlax? Any changes in handling, etc? Suspension is stock, no changes (at least not yet).
 

·
Wrencher Extraordinaire
2005 K1200LT
Joined
·
15,064 Posts
Should be no problem as it was a stock fitment from the factory. Just make sure you get the 020s and the rear is a 79V REINF.

Oops I just checked and they don't make a radial for the LT any more - Thanks Kevin.

I am a Metzeler man anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,404 Posts
Tire Thread ! :histerica

Metzlers are bias ply. From the Metzler Tire Fitment Guide:

BMW K1200LT (1999-2008)
ME 880 Marathon
Front 120/70 B 17 58V TL ME 880 MARATHON Front - 34 PSI
Rear 160/70 B 17 M/C 79V REINFTL ME 880 MARATHON - 38 PSI
Metz prices from Tires Unlimited:
Front $144.36
Rear $201.91

Bridgestone BT020 are also bias ply. The "Stones" were radial once upon a time but were changed to bias ply. With the change in steering geometry in later year K1200LT models (ostensibly to improve low speed handling) the radial tires seemed to contribute to problems at speed. That seems to be the reason that Bridgestone changed their K1200LT offering from radial to bias, and the reason that Avon radials are listed as proper fitment for only 2004 and earlier K1200LTs.

From the Tires Unlimited fitment guide (the Bridgestone fitment guide is a little difficult to read):
BMW K1200LT (Bias) "M' Code
Battlax BT020
120/70VB17 Front 10 T057537 $106.39
160/70VB17 Rear 16 T057554 $130.54

Note that there seems to be a current radial Bridgestone BT020 but it is not weight rated for the LT and consequently not listed as proper fitment for the LT.

Avons are the only radial tires that I am aware of that are a weight rated matched set for the K1200LT. HOWEVER, Avon lists this tire as proper fitment for ONLY 1999-2003 model years of the K1200LT.

From the Avon Fitment Guide:
K 1200 LT (K2LT) (1999 - 2003)
Front Tyre
Storm 2 Ultra
Pressure front: 2.5 bar (36psi)
Front size: 120/70ZR17 (58W)
Rear Tyre
Storm 2 Ultra
Pressure rear: 2.9 bar (42psi)
Rear size: 160/70R17 79V ..

Avon Prices from Tires Unlimited:
Front $127.72
Rear $158.79

Also from the Avon Fitment Guide:
K 1200 LT (K12LT) (2004 onwards)
Front size: 120/70-17 No Avon Tyre Fitment
Rear size: 160/70-17 No Avon Tyre Fitment ..

My experience: I've run a couple sets of Metzelers. Many folks like 'em as they seem to last the longest. Good choice for cross country trips. I like to crank the LT in the twisties, and the Metz's will begin to whine and howl as they wear. I found the tire noise and roughness annoying even though there was mileage left on the tires. And while Metzelers are the mileage leader, they also cost more than the other offerings.

I ran a couple sets of Avons, and really liked 'em but the front tire was worn out pretty fast. If you want your bike to have that really solid, glued to the road feeling, the Avons are a great choice; the trade off is low mileage.

I keep coming back to the Bridgestones, and have been through more sets of those than any other; they are the best price/performance for me. Careful attention to tire pressure seems to be important in getting the most miles out of the front tire.

I used the Tires Unlimited website for price comparison. I've been happy buying tires from them for years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,022 Posts
I thought BT 020 out of production for a couple of years now, not available in Ontario, just selling off old stock????
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,404 Posts
gary45 said:
I thought BT 020 out of production for a couple of years now, not available in Ontario, just selling off old stock????
The BT020 in bias ply is readily available for the KLT. It is the radial ply, weight rated for the KLT, that is out of production.

The radial and bias tires look very much alike, look for the B or R on the sidewall. You probably won't find a BT020 radial tire that is weight rated for the LT.

I suspect that if you do find a radial one it would be pretty old stock, or it is a tire that isn't weight rated for the LT.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,424 Posts
CharlieVT said:
The BT020 in bias ply is readily available for the KLT. It is the radial ply, weight rated for the KLT, that is out of production.

The radial and bias tires look very much alike, look for the B or R on the sidewall. You probably won't find a BT020 radial tire that is weight rated for the LT.

I suspect that if you do find a radial one it would be pretty old stock, or it is a tire that isn't weight rated for the LT.
+1
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,341 Posts
I believe thre is a big difference in handling with radials. I replaced my original Metzlers with radial stones on the first tire change and used them until they were no longer available. I switched to Avon, first Storms then the Storm II replacements and I get good mileage out of them. Starting my third set now. Averaging 10k front and near 20k rear but they need to be balanced properly and are very particular about pressure. I balance my own and I have a TPS setup with Smartire monitors so it works for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
194 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks to all for your help. Judging by the comments, the Bridgestones or the Avons are best for us- beginners at this ( my last cross country trip was in 1980 on a KZ650). Wedon't expect any long (>500 mile) trips any time soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,176 Posts
CharlieVT said:
The BT020 in bias ply is readily available for the KLT. It is the radial ply, weight rated for the KLT, that is out of production.

The radial and bias tires look very much alike, look for the B or R on the sidewall. You probably won't find a BT020 radial tire that is weight rated for the LT.

I suspect that if you do find a radial one it would be pretty old stock, or it is a tire that isn't weight rated for the LT.
I just ordered one, the PROPER one from Motorcycle Superstore for $122.99.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
blueknightga6 said:
I just ordered one, the PROPER one from Motorcycle Superstore for $122.99.
The bias ply, yes? Isn't that the ONLY 160/70-17 BT-020 being produced? I believe that was Charlie's point. Still wish Shinko made a 160/70-17 with a 79 load rating...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,022 Posts
I have shinkos on the K1100 and like them better than any other tire I have had on the K100 or K1100 - wish they made them for the LT
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
gary45 said:
I have shikos on the K1100 and like them better than any other tire I have had on the K100 or K1100 - wish they made them for the LT
Gary, I like them too; I've one (a Raven) on the front of my LT right now... with a Bridgestone BT-020 rear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
Hi,

So I read the tire thread and I am more confused than before.

It seems that most people recomment the Avon tires which seem to be made in England.

I found a website that seems to say nothing but negative things about the Avon tires. And England is not excactly known for making quality things.

I need a front tire (the bike has Bridgestones as I recall, when I bought it).

It is a 1999 K1200LT.

As the cost of tires are very high (for me), I need a tire that handles well (in wet conditions too) but also doesn't wear out too soon.

Any recommendation as to where to get the tire (I am in the CA Bay Area/Santa Cruz right now).

And where to get it mounted cheaply?

Thank you for your help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,165 Posts
BMW_forever said:
Hi,

So I read the tire thread and I am more confused than before.

It seems that most people recomment the Avon tires which seem to be made in England.

I found a website that seems to say nothing but negative things about the Avon tires. And England is not excactly known for making quality things.

I need a front tire (the bike has Bridgestones as I recall, when I bought it).

It is a 1999 K1200LT.

As the cost of tires are very high (for me), I need a tire that handles well (in wet conditions too) but also doesn't wear out too soon.

Any recommendation as to where to get the tire (I am in the CA Bay Area/Santa Cruz right now).

And where to get it mounted cheaply?

Thank you for your help.
The Bridgestones are FAR better in wet than the Metzelers, but the front wears faster. The rear, the same or better. I had one set of the earlier Avons when I lived in San Diego, The rear wallowed all over the CA rain grooves like a drunk hula dancer, Complained to Avon, they sent another one to the dealer to switch it out, no better, so I pulled it off and went back to Bridgestones. That was when the 'Stones were Radial.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
Thank you David,

I am in Santa Cruz, CA. It does rain but not a lot.

I've heard good things about the Metzlers and bad things too.

Not interested in the rear tire at this point, still has lots of tread on it. It is a Bridgestone Battlax (if I am not mistaken), so is the front.

I believe they are radial tires....not sure what is the difference between Bias and Radial is.

The front needs replacing ASAP (Yesterday) and trying to decide on a tire....something that will last a long time and give good feel/performance.

I think the Metzlers are way more expensive for what they offer, from what I've seen.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
I am looking at the following tires for the FRONT:

http://www.amazon.com/Michelin-Pilo...r=1999|1999&carId=001&n=15684181&s=automotive

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005J6OTWA/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller=

And this page lists many:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/part-finde..._m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=01TMEBDB1Z88AEVMGDFA

As much as I HATE Amazon, they seem to have the lowest prices...I looked at Cycle Gear (Has no search engine & hard to find the tire that fits), and Southwest Moto tires.

Any recommendations as to where to buy tires and what you guys think of the tires above?

Again, Front tire for a 1999 K1200LT.

The Rear tire on this bike (which still has lots of tread left) is a Bridgestone Battalax Bias Ply tire.

Someone on the list was saying NOT to mix Bias and Radial, someone else said it does NOT matter. I am more confused than when I started.

HELP please.

Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
303 Posts
Hi everyone:

Still on the subject of tires, specifically Front tire for the 1999 KLT.

The rear one which is a Bridgestone Battalax Bias Ply still has lots of tread left.

The Bridgestone Battalax Front tire seem to go for about $125.

I can get the Continental Conti Motion front tire for $75 (with free shipping). But it is a Radial Tire:

http://www.amazon.com/Continental-C...r=1999|1999&carId=001&n=15684181&s=automotive

This is a significant saving over the bridgestones ($50).

Can I mix Radial tire in the front and the Bridgestone Bias Ply in the rear?

Anyone has knowledge or experience with the Continental Conti motion Front tire?

Does it last?

Looking for something that lasts a long time, handles well and does not cost a lot of money.

Also where is a good place to have them mounted/balanced in the Santa Cruz/San Jose areas?

Thank you.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,549 Posts
I ran a scan on Continental in this forum and got a lot of hits.

this one has at least two relevant posts:
http://www.bmwlt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44240&highlight=Continental

One thing you might consider is how long you will have to put up with the Conti front tire if you don't like the way it handles?

I had a lot more FUN when I ran the Bstone radials. I switched to Metz when the tire prices took dramatic price increases.

It's time to replace my rear tire-I'm going back to Bstone. In a thousand miles or less, it will be time to replace the front. With Bstone in the back I'll go Bstone fro the front.

Best from Tucson
Bob
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top