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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I dropped into Morton's in Fredericksburg last Saturday and asked about their mounting a new set of radial tires -- I hate the ME 880s. They refused to install radials on my '99 LT. Last spring, Bob's BMW had only the 880s and that's why I ended up with them. The 880s have trouble with tar snakes in the dry; I can't imagine what they'll be like in the rain. After riding a GS this weekend, I'm longing for radials again to eliminate the annoying "nibbling" of the 880s. Is there some safety issue with radials on the LT? If radials are out, is there a better bias-ply than the 880?
 

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No reason at all why you can't use radials on the LT. Only the Avon AV45 and Bridgestone BT020 have the correct weight rating for the LT. The matching front tires are fine as well.

I hate the way the ME880 tires felt on my LT, and I won't run them again unless I'm stuck on the road with no other choice.
 

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Tires have been beat to death in here ... but that being said, If your a twisty road rider you are going to LOVE the traction of radials ... but HATE the mileage.

880's I get @ 9K on a set
Radials @ 5K give or take

I am about to try the Avon AV-45 front & Bridgestone 020 rear myself.


Good Luck.
Scott
 

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I do not know who at Morton's told you this, but they mounted numerous sets of BT020's on my 2000 LT. It seems like someone needs a talking to.
 

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Radial Tyires

G'day Paul,
I have Dunlop D205's on my 99 LT. They've now done over 7000 kilometres of what I'd call fairly hard riding. I know others here have said these are no good, but I can only speak from my own experience. I run 40psi front and 45psi in the rear under advice from my tyre supplier.
There is a D205B specially for the higher weight/load rating fro the LT but these are not available in Australia. My dealer assured me the D205 will be fine for the LT's weight and load, and so far so good, I haven't had a single problem.

The notorious LT steering head shake went away completely when I first fitted these tyres, and is just beginning to show up again now the tyres are beginning to scallop a little. But the head shake is only very minor at this time.

The bike had the BT020's on when I got it, and head shake was awefull when the tyres were only half worn. So I went for the Dunlops.

Well 7000k's later I'm impressed as hell with the life and grip I'm getting. I reckon theres another 3 to 4 thousand clicks still left in these tyres yet, but I expect the head shake to get worse as the tyres wear further.

Have included pics of both tyres. You can see the rear has still held its shape pretty well after 7000k's. But tyres are very subjective, and you have to go with what suits your style of riding best.

Cheers
Barry
Brisbane
Australia
 

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Radial Tires

I have about 2000 miles on a set of Avon AV ST tires on my 00 K12LTC. I normally ride 2 up and packed for at least a week. Initially the front felt a bit twitchy but after about 500 miles they settled in nicely. They are great in the rain and feel secure in the corners. these tires are a big improvement over the ME880s. The other thing I liked was Avon's customer service, when I e-mailed them questions about these tires they responded within a few days. When I talked to the Metzler reps at various rallies, it was something that I did to cause my complaints.
As a bonus, the Avons are lower priced than the Metzlers. If there is a downside to the Avons I would say that will be in the area of rear tire wear. At this time I'm estimating about 8000 miles on the rear compared to about 11000 out of the Metzler.
Personally, I,ll take the increased wear in exchange for the feel and security these tires are giving me so far.

Beemerdude 2001
 

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WHAT? That is beyond strange, as a high percentage of LTs are delivered from the factory with radials. The '99's had Bridgestone Excedra radials from the factory, but the wear was too short, so they switched to Dunlop D205s (bias)for a short time, then to ME880 bias ply when they came out. For 2001, they again switched to some bikes being delivered with 880s, others with BT020 radials. Many had the BT020 radials until they switched to BT020 bias ply on the '05.

Both dealers here in the San Diego area sell both the Metzelers and the BT020s. Will install whichever you want.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just ordered the radials from SW Moto

I appreciate all of the input. After all of the comments, I'm looking forward to the Bridgestone radials arriving soon. The net of all of this seems to be partly a matter of riding style and taste in handling. I guess two of my three local dealers are opting for long mileage. (The service writer at Morton's claimed that the bike won't handle well at all because it's not designed to use radials!)

Just to confirm my choice after work I rode down my twisty "test road," one that Virginia's DOT has done an especially good job of half-lane paving, particularly in the corners. I pushed up the speed a bit to get a good read on wwhat was happening. The transition between the new and old asphalt was quite unsettling. The bias 880s gotta go ASAP! I'll gladly sacrifice the mileage for the better handling.
 

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Hard to believe the service writer at such a well known dealer has his head up in a dark place! If he thinks the LT is not made for radials, how does he explain the high number that have come from the factory with them?

The LT handles so much better with the radials, you will think you are on a different bike!

When I got my second LT, it had 880s on it. (The first one had Dunlops, also bias ply, and TERRIBLE handling tires). I wore them out, and one place I crossed every day going to work was where CalTrans was completing a freeway, and the old section led into the new section with a 30 degree angle joint between the asphalt and concrete. The handle bars would twitch when crossing it, and then I went round a high speed 90 degree plus turn up and over an overpass onto the new part of the freeway. The bike would "hunt" all the way round the curve, at about 80 MPH.

When I put BT020s on, I was amazed! Absolutely NO twitching, or feel of any kind when crossing the angled joint, and felt like it was on rails at 80 and faster over the long curve of the overpass. Never went back to bias ply, for over 100,000 miles.

Also, the rear 020 had MUCH better wet grip, and was far more stable on tar snakes.
 

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Avons vs. ME 880's

I dont even remember what came on my 2000 Lt when I bought it new, but they only lasted about 6000 miles. The ME 880's lasted about 9000 miles and still had lots of meat on them, but the rear had been patched a couple of times and the front tire was making a roaring sound in leaning turns and seemed to be noisy overall.
The Avons now have about 2000 miles on them, they seemed to take forever to break in. There is no comparison between the Avon's and the Metzler's as far as cornering, the Avons are better hands down. The ME 880's in a straight line seemed steady as a rock, the avons are like riding on a razor blade on straight roads, wind buffeting seems to affect me more and the least little movement by me on the bike at speed affects straight line travel.
Just seems like the avons are real touchy and I dont see getting 9000 miles out of them, but it's still early. The Avons now offer a road hazard warranty, which was one of the selling points to me.
Just my opinion.
:bmw:
 

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I've gotten between 13K and 17K from my front Avons. No complaints at all. I didn't like how the rear Avon felt though, and only got about half that mileage anyway.
 

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Avon AV45 load rating

meese said:
No reason at all why you can't use radials on the LT. Only the Avon AV45 and Bridgestone BT020 have the correct weight rating for the LT. The matching front tires are fine as well.

I hate the way the ME880 tires felt on my LT, and I won't run them again unless I'm stuck on the road with no other choice.
Ken,
Is this the tire you use? Avon AV45 ST 110/70ZR-17 Front

Are they 59V's?
 

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The LT calls for a 120/70 R17 (58W). I usually get them from Southwest Moto Tires. You can find the link here.
 
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