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Tire Wear


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I am preparing for a 8000 mile ride to Alaska in August. I am looking for others experience with tire wear before I choose what set I will mount for this ride. With my R1100RT I was able to get between 8000 and 9000 miles with the Bridgestone BT020 rear tire. Now I ride a 06 R1200RT I am dealing with different sizes, weights and power factors.


When touring I ride conservatively and one up.


When doing shorter rides where tire mileage is not a concern I put more emphasis on performance with tires such as the Z-6 or Road Pilots.


Your experience if you have replaced worn tires would be very helpful. Is there anyone riding a tire that gets 8000 miles?

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Well, I get about 8K on a rear Z6 but it's pretty well squared off and very near the cord by then. Since you will be heading into the northern areas you may see more chip seal roads which are tough on tires.


I would consider using the Metzler 880's for a trip like this. They will still be good when you got home 10K and more is probably the norm. I forgot to look at your bike but even if it comes with a 190 on the rear, the 180 sized 880 tire can be fitted with little or no problems. Normally, 5" rear rim calls for a 170, 5.5" rim a 180 and 6" rim a 190. I have gone down a size, fitting a 170 tire on a 5.5" rim a number of times and actually liked the change.

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8000 miles from a Z6 is excellent mileage. With the ME 880 what front tire do you use?

I am stock with a 180/55 17 so if I can find an 880 in that size this sounds like the way to go. I rode to AK in 2003 and don't remember that much chip seal, but there was quite a few miles under construction with gravel/ mud blush.gif


Thanks for your input, I will research the 880s.

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I get far better than 8K on tires by not under-inflating the front tires or over-inflating the rear ones. Also, Dunlop has a fairly new tire that might be ideal for an RT traveling in Alaska. The D 616 radial has very aggressive tread pattern, superior grip and excellent cut and wear resistance claims. www.dunlopmotorcycle.com

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This is the first I have heard of this tire, Thanks. I usually run 37 Front and 41 PSI rear on this bike. I think this should be a good setting for my rides.

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Now I know where I have seen those tires. They were designed for the Buell Uly. I didn’t have any serious off road aspirations for this ride. This rear pressure is considering me and the gear for the trip. Perhaps I should reduce it slightly. I have always had good wear from the front with no cupping at 37 PSI. Of course I typically get over 50000 miles from the brake pads so I don’t really abuse the front.

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The D 616 isn't an off road tire, it's a tire for ugly roads which are quite common in Alaska! The roads up there often turn slick with rain and mud.

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I averaged 12/14K on D205's rear tires, no longer available in18 inch I'm told but, I have one on my bike currently. I averaged 11K on the old style Sportmax GP's. I routinely get 16K out of D205 front tires and got nearly 17K from a Pirelli GT 03 front and almost 12K from the Pirelli GT 04 rear.


in the attachment the D204 on the left has 10,855 miles

the Metzler MEZ1 has 14,216 miles and the D205 on the right has 16,842 miles.


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The Z6 is a sticky tire with soft compound. They run best when a little hot. If you're going to run roads with dirt and stones, they won't heat up and that's good because the stones will cut them more quickly than they normally would. The process is called random siping......



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The stock Bridgstone got 5700 miles, on the rear and 12000 on the front.

I am currently runnng D616s on both front and rear, am on the second D616 on the rear, got 6400 miles on the first rear D616.

The D616s were specifically designed for the Buel Ulysis and only come in one size for front and one for the rear which just happens to fit the R1200RT.

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Thanks for the useful information. Right now I am leaning toward the D205 or D220. They have 9/32 tread depth on the rear and are said to wear fairly good. Once I return I want to try the Conti Road Attack tires, mileage will be less important grin.gif

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Don't even think of Dunlap 220's I'm going through my second rear in 6k. The first one had cord showing at 3k. The present one has 3k and maybe another 500 or 1k left. I don't feel I drive agressively but I do drive fast. The dealer says 42 front and rear. I am going to Metzler Z6's and their website says 36 front and 38 rear. I liked the 220's at 34 front and 36 rear; dealer says that makes them get hot and wear faster?

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Just passed 15,000 miles on a pair of Bridgestone BT020's. Pretty squared off now, though.


Is there any tread left? I've taken two sets right ot the wear bars at 10,000 miles, in the New England. Would be interested in your road surface and riding style.





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Thanks, I will scratch the D220's off my ever shortening list. blush.gif

I'll second that!

4K miles and my D220 rear was into the wear bars.

Replaced both front & rear with Pilot Roads.

Currently at 7.75K (total) miles. Tires show little wear. I expect at least another 4K out of them.

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Beware of rear tire wear in Alaska. I did a trip through Alaska last year. They use a very sharp agressive chip seal. Tire life can easily be reduced by 50-percent. I had ME 880's and the rear tire lasted 5500 miles. I strongly suggest you either carry a replacement tire with you or plan on replacing the rear tire in Anchorage. My ME 880 looked real good at 4,500 miles and was toast at 5,500 miles. I ended up having a tire air freighted in to Whitehourse Yukon from Vancouver BC. Not cheap. The bottom line about Alaska is that you can count on much less tire life. BMW sizes are hard to find.

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