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V vs. Z Rated Tires


peb

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There is a local custom bike shop within a couple of miles of my house that can get me a good price on ME880 tires. Prices are with $5 of a internet supplier listed in another post. His supplier only list V rated tires. My owners manual calls for Z rated tires. Any reason not to buy the V rated tires. My top riding speed 80-85 mph.

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The V rated tires are safe to be ridden up to 149 m.p.h. and the Z rated tires are for speeds over 149 m.p.h. Since you won't be going over 149 m.p.h. on your BMW, you are okay to slap those V-rated tires on the bike.

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The V rated tires are safe to be ridden up to 149 m.p.h. and the Z rated tires are for speeds over 149 m.p.h. Since you won't be going over 149 m.p.h. on your BMW, you are okay to slap those V-rated tires on the bike.

 

There should be a disclaimer for twisties. If you ride a lot of twisties get the z's.

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So thats a loaded question right?... OK, I'll bite.

 

Softer stickier compound holds the road better and better speed sidewall tread design.

 

BTW, Z rubber cold is like wood. They warm quickly, but on cold winter mornings when starting your commute, they can be slippery.

 

That's one reason you see superbike racers wiggling their tires prior to racing (they're warming them up)

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DavidEBSmith

Mmmm, speed ratings are based on a tire's ability to withstand heat generated from running at certain speeds. Doesn't necessarily have any connection with the stickiness of the compound or the handling quality of the tire. In fact, if you look at the Metzeler catalog, you can find some ME880 sizes that are Z (W) rated, and some Roadtec Z6 sizes that are only V rated. Nobody would ever claim that the ME880s are better twisties tires than the Z6s.

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ShovelStrokeEd

EB has that right.

 

The speed rating has little, if anything, to do with the tread compound. Since an RT won't approach the limit of either, there is no valid reason, other than fashion, not to run a V-rated tire so long as its load rating, a far more important number, matches the weight of the intended bike/rider/passenger/luggage usage.

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Nobody would ever claim that the ME880s are better twisties tires than the Z6s.

 

You can say that again. I got my Z6's a while ago, and my bike STILL crawls through the twisties. Mountain bikers pass me going uphill. I thought the Z6's would make my RT faster ... clap.gifgrin.gifclap.gif

 

Hmm .. maybe Superbike school??

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Mmmm, speed ratings are based on a tire's ability to withstand heat generated from running at certain speeds. Doesn't necessarily have any connection with the stickiness of the compound or the handling quality of the tire. In fact, if you look at the Metzeler catalog, you can find some ME880 sizes that are Z (W) rated, and some Roadtec Z6 sizes that are only V rated. Nobody would ever claim that the ME880s are better twisties tires than the Z6s.

 

I was told the term was hysterisis, the ability of the rubber to stay together while spinning.

 

At least that's what they told me when I suffered chipping on a new 880 rear, doing high speeds in 105-110 degree weather for long periods of time. The rubber flew off the cleats. Z rated tires are high hysterisis.

 

Perhaps a by product of this quality is a softer compound.

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Mmmm, speed ratings are based on a tire's ability to withstand heat generated from running at certain speeds. Doesn't necessarily have any connection with the stickiness of the compound or the handling quality of the tire. In fact, if you look at the Metzeler catalog, you can find some ME880 sizes that are Z (W) rated, and some Roadtec Z6 sizes that are only V rated. Nobody would ever claim that the ME880s are better twisties tires than the Z6s.

 

I was told the term was hysterisis, the ability of the rubber to stay together while spinning.

 

At least that's what they told me when I suffered chipping on a new 880 rear, doing high speeds in 105-110 degree weather for long periods of time. The rubber flew off the cleats. Z rated tires are high hysterisis.

 

Perhaps a by product of this quality is a softer compound.

 

What is considered high speed for the ME880? 90-100 or 100 +? I also ride for long periods of time at 80-85mph, with the temps being in the 90's around here.

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Mmmm, speed ratings are based on a tire's ability to withstand heat generated from running at certain speeds. Doesn't necessarily have any connection with the stickiness of the compound or the handling quality of the tire. In fact, if you look at the Metzeler catalog, you can find some ME880 sizes that are Z (W) rated, and some Roadtec Z6 sizes that are only V rated. Nobody would ever claim that the ME880s are better twisties tires than the Z6s.

 

I was told the term was hysterisis, the ability of the rubber to stay together while spinning.

 

At least that's what they told me when I suffered chipping on a new 880 rear, doing high speeds in 105-110 degree weather for long periods of time. The rubber flew off the cleats. Z rated tires are high hysterisis.

 

Perhaps a by product of this quality is a softer compound.

 

What is considered high speed for the ME880? 90-100 or 100 +? I also ride for long periods of time at 80-85mph, with the temps being in the 90's around here.

 

 

then you need the ME 990's for 90* weather........... confused.gif only kidding.

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What is considered high speed for the ME880? 90-100 or 100 +? I also ride for long periods of time at 80-85mph, with the temps being in the 90's around here.
"A friend" of mine has run his 880s at 100+ for hours in the more remote parts of the NV and UT deserts carrying plenty of weight and they don't seem to have any problems.

 

(This statement purely for the purpose of demonstrating one possibile use of the 880, no actual incident is represented or implied)

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Mmmm, speed ratings are based on a tire's ability to withstand heat generated from running at certain speeds. Doesn't necessarily have any connection with the stickiness of the compound or the handling quality of the tire. In fact, if you look at the Metzeler catalog, you can find some ME880 sizes that are Z (W) rated, and some Roadtec Z6 sizes that are only V rated. Nobody would ever claim that the ME880s are better twisties tires than the Z6s.

 

I was told the term was hysterisis, the ability of the rubber to stay together while spinning.

 

At least that's what they told me when I suffered chipping on a new 880 rear, doing high speeds in 105-110 degree weather for long periods of time. The rubber flew off the cleats. Z rated tires are high hysterisis.

 

Perhaps a by product of this quality is a softer compound.

 

What is considered high speed for the ME880? 90-100 or 100 +? I also ride for long periods of time at 80-85mph, with the temps being in the 90's around here.

 

It was years ago in the Sonoran desert, I was averaging 95 -100. I'm sure the state of the art is a lot better today. I'm probably going to put an 880 rear on mine since I don't like the wear warning on the Z6 (there ain't none). The 880's are a rated V. Properly inflated

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I have been running Z6's on the bike and like you said there is no wear warning. I like the Z6 and have had no problems with them and would recommend them as an excellant tire. However, with my daily commute on the bike and a long distance ride or two, I need more mileage.

 

I have ordered the ME880's and they will be mounted on Saturday. clap.gif

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I'm thinking that the gauge should keep you from being in a posistion where the steel belts are showing. A penny works too.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
I'm thinking that the gauge should keep you from being in a posistion where the steel belts are showing. A penny works too.

 

716606-Roadtec_Z6.gif

 

A Z6 rear tire doesn't really have any tread grooves on the centerline; it's really difficult to measure centerline rubber thickness, unless you've got a really good visual memory of what the original tire profile looked like.

716606-Roadtec_Z6.gif.467fc692df4b7834be21f6e6db06bc80.gif

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it's really difficult to measure centerline rubber thickness

 

You could measure the arc of the tire from edge to edge. A new tire will be "longer" than a worn one. Get some reference points, take non-centerline wear into account, and you could probably make a pretty good guess. Easier than pulling the tire off and measuring actual thickness anyway...

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Joe Frickin' Friday
it's really difficult to measure centerline rubber thickness

 

You could measure the arc of the tire from edge to edge. A new tire will be "longer" than a worn one. Get some reference points, take non-centerline wear into account, and you could probably make a pretty good guess. Easier than pulling the tire off and measuring actual thickness anyway...

 

it would be tough to correlate a difference between new/used arc measurements with just how much rubber is remaining on the cords, especially since the thickness of rubber on a new tire is unknown. Certainly it can be done if you're willing to do a lot of investigation and calculation and estimation, which all goes back to what I said:

 

it's really difficult to measure centerline rubber thickness. crazy.gif

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Mmmm, speed ratings are based on a tire's ability to withstand heat generated from running at certain speeds. Doesn't necessarily have any connection with the stickiness of the compound or the handling quality of the tire. In fact, if you look at the Metzeler catalog, you can find some ME880 sizes that are Z (W) rated, and some Roadtec Z6 sizes that are only V rated. Nobody would ever claim that the ME880s are better twisties tires than the Z6s.

 

Sticky has nothing to do with rating? Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

n14mz.jpg

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WildR1150RT

Except now you are attempting to compare race tires with street tires, Kind of like comparing racing tires for cars and standard street tires. Diffrent animals, diffrent price, diffrent design in process/ material.

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Here's a page explaining speed ratings in the way that I've always understood them.

 

There could well be a corrolation between top speed and stickiness in that bikes which are capable of going 150mph tend to be sporty enough that their riders also demand good cornering feel. A drag racer who might need a high speed racing might also appreciate as much traction as he can get from his tires.

 

On the other hand, Pirelli makes a Diablo tire for the Burgman (160/60R14) that has an "R" rating -- good to 106mph. Do you think Pirelli would use the "Diablo" brand on a significantly lower performing tire? Perhaps our resident Burgman expert has some idea of their stickiness.

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Here's a page explaining speed ratings in the way that I've always understood them.

 

There could well be a corrolation between top speed and stickiness in that bikes which are capable of going 150mph tend to be sporty enough that their riders also demand good cornering feel. A drag racer who might need a high speed racing might also appreciate as much traction as he can get from his tires.

 

On the other hand, Pirelli makes a Diablo tire for the Burgman (160/60R14) that has an "R" rating -- good to 106mph. Do you think Pirelli would use the "Diablo" brand on a significantly lower performing tire? Perhaps our resident Burgman expert has some idea of their stickiness.

 

I read the tech on tire rack. It seems to me to says little. It tells of the procedure of the test. Are the tires spun til failure? What constitutes failure. It seems they may be looking for the ability of the tire to hold together under clinical conditions & may be a relative guide to wear (if they measure it then), but the writeup doesn't indicate that.

After reading that I don't think it has much value beyond a shopping guide.

 

Z, W, & Y tires are referred to as performance tires - accurately or not. Performance takes into account a lot more than the test. The ability to hold the road, siping to avert aqua planing and real life tire wear. I posted the pic to indicate that stickiness matters (at the cost of wear). When I suggested that if the original poster did twisties frequently, he would be better served with a Z rated tire.

 

BTW racing tires are of the same family, they're simply altered street compound with focused use in their design.

 

I don't mean to get into a pissing contest, but I haven't learned anything new yet.

 

 

 

crazy.gif

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Joe Frickin' Friday
When I suggested that if the original poster did twisties frequently, he would be better served with a Z rated tire.

 

The Metzeler ME880 tire has a reputation for lasting well over 10K miles. It's available in a Z-rated version, and in a version that is not Z-rated.

 

Are you saying the Z-rated version offers more traction?

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As has been pointed out, it's not about traction. It's not about top speed, either. It's about SUSTAINED top speed.

 

I've used H-rated tires on the track, for goodness sake, and they have just as much traction as the Z-rated sister tire.

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Paul Mihalka
The Metzeler ME880 tire has a reputation for lasting well over 10K miles. It's available in a Z-rated version, and in a version that is not Z-rated.
I don't know of any Metzeler ME880 that comes Z rated. Some in older bike sizes are H rated, most I've seen are V rated. They com in belted ("B" in the size) or radial ("R") construction.
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DavidEBSmith
I don't know of any Metzeler ME880 that comes Z rated.

 

According to their current on-line tire guide, they make ME880s in 120/70 ZR-18, 120/70 ZR-19, 210/50 ZR-17, 180/55 ZR-18. Plus there's a 200/50 R-18 that's W rated (to 170 mph).

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Paul Mihalka
I don't know of any Metzeler ME880 that comes Z rated.

 

According to their current on-line tire guide, they make ME880s in 120/70 ZR-18, 120/70 ZR-19, 210/50 ZR-17, 180/55 ZR-18. Plus there's a 200/50 R-18 that's W rated (to 170 mph).

Good news! But I don't know if any are current BMW sizes...
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Joe Frickin' Friday
I've used H-rated tires on the track, for goodness sake, and they have just as much traction as the Z-rated sister tire.

 

Yeah, that's kind of what I was getting at: it would be weird if two Me880 tires had two different traction properties - especially when their catalog only gives one traction rating for each model of tire (regardless of whether it's Z-rated or not).

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WildR1150RT

 

BTW racing tires are of the same family, they're simply altered street compound with focused use in their design.

 

I don't mean to get into a pissing contest, but I haven't learned anything new yet.

 

 

 

crazy.gif

Lets see, if you change the compound and design, you have the same family, I guess my daughters VW is a Porsche GT4 in the waiting..

Here is a link that also talks about the difrences of tires, compounds, ratings and even the diffrences between race and street.

http://www.sportrider.com/tech/tires/

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BTW racing tires are of the same family, they're simply altered street compound with focused use in their design.

 

I don't mean to get into a pissing contest, but I haven't learned anything new yet.

 

 

 

crazy.gif

Lets see, if you change the compound and design, you have the same family, I guess my daughters VW is a Porsche GT4 in the waiting..

Here is a link that also talks about the difrences of tires, compounds, ratings and even the diffrences between race and street.

http://www.sportrider.com/tech/tires/

 

My Cayenne is built by VW.... Hmmmm Family...

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Nobody would ever claim that the ME880s are better twisties tires than the Z6s.
But some may argue they are just as good. My experience has been the 880's held just as good on the same bike, same surfaces, and same conditions. Others may have different experiences, but for me, the 880's worked every bit as good as the Z6's they replaced and I got twice the mileage from the 880's.
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Nobody would ever claim that the ME880s are better twisties tires than the Z6s.
But some may argue they are just as good. My experience has been the 880's held just as good on the same bike, same surfaces, and same conditions. Others may have different experiences, but for me, the 880's worked every bit as good as the Z6's they replaced and I got twice the mileage from the 880's.

 

A german bike magazine agrees with you and now so do I (as a result of their comparisons)

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