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Tires.....again......with disappointing results (Bridgestone 021)


PhillyFlash

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PhillyFlash

Yes, tires. I've tried a few, and decided to try another one. Pilot Roads with dual compound are available in Europe, but not here yet. September or October is the word. I've always like Pilot Roads, so I'm looking forward to them. Dual compound, front and rear, and getting pretty good reviews.

 

I needed new tires for Torrey, and when I saw the Bridgestone had replaced the 020 with the 021 (completely different tread design), and that the rear 021 was dual compound, I thought I'd give them a try. Many people have like the 020's for their good handling and long life (typically about 10k+ miles).

 

In the beginning, I kind of liked them, but I always like new tires. I set the pressure at 38/40 f/r, and checked the pressure regularly. The tires turned in very quickly, without too much effort, but they did give the bike a bit of a loose feeling. But as I said, they seemed to be alright. From Phoenix to Boulder City, the only problem was feeling the rear end slip out once as I made a turn out of a gas station, but I attributed that to possible gravel, and didn't give it another thought. Heading up UT-12 to Torrey, I thought I felt the rear end skip out a time or two, but it wasn't really unnerving, and I couldn't even be sure that it actually happened. However, while leading Stretchmark and Christine back to Torrey from Boulder, over the mountain, pushing the RT pretty hard, the rear definately slid out. At least twice. So much so that Mark and Christine both noticed it. I had only felt that one time with the Pilot Roads, and it was much slighter. This time the rear of the bike definately moved, but the rear tire gripped again quickly, and it didn't upset the stability of the bike. But I didn't like it. It made me a little nervous coming into curves that normally I wouldn't feel nervous about. I would still push it, but I was always waiting for that slip, and I didn't like having something else to think and worry about. Now these dual compounds are suppose to change compound when the bike is leaned way over. It's possible that I had the bike leaned right at the end of the hard compound, but not enough to reach the soft compound, and that's why it slid. When it slid, the bike may have leaned just enough more that the soft compound was now able to grip. I say this because sometimes, when the bike was leaned very far over, the rear would not slip, and sometimes it would. I've though about rider inputs, and rider error, and varying road conditions, but with the times that it happened, I really think it had more to do with that transition of the compound. I just don't know.

 

Made it home from Torrey, and the next weekend I did the Devil's Hwy ride with azkaisr (Tom). We weren't hooning on this ride, and for me, we rode at a pretty conservative pace. Still, there were a couple of times on curves that weren't all that challenging, and where I wasn't pushing hard, that I could feel the rear slip again. OK, enough, these aren't the tires for me. But at the end of the ride, I only had about 2200 miles on the set, so I figured I'd use them on my summer trip, take it a bit easier, and in the Fall, after I have about 9 or 10,000 miles on them, I'd replace them with the new Pilot Roads.

 

Cut to today. I decided to take my RT in to have my local dealer put it on the computer (needed for my extended warranty) and give it a good looking over, checking swing arm, wheel bearings, etc., before I take a trip. Lucky thing I did, because they found the input shaft seal leaking, and it's covered by the extended warranty. But, and this is a big BUT, the front tire is just about to the wear bar in a few places. With only 2200 miles!! I know I rode hard in Torrey, but I've ridden hard in Torrey with Pilot Roads, and many more miles beyond, and never had this kind of problem with a front tire. The rear still has plenty of tread, but I don't know if it will last another 4,000, or 8,000, or 12,000 miles. Both tires were balled up on the sides, like I was at the track. Don't remember that on the Pilot Roads.

 

So, after 2200 miles, I have a front tire that will last only another 1000-1500 miles (if that much), and a rear tire that has a tendency to lose grip. These are not the kind of replacements I was expecting for the well-respected 020. YMMV

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Thanks for the info. My Metzler Z6's that came stock my KGT are just about used up at 6k. I was looking at the 021's as a replacement since the Pilot Road 2 tires aren't released here yet. Guess I can write these off my list. I was always happy with the Pilot Roads on my old GT so maybe I'll just go back to what I know works.

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DavidEBSmith

Tires with short life and poor grip. I'll bet their investment strategy is buy high, sell low.

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My R1200RT came with BT020. They were worn at 5700 miles and I replaced them with Avon Azarros. I now am at 10,000 so the Avons have 4300 miles and they are about half gone. At 5700 miles I had touched a footpeg a couple times. The pegs are now each worn down 1/8" so I am running the Avons harder than I did the Bridgestones. That 4300 miles includes a track day at Buttonwillow. The bike feels better and doesn't follow the freeway grooves like it did.

The Azarros have become the Storm which I understand to be a small improvement.

I think they are wonderful!

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Howard..I put bridgestone on wifes bike,Did not last long,,And she goes a little slower than you,(but not much .LOL )We just put tires on Craig C bike at my shop,Im fully set up to do tires,Let me know if you want to put on new tires,Tim thumbsup.gif

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PhillyFlash

Thanks for the offer, Tim. I think I'll be ok, though. Shelley has an extra set of Pilot Roads with a front tire the same size that I run, and I can put it on over there. I've ordered another front sent to her house to replace the one she has. Almost like a little tire shop over there.

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i put the avon storms on 7,000 miles ago and i have a ton of tread left. only tire i will buy. excellent handling

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I just put 021's on my 2000RTP. Same strange sliding feeling at awkward times...like on a curve. Doesn't inspire confidence. Same milage, about 2400 but not the evident front wear you mention. Maybe the Avons are tongue.gif the way to go.

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i put the avon storms on 7,000 miles ago and i have a ton of tread left. only tire i will buy. excellent handling

 

What pressure are you running..what type of riding conditions?

I've been thinking about the Avon's for my next set. Started out with the stock Dunlop's, ok but not a huge fan. Now have the Michelin Pilot's...these are better, but lots of road noise. I've been hearing lots of stuff on the Avon's so we'll see.

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Put Storms on my R1200RT. Left MN for Seattle, then down to New Mexico and back to MN. 5400 mile round trip and the front was cupped and the back down to wear bars. Im a 155 lb rider with camping gear, running between 60 to 80 mph on back roads primarily and some interstate, front at 36 and rear at 42 for presure. frown.gif

 

Went back to z6's

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Put Storms on my R1200RT. Left MN for Seattle, then down to New Mexico and back to MN. 5400 mile round trip and the front was cupped and the back down to wear bars. Im a 155 lb rider with camping gear, running between 60 to 80 mph on back roads primarily and some interstate, front at 36 and rear at 42 for presure. frown.gif

 

Went back to z6's

 

Sounds about right....pressure too low in the front and too high in the rear will do just that...I run 38/40 and have had much better success w/my Avon's.....and I am carrying an extra 50 lbs (or more) most of the time....

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For the R1200RT they recommend 36 and 42. The front cupped ONLY on the left (center of the road) side and the back did not square off in the center, but had nice even wear across the face of the tire. So I don't feel that it is a pressure problem completely. The roads on the west coast are coarser and harder on tires. I was hoping to get closer to the 6000 to 7000 mile range on the tires.

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Granted I am not as familiar with the 1200 but I think the pressure played a major role. Max psi (42) is for 2 up with full gear load as I recall......but who knows, I never get close to what some folks claim to out of a rear tire...front cupping has always been due to low pressure in my experience...I get lots more out of my Avon's than I ever did out of Metzlers....but I have only tried the 4's not the 6's.....

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