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a technical tire question


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my bike uses a 190/55 rear tire. the only tires available in this size are precisely the ones i dont care to use. they are the sport tires (diablo, qualifier, pilot power, sportec etc) which give me around 5000 miles of sport-touring to slightly aggressive riding before they need to be replaced. what i wish to use is a dual compound sport touring tire (pilot road 2, interact, roadsmart etc as they are perfect tires for my riding style and offer nearly twice the mileage over the suggested tires for my K1300S.


the problem is, none of the dual compound sport touring tires come in the size suggested for use on my bike. they come in a 190/50 or a 180/55, but not a 190/55.


my question is, if i were to use one of these sizes, which most closely resembles the fit of the original stock tire? my guess is it is the 180, which results in a slightly less wide tire while maintaining more closely the original profile of the 190/55. but i dont know for sure. and also, would a smaller (180) tire fit on my rims designed to hold a 190?


i am prepared to suffer whatever minor performance issues associated with using a different size tire. meanwhile if anyone has some advice to lend, i would appreciate it. or knows of a dual compound sport touring tire i am overlooking...


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Personal opinionated opinion:

A 190/55 tire is 104.5 mm tall (55% of 190). A 180/55 is 99 mm tall. A 190/50 is 95 mm tall. I would pick the 180/55. I don't think there is a problem mounting the 180 tire on the K1300S rim. For handling feel I prefer a narrower tire to a wide one.

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More arithmetic shows the difference in diameter between the 190/55 and 180/55 tires to be less than 2% - which I doubt would be noticeable in any ordinary riding.

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I'd definitely go with the 180/55. Negligible differnce unless your pushing it, ala track style.


Going with this would open you up to the Michelin Pilot Road 2 for your rear. For the front, I'd go with the Pilot Power 2CT.


This is the same set up that I am using on my K1300GT. It is a fantastic pairing and, though I have not ridden this set up on the K1300S, I have ridden the S for quite a few miles and feel confident in recommending it on this bike.

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I also doubt you will notice much, if any, handling difference with the exception that the 180/55 might just turn in a bit easier but that is going to depend on the profile of the tire.


My Tuono includes all 3 sizes in their fitment recommendation. I'm running a 190/50 right now but it is a Pirelli Russo which has a pretty triangular shape. I Pilot Road 2 in the same size has a much rounder profile and, I would imagine, will be a bit more reluctant to tip into a turn.



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All the mentioned alternative tires are smaller than the original, so the the speedometer will indicate a somewhat higher speed for the same real speed, probably exagerating a already existing error.

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