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semimojo

Good tire choices for an R1200RT?

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semimojo

I bought this bike used, and it looks like the previous owner may have replaced the rear tire before I bought it. The rear is a Michelin Pilot Road 4. I think it is the standard version, not the GT or the trail version since I don't see any such designations. I'm not sure how to tell, though. The wear on it is even, and it has plenty of tread left. It's stable and has good traction. I like it.

 

The front tire is at the end of its useful life, though, worn down to the wear indicators and with some vibration-inducing cupping toward the edges. It's also a bit squirmy under hard braking. It needs to be replaced. It's a Pilot Road 3.

 

Since the rear is in such good shape, I'm inclined to go with a Pilot Road 4 for the front to match it to the rear, but I'm curious what other tires are worth considering.

 

Most of my rides tend to be one-day jaunts, spirited, in fair weather over dry paved roads if I can help it. I value traction over wear, especially at high lean angles, and I appreciate excellent braking performance. That said, I'm no racer, and I'm not likely to exceed the performance limits of any high quality sport or sport touring tire.

 

Would you consider the Michelin Pilot Road 4 to be a good choice for that kind of riding? What do you like?

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Skywagon

I'm a big fan of pilot road 4 GT on my rt

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Dave_in_TX

I like the Bridgestone T30s in the GT spec.

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realshelby

While I have not run the PR4 on this RT, I think they are really good tires. I just took a set off one of the v Stroms and like the others they tend to have a slight squirm when pushed really hard. Not a problem, just a feel and most obvious under hard braking. Then there is the cost of them.

 

My favorite tire is the Bridgeston T-30. www.americanmototire.com has the GT spec shipped for $218 a set. I have about 10,000 on the front tire with good tread left, rears are probably a 6500-7000 mile tire. Which is about what I got out of the PR3-4's. These tires have a very good feel when pushed hard, zero issues in the rain with them, very stable in hard braking. I simply cannot force myself to try any other tire as long as these are at this price point. Worried you don't have enough tread left on the rear for an upcoming trip? No worries, just replace it with a new one. I don't feel guilty removing a tire with a couple thousand miles left when I can get them at this price.

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Danny caddyshack Noonan

Love the PR4s

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joeb

Love the PR4GT. Got about 11k on the GTs, only about 9k on the Pr3s. The 3s with the softer side walls give a little better feel ,but ,they discontinued them in the size I need. The reason I am sticking with the PR4S is that I have never had a tire that sticks so good in the rain. The mileage is really good for such a sticky tire.

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Fathom

I'm also a huge fan of the PR4GT, and have run them in extremely adverse (pouring down, torrential rain on the highway; most 18 wheelers had their emergency flasehrs on), and they were amazing. Great performance in the dry as well; very stable/predictable, even when I'm STARTing or FARTing. I'm on my 3rd set, and had a few sets of PR3GTs before these.

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joeb

Thought I'd add that since last post , ordered a new set of PR4GTS from americanmototire.com. Best price I've found with free shipping. Now we'll see if I actually get them and how soon. Also, since I go thru 2 sets a season, I ordered the wheel balancer from marcparnes to use as I do my own changes.

Hope this helps. Jb.

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MarkAZ

I'm glad to hear all the likes of the PR4GT. I just got a set this week, also from AMT...they're across town from me...but I haven't installed them yet. I'm hoping I can do the change manually with tire spoons & elbow grease. I was able to do it on my airhead but am a bit apprehensive on the oilhead. They'll be replacing a nearly worn out set of PR2s and I'm looking forward to the improvement in ride that everyone seems to have with them.

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BNA Pete

Love the PR4s, front and rear. Someone is going to have to give me a really good argument to change to anything else.

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semimojo

The pricing on the Bridgestone T30's is certainly attractive.

I've found plenty of good anecdotal reviews of it and the Michelin PR4GT. I going to look for some more technical reviews before I decide. Since I have a PR4 on the rear, I'm still leaning toward the PR4 for the front.

 

Also looks like the Pirelli Angel GT is well-like by many.

 

I'm just going to keep looking at reviews, for now.

 

Does anyone like pure sport tires for a heavyweight sport-touring bikes? I suspect they would wear rather quickly, but should provide more grip than a GT tire.

 

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semimojo

In the past, I've always replaced both tires at the same time with the same brand/model. Are there any potential issues with having a different tire brand/model at the front and rear?

 

I can't get over the reasonable pricing on that Bridgestone T30. If a front Bridgestone T30 will ride and perform nicely with a rear Michelin PR4, then I may go with the T30 after all.

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sardineone

Hi semimojo, I had been a long time fan of the Michelin Pilot Road series tires until the PR4. With the PR4 I got faster steering response that prematurely led to degraded steering & handling by the time I had reached 3500 miles. Totally uncharacteristic of previous Michelin tires I had used. I would advise other than a RP-4. I have low mileage Angel GT's, but only an initial positive impression right now.

Edited by sardineone

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joeb

Don't have my new tires yet but I have removed my old front tire . Made my own bead breaker with a couple of scraps of wood and an old pipe. Works great. Saw a utube video of removing the tire using zip ties, windex, and a couple of spoons. After warming wheel up in house ( garage is way to cold ) the tire came off very easy. Think I'm done spending money on shop swaps.

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joeb

A while back my front PR4GT was worn to the point where I wouldn't ride with it. Unfortunately, I had a ride I wanted to do before my new tires came, so a friend gave me a half run out Bridgestone to use. Wasn't expecting a great ride with mismatched tires but the bike handled great. I still match my tires but I'm not afraid to mix them if the need arises

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gordiet

+1,

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realshelby

 

Running 3 of the brands mentioned in that article shows me that it is a reasonably accurate review. But typically reviews don't carry over to real world experience. Such as wet traction, yes the PR4 is great. But I couldn't get the T30's to lose traction in slow curves on very wet pavement with either the RT or V STrom. So, what more do you need? I too found the braking on the PR4 to be squirmy, saying the Continentals are twitchy might be an understatement! The Roadsmarts give the worst feedback of any tire I have owned. What I really want to know about is mileage! If I get 8000 miles out of a rear tire I think it is amazing. I see owners with 12-14K miles on PR4's and other brands. They claim that is worth the high price. But I don't get that mileage and the T30's actually feel better on a bike. I suppose that since the T30 is so much cheaper, it is assumed it is not a quality tire?

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dirtrider

 

Would you consider the Michelin Pilot Road 4 to be a good choice for that kind of riding? What do you like?

 

Afternoon semimojo

 

About all you can do is try it.

 

For MY riding style (or lack there of) the PR4 is about the worst tire that I have ever used in the modern radial tire era. For me (personally) terrible wear & they walk all over & are unpredictable when the bike is leaned way over & working the tire side tread. Plus they feather up like a Tom turkey in mating season if I push them hard.

 

But, on the flip side I have a friend that is sold on them & thinks the PR4 is the best tire that he has ridden on (about the same 1200RT bike as mine) but he is a w-a-y less aggressive of a rider & his idea of leaning a bike in a curve is tilting his head.

 

Choosing motorcycle tires is like buying boots or cloths-- you pick one & try it-- if it works out good then buy the same next time. If it doesn't work then you try something different until you find what WORKS FOR YOU & your riding style/habits.

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semimojo

I've decided to try the Bridgestone T30. I don't see the word "squirmy" associated with it very often, and that is a plus for me. It seems to be well-liked by riders who describe their riding style as aggressive, which is a good description of my own style. The price relative to the PR4 doesn't hurt either. Wet performance is not as critical to me as dry. I tend to just slow way down in wet conditions anyway.

 

Bottom line, there's no way to judge a tires suitability without giving it a try.

 

 

 

 

 

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Skywagon

Interesting thread as always. We have the pr4 as the best and worst tire. no major complaints on the t30. I'm still a pr4gt but will try the t30 based on terry's view once this set of pr4gt's have given me their 14,000 miles I expect.

 

Agree with terry on the continentals that came on the bike. They were so bad I pulled them off at 2500 miles and threw them away. Worse traction tire I've ever owned. Any hard turns at all and rear was sliding out. They road walked so bad I thought there was something wrong with the bike.

 

Let us know how you like the t30.

Edited by Skywagon

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MarkAZ
Don't have my new tires yet but I have removed my old front tire . Made my own bead breaker with a couple of scraps of wood and an old pipe. Works great. Saw a utube video of removing the tire using zip ties, windex, and a couple of spoons. After warming wheel up in house ( garage is way to cold ) the tire came off very easy. Think I'm done spending money on shop swaps.

 

Glad to hear it worked OK. I'll hopefully get to mine this coming week. It's plenty warm outside here so shouldn't be any problem softening them up. I saw that video as well & may give the zip ties a try.

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joeb

Qwik update. Tires ordered from americanmototire.com yesterday, came today ! Less than 30 hrs. Free shipping.

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Gene#3
I'm glad to hear all the likes of the PR4GT. I just got a set this week, also from AMT...they're across town from me...but I haven't installed them yet. I'm hoping I can do the change manually with tire spoons & elbow grease. I was able to do it on my airhead but am a bit apprehensive on the oilhead. They'll be replacing a nearly worn out set of PR2s and I'm looking forward to the improvement in ride that everyone seems to have with them.

 

If you have trouble, use zip ties with the spoons and you'll be good!

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Kritou

There is some discussion on this side of the Pond about the Pilot Road 3 and 4's susceptibility to puncturing and it appears that these tyres do not have any steel banding reinforcement

 

I ride my RT solo with minimal luggage and in search of a more comfortable/softer ride have "downgraded" from PR4 GT to a set of PR 3s

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John in VA

Michelin definitely.

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Gene#3

Pirelli Angel GT's also get great reviews, particularly from those more into the "sport" of sport touring. For some reason there haven't been many on RT's trying them out?

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paRTy

I have them (Pirelli Angel GT's) on my 14'RTW.

Love them. Great in wet - track well - stick like glue.

my 2cts.

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realshelby
Pirelli Angel GT's also get great reviews, particularly from those more into the "sport" of sport touring. For some reason there haven't been many on RT's trying them out?

 

I would like to try a set of Pirelli's. I ran their sport touring tires on my '04 RT and liked them very much. But they don't make that tire any longer and every time I look at reviews for the latest Angel GT's I sense they are not delivering all that good of mileage. Since they are about the same price as PR4's, I don't see myself taking a chance on a set.

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gordiet

I tried a set and they lasted 5100 miles and were toast! Back to PR4GTs

 

GT

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Doug_Baliko

I'm going to try a set of continental road attack 2 gt's.

 

Doug

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Gene#3
I tried a set and they lasted 5100 miles and were toast! Back to PR4GTs

 

GT

 

What did you get for mileage on your earlier PR4's?

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gordiet
I tried a set and they lasted 5100 miles and were toast! Back to PR4GTs

 

GT

 

What did you get for mileage on your earlier PR4's?

6300 to 9100 miles. The lower mileage was when I was trying to be young again!

 

GT

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joeb

J did set wheels in front of fire place for a few minutes andthe tires came off and went on very easy. Hope this helps.ust installed new PR4GTs and finally got to put a few hundred miles on the other day. Forgot how good new tires felt. Great handling. Now I'm looking at 6" of snow. Not about to try their ice handling.

Side note on mounting. Considered dropping wheels in jacuzzi to warm up rubber. Wife said not a good idea ( among other things ) I did however set my wheels near the fireplace to warm. Tires came off and on easily. Hope this helps.

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temesvar

13K km (8K miles) on PR4 mounted last year. Mostly highway, and no young stuff...

I tend to believe are good for just as much more.

Not on a RT, but on a 1050 Triumph Sprint. Great tires, wet or dry.

Just got me a set for the RT, PR4GT back. PR4 front.

Am not sure about my choice for the front. Will see.

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blackyam

Hi. I'll throw in my two cents. I was a long-time Metzler user (from Z4 to Z8). A couple of years ago, I tried a set of PR3 for the first time and really liked them. They seemed to provide a noticeably better ride than the Metzler for me. A couple of weeks ago, I went to get a new set of tires, but they had only PR4 available, so I got a set (not the GT).

 

My early impression is that, with the PR4, I am noticing the cut grooves in freeways (for rain?) for the first time in many, many years. In that respect, the PR4 is a little disappointing, but I am hoping that I will find the PR4 to be as good as the PR3 in every other way.

 

By the way, I put on the set of PR3 at 53,766 mi, and they lasted until I put on the set of PR4 at 74,509 mi. :-) The guy at the shop said that he thought I might have had a couple of hundred miles left on the rear, and maybe 1,000 mi left on the front. This is the best mileage I've ever had, and I am hoping to get just as many miles on the PR4. :-O

 

---John.

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Andrew Harmsworth

I have the pr4,s on mine which have lasted about 6k miles front is still ok not the rear is down to min and has squared off badly due to my high miles on uk motorways.

 

Mileage seems to be greatly differently between us, riding stile, youth road surface etc all factors. so I guess it's back to back experance of different tyres with the same rider / conditions that are most informative

 

Does any one have any experance of a pr4 and alternative on a harder wearing motorway tyre.

 

 

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EdgarBowman

I tried a set and they lasted 4800 miles and were toast! Back to PR4GTs. I read a article here- www.bikebd.com 

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Dave_in_TX
On ‎2‎/‎20‎/‎2016 at 5:45 PM, semimojo said:

I've decided to try the Bridgestone T30. I don't see the word "squirmy" associated with it very often, and that is a plus for me. It seems to be well-liked by riders who describe their riding style as aggressive, which is a good description of my own style. The price relative to the PR4 doesn't hurt either. Wet performance is not as critical to me as dry. I tend to just slow way down in wet conditions anyway.

 

Bottom line, there's no way to judge a tires suitability without giving it a try.

 

 

 

 

 

You can't beat the price of the T30 and my experience has been that you give up little or nothing over higher priced premium tires.

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realshelby
28 minutes ago, Dave_in_TX said:

You can't beat the price of the T30 and my experience has been that you give up little or nothing over higher priced premium tires.

The T-30 is the older version. I ran several sets of those. Good tires.

 

But don't buy them! Get the T-31. MUCH better tire wear with the same dry and wet handling.......

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Pappy35

Big Bridgestone T31GT fan here!

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6speedTi

T30's did not last as long as the previous battleaxe 027's. I wasn't about to try the T31's since the T30's in my opinion were a big disappointment. I switched over to the Dunlop Road Smart III. So far the rear has over 9,000 miles and it looks great. It is on track to meet or exceed the wear compared to the old 027's Bridgestone battleaxe. I just installed the front tire with the same Dunlop Road Smart III. Too soon to form an opinion. That's my choice of tires.

Good luck in your decisions. 

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realshelby

Watch the front tire wear on the Roadsmart III. I ran a set and the front was gone about as fast as the rear. No way to do two rears with them, and it seems others have the same opinion. T-31's are wearing better than the Roadsmart III for me.

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Skywagon

As Andrew said, lots of variables by rider and texture for mileage...I've always gotten high mileage out of all the PR family.  It's all I use.  Here is a picture taken just a few minutes ago of my PR4GT's with 9151 miles on them.  They are no where near gone and will come off at about 12-13000 miles at next service interval.  Most of my mileage is at a pretty good clip, city freeway to get to the country, spirited ride in the country, freeway to get home.  Lot's of fast stopping in Houston traffic and heat.

 

Terry and I live in the same general area...have exact same bike.

 

 

front.png

rear.png

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dduelin

My 2007 came with Pilot 5s mounted and I can't wait to get rid of them. I skipped the PR4 gen but the 1st Gen PRs, PR2s, & PR3s for me were a disappointment. Michelin insists on squishy sidewalls I guess for the soft ride but pressed in the corners they are vague and uncommunicative. A sport touring tire that is all touring and no sport. The Telelever front makes it worse. And the feathering and lumpy wear! I kept trying them thinking each succeeding generation would fix those issues. Bridgestone T31s going on soon. Superb tires for feedback, handling and even symmetrical wear and not far behind the Michelins in the wet. The price is gravy, I'd gladly pay Michelin prices for them.

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realshelby
1 hour ago, dduelin said:

 Bridgestone T31s going on soon. Superb tires for feedback, handling and even symmetrical wear and not far behind the Michelins in the wet. The price is gravy, I'd gladly pay Michelin prices for them.

Interested in how the Michelins are better in the wet?

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6speedTi
9 hours ago, realshelby said:

Watch the front tire wear on the Roadsmart III. I ran a set and the front was gone about as fast as the rear. No way to do two rears with them, and it seems others have the same opinion. T-31's are wearing better than the Roadsmart III for me.

Thanks for the head up on the front tire. I did some research specifically for front tire wear patterns. The two big issues are tire pressure and heavy front wheel braking. Even if your within manufacturer recommended tire pressures you can still get uneven wear such as cupping. Many bump up the pressure to minimize this and to get a better feel on the road. The heavy front braking is part of riding. But I usually go 2 to 1 on the front tire over the rear. Sometimes it's less. That's the way it is. Many other factors play into it as well. Hopefully my RS III will do better than the T30. 

 

http://www.rattlebars.com/tirewear/

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dduelin
3 hours ago, realshelby said:

Interested in how the Michelins are better in the wet?

Michelin advertising going back to the PR3s referred to objective track tests and there were (are) objective tire reviews that appeared in British and German magazines that placed contemporary Pilot Roads higher performing in the wet compared to the competition. My own subjective opinion was the only time PR2s and 3s gave more confidence than BT023s, T30s, T30 Evos or T31s was in the wet and the latter two are not far behind. This on 230,000 accumulated miles on the ST1300 and NC700X.

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realshelby
9 hours ago, dduelin said:

Michelin advertising going back to the PR3s referred to objective track tests and there were (are) objective tire reviews that appeared in British and German magazines that placed contemporary Pilot Roads higher performing in the wet compared to the competition. My own subjective opinion was the only time PR2s and 3s gave more confidence than BT023s, T30s, T30 Evos or T31s was in the wet and the latter two are not far behind. This on 230,000 accumulated miles on the ST1300 and NC700X.

Michelin has a reputation for being good in wet conditions. But are they BETTER than the competition? Just like tire wear reports from "manufacturer testing" wet traction testing against competitors leaves me with a "well, that was bought and paid for ahead of time" feeling. 

I have run PR3's and PR4's on my V Strom. Absolutely good in wet conditions. BUT...I also switched to T-30's on the same bike and it was just as good in wet conditions. PR3 wear was a little better, but the PR4's didn't wear as well and did not match the T-30 mileage. 

I have ridden in torrential downpours across Mississippi and Louisiana on the RT with the T-31's and they never wiggled. Ever. I have tried to break them loose with heavy throttle coming out of turns and they just grip. Hard on the throttle in second gear and no slippage. Even in braking they seem to have more traction than I am asking for. I am sure there is a limit, but since I am more cautious in wet I think most any of the newer generation tires are more than good in the rain compared to tires 15 years ago. The only time I can remember a slip in the wet is in 40 degree rain in west Texas. I downshifted and hit full throttle to pass and the rear tire slipped on the painted line. Those were T-30's. It surprised me, but really I should have expected that. 

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Dave_in_TX
On 2/13/2020 at 9:33 AM, 6speedTi said:

T30's did not last as long as the previous battleaxe 027's. I wasn't about to try the T31's since the T30's in my opinion were a big disappointment. I switched over to the Dunlop Road Smart III. So far the rear has over 9,000 miles and it looks great. It is on track to meet or exceed the wear compared to the old 027's Bridgestone battleaxe. I just installed the front tire with the same Dunlop Road Smart III. Too soon to form an opinion. That's my choice of tires.

Good luck in your decisions. 

Interesting. I didn't notice any mileage loss going from 027s to T30s.

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