Jump to content
g_e_young

New '11 R1200RT funny handling - Tires?

Recommended Posts

g_e_young

Hi All -

 

Long time Advrider here, and longtime -mostly- GS rider, but I just picked up an '11 R1200RT.  I've been looking for one of these for a long time, and finally the perfect bike showed up on CL. The motorcycle is in great condition, 20k miles, and has had every service from the local BMW dealer. Everything about the motorcycle is great, but the low speed handling (~10 - 40mph) is a bit odd. Granted I've been riding various GS's for the last 10+ years which have made me a sloppy rider, but when I hit come curves on this RT, while it starts to turn with relative easy, it takes a TON of counter steering to keep it on a constant line though the corner. This characteristic feels unnatural and isn't any fun.

 

While my first instinct was that these bikes simply must not handle very well, I now think that something is going on with the tires since most reviewers comment on the great handling. Thanks to all the rain, I've had limited time to play with tire pressure, but my sense is that this is greater than just an air pressure issue. Both tires are Metzeler Z8's, and the rear is very new (1500 miles) but but the front tire has 6000 miles, although it appears to be in good condition. The previous rider, as far as I can tell, was a -very- casual rider. 

 

Do any RT riders or motorcycle handling guru's out there have any advice? Are these tires just not very good? Is the RT VERY sensitive to tire wear? What tire pressures do RT riders recommend? Any thoughts would be helpful.  Thanks!

 

g-

Captureqqqq.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dirtrider
1 hour ago, g_e_young said:

Hi All -

 

Long time Advrider here, and longtime -mostly- GS rider, but I just picked up an '11 R1200RT.  I've been looking for one of these for a long time, and finally the perfect bike showed up on CL. The motorcycle is in great condition, 20k miles, and has had every service from the local BMW dealer. Everything about the motorcycle is great, but the low speed handling (~10 - 40mph) is a bit odd. Granted I've been riding various GS's for the last 10+ years which have made me a sloppy rider, but when I hit come curves on this RT, while it starts to turn with relative easy, it takes a TON of counter steering to keep it on a constant line though the corner. This characteristic feels unnatural and isn't any fun.

 

While my first instinct was that these bikes simply must not handle very well, I now think that something is going on with the tires since most reviewers comment on the great handling. Thanks to all the rain, I've had limited time to play with tire pressure, but my sense is that this is greater than just an air pressure issue. Both tires are Metzeler Z8's, and the rear is very new (1500 miles) but but the front tire has 6000 miles, although it appears to be in good condition. The previous rider, as far as I can tell, was a -very- casual rider. 

 

Do any RT riders or motorcycle handling guru's out there have any advice? Are these tires just not very good? Is the RT VERY sensitive to tire wear? What tire pressures do RT riders recommend? Any thoughts would be helpful.  Thanks!

 

g-

 

 

 

Afternoon g_e_young

 

It's almost ALWAYS tires, especially the front.

 

With 6k on the front tire it must be worn pretty flat across the center (that really slows the handling & adds much effort to maintaining a curve).

 

Unless you can find something else wrong, or bent then (personally) I would install a new front tire & re-evaluate your handling issue.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
g_e_young

Yep, I think you're right. I'm wondering if systematically playing with front tire pressure can help diagnose the situation. Thanks....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dirtrider
14 minutes ago, g_e_young said:

Yep, I think you're right. I'm wondering if systematically playing with front tire pressure can help diagnose the situation. Thanks....

 

Afternoon g_e_young

 

Only if you can get enough air pressure in it to change the tire profile from flat in the center to round across the center.

tire profile.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
g_e_young

Here are a few pics of the tires. They don't look very warn, but I'm no expert at motorcycle tire analysis (obviously).

 

Also, since I'm going to be getting a new tire (or two) should I switch to Road Pilots's or something other than the Metzelers? What is the tire of choice for '05 - '13 RT's?

 

Thanks all....

 

grant-

20190304_112148.jpg

20190304_112153.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RoadRunner

That bike should be easy to turn on.   The tires may not have many miles,  like the bike, but how long as that bike been sitting?  20K miles in 8 years?   How many years ago was the last service?  How old are the tires? Were they balanced correctly?  Lots of things to look at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bernie

Good morning  Grant.

What air pressures are you using?

Maybe you have too much air pressure. I think the recommend pressures for the front is 32-36 psi and 36-42 psi for the rear, depending on weight and pay load. Tires loose air over time and need to be checked on a regular schedule.

Also what type of suspension is on the bike? After market shocks? ESA?

Maybe you need to increase the  pre-load on the rear shock to increase the weight on the front tire.

The Metzler Z-8 tires are a premium tire and I haven’t seen any handling issues like that with those tires and my bike.

As a matter of fact, I have those problems with the Michelin Pilot Road 4 GT tires.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dirtrider
11 hours ago, g_e_young said:

Here are a few pics of the tires. They don't look very warn, but I'm no expert at motorcycle tire analysis (obviously).

 

Also, since I'm going to be getting a new tire (or two) should I switch to Road Pilots's or something other than the Metzelers? What is the tire of choice for '05 - '13 RT's?

 

Thanks all....

 

grant-

 

 

 

 

Morning g_e_young

 

The second picture down does show some flattening  (how much I can't tell form the picture).

 

You can try max tire  pressure but raising the tire pressure usually won't round out a worn-flat tire.

 

If it were my bike I would either ride it as is until I got used to the new bike's handling, or just bite the bullet & replace the front tire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
g_e_young

Thank you for all the thoughtful replies. I have the complete service records for the motorcycle, as I bought it from the original owner and she was very meticulous and had every service done and all at the same dealership where she bought it. Because of all the rain here in NorCal, I've only put around 100 miles on the motorcycle in the 10 days I've had it. I do think the front air pressure might have been low (I seem to be getting different readings on my digital pressure gauge compared to the TPS sys (???)) but once I have some time to ride I'm going to experiment with tire pressure. My hypothesis is that if the front tire is balding, some of the intense counter-steering pressure should be reduced with more air in the front tire. Regardless, I think I'll probably just bite the bullet and get a new front tire. While the motorcycle is perfectly ridable on the freeway, it's just no fun in the twistiest.

 

The bike has ESA, btw.

 

Thanks, g-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dirtrider
17 minutes ago, g_e_young said:

Thank you for all the thoughtful replies. I have the complete service records for the motorcycle, as I bought it from the original owner and she was very meticulous and had every service done and all at the same dealership where she bought it. Because of all the rain here in NorCal, I've only put around 100 miles on the motorcycle in the 10 days I've had it. I do think the front air pressure might have been low (I seem to be getting different readings on my digital pressure gauge compared to the TPS sys (???)) but once I have some time to ride I'm going to experiment with tire pressure. My hypothesis is that if the front tire is balding, some of the intense counter-steering pressure should be reduced with more air in the front tire. Regardless, I think I'll probably just bite the bullet and get a new front tire. While the motorcycle is perfectly ridable on the freeway, it's just no fun in the twistiest.

 

The bike has ESA, btw.

 

Thanks, g-

 

 

Evening g_e_young

 

That TPMS vs pressure gauge being different is pretty normal.

 

Your pressure gauge reads the actual tire pressure in the tire regardless of tire temperature, the TPMS system CORRECTS  the  tire pressure shown on the dash back to 68°f. 

 

So if you stick your gauge on a 48°f tire & it shows 36 psi then your TPS should show around  38 psi in that same tire.

 

At 68°f both your gauge & the TPMS  should be close to the same reading. (assuming your hand held gauge is accurate).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
g_e_young

Interesting. Again, I just need to spend more time fiddling with the tires...  g-

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Indy Dave

A dollar to a donut:rofl: -  low tire pressure is the issue. As others have said - should turn nice n easy and hold its line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hotrod

I typically run 40F & 42R cold (~80*) which equate to 42F & 44R warmed up per the Garmin TPMS on my 11' RT.  I am ~200lbs with gear on, normally 1up with empty bags and tool roll, raincoat and misc. in a 28L BMW topcase. I buy whatever good tire is on sale when I need tires, probably avg 6k or rear and put a front on regardless of condition just because, currently running  Dunlop RoadSmarts. 

 

Am I over inflating? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dirtrider
11 minutes ago, Hotrod said:

I typically run 40F & 42R cold (~80*) which equate to 42F & 44R warmed up per the Garmin TPMS on my 11' RT.  I am ~200lbs with gear on, normally 1up with empty bags and tool roll, raincoat and misc. in a 28L BMW topcase. I buy whatever good tire is on sale when I need tires, probably avg 6k or rear and put a front on regardless of condition just because, currently running  Dunlop RoadSmarts. 

 

Am I over inflating? 

 

Afternoon Hotrod

 

Depends on who you ask, how you ride, what kind of tire wear you are getting, how harsh you like your ride.

 

For me personally that is too much pressure but I don't usually get long tire life wear, I do get even tire wear just not long life.

 

Your Garmin TPMS system sounds like it is corrected to about 68° so put a gauge on the tires after a spirited ride then see what pressures they are ACTUALLY running hot (uncorrected).

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hotrod

@Dirtrider,

 

I'm in SWFLA so not many curves here except for a couple tasty Interstate on ramps. I try to go to WNC a couple times a year to clean up my chickenstrips...   I keep my ESA on 1 rider with bags and Sport mode most all the time and I'd consider myself a more aggressive rider than the stereotypical RT rider that I see in my area.  It makes sense that it is corrected to 68* as it is always about 1.5-2 psi less than my Milton tire gauge; I'll check next time I go for a ride and post back.

 

Thanks

 

H.R.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MoosieToo

I just started removing my Michelin Pilot Road 4 GT's from my 07 RT. I ran 36 Front and 42 Rear. The front wore off the Sipes to the left of center at 8K. Rear still has life. My RT handles awesome compared to my past Goldwings. That being said, it has taken more effort to enter a turn at speed and hold it in that turn. Not a neutral feel in the turn.

I ordered the Dunlop Roadsmart III front and rear. Hoping for a little more mileage. Most of my riding is Highway and back country roads. But I'm no peg dragger on public roadways. If I was an aggressive rider, I would stay with the Michelin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Paul De

Not having ridden a 2011 RT I can't speak to all the specifics of that year VS my '99RT Telelever's geometry, but on my '99 RT I note this odd handling as the tire's profile changes. More or less depending on the tire brand and suspension settings the second half of the front tires life corresponds with increasing amounts of heavy handling.  New tires always put it right.  Some tire brands, tire pressures and suspension settings will get you to 3/4 of the tire's life before the handling gets wonky.  YRMV

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
lkchris

Interesting to learn it could be any brand front tire.

 

My barely used '12 had a somewhat worn Bridgestone BT21 that was really squirreley, causing me to swear off that brand forever.  I'm a Michelin guy in any event.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...