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Best Tyres (opinion)

This area is for sharing Maintenance Procedures & Information related to the Yamaha Virago Wheels & Brakes.

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Michelle
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:43 am
Location: Western Australia
What Virago you Own: 1988 XV400 Virago

Best Tyres (opinion)

Post by Michelle » Mon May 13, 2019 6:46 am

I'm a new novice rider and so want to ensure that my bike is in tip-top condition before I hit the road (no pun intended :lol: ) so I'm going over this old girl with a fine tooth comb. Two things have come up with me: Tyres and Brakes. My Instructor tells me over and over again not to compromise on these two things. You have a blow out in a car (he says), you simply slow down and pull over. You have a blow out on a bike, and that's a whole other matter. So what's a good tyre?
Well, for me, it's one that performs in all types of weather, on-road, and has amazing grip when cornering, and is forgiving to my mistakes. As I intend to go on long rides, it should also be suited to a cruiser type of bike.

The Michelin Commander 2 is the top of the line (as best I am aware) for any kind of road bike. However it is expensive and although it has fantastic grip, it tends to suffer in the wet. Best suited to sports bikes.

The Michelin Pilot Road 4 is a step down from the Commander 2, though only slightly. It is given as an excellent tyre for cruisers, and is awesome in both wet and dry on-road conditions. But it's still expensive as far as a motorbike tyre goes.

Advice from my riding instructor:

Never mix your tyres. Don't have Michelin on the rear and Pirelli on the front, etc. Use one or the other.

Never use tyres more than 6 years old: Check the manufacture date on the side wall (my rear tyre is 12 years old :shock: )
Tire date stamp.png
And when I looked doubtful and complained about how the Michelin tyres were a bit expensive, he said "What's your life worth?"

So for me on my 1988 XV400 (and I'm still very much NOT an expert rider) I shall have brand new Michelin Pilot Road 4s front and back.
1988 XV400 Virago
On L-Plates

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ViragoJoe
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What Virago you Own: 1996 Virago Special XV1100SH
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"

Re: Best Tyres (opinion)

Post by ViragoJoe » Mon May 13, 2019 8:33 am

Hi Michelle,
A note regarding tires. Like oil . . . everyone has their favorite brand, and that can really open up a can of worms when folks speak of oil. Tires are no different, everyone has their favorite tires. One can not test out all the different brands out there. Do your research and read everything regarding the tires you are interested in. When Yamaha built the 1996 1100 it had Bridgestone tires, from what I've read were CRAP. Initially, when I bought my 1100 she had Dunlop Tires on and that particular tire is no longer manufactured by Dunlop. So I purchased the next available tire from them. Dunlop Elite II's White Raised Letter. I liked the look and they happened to wear like iron. I got 20,000 miles (32,187 Kilometers) out of them and with tread to spare when I changed them. The only thing I didn't like about the Elite II's is they had a tread right in the center of the tire. That center tread would find every crack in the road and want to follow it. Really annoying!!

Elite II's
Click Image To Enlarge:
dunlop-491-elite-ii-motorcycle-tire front.jpg
Now I have Dunlop Elite 3's (they don't make White Raised Letter in this tire (bummer). These do not, repeat, do not follow the road cracks like its predecessor. They are an all weather tire except snow, of course, for obvious reasons.

To me they grip better than the Elite II's did. From what I have read. The Elite 3's have a costruction where the center portion of the tire has wear resistant compounds and are harder for longevity than the face of the tire used for corning. The corning face is a softer compound and really grips the road on corning. Yup, from what I can tell that is true!

Now for riding in the rain.
Both the Elite II's and the Elite 3's seemed to work well in the rain. However, in wet weather I'm a bit more cautious and won't really lay the bike over as I do when it is dry. I have experienced Road Rash from years gone by and I still remember what it felt like. Trust me, you won't like it. So, in wet conditions I try to stay the most vertical as possible. No real sharp corning and laying the bike over. Note: mostly in wet conditions. Stay away from wet man hole covers, rail road tracks, sewer grates (wet Steel and Rubber don't mix) and very shiny black asphalt. They can be slippier then snot on a door knob!!

Elite 3's
Click Image To Enlarge:
dunlop-491-elite-3-motorcycle-tire front.jpg.jpg
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)

iamunique127
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:05 am
Location: Manitoba, Canada
What Virago you Own: '82 XV920RJ

Re: Best Tyres (opinion)

Post by iamunique127 » Tue May 14, 2019 7:57 am

I've heard ravings about Bridgestone BT45 tires, that they were affordable and last a long time. I tried them and didn't like them, the rear end kept slipping when I accelerated in corners.

So after one season I went to Lazertec tires and I am totally amazed at the difference. These tires grip the road in all conditions and they are lasting really well. I'm going into my 3rd season on them. Highly recommended.
Lyle

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Michelle
Posts: 84
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2019 8:43 am
Location: Western Australia
What Virago you Own: 1988 XV400 Virago

Re: Best Tyres (opinion)

Post by Michelle » Tue May 14, 2019 8:08 am

What kind of Lazertec tyres are you using? I imagine that Lazertec is the brand.
1988 XV400 Virago
On L-Plates

iamunique127
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:05 am
Location: Manitoba, Canada
What Virago you Own: '82 XV920RJ

Re: Best Tyres (opinion)

Post by iamunique127 » Tue May 14, 2019 9:03 am

Sorry, they are Metzler Lazertecs.

They are not cheap but I was lucky enough to pick up a new (new date code too) front tire at a swap meet for $80 so it helped make the sticker shock for the rear more manageable.
Lyle

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MAK
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Joined: Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:10 pm
Location: Atlanta West
What Virago you Own: 1997 XV1100

Re: Best Tyres (opinion)

Post by MAK » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:57 am

Another thing to keep in mind when purchasing tyres especially used is that they are not older than 6-10 years which is the recommended period to change them by the vehicle and tyre manufacturers. I know this is for autos so not sure if there is s difference for motorcycles.
MAK
Long time Yamaha rider with a big gap in between riding...
1st Bike - Yamaha XJ650G Maxim 1 1980
Current Bike - Yamaha XV1100 Virago 1997


“Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.” -Roy M. Goodman

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ViragoJoe
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What Virago you Own: 1996 Virago Special XV1100SH
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"

Re: Best Tyres (opinion)

Post by ViragoJoe » Wed Jul 10, 2019 5:08 am

MAK wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:57 am
Another thing to keep in mind when purchasing tyres especially used is that they are not older than 6-10 years which is the recommended period to change them by the vehicle and tyre manufacturers. I know this is for autos so not sure if there is s difference for motorcycles.
Mak,
it's 6 years on motorcycle tires. Automobile tires doesn't matter as much for you have 4 of them touching the ground. More important to be current with M/C tires for there are only 2 of them touching the ground. Good tread more important on M/C tires as well! Bad tires risky for both, however, more so on a motorcycle.
ViragoJoe
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"
;)

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