Questions about Replacing Tires on my RT

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Re: Questions about Replacing Tires on my RT

Postby madavis1961 » Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:02 pm

Hey Terry,

While I have not been at this professionally for all that long, here are some of my thoughts and observations on tires. A lot of what I use as reference is from the heavier Honda Gold Wing. I sold my last RT in 2012 but here it goes..

To the FIRST, front tire life vs rear tire life.

Front tires do wear faster than the rears on bikes with integrating/linked braking system. Apply the rear and you get front braking as well. 80% of the stopping power of a motorcycle is the front tire. The contact patch of the front tire is smaller than the rear. Also, we are finding that the dual compound tires, while designed for longer tread life, the difference in front to rear wear is greater than a non dual compound tire. Bottom line, fronts wear faster than rear tires.

The the SECOND, why?

Braking as already mentioned. Contact patch and friction play a big part. The action of a motorcycle tire while riding in that the front tire flexes a lot more side to side than the rear. The ratio of the stiffer/harder compound of a dual compound versus the softer. The rear tire, being a wider tire, has proportion of the "mileage" compound.

To the THIRD, there is much controversy.

Replacing both every time and matching tire make and model. This is as full of discussion as darksiding (using car tires on motorcycles). Almost a religious discussion. I don't think it applies as much to the current dual compound tires and it used to. I also believe it is in some of the marketing efforts of the tire manufactures. It is clearly in their interest that you replace a road worthy tire early. For the gold wingers it comes down to convenience, the bike is in the shop less often if you just do them both at the same time. With that said, we don't see a 4 thousand mile difference in wear, maybe 2 thousand but then we get as much as 16 thousand miles from a set. On the big heavy gold wing, mixing brands and tread patterns feels slightly odd but doesn't appear to be that big of riding concern. On the lighter RT, maybe it would. There are times while on a road trip you may not really have a choice. I would love to hear from an RT rider who has ridden a mixed brand/tread pattern to see how it felt. The biggest complaint we get is going from a front tire without a centerline groove to one without the centerline groove. The centerline groove tracks on grooved highways are tar snakes much, much, much more and can make the front wobble wildly and feel like something else has failed. A few hundred miles and it goes away. That would certainly lend to the idea of matching make and model because it would be a feel you are already used to.

Just my observations, nothing scientific. Let the discussion begin!

Questions about Replacing Tires on my RT

Postby Terry Rowley » Sun Mar 08, 2020 2:01 pm

Looking for your feedback on a few questions I have regarding tires.

I've got Michelin Pilot Road 5's on my RT. My front tire has about 6k miles on it and I would expect more miles from a front tire.

How many miles do you typically get on a front tire?

My front is wearing out at about 6k miles but the back one has about 10k miles on it. I would expect the back one to wear out first but that's not the case.

What is your experience with front / back tires wearing out more quickly?

I've heard people say you should always replace both tires even if one has a lot of tread left on them, while others say it shouldn't matter as long as you replace the worn tire with the same brand and type as the other, unworn tire.

When you replace a worn tire do you replace just the worn tire or do you replace both tires even if one has a few thousand more miles left on it?
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