ALREADY need new front tire for my hack... please help choose a BETTER one for me

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by ClearwaterBMW, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    my '11 GS Adventure came with a Metzeler Tourance (like most others)
    http://www.metzelermoto.com/web/cat...OTO&menu_item=/products/catalog/enduro_street

    i sent my bike to be hacked when it had 2,100 miles on it...
    the front tire looked almost brand new

    i've ridden almost 2,000 miles with the sidecar attached
    there aren't many twisties, but i DO ride in a "spirited" manner whenever i can (which isn't that often where I live)
    so....
    tire pressure kept at recommended values... checked often
    so....
    i looked at my FRONT tire today
    75% GONE
    what on earth?
    2K miles with the sidecar attached?
    that doesn't sound correct to me
    maybe most of you here know otherwise

    so.....
    regardless of that
    i'll be buying a NEW tire IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE
    i sure as hell won't be buying another tourance
    and.... so few tires are made in the WEIRD GS-Adventure front tire size
    so....
    what tire would YOU suggest i buy that is FAR HARDER but still good?

    thanks, as always, in advance
    #1
  2. leejosepho

    leejosepho Sure, I can do that!

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    I have yet to ride on three wheels, but I have a Michelin Crusader rear on the front of my bike that will soon be a tug, and it took over 150 miles on two wheels just to wear the mold nubs off the tread even in the center of the tire.

    While remembering I am still just a wannabe hack driver, I would suggest a reduction in your toe-in. According to one well-seasoned builder who has helped me review my own design, 3/8" to 1/2" toe-in should be sufficient ... and then adjust your lean if your rig still pulls toward the chair. But if you have too much toe-in, your front tire must continually fight it back.
    #2
  3. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    appreciate your thoughts, lee
    thank you
    will contact jay and barry about this very issue
    the rig seems to ride great
    but.... something must be causing that unusually quick front tire wear

    again..... thank you
    #3
  4. bikeridermark

    bikeridermark Long timer

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    Got over 20,000 miles on my Harley front tire with chair on. Not so much on the rear.....about 5,000.
    #4
  5. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa Hack Pilot

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    I remember asking you about this after you got your rig back but you didn't have that many miles on it.
    I unfortunately do not have any suggestions in this area.
    But I will keep an eye on this thread to see what you do, as I will be going through the same thing in the not too distant future.
    Good luck.
    #5
  6. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    Something's not right, Greg. I got 8500 miles out of a cheap Shinko 705 radial front, and 10,000 plus on a Tourance rear mounted on the hack. My wear issue has always been on the tug's rear. Shinko, Tourance, Anakee all lasted less than 4000 miles. Have had a BF Goodrich Radial T/A car tire on the tug for the past 8k and probably have that much left...though without rain grooves in the tread design it tends to hydroplane in the wet stuff. I'll probably go with a Vredestein when it wears out.

    That Tourance you wore out so fast wasn't the softer EXP by any chance..?
    #6
  7. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    holy crap....
    i DO have the Tourance EXP on my bike
    is it softer?
    is THIS the reason?
    #7
  8. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    i just wrote jay and barry over at DMC an email
    maybe they can shed some light on this issue
    hmmmmmm
    not sure what to think
    #8
  9. hackman

    hackman Adventurer

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    I strongly suspect setup. I'm running Dunlops, and they seem as good as any. I get 16,000 miles plus on the front and 5,000 miles on the rear. I think I got about 35,000 miles on the last hack tire. No reason why you should be using up your front that quickly.

    Love to get a car tire on the rear, but can't find a 16" narrow enough. Is anyone running Duros? I see RTW Doug ran them on the chopper. If they're good enough for Doug...

    Good Luck.
    #9
  10. windmill

    windmill Long timer

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    Hey Greg,

    This is mostly conjecture on my part, but it seems builders and dealers sometimes put excessive toe-in to make rigs feel more directionally stable then they really are for new riders.

    My dealer set up my rig with 3/8" toe-in, it did track very straight and stable, but really went through tires. Now I run 0 toe-in, it does yaw more under throttle and braking, and does tend to follow the contours of the road more, but is easier to steer through the twisties, and the tires last much longer.

    Once you get used to it and learn how to use it, a sidecars inherent instability can be a useful tool to control your rig.
    #10
  11. Ivan Rider

    Ivan Rider Been here awhile

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    My BMW R1200CL rig goes through front tires too. I've got 16,000 on a VW rear tire that looks maybe half gone but I've gone through 3 front tires. I'm now running a rear tire on the front that has outlasted the ME880 2 to 1 and still going strong. I suspect the front tires are just too soft for sidecar use.
    #11
  12. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    the thing is...
    i'm not even sure how to effectively "0" the TOE-IN...
    now my "mechanical ignorance" will show very strongly :cry
    #12
  13. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    can you suggest which REAR tire would fit on my '11 GS-Adventure FRONT rim?
    thanks, as always, in advance
    #13
  14. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    thanks for your thoughts and help
    i really appreciate both
    #14
  15. BMWzenrider

    BMWzenrider The Road Scholar

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    Ok, lets start with a bit more information for the studio audience and those at home.
    The stock front tire size for your R1200GSA is 110/80R19.

    When you say "recommended" tire pressure, do you mean BMW recommended value for the bike, max. sidewall pressure listed on the tire, or ????
    {Generally speaking, when adding the extra mass/load of a sidecar, you want to run your motorcycle tires at max. sidewall pressure for best tire life. I won't go into the reasons here.}


    And finally, the question that you really want to know; what tire could you, should you, would you buy??? :deal

    -----

    One thing that is really nice about the current tire sizing standards is that it gives you some information that you can use along with your current wheel/tire/fender/etc clearances to determine if some other size tire might fit.
    The stock tire is nominally 110mm wide with a 80% aspect ratio (height/width) giving a tire height from rim to center of tread of about 88mm.
    Doing some quick math says that the tire diameter when new should be about 25.9" (659mm). {I will leave the proof to the reader...}

    Looking at the Metzeler catalog for the Tourance EXP 110/80R19 they give a new tire max width of 109mm, & max dia of 659mm.
    Isn't math fun!!! :wink:

    Now lets look at one of the photos that you have posted of your rig:

    [​IMG]

    ...it certainly looks like you could go up at least one size larger and still have clearance inside of your fender and/or forks.

    That means besides looking for a 110/80-19 tire in a different compound, you could also be looking at a 120/70, 110/90, 100/90, etc...

    A 120/70 tire would be a 10mm wider than stock and a bit shorter at 84mm.
    The 110/90 tire would be the same width and 11mm taller (99mm).
    A 100/90 tire would be a little bit narrower than stock, but about the same sidewall height at 90mm.


    There are actually quite a few choices available in the 100/90-19 tire size.

    Metzeler makes their long-mileage ME880 Marathon touring tire in that size.
    The Dunlop Elite II or III tires are also excellent high mileage tires which come in the 100/90-19 size.

    Bridgestone lists all of their tires by type and size for easy searching.
    http://www.bridgestone.com/products/motorcycle_tires/products/index.html

    In general, I believe that any pure street tire should be a harder (longer wearing) rubber compound than a dual-sport, but if in doubt you could probably call the manufacturer to confirm that.

    -----

    As I said before, to get maximum life from your new front tire, be sure to keep it at or near the maximum allowable pressure printed on the sidewall of the tire.
    It really DOES make a difference.

    Hope that helps you get started on your search...
    #15
  16. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa Hack Pilot

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    Jay at DMC mentioned that running a rear tire on the front of the hack would be the way to go but didn't say which tire to use.
    Thank you BMWzenrider for shedding a little light on this for me.
    Looking forward to seeing what tire is mounted on my rig when it shows up.
    Will give you an update when it does.
    #16
  17. Boondox

    Boondox Travels With Barley

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    User reports on the EXP consistently complain about the short life span, especially on commuter bikes that don't lean. I now run an Anakee II (harder compound on the contact patch) on my GS and they appear to be wearing very well. I'll probably put one on the GSA/sidecar rig.
    #17
  18. BeeMaa

    BeeMaa Hack Pilot

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    #18
  19. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    karl,
    i was hoping that you'd lend your knowledge to this thread
    you have sent me off in the right direction... thank you
    #19
  20. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

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    the annakee II is a great tire
    i appreciate your experience with it, as well
    thank you
    #20