New Tires for the Versys

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Schickmeister, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. Schickmeister

    Schickmeister Youngin'

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    Looking to put some new rubber on the Versys before the warmer months are upon us!

    What I am looking for is a tire that is at MOST 70/30 on/off road. But even that is being very generous to the offroad amount. That being said, the stock tires suck balls for anything other than pavement.

    I'd like to be able to handle some dirty work without being so nervous about it but just as easily hop on the highway for a couple hundred miles as well! Am I searching for something I'll never be able to find?

    :ear
    #1
  2. bigdave-gs

    bigdave-gs Explorer

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    Tourance ! ! ! If you need more, run a TKC in the front with a Tourance in the rear.
    #2
  3. mcmann

    mcmann Motorcycle ADV enthusiast

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    I really like Avon Distanzia's on my SE . . . plan to put them on my Versys next:
    Avon AM43 Distanza Dual-Sport Front Tire
    Advanced tread pattern designed for on-off road applications
    • On-off road tire designed for larger capacity dual-sport machines
    • Unique VBD (Variabl Belt Density) construction gives excellent straight line stability and improved grip in corners
    • High-mileage compound for long distance touring
    • H-rated for speeds up to 130 mph

    [​IMG]



    \\[​IMG]
    #3
  4. precarious

    precarious Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]

    Anakee 2. Awesome tire. Great grip in mud, rain, gravel, and great longevity.
    #4
  5. Jeff B

    Jeff B Socially Awkward

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    Go back and take a closer look at the tire sizes. The Versys uses 120-70-17 front, 160-60-17 rear. Most of the tires mentioned in this thread either don't fit the 17" Versys rims properly or only come in a super soft Supermoto compound.
    Pirelli claims they will release their Scorpion trail in sizes to fit the Versys at the Dealer show in Indianapolis in February.
    #5
  6. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    The short answer is you can't get there from here. At least not in stock sizes. :deal

    The Versys has a 17" front (120/70-17) which makes the D/S tire choice slim - Avon Distanzia, Pirelli MT60RS and Pirelli Scorpion Trail. The first two are supermoto compounds in this size (both excellent performers, but short life), the last one a 95/5, maybe 90/10, tire. It's not a lot better in the rear, the 160/60-17 size limits your choices again (Distanzia and MT60 are SM tires in this size. If you ride like they were meant to be ridden, you should expect 2-3K out of one of those rears). Luckily, a 150/70-17 fits and opens up a lot of options without affecting handling too much. Pirelli is said to have a Scorpion Trail in the OE size on the way, so if you can live with a 90/10 setup, that would be the ideal solution. Or you can mix and match, a Distanzia in OE size up front and a 150/70-17 of your choice.

    Search this section (and the Versys forums), there are lots of threads on tire options for the Versys.

    Gustavo
    #6
  7. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    lift the front fender (lower bolt to up spot &support bracket, buy extra oem brake line, single master cycl banjo bolt goes down to caliper & 2 line caliper bolt up to master cycl)

    now you can run tubless 130-17" rear tires. shinko 705 is popular

    some have had luck with 120-17" 705 even though it's rated tubbed.
    shinko usa is talking to shinko korea about a tubless 120 705 and maybe a tubless 700.

    newest tiger & multistrada also use 120-17" front so there is traction in the market.


    use what any 150-17" in the rear.
    #7
  8. Snr Moment

    Snr Moment Unafarkler

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    I'm running the Distanzias on my Uly. 5.5k good miles on the rear with the 160 (180 is a stock rear Uly tire) with no issues. Front will go at least 10k.
    90% of my miles are fully loaded with gear with a mix of mostly 2 lane, dirt/gravel and a little slab. Will be running them until something better comes along.
    #8
  9. Schickmeister

    Schickmeister Youngin'

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    Thanks for the info guys!

    Looks like the tire debate is a big can that says WORMS all over it. :lol3
    #9
  10. metropolis2k

    metropolis2k Been here awhile

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    Absolutely, and it is also purely opinion based! One man's gold is another man's slippery, useless tyre that only lasts 200 miles.

    Personally I'd go with the Avon Distanzia's although I've got to say I've never ridden a bike with them on, I've just seen very positive reviews and they seem extremely popular.

    That said, you might discover something ideal by accident. I bought a GS with an Anakee on the back and would never have tried that tyre before but now I'm extremely impressed with it.
    #10
  11. SONG

    SONG Been here awhile

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    Would you mind showing us a photo of the rear tire with the 160 tire? I am considering the same option. Thank you.
    #11
  12. Too Tall

    Too Tall Been here awhile

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    Finding true dual-sport tires for the Versys is difficult. That being said, I put the Avon Distanza on the front and a Metzler Tourance on the rear of my wife's Versys when we went to Alaska last summer. Both performed extremely well, handled the gravel roads such as the Top of the World Highway fine, and lasted over 10,000 miles.

    I did have concerns about the front Avon lasting the entire trip because its a super-moto tire but it easily made the distance. Wife said the combo handled better than the stock Dunlops.
    #12
  13. Schickmeister

    Schickmeister Youngin'

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    Well...I think my point may be missed a little bit. I'm not really looking for a pure bred dual sport tire.

    Obviously a tire that is made to go off road as well make its dual-sport...but what I am really looking for is just a tire that will allow me to go off the beaten path a little bit on occassion with better handinling and traction than stock. If there is a street tire that fits that bill...I'm game! :thumb
    #13
  14. precarious

    precarious Been here awhile

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    The Anakee 2 (and probably most other major big trailie tires) comes in a 120/90-17 front. I'm sure that would fit fine. It's a 24mm overall height difference. The 150 section rear should work fine, too. People run those sizes on SVs, and they're fine.
    #14
  15. Laconic

    Laconic Hapless Rube

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  16. bigdave-gs

    bigdave-gs Explorer

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    Exactly, I ran the Distanzia's on my 04 DL1000 K4 and they worked great except when it was close to freezing on wet pavement, then the compound was hard and slick:eek1. I'd run the Anakee 2 before I'd run the Distanzias. Your other option is to get a 19"or a 21" made for the front and then your window is almost endless.
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  17. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    a 130-17" mounted on the front has been found to be the same diam. as 19" in beast sizes (110-19").

    the fender lift mod is the easiest way to get more agressive tires. it's under $100 in parts.
    #17
  18. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    your right, but i'm seeing it in the anakee not the 2, so stock my be diminishing. i think the original anakee is done, but i could be wrong. it's a rear (dr650 stock rear is 120-17") but that should not be an issue. it's biased tired, but that is fine because you can use a bias-ply with a radial rear. just not the other way around.

    http://www.amazon.com/Michelin-Anakee-Adventure-Sport-Rear/dp/B001CD6KF8
    http://www.swmototires.com/index.ph...tegory_id=151&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=53

    i looked and did not anyone else making it in the 120-17" size however. everyone does a 130-17" instead.
    #18
  19. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    wait i just found this:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0..._m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1987P062R57WT4QHFKMW
    but @ $175 :eek1

    or the 2 in a rear
    http://www.amazon.com/Michelin-Anakee-Adventure-Touring-Rear/dp/B0043Y8BKK

    but i see bike bandit has the 2 listed for $121
    http://www.bikebandit.com/michelin-anakee-2-motorcycle-tire
    however that does not jive w/ what michelin says on their site:
    http://www.michelinmotorcycle.com/index.cfm?event=anakee2
    they list it as a rear.

    that's some good news on another option. i think with the new multi out mfg. will start ramping up more agressive 120-17" front. shinko is talking about it.
    #19
  20. Snr Moment

    Snr Moment Unafarkler

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    eSong - here's a pic. Click the Yaak link below for more.

    [​IMG]
    #20