vintage tires

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by chipsdad, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. chipsdad

    chipsdad Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    58
    Location:
    edmonton
    i am trying to decide on tires for my /5. are the Firestone vintage tires only for looks or do they ride fine as well? what other suggestions are there for a wider tire. i think a 4 on the front and a 4.5 on the rear. where are good places for these things on the interweb.
    #1
  2. TINK

    TINK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    772
    Location:
    So Cal
    #2
  3. squish

    squish Out of the office.

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,172
    Location:
    Where the Ghetto meets the sea.
    Well the firestones are black.... There's a reason tires moved away from those tires many many years ago.

    They are for looks. Plenty of kids pile on the miles with the repops but I wouldn't put them on a bike I was building.
    #3
  4. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,116
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay area
    I recommend Bridgestone Spitfire S11's. I think they are the best bet.

    I use to recommend them or Avon Super Venom's or Roadrunners but they don't make them anymore. AM26 Roadriders make my bike handle like a shopping cart. It's a bummer because I ride a bit more enthusiastically than most and I loved the no longer available Avon's because they stuck like glue compared to other tires and they lasted just as long or longer. A lot longer than some with far less grip! I run Avon 'for track only' race tires right now but you don't want to do that. They are pricy! At least they still last longer than many a DOT tire that I have used and stick five times better while doing it!
    #4
  5. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,707
    Location:
    Bath Uk
    Michelin pilots are on both my bikes, they are more stable and agile than the Bridgestones BT45s previously fitted. The Michelins are properly sized, I.E. a 4.00inch tyre is actually 4.00 in width, rather than the bridgestones which are oversized.
    I buy tyres on the basis of their performance rather than their looks.

    Your experiences may differ
    #5
  6. carpetburn

    carpetburn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    brisbane
    Exactly what Chasbmw says above, replaced my bt45s with pilot activs-much better:D
    #6
  7. JonnyCash

    JonnyCash turd polisher

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,782
    Location:
    Midcoast, Maine

    I had them on my RD. They were really great, and confidence inspiring when they were new. The front tire developed a weird wobble when there was still a lot of tread left. Something in the casing must have parted. Considering what they cost, I was pretty disappointed and when I replaced them, the back tire was pretty worn at that point, I got the BT45s. I'm pretty happy with them, but the sizing is very small. The 90/90/18 front tire I have on there now rides great, but looks like it belongs on a moped. If I were to do it again, I'd get a 100.

    On my /5 i finally wore out the Lasertech that had been on it for years, and by the widespread recommendation on here, I got the Michelin Pilot Activ. VERY happy with it! I look forward to getting the rear to match.
    #7
  8. TINK

    TINK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    772
    Location:
    So Cal
    I'm committed to the Avon's for now. but I'll definitly put the Mich Pilot Activ's on the list for next time around.

    TINK
    #8
  9. mykill

    mykill odd

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,183
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    +1 on the Michelins and mostly positive reviews from friends on the Bridgestone offerings. My /5 came with freshly spooned Metzeler Lasers. The rear rubs a bit even though it is a proper 4.00. I my past experience with Lasers was lackluster.
    #9
  10. ozmoses

    ozmoses Ride On

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    8,545
    Location:
    USA
    My RS came with vintage style tires, Dunlops I believe they were. Handling was much better without them, honestly.
    #10
  11. craydds

    craydds Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,176
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    I have Metzlers on at this time, with no previous problems. But the Metzlers are old, bike was in the barn for several years; it is now gloriously resurrected! It is time for a new set of Michelin Pilot Activs. Do the inmates have any recommended suppliers, or does it not matter? I will mount and balance them myself.
    #11
  12. regomodo

    regomodo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    187
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    I have Avon Roadriders on my snowflakes with the rear being tubeless for ~800miles now. I ride fairly aggressively and are fairly confident in the tires. I've only felt the rear slip once but I was pushing hard on a bend and that may have been to my over-damped Hagons.
    #12
  13. ME 109

    ME 109 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,826
    Location:
    Albury Australia
    At the end of my first pilot active rear, not overly happy with it compared to the mac50 which were excellent, but nla.
    6000 k's of spirited riding on the pilot active and it shows strange wear patterns, but has maintained a good round profile which is important for aiheads. What I mean by round profile is that it hasn't worn flat like bt45 do.

    Haven't seen a S11 rear in Aus, but I'm going to hunt one down.

    Still impressed by more than 15 ME33/lasertec fronts. Never had a front slip even with the covers being machined by the road.
    #13
  14. craydds

    craydds Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,176
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    #14
  15. TINK

    TINK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    772
    Location:
    So Cal
    I too change/balance my own. I've been buying from http://www.americanmototire.com/catalog/ for several years now and have always been happy with their price and quick delivery.

    TINK
    #15
  16. craydds

    craydds Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,176
    Location:
    Las Cruces, NM
    Great link - easy to find the tires in our sizes, and they have a great selection. Some suppliers do NOT carry sizes for our old bikes.
    #16
  17. chipsdad

    chipsdad Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 1, 2011
    Oddometer:
    58
    Location:
    edmonton
    all the tires you guys are mentioning don't look like the firestones. I have been working on my bike I have reshaped the seat and fenders to look better with the more oversized tires. Am I really gonna hate the firestones or will they be fine. I will be riding lots in the summer however never over 60mph and mostly in town.
    #17
  18. supershaft

    supershaft because I can

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2010
    Oddometer:
    9,116
    Location:
    San Francisco Bay area
    I have no experience with tires for looks. I suspect you should have customized a KE100. :D
    #18
  19. DaveBall

    DaveBall Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,165
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Well, I think you have to figure out what you really want. The Firestones were never stock on any BMW. And from all that I have talked to, they handle like crap. Don't even think of riding very far or at all spirited on them. If you want to make your bike handle as well as or slightly better than stock, put on some Spitfires. They are reasonably priced and actually work. If you are a very spirited rider and have done some other upgrades to the bike, then definitely go for the Avons or Pirellis, or whatever.

    I average 12000 miles on a set of Spitfires, which means at least 1 or two sets per year. That is on my R100RT. I know of others that ride them harder than I do and get in the 10,000 mile range. they are very happy with them for what they are. Almost all of those miles are done touring and to and from work. We are not into posing at the local coffee shop. We would rather be riding.
    #19
  20. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    9,701
    Location:
    Shoreline, WA
    When you go wider on the front, you will sacrifice handling... if it is only looks you are after, just pick your favorite and be done with it.
    #20