Tyres

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 MICHELIN

When I tested Michelin A59X and M59X in my FJ 1100 it was a revelation compared with the original bias-ply items: it was like not only the tyres were new, it seemed that the suspension were firmer and the chassis stronger. The FJOCUK people speak great things about bias-ply tyres. Well, I canít understand it because there is not possible comparison. FJ with radial tyres are different beasts at all. Bias-Ply tyres flexes a lot and they can't cope with 260 kg and 240 km/h motorbike. FJOCUK recommendation must be because in Britain is always raining and you can never explore the total FJ capabilities. There not explanation at all. And those are not impressions remembered from my FJ 1100: I've ridden Mingo's FJ with Bias-Ply tyres vs. Dunlop radials and it is a different bike: rigid, without wallowing at high speeds...Absolutely awesome!.

My own 3XW come with bys-ply tyres and it was unrideable! Mingo improved his bike brakes after the tyre change, after discovering the new bike capabilities with the radials

Michelin following models, 89X, 90X and Macadam 100, to my tastes, didnít get the 59Xīs fantastic feeling. They were too hard.

With my new 17" rear, I fitted Pilot roads in my FJ. Curiously, I have not feel too much difference with the Dunlop 205s. Yes, now my bike feels so much solid and planted as my friend Pablo's FJR 1300, but the bike feels more nimble with the Dunlop. Curiously, I didn't feel any difference on grip between Pilot Roads & Sports on my Fazer 600, so use Roads: they last more.

And a 2nd set of Pilot tyres fitted on June 2010 confirms that the bike feel less flickable, but these Pilots last a lot of miles, grip more or less like the BT020 and are miles better than the more modern and in theory better Pilot 2.

Pilot Road 2 have lasted about 13.000 kms, 2.000 less that the previous Road model. I didn't like at all. Changing to Bridgestone BT 020s is like to discover a new bike. Hard rock and uncomfortable

 

METZELER

Z1 or Z2, Pirelli Dragon GTS: If you like stability fit Metzeler Z1 or Z2 items, or Pirelli Dragon GTS, the same carcass that Metzeler, only with different tread pattern. I don't like at all any of them

Z6: continuing with the stability and aplomb theme: the front is very predictable, exceptional to travel on unknown roads, with progressive feeling and completely trustable and confident on breaking, with very rounded profile. With the 180 rear the FJ feels secure, with a fantastic comfort, secure and solid. And about the duration, these promise that you could cover a lot of kms. But these don't support an aggressive riding and if you do, the tyres degraded at a very fast rate and you don't feel much secure anymore

Z8 evolution from the above mentioned. Sport riding vastly improved without loose in stability or general surefooted handling. Suffer from odd degradation, sharpening the front tire and the rear flattening, making obligatory the tyres change long before tyre wear do necessary. Iīve used them in my new acquisition, a Yamaha FZ 750 1990, and the life expectacy before the odd-degradation characteristic is around 6.000 kms.

In hot days and with temperature on them, slide like on an ice tarmac with the lines black stripes gravel with asphalt cracks are covered. I suffer a couple of scary moments due to this characteristic. Be careful!

 

DUNLOP

 If you like saving money, fit the Dunlop rock-D205. Fred Flintstone uses them with good durability . The bike weight looks like help the tyres to get the correct using temperature. Recommended!!! My friend Mingo's FJ fits them too with excellent results. These give good agility to the FJ, an they are fantastic in rough pavements. Dunlop D207 are very sporty, due to its triangulated shape, but I wore them in 2.500 km in my Fazer, so in a 60 kg fatter FJ...

D220: not so good comfortable like the BT020s, but the tarmac feeling is excellent, with good grip, confidence and agility. And cheap!. These last around 7.000 kms

Roadsmart: fantastic tyres, excellent road comfort, even more than BT020s, very agile front tyre, grippy, secure and excellent stability and feeling even in the more aggressive riding. The only downside is that these don't last too much, around 7.000 kms, but the feeling is exactly the same with new tyres or when both are completely worn. Amazing! RECOMMENDED

Streetsmart: New Dunlop tyre designed for bikes with narrow rims. Those are byass-ply constructed and its the new mount in my Honda. Compared with the BT45 are much stiffer carcass, very positive in the Honda, so I think it would be good for our FJs still carrying original rims.
It is a directional tire that makes me less agile Honda, which is no bad thing, but perhaps too much for the FJ, but their stronger carcass could have very positive effects in the FJ handling, with much more power available. We'll see how long they last RECOMMENDED

 

AVON

AV45/46: the only modern radials available to fit on 16" rims. The handling on my friend Mingo 1TX is superb, with odds of grip in tight curves, stability in fast roads, sweet and comfortable feeling in bad-shape tarmac and lots of flickability. RECOMMENDED

2.015: Avon launched new tyres designed specifically for big, hefty bikes like Suzuki Hayabusa or Honda CBR 1000 XX: Storm 3D X-M OE rear FJ size is available. It is the best tyre than you could fit if you keep the OE sizes, combined with the Azaro at the front. RECOMMENDED

 

 

BRIDGESTONE

BT 020

I changed the Pilot Roads after 15.000 kms.  because I was going to enjoy a travel by mainland Spain (6.000 kms by B-Roads with another FJ) and I didn't want to loose time looking for a tyre dealer. I think there were other 2.000 kms on them.

The Bridgestones are exceptional: far away more comfortable that the Pilots, with marvellous bump absorption, give nimble handling and awesome stability in fast roads with sure footed feeling. I like these much more that the Roads. 

Only a little "but": in very hot days, after 4 or 5 hours of hard riding, in tight roads, the rubber compound gets too hot than the rear starts to slide like riding over ice. It is only the rear tyre and on gas, but you must stop 10 mins to get the temperature down in your rear tyre

After the BT021 and the Road2 I've come back to them again. The best with difference

Bridgestone BT 021

In theory is an evolution from the above. Well, completely she**!. Not only last half the kms, but the dual compound implies that if your FJ slides from the front wheel (i.e. due to a lot of sand splashed on the road in Portugal), instead of recover itself without a fuss, the tyres grip again and the bike violently drops.

 

Bridgestone BT 045

These are the actual fittings in my CBX 750 F2, in front OE size 110/90/16 an oversize rear 140/70/18. These are superb even although are bias-ply. And with rain is with difference the best tyre that I've tested on my life. In sport riding is surefooted and flickable, much like the BT020s. RECOMMENDED!. I've aggressive ridden around 9.000 kms on them and I think there around 3.000 more on them. Excellent!

March 2.012 review: these tyres last 12.000 kms travelling in mainland Spain, but hard and fast riding on Tenerife roads, the 2nd set has lasted around 6.000 kms only

I write this comment because these are available to fit FJ in OE sizes. But thing that a good FJ is more or less 30 kg and 40 horsepower more of bike, and the rear is an enormous 150/80 wall. I could feel the Macadam 100 flexing in my 3xw OE rims, so... Anyway, I think that could work in a FJ. Please, send me your impressions if you fit them

December 2.13 review: tyres suffer from odd degradation: the front have the edges near disintegrated with only 4.000 kms. and the rear get completely squared at 10.000. It seem that Bridgestone have changed the tyre construction and instead of steel belt another metal compound is used, so the heat don't dissipate all over the tyre and the wear is not consistent. Very bad

Bridgestone T30

Bridgestone new T30 tyres tested in my FZ 750 in OE sizes 110/70/17 (correct mount to the 3" OE rim) and 140/70/18 The carcass is too hard for the FZ weight, so much that I have to reduced the rear preload. The front don't give the confidence that the MZ8s provide and the bike loose agility, needing more effort to side the bike to the last part of the lean Definitively these tyres are for more calm riding oriented bikes. Pilot Roads, RoadSmarts or even own Bridgestone BT20/21/23 give more grip, feeling and flickability without sacrifice stability I will not recommend T30s over the MZ8s unless I get more duration. The adavantage is that these Bridgestone do not suffer odd degradation as the Metzelers. 7.000 km. and counting...