October 2.017 I've rewritten this section due to it is a nonsense speak about tyres that I've tested in my motorbikes but don't exist any more.
To be useful, that's the aim of this website, the tyres are separated according to the different FJ models rims.
There are not too much availability, less even with the obsolescence of the front AV45 Azaro ST, that could be combined with the Avon Ultra XD or with too disappeared of the Avon line, AV46 ST rear.
PIRELLI SPORT DEMON: very popular these here in Spain because are relatively cheap and are widely available, I've riding different FJs with a couple of these fitted, last time in my summer 2017 purchased 1TX.
Excellent tyres, but in 1.986, 30 years ago, and fitted in my RD 350, with only 60 CV and 100 kg less weight.
These Pirelli are ABSOLUTELY INADMISSIBLE FITTING, flexing the tyre wall merely giving medium throttle even having the bike straight, and amplifying each white line, longitudinal slope, irregularity and bump of the tarmac, more so the more worn the tyres are, making the riding dangerous in several moments.
After only 3.000 km. and in spite of riding on cold weather on 2.017 summer with my just purchased 1TX, the tyres overheated on my long, fast habitual journeys, crystallizing and transforming onto hard black rocks. Yes, like stones. If the weather would have been hot, as normal in Mainland Spain on July, I think the tyres would have disintegrated, throwing pieces of rubber all around. DANGEROUS TYRES. DONT FIT THOSE IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE
BRIDGESTONE BT45 I fitted 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!
It seems that in 2.013 Bridgestone 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. Tyres suffer from odd degradation: the front have the edges near disintegrated with only 2.000 kms. and the rear get completely squared at 8.000. Very bad
Its a different and better world after de infamous Demons. You don't feel the irregularities, white lines, different levels or potholes, like in the Honda with this tyres fitted, due to the bigger rear wheel. The bike feels rigid in sport riding mode, with plenty of aplomb and very flickable in tight sections.
I hope the duration will be better than at the Honda, specially at the front.
AVON RADIALS. AV45 front/Ultra XD rear: my friend Mingo fits this combo in his 1TX. Better, comfortable and stick more that the Bt45s, even although these make the bike rigid and surefooted. The bike on these Avons feels even better.
Yes, the front tyre is not available. But there is Avon RoadRider for the front tyre. Yes, it is byas-ply and the rear is radial construction, designed for bikes like the Hayabusa or Blackbirds, but I would like to test this last combo, because the Roadrider were the fitment at the British CRMC, and if the Roadriders are enough good to let Andreas Jelden win the championship in his FJ 1200 1TX in 2.015, I'm sure it is more that sufficient for me. And a set lasted him the complete season.
DUNLOP STREETSMART these are byass-ply constructed and are mentioned here because are much better than BT45s fitted in the Honda CBX 750 F. Last more time and the wear is more uniform and consistent for the tyre life. Give more confidence and rigidity in sport riding. It would be a must if Dunlop do fitment for our FJ.
There better choice here are the new AVON SPIRIT ST, replacement for the Ultra, available on 16" rear rim size. These are the only modern radial tyre available for the FJ. Like its written above, the radials are better than the byas-ply tyres for the radial construction that give more rigidity to the carcass of the tyre to support power and weight
IMPORTANT NOTE: FJ OE rime size is 3". 120/70/17 modern tyres are designed for 3,5" rims. Even although is physically possible fit 120 tyres in 3" rims, the tyre is forced around the rim, making the breaking unstable, the curve front feeling unsettled and the tyre wear faster and suffer from odd degradation. The Correct 3" fittment is 110/70/17, that make the FJ 88 on more flickable and recover the fast aplomb of the bike. Tested.
I would like to make a though about the necessity or not changing the OE tyres to modern STD rim sizes to fit modern radial tyres. In another section of this web you have all the info to proceed, with different combination.
There is no doubt that the modern tyres resides in fact the evolution of the motorbikes, more than in chassis o powerplants. Mi 3CV is more rigid, stable, confident and comfortable in sport riding. But...
My 1TX with the BT 45 tyres fitted and their tall profile, literally "eats" everything: each irregularity and pothole of the road are absorbed without hesitation. In different roads with degraded tarmac in Mainland Spain where my 3CV jumps with the bumps and feel uncomfortable with its low wall modern tyres, my 1TX ride effortless, "flying" low, absorbing everything and giving a comfortable ride even on that bad surfaces.
And in a typical route of mine in Mainland Spain of 700/800 km. of hard riding in secondary roads my 1TX makes the riding more rested, comfortable and less strained on the day to day more degraded surfaces of our roads.
Its true that my 1TX feels more weighted, with more inertia in sport riding, due to the not suspended weight of the rims. But it is very agile due to the 16" front rim and you can go side to side without effort.
Do you need modern rims for an ordinary use of the bike?. Forthright not. In fact, that big balloons are better to long journeys.
The problem will come if you suffer any problem with your tyres on travel, including wearing, if it is needed a change on tyres, because tyres on the OE sizes will not be available at once, and we will must wait a couple of days waiting for a new tyre. In STD sizes, whenever the problem would be, we will find tyres on STD sizes. And I know what I'm speaking about because I always change my tyres on route in my Holydays on Mainland Spain, France or Andorra.
And my 1TX brakes are near at the level of my 3CV-R1 callipers with ZZR 1100 master, metallic hoses and organic pads. So for this side, the problem do not exist.
For those of us who have fitted modern STD 17" rims in our FJs (or more rare, 18" rear) the type of tyre to fit resides more on preferences, style of riding, use of the bike, climate, kind of roads... than in the quality of choice. Modern tyres are stratospherically better now that when the FJ appeared, and we have a wide variety to choose from.
Opting between 170 or 180 rear is too about personal preferences. 170 tyre makes the bike more agile. I prefer 180 because I pass the edge of the 170 tyre on sport riding. On closed track is better the 180 too.
IMPORTANT NOTE: don't fit R o Race compound tyres. The modern tyres RACE carcass are designed for lighter bikes. Bikes of the 80.90 era are weighty and don't match those light carcasses. Any sport-touring tyre is widely superior on a RACE tyre from the FJ era and these tyres are more properly fitted on our bikes, on road and on track.
Before to recommend a determinate tyre, I have to say that my case is very peculiar: with high temperature always on a very abrasive tarmac, fast riding solo on very slow, tight and curved roads, and going from 2.200 m. height to the level sea in about 30 km. abusing on brakes and on front tyres, I degrade the front tyres on the edges very fast.
So after much testing (a front tyre can last less than 2.000 km.) the best tyres for me are DUNLOP ROADSMART. these last about 6.000 km. both, front and rear. Riding on Europe, on more open roads, the Dunlops last about 10.000 km. at the front, 6.000 at the rear.
MICHELIN PILOT: I've tested various of them along the time. Overheat and get the consistence and grip like a stone. Even the BT45s are better, even not being radials
BRIDGESTONE T30S: Bridgestone new T30 tyres were 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 advantage is that these Bridgestone do not suffer odd degradation as the Metzelers. Only if duration is your only goal.
METZELER Z8 evolution from the Z6, that I don't like in my FJ because are very directional and the bike don't need more stability. 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. I've used them in my Yamaha FZ 750 1990, and the life expectancy 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!