Home
My Products
Search
What's New

Motorcycle Tires & Wheels

This page Copyright © 2003-2011, by Mark Lawrence.
Email me, mark@calsci.com, with suggestions, additions, broken links.

Football
Investing
Neural Networks
Physics

Home
Introduction
General«
Warranties&Insurance
New Bikes«
Break-In«
Hauling Motorcycles«
Shipping Motorcycles
Winter Storage«

Road Test Links

Discount Parts

Introduction to
Motorcycles

Types of Motorcycles
Motorcycle Safety
Buying a Motorcycle
Recomendations
Motorcycle Controls
Motorcycle Steering
Motorcycle Shifting
Motorcycle Brakes
Hitting Obstacles
Lane Positions
Cargo and Passengers
Parking Motorcycles
Basic Operation
Practice Exercises
Conclusion

Body
Seat Cushions
Custom Seats
Modify Your Seat«
Backrests
Headlight Covers
Tank Bras
Fender Accessories«
Cleaning Supplies
Plastic Repairs
Touch-up Paint

Chassis
Suspension
Check Rear Suspension«
Align Rear Suspension«
Adjust Rear Suspension«
Align Front Suspension«
Adjust Front Suspension«
Increase Fork Spring Rate«
Lowering Your Bike«
Improve Fork Damping«
Drive Chains«
Tires
Tire Accessories«
Wheels«

Controls
Instruments
Handlebars
Adjusting Controls
Heated Grips«
Controls«
Cruise Controls«
Brakes
Hydraulics«
Footpegs

Electrical
Power
Switches & Connectors
Battery
Horns
Driving Lights
Headlights
Tail Lights«
Reflectors
Turn Signals«
Radio
Intercoms
Speakers
Earphones
GPS
Radar Detectors
Radar & GPS Mounts

Engine and Tools
Metric Nuts & Bolts
Radiators
Tools
Lifts

Fairing
Windshields
Windshield Height«
Cleaning Windshields«
Repairing Windshields«
Modifying Windshields«
Fairing History

Lubricants
Grease
Shaft Drive Gears«
Shaft Drive Splines«
Drive Chains«
Engine Oil«
All About Oil
API Oil Standards
Oil Filters«
All About Filters
Filter Cross Ref
Filter Surgery
Air Filters

Luggage
Straps & Nets«
Tank Bags
Bag Liners
Cargo Sacks
Saddlebag Keys«
Soft Saddle Bags
Hard Saddle Bags
Aluminum Saddle Bags
TailPacks
Top Boxes
Refrigerators
Motorcycle Trailers

Riding
Riding Suits
Rain Suits
Summer Jackets
Off Road Protective
Cool Vests
Heated clothes
Street Boots
Dirt Boots
Riding Gloves
Custom Clothes
Foam Earplugs
Riding with kids
Helmets
Riding in extreme heat
Taking long trips
Small Gadgets
Cameras
Communication
Clothes
Packing
Camping out
Logistics
Packing Check List
State Riding Laws
Printable State Laws

FJR1300
Our Products
Specifications

Ninja 1000

R1200GS HP2

R1200GS
Mechanical Issues
Road Tests
General
Links
Crashbars
Luggage
Lights
Seat
Handlebars
Dash Shelf
Footpegs
Exhaust
Tires
Specifications

R1200RT
Road Tests
General
Links
Specifications

R1200ST
Road Tests
General
Links
Specifications

ST1300
Our Products
Mechanical Issues
Road Tests
General
Handlebars
Footpegs«
Suspension«
Tires«
Brakes
Exhaust
Engine«
Fuel Filters
Air Filters
Wiring Diagrams
Lights«
Radio
Windshields«
Electric Windshields«
Fairing Accessories
Fairing Pads
Dash Shelves
Hondaline TopBox
Information
Specifications

Ulysses
Our Products
Road Tests
General
Links
Windshields
Specifications

V-Strom
Our Products
Mechanical Issues
Road Tests
General
Gas Mileage
Windshields
Gearing«
Controls
Footpegs
Crashbars
SkidPlate
Centerstand
Suspension
Body
Brake Pads
Tires
Electric
Engine
Exhaust«
Suzuki Luggage«
Fairing Pads
Specifications
My DL650 Review

Superhawk
Mechanical Issues
Road Tests
General
Crashbars
SkidPlate
Centerstand
Stock tires
Brake Pads
Electric
Engine
Exhaust«
Windshields
Suzuki Luggage
Fairing Pads

Articles
Airbags are Evil
All About Gasoline
All About Oil
All About Filters
A Friend's Crash
My DL650 Review
Horsepower & Torque
Making Horsepower
Paul Mondor's Snow Tour
Pollution Myths
Resonant Air Boxes
Riding in extreme heat
Suspension
Fighting Traffic Tickets«

References
API Oil Standards
Batteries & Spark Plugs
Chains & Sprockets
Tires
Motorcyle Accidents
Filter Cross Ref
Filter Surgery
Metal Gauges
Wire Gauges
Unit Conversions
Drills & Screws
New Bike Check List
Storage Check List
Packing Check List
Printable State Laws

Weather
Links
Web Page Popularity
About This Site
Me

I recommend FireFox
Please help support this web site
•If you need a windshield, consider ours.
•Contribute to our site maintenance fund:
•Support our advertisers. Thanks, Mark

Tires

Different bikes respond differently to different tires, so it's impossible to make a generic recommendation. Generally I like Dunlops and Bridgestones.

Tires can be purchased mail-order at significant discounts. You can always find a dealer or shop who will change and balance your tires for about $25, if you bring in the wheel and the new tire. Generally it's more like $35 if they remove the wheel too. If you're going on the road, you can have the tires shipped to a friend or a motel, and then drop in to a local motorcycle dealer and get it done. With a little planning, you can be known and hated by Honda dealers all across the country. When these "Iron Butt" guys invent an award for the "Iron Wallet," I expect to be an early front-runner.

Good deals on tires can be found at:
Motorcycle Accessory Warehouse
Tires Unlimited
Tire Express
motorcycle-superstore.com
motorcycletirestore.com
motorcycletires.com
motorcycletire.com
americanmototire.com
MotorHelmets.com

What the numbers mean: 120/70ZR18 120 means 120 mm or 4.75" wide. /70 means 70 percent as tall as it is wide, about 84mm or 3.375" tall. ZR means Z rated for continuous speeds up to 150 mph, R for Radial construction.18 means 18" diameter rim. The speed ratings are S for up to 112 mph, H for up to 130 mph, V for up to 150 mph, Z for 150 mph+.At high speeds, the tire can get very hot and the tread can separate from the belts. The speed ratings tell you how fast you can safely go. 170/60ZR17 is 170mm or 6.75" wide, 60% as tall is 102mm or 4" tall, speed rated for up to 150 mph continuous, radial belt construction, requires a 17" diameter rim.

You can tell the age of your tires by checking the date code on the sidewall. The date code will be three letters followed by e numbers. Ignore the letters, the build date is read as follows: VKD341 = 34th week of 2001. DEB403 = 40th week of2003.

Tire Size Conversion Chart
Street Front Tires Street Rear Tires
MetricAlphaInch  MetricAlphaInch
80/90MH902.50/2.75 110/90MP854.00/4.25
90/90MJ902.75/3.00 120/90MR904.50/4.75
100/90MM903.25/3.50 130/80 - 5.00/5.10
110/90MN903.75/4.00 130/90MT905.00/5.10
120/80 - 4.25/4.50 140/80 - 5.50/6.00
120/90MR904.25/4.50 140/90MU905.50/6.00
130/90MT905.00/5.10 150/80MV856.00/6.25
   150/90MV856.00/6.25
 
Dirt Front Tires Dirt Rear Tires
MetricMetricInch  Metric MetricInch
60/10090/80 2.50/2.75 80/100 80/90 2.50/3.60
70/10090/80 2.75/3.00 90/100 110/903.60/4.10
80/100100/803.00/3.25 100/100120/804.00/4.10
   110/100130/804.00/4.50
   120/100140/805.00/5.10

There's a lot of confusion about why we use such big tires. It's commonly believed that a bigger tire has a bigger contact patch. This is incorrect. An ST1300 fueled up weighs about 700 pounds; the rider is about another 200. The tires are at about40 psi. So, 900 pounds divided by 40 psi is 22 square inches. If the weight is equally distributed on the two tires, each tire has a contact patch of 11 square inches. That's it, tire width and diameter never entered into the calculation. A narrow tire will have an 11 square inch contact patch that's long and narrow; a wide tire will have an 11 square inch contact patch that's short and wide. If you drop the tire pressure to 20 psi (popular for on/off road bikes) then your contact patch doubles in size. If you find yourself in snow or rain, raising the tire pressure will shrink your contact patch and help you push through to the road.
 

Make your own Rear Tire Stand.

Get a section of 1½" PVC. Notch the end to fit your swing arm. Don't forget to lock your front brake first.Idea and photo by Paul Fox.



Tire Accessories
 


Ride-On Tire Protection Systemfixes flats while you keep riding. Three 8oz bottles, $30. ST1300 requires 6oz in front tire, 9oz in back tire.
 


Digital Tire Pressure Gauge$13. Be the envy of your Saturday morning breakfast crowd. Fits nicely at the bottom of the right glove box. Also available at Sears for $14, sometimes goes on sale for $8.

Digital pressure gauges are also available on-line from Measurement Specialties,and also at Target (pronounced Tar-Zhey). There's a neat pencil-sized combination pressure gauge / tire depth meter for $8.

The devices below are sold as tire pressure monitors. Unfortunately, the initial consensus seems to be that they don't work very well. They were reviewed in Motorcyclist, and got a poor review. Also, a rider at my-mc.com tried them on his ST and two cars, and wound up taking them off in frustration with their inconsistency. A warning device you can't trust is worse than no warning, IMHO. However, who can say, maybe they will improve in time.


Accu-PressureSafety Caps, four of the same pressure for $15, or buy them here,two for $7, one at 36 psi, one at 40 psi. These show yellow for 4 psi under, red for 10 psi under.
 


Tire Guard four for $23.
 

Make Your Own Portable Air Compressor

First, buy a compressor. Ok, this sounds pretty lame, but don't worry it will work out. Get a Campbell Hausfeld RP1200, about$10 at Wal-Mart or Harbor Freight.
Take off the access door and pull the air hose and electrical wire out as if you were going to use them. There are now four screws visible on the back. Take them out. There's a sticker on the bottom still holding the case together. Cut it. Now pull the case halves apart and rip out the guts! All we want is the entire pump - switch - electrical cord - air hose unit.You can trash the case now, we won't be needing it again.
Here's what you're left with.  The pump is about 6" long, 3" tall, 2" wide.

The arrow points to the fan that keeps the pump cool when it's in the case.  I used a hacksaw to cut the shaft to remove this piece.  Be careful if you do this, don't bend the internal part of the shaft.

Photos by Rick Korchak.

Our Motorcycle Accessory Products

BMW C650GT BMW F650GS BMW F800GS BMW F800ST BMW G650GS BMW K1200GT BMW K1300GT BMW K1600GT BMW R1150GS BMW R1150R
BMW R1150RT BMW R1200GS BMW R1200R BMW R1200RT Buell Ulysses CanAm Spyder RS CanAm Spyder RT CanAm Spyder ST Ducati Diavel Ducati MTS 1200
Honda CB500 Honda CBF1000 Honda Interstate 1300 Honda NC700 Honda NT700 Honda ST1300 Honda Varadero Kawasaki Concours 1000 Kawasaki Concours 1400 Kawasaki KLR 650
Kawasaki Ninja 650R Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Kawasaki Versys Kawasaki Versys 1000 Kawasaki Z1000 KTM 950 Adventure KTM 990 Adventure KTM 990 SM-T Moto Guzzi Norge Moto Guzzi Stelvio
Suzuki VStrom 650 Suzuki VStrom 1000 Triumph Tiger 800 Triumph Tiger 1050 Triumph Tiger 1200 Triumph Trophy 1200 Yamaha FJR1300 Yamaha FZ1 Yamaha FZ6 Yamaha Ténéré 1200

Home
My Products
Search
What's New

California Scientific
4011 Seaport
West Sacramento
CA 95691
Since Jan 2, 1985
 Go Packers! 
Sales@CalSci.com
800-284-8112
916-372-6800
Revised Friday, 09-Sep-2016 14:23:28 CDT

Football
Investing
Neural Networks
Physics