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Tyre Query

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by Eddo, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. Gidday all

    Picked up an old FJ1200 as a project touring bike a few weeks ago. Overall its in great condition and has done around 50k just needs some TLC and a thorough service. I've been looking at tyre choices for touring and have noticed that touring tyres have a higher side wall profile than say the usual sports style tyre. I presume the touring style of tyre is designed for longer life and load stability etc. It did get me thinking though that once I do start touring how stable are these style of tyres through a set of twisties? The FJ is a fairly heavy bike (260kg) and I'll be mainly weekend touring without a pillion so is a specific touring style tyre the way to go or is there another style of tyre that I should be looking at.

    Hopefully I have explained my query ok

  2. If you can still get tyres in the manufacturer recommended sizes, as noted on the tyre placard, fit them. The FJ was a decent handling sports tourer in its day (which was about 25 years ago) and didn't, IIRC, have any serious vices. It's not going to kill you and won't scare you any more than any other big. lairy old air-cooled four :D.

    It's a big, heavy old beast and will never be a GSXR or CBRRRRRRR, whatever you do to it, so super sticky low profile sports tyres will be a waste.

    ISTR the 1200 got 17" wheels rather than the 16s of the 1100, you you should get
    choice as to brand and model. Pretty much anything from a reputable manufacturer will allow it to perform to its full potential.
  3. I've got a similar bike ('84 GSX-1100EF) and am currently running Metzeler 'Lasertec' tyres both front (16") and rear (18"). They seem to be available in a large range of sizes, and are a sports-touring option. Reasonably priced too, at about $200 for the rear and $150 for the front. They handle and grip quite well, give good feedback and have so far worn well also.

    Failing that, I'd also recommend Bridgestone 'Battlax' BT45's, having fitted some to my Aprilia when I had it. They lasted ages, gave good grip and I would say are about the equal of the Lasertecs I've got on the GSX. They also come in a wide range of sizes to suit older model bikes and are about the same price as the Metzelers. Both are good so I'd say its down to your local tyre shop and brand allegiance.

    Cheers - boingk

    PS: In answer to your original question, supersports tyres may often be of the same section (centre height, expressed as a %'ge of tyre width.) as a touring tyre, but will appear to have a lower sidewall height because they have steeply profiled tread edges. This gives advantages such as quicker tip-in and better road-holding at extreme lean angles - both of little interest to the touring rider.