Friday, April 17, 2009

New Tires: A Comparison

When I first got the FZ6, Dad put a set of Metzler M3's on. The bike has a 5.5 inch wide rear wheel, which calls for a 180. The previous owner had a 160 on there when he traded it in, so in order to fill up the rear end of the bike, a 190 was put on. While there seems to be a big issue on one of the forums about running the 190 vs. the 180, I didn't feel that the handling was slow or sluggish. However with that peaky tire that the M3's seem to be it was hard to get that last half inch of the tire on the pavement.

I have gone through one rear M3, which was replaced this past summer and one front M3 which was replaced in October. I am coming up on needing a new rear which currently has roughly 5500 miles on it. The first rear M3 got roughly 6600 miles out of it and the front M3 I think I had around 10,000 miles on it. However, it was really low on tread, chords were not showing though.

At first I was planning on putting a new 180 M3 on the rear so that I could get the "goody" out of the front as well. However, judging by the previous tires, it looks as though I will need new front and rear tires in late summer/early fall. Seeing that could be a bad time, Dad and I decided to go ahead and put new rubber on all the way around. This time, a set of Avon Storms will fitted onto the FZ.

Some info on the M3's:

The M3's were really good tires and I have nothing really to complain about them. They had awesome wet weather traction and really moved the water. One day on the way home from class, a large thunderstorm had moved in and put down alot of water. So much so that a few local streets were underwater. When making my way through the pools on one particular street, I could feel the sheets of water being thrown up on my legs as the tread moved it away from the contact patch! As for the traction, it was outstanding for my slightly aggressive riding. In one case, which I mentioned on another blog entry. [See "Labor Day Ride"] The roads were wet heading up 181, and I decided to see at what point the tires would let go in the rain. It wasn't the smartest idea, but I found out where the tires let go, which was well past where I was comfortable in the rain! The only down fall I can point about the tires was that when they were cold, they really did not work well. In that they would dart off uneven pavement, such as repair patches in the road. Those slight edges would make the front end dart around. My only reason for switching is that I want to get some more miles of a set of tires... I would love to see 10,000 miles, but we shall see.

On Saturday I will be taking the bike up to Winston to Forsyth Motosports to have the new tires fitted. From there I plan on taking a nice little ride up into Virginia to put some miles on them. While these roads are mostly twisty, I do not plan on pushing it at all as the tires will be slick. I just want to get some heat in them and get some miles on the bike while the sun is out this weekend. Sunday looks to be a wash out...

Ok, so with the help of the mechanics at the shop I was able to mount the Avons on Saturday. Once this was completed I rode the bike from Winston to Salisbury to pick up an adjustable kick stand for a customers bike, and then rode back to Winston. This was a good a way to get some heat in the tires and get them scuffed a bit.

Side note: Those Avons were some kinda slick from the factory! I mean extreamly shinny!

Once I got back to Winston, I headed north into Virgina to put some miles on the tires. I never really pushed the bike hard because I was too worried about the slick edges and such on the tires. So subconsiously I felt as though the tires werent holding as well as the M3's did, but that really isnt a fair statement. I will wait an make the final call on that on my next ride.

I put a little over 300 miles on the tires Saturday and they rode really well. They rode well, and under an emergency stopping situation they seemed to do very well. I am impressed at this point with them . We will see how they hold up for the long haul as the summer goes on.

A great looking rear tire! It seems to be just as wide as my 190 M3 was, but not near as tall. This picture was taken at the shopafter I came back from Salisbury.


1 comment:

Mary said...

Yeah, it's going to be a nice Saturday. Gotta get out.