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Tyres - GSX 750F 1989

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  • Tyres - GSX 750F 1989

    Iííve nearly driven myself crazy trying to work out what tyres (thatís Australian for tires) to put on my bike. Iíve got two must-haves: (1) maximum dry grip, and; (2) best possible handling. What I consider to be best handling is a tyre that gives excellent balance between front and rear as well as great feedback that inspires confidence at the limit. That is, when you start losing traction the tyre doesnít just let go but rather you can feel the slide first. I donít ride in the wet and I donít do a lot of distance per year so wet performance and wear life are not that important to me. And Iím not concerned about the cost as the cost of one slide down the road will far outweigh the extra cost for the tyre.

    So with all that in mind, Iíve found a latest design, sticky, radial tyre set thatís as wide as possible right? Well, thatís a big NO and Iíll explain why shortly. I have to admit that I set out thinking I must have radial tyres as theyíre the modern design. But I was never wanting wide tyres; just tyres that suit the bike.

    My first source of info was this forum. But I was surprised to see thereís not much up to date information and very little old info that provides any sort of reasoning other than ďI like (insert riderís favourite brand of tyre here)Ē. So I did a lot of google research and spoke to as many experienced people as I could over the last 6 months. And hereís what I found.
    • Most tyre manufacturer tyre selection programs seems to avoid radials or provide them as an option for my bike
    • Metzeler Australia sent me an email saying they do not have a tyre suitable for my bike!
    • I found out that the suspension on a bike is specifically designed for the type of tyre construction
    Metzelerís email was a wake up call. I mean, Iííve been riding around on Metzeler Roadtec Ineract Z8 for about 6 years. They seem okay but theyíve never inspired confidence. Why is that? I may have found the answer.

    To cut to the chase, Iíve only found one reasoned argument as to what tyres I should use that makes sense to me. Iíve found plenty of cases where tyre and bike manufacturers tell me to stick to whatís recommended. But they generally donít back it up with much information that helps me understand the reasons. I mean, how could it possibly be right to use tyres with construction design over 30 years old when there are much newer designs, materials and compounds available? So hereís the link to the reasoning as to why Iíve just purchased a set of bias ply tyres for my bike.

    https://www.bennetts.co.uk/bikesocia...-classic-tyres

    At its very basic level, the reasoning is that the suspension on my 1989 GSX 750F was designed for bias ply tyres and those tyres have a MUCH softer carcass construction than todayís radials. Itís generally a bad idea to fit very stiff construction tyre to suspension that isnít designed to deal with that stiffness.

    So, Iíve ordered a set of Michelin Road Classics. Iím not massively keen on the tread pattern but you donít see that whilst riding. Theyíre a bias ply tyre, as was the OEM Metzeler ME33 Laser and ME55A Metronic. So my suspension is designed to work well with them. Theyíre available in exactly the right sizes i.e. 110/80-17 and 150/70-17 and that means the tyre cross section profiles are far more likely to suit the steering and suspension geometry of my bike. Theoretically, that means better handling. Further itís a modern silica compound released in early 2020 and my 100 horsepower bike is more likely to bring it up to temperature quicker than a wider radial whose compound has been designed for 150HP plus. There are other classic tyres such as the Pirelli Sport Demon, but they have a H speed rating so theyíre no good - the GSXF needs a V speed rating. The same is true for the Bridgestone Battlax BT-45; H speed rating - and I believe the front is going out of production.

    Anyway, thatís the theory behind my decision. In a week or two Iíll find out whether itís just a theory or whether it actually works in practice. I just want maximum fun factor in the bendy bits with predictable high levels of grip, so fingers crossed! Hopefully the fact theyíre a modern silica compound with some pretty aggressive grooves, Iím thinking wear rate could be okay and wet weather performance should be really good when Iím surprised by a summer storm.
    Last edited by Bex; 11-08-2021, 02:10 AM.

  • #2
    Good luck with the Classics, myself I would go with radial over bias ply tires any day for safety reasons, a bias ply tire is more likely to have a catastrophic failure compared to a radial tire. As for tire size options you can install a 120/17-17 on the front and that will open up the market for tire sizes. We use the Continental Road attack 3 tires on our street fleet bikes for training. grip great dry or wet.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ZukiFred View Post
      Good luck with the Classics, myself I would go with radial over bias ply tires any day for safety reasons, a bias ply tire is more likely to have a catastrophic failure compared to a radial tire. As for tire size options you can install a 120/17-17 on the front and that will open up the market for tire sizes. We use the Continental Road attack 3 tires on our street fleet bikes for training. grip great dry or wet.
      Thanks for the feedback.

      Why is a bias ply more likely to have catastrophic failure?

      Iíve been using Metzeler Roadtec Interact Z8 in 120/70R17 along with 150/70R17 for years. The handling has been okay without being anything to be inspired about. Perhaps the carcass is just too stiff for suspension thatís designed for bias ply tyres. Metzeler certainly do not recommend them, or any other tyre for my bike. Anyway, we will see I guess.

      Also why doesnít the Conti tyre selection tool have an option for GSX 750 F as a 1989 model (GR78)? Is it because they do not have a recommended tyre? Theyíve got recommendations for other bikes of that vintage.

      I found this link too https://www.bikebandit.com/blog/bias...s-best-for-you
      Last edited by Bex; 11-09-2021, 05:17 AM.

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      • #4
        As I understand it the radial tyers have the belts that help hold them together when you get a puncture and the bias ply do not.
        As for selection tools, the GSXF wasn't really that popular. One of the last brands I ran on my GSXF before I changed bikes was the Michelin Pilot road 4. they worked well for me.
        Wish I was still buying tyers for my GSFX, the 190/50-17I have to buy for my current bike cost about twice what I use to pay. LOL

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ZukiFred View Post
          As I understand it the radial tyers have the belts that help hold them together when you get a puncture and the bias ply do not.
          As for selection tools, the GSXF wasn't really that popular. One of the last brands I ran on my GSXF before I changed bikes was the Michelin Pilot road 4. they worked well for me.
          Wish I was still buying tyers for my GSFX, the 190/50-17I have to buy for my current bike cost about twice what I use to pay. LOL
          thanks ZukiFred. I hadnít heard that one about punctures. I know bias are much stronger in the sidewall. Do you have any links to reading I can do on that?
          ive found that the only type manufacturer selection tools that provide a recommendation only recommend bias tyres and then sometimes an option for radials. But then when I try to buy the recommended radials theyíre never available over here. Grrrrrrr.

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          • #6
            https://www.forconstructionpros.com/...n-construction

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            • #7
              The article is about large mining trucks. Slightly different application, yesÖ?
              Last edited by Bex; 11-25-2021, 05:11 AM.

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              • #8
                The tyres arrived and theyíre not Michelin Road Classic, theyíre Michelin Pilot Activ. Iím 90% sure the agreement was I was getting the Road Classic. The Activ is the tyre the Road Classic superseded in January 2021. Iím not happy with that as the design and compound of the Activ is older technology, but the bike has already been off the road too long so I will give them a go. Iíve read that the Activ is a very hard compound and thatís definitely not what I was after. A soft grippy compound was equal top priority with balance/suitability for the bike. Anyway, I might be ordering new tyres again in coming weeks after I see how these go.
                Last edited by Bex; 11-28-2021, 03:30 AM.

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