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Do my tires suck ?

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  • Do my tires suck ?

    I have a 2001 750 with about 6200 or so miles on it. I got the thing last summer with about 3,500 on the odometer. The bike had been down on both sides, but it looked like light cosmetic damage, so I bought it.
    The dealer had put new tires on mine and swapped the old ones from mine to an older bike, these tires were brand new when I got it.
    A lot of my riding has been straight line due to my area of residence, but I have also gone out and hit some nice twisty roads at high speeds, which brings up my question.

    Do my tires suck for curves that bad or is there another problem? Maybe just that it is a Katana? I ask because I have what I would call a washout of the front tire at higher speeds when cornering. I will try and describe it better for you:

    Let's say I am trying to hit a left hander, I am in a good lean and all of the sudden I feel the front tire kind of "skipping" to the right, as if it simply doesn't want to go where it is supposed to.
    Again I am wonderig if this may be some other problem such as in the forks, should I go all the way to hard settings or what?

    The back tire does slide a bit, but I have felt that before , just not under such low power situations, and the tires seem to never warm up, and just flat ass don't stick like I think they should.

    The tires are continental contiforce Front:120/70/zr/17 rear 150/70/zr17

    I have no confidence in these tires, which makes brisk riding suck!

  • #2
    Hey stealthy1,

    I can't answer whether there is a problem with the bike, or whether the tires suck (not familiar with those ones), but I do know that the sizes are right. At least that bit is good news.

    I haven't had my bike do that, but it is possible that you ride yours harder than I ride mine and it is just something that they do when pushed that much... but from what I've heard around here, I do not think it is normal. Hopefully it is just crap tires. Someone will pop up who has had them I'm sure.

    Edit: I just did a search on contiforce, and there are a few posts about them. Seems that people that have them love them. Try PMing a couple of people who have them with and see if they have had similar experiences.

    Sorry I can't be more of a help.
    fulcrum (aka David)
    Blue 2004 GSX750F
    Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It's the transition that's troublesome.--Isaac Asimov
    If you can keep your head, while all around you are losing theirs, then you probably aren't grasping the situation

    Crash virginity lost: March 6th 2005


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply.
      I guess if I am riding them too hard then I need an ss bike, but I sure like the comfort of this thing. I will look for the posts you speak of.

      would still like more input......anyone???


      • #4
        Could be a combination of reasons. I'm not overly fond of the Conti's on the Kats, but that could just be me... I've only tried them on pre-98 Kats (they weren't included in my tire comparo a couple years back)...
        Other reasons:

        (A) Tire pressure set incorrectly. If you weight around 200lbs, they probably should be about 34-1/2 to 35 in the front, 38 in the rear. The stock recommendation (33/36) is ideal for someone who weighs 140lbs with gear.

        (B) Tire out of balance. Can happen after 3000 miles, especially if the roads are crowned heavily for rain water drainage.

        (C) Suspension poorly adjusted to your weight/riding style;

        (D) fork oil old or fork oil levels uneven. Fork oil & seals should be changed every other year, especially in high-humidity environments.

        (E) Bent front axle, bad front wheel bearings, bent front rim, or uneven fork spring pressures (due to slight bending of one fork body). You said the bike had been down on both sides, so this is a very real possibility. I'd recommend you do a run-out test on the wheel & rotors by using a pencil and a cardboard box -- put the wheel all the way to one side (have something weigh down the back wheel on the centerstand, so the front is clear of the ground), then put the pencil on the box with the tip touching the rim where the tire bead mounts. Spin the wheel around -- the high spot will push the pencil backwards and then you can use that to compare the highest spot to the lowest spot (to see how much warp is in the wheel). Repeat for both sides, and then again with the rotors. Occasionally, the steering stem bearings can also induce such issues, but usually they're not that worn on an '03 model.

        (F) The tires themselves; temp, tread, compound, wear levels. Were they warm enough, too warm, etc? Look at the tire closely and check for scalloping (uneven wear across the tread blocks -- front higher or lower than rear of the same tread block by a significant amount), or uneven wear across the arc.

        (G) Road surface -- could it be that there was oil, sand, diesel or kerosene (fuel with high oil contents), tranny fluid, or something else that could have ruined the tire's adhesion.

        I've tried the Macadam 90x, the Metzeler Z4 & Z6, Dunlop 205 & 207's, Pirelli Diablo's on my own bike ('01 Kat), and ridden the Avons and Bridgestones on other's late model kats. My recommendation is the Pirelli's or the Metzeler's, period. No problems railing at the gap last year on the Metzelers.

        =-= The CyberPoet
        Remember The CyberPoet


        • #5
          Kickass reply there cyberpoet thanks!
          I will try the pencil thing and check all else in the morning and post my findings.

          I guess I am still doubting that the problem is anything more than tires. ..
          I have ridden them pretty hard, and they just seem like brand new......I have about 1/4 inch of chicken strip on the front, basically none in the back, though it is hard to tell because they still seem relatively smooth for the miles on them. I guess I am basing my opinion on my past tires where after I rode some corners I could see little pieces sticking out, showing me that it has been rubbed or scrubbed in.

          The catch is that since I am getting this washout on the front, I am not willing to take it harder to get it scrubbed in more due to an inevitable lowside.

          It just seems like a no win deal for me here.....
          I can stick it out, get these things to finally grip..I'll be damned if they won't last forever!


          • #6
            Originally posted by stealthy1
            Kickass reply there cyberpoet thanks!
            Your welcome...

            Originally posted by stealthy1
            I guess I am basing my opinion on my past tires where after I rode some corners I could see little pieces sticking out, showing me that it has been rubbed or scrubbed in.
            If you mean the previous tires "Balled" the rubber compound into little balls or chunks of rubber hanging off, this means that you were sliding them laterally at the limit of their adhesion and not noticing the slippage because it was very minor (the rubber eating itself instead of the tire skipping)... It also means that you probably rail very hard, in which case the Conti's are probably the wrong tire for you and you need to look at either the Metzeler RennTech, SporTech, M1's, Z2's or the Pirelli Diablo's Corsa's. Note that these tires are all very soft, super-high grip tires specifically for railing or track-style work, and won't last anywhere near as long as the Z6's, the Conti's or most other sport-touring tires.

            The other thing you may want to do is examine your own body posture in these turns. The further you lean or shift to the inside for the turn, the less the bike has to lean to make the same radius turn, thus you won't be taking your tires to the same extreme angles -- which in turn will reduce the odds of slippage.

            Finally, you may want to take some scotchbrite or sand to the tire's chicken strips just to scuff up the surface minorly. A still-sealed surface is not a grippy one...

            =-= The CyberPoet
            Remember The CyberPoet


            • #7
              I have the conti force tires on my 750, 120/60 and a 160/60 and i love them. I would definately check the tire pressures. I had a similar problem, and I upped the pressure from 34 to 38 in the front, and from 36 to 40 in the rear and made a drastic improvement. Fiddle with the pressures and settings and see waht happens..
              Um I dont know any wise quotes so go read katansoldiers quote in his signature!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


              • #8
                If you are pushing hard enough to slide the front end, get some more serious compound tires on that bike... like diablo's.

                You are working pretty hard and you know what the problem is... spend the cash on tires now or spend it on plastic and surgery when you crash.

                I would check the other things mentioned, but it sounds pretty clear to me...
                I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity. -- Edgar Allan Poe