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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Replaced the original equipment Pirelli Phantom Sports Comp tires on my T120 with Avon AM26 Roadriders in the same sizes. These are bias ply tires. Got a nice price on these and tubes from Revzilla. Second day shipping was at no additional charge.

The Pirellis were great in the rain, and very nice on straightaways and gentle curves, but with harder cornering they gave very little feedback and felt somewhat vague. Had wondered whether this was because the OE Pirellis mixed radial and bias ply tires, or whether this was more a characteristic of the bike's geometry. Looks like it was the tires. The bike now feels planted, stable, and very controllable in all kinds of riding. I'm very pleased with the Avons so far. My suspension is completely stock but the OE brake discs have been replaced with the far lighter floating discs of the T100.

The Pirellis did wear very well. I got 10,000 miles from this set, the best of any bike I've ever owned. The front tire wore out well before the rear one did.

I went with Bridgestone tubes because of long experience with them. They do not leak down the way the OE tubes did. I was having to check and adjust tire pressures every ten days or so. With the Bridgestone tubes on my T100, this is interval is many weeks or months. I expect the same for the T120 now.

Torque values are rear axle, 63 ft/lbs, front axle, 48 ft/lbs, front brake mount bolts, 21 ft/lbs, front pinch bolt, 17 ft/lbs, and chain guard, 7 ft/lbs. Only the left OE muffler and chain guard had to be removed. The right muffler is shock mounted. Just pad the muffler to prevent scratching and move the muffler aside to get your 27mm box end wrench on the axle nut. Remove the two mount bolts from the right front brake caliper assembly. Pad the assembly and tape it up out of the way, or just let it hang as it's very light.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Just an update. Had noticed that with the new Avon AM26 tires I couldn't rotate the rear wheel with my T120 while it was up on the center stand. The Avons seemed to be of slightly larger circumference than the OE Pirellis. Funny though, after the tires had been on the bike for a while, it became easy to turn the rear wheel by hand again. I have no explanation other than that maybe air pressure has made the tires more round through the cross section. I have not done enough riding to wear the tires at all. Anyway, chain maintenance and airing the rear tire are easy again.

Still loving the Avons. They've given the bike perfect manners.
 

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I sold lots of Pirelli Phantoms in the 80's when they were made in Italy. They were sticky, smooth riding, round, worked well in the rain, and lasted a decent mileage for a performance tire. Back then the Pirelli trio of Phantoms, Gordons, and Mandrakes were the performance tires to have.

The new generation Phantoms look the same but don't act the same. I'm sure compounds, manufacturing techniques, and "cost effective" changes are responsible for their lesser performance today.

As to the Avon's "roundness"... when tires are manufactured and shipped they spend a lot of time bound together in stacks while traveling vast distances only to be released at the final warehouse destination. Saving space is saving money when shipping. They tend to keep their squashed profile till installed and inflated for a period of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I sold lots of Pirelli Phantoms in the 80's when they were made in Italy. They were sticky, smooth riding, round, worked well in the rain, and lasted a decent mileage for a performance tire. Back then the Pirelli trio of Phantoms, Gordons, and Mandrakes were the performance tires to have.

The new generation Phantoms look the same but don't act the same. I'm sure compounds, manufacturing techniques, and "cost effective" changes are responsible for their lesser performance today.

As to the Avon's "roundness"... when tires are manufactured and shipped they spend a lot of time bound together in stacks while traveling vast distances only to be released at the final warehouse destination. Saving space is saving money when shipping. They tend to keep their squashed profile till installed and inflated for a period of time.
Makes sense, thanks. In looking at the date codes on the sidewalls of the new Avons, I noticed that they were both just over a year old, so they'd been in storage for awhile, probably stacked as you suggest.

I always thought of Pirellis as premium performance tires and was happy to see that they were original equipment on my T120. Had there been a tire choice, the Phantom Sports Comps would have been at or near the top of my list. Still wondering why the bike's cornering handling with the Pirellis was not particularly good. Triumph was advertising that the T120's suspension was developed specifically with the Pirellis in mind. They were very nice on the straightaways at any speed, and in the rain, but for some reason it was difficult to feel that I'd correctly judged lean and speed in wide sweeping turns. The perfect line was really elusive. I'd have to set more than once, and never felt particularly stable. The Avons are very intuitive, with excellent feedback. I almost always get things right the first time.

All of this is really subjective, I know, but who rides for objective reasons?
 

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Makes sense, thanks. In looking at the date codes on the sidewalls of the new Avons, I noticed that they were both just over a year old, so they'd been in storage for awhile, probably stacked as you suggest.
Not simply "stacked" but band strapped into stacks for shipping.
 

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removed the sporty radial pirellis i had on my 2012 mag wheel bonnie for avon am 26, BIG mistake = poorer handling from non radials + had to add a tube to the front leaker on my cast wheel bonnie
 
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