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Need tires soon.

4750 Views 35 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  jeffster
Hello all. Been reading the posts re: tires on this section and in the tires sticky also. Will reduce my tire pressure from 35/41 to about 34/38 per your recommendations. Hopefully that should cure some of the handling ills. Have little tread left on the Michelin Pilot Roads that were on the bike when I bought it, will need tires soon. Not crazy about the Pilot Roads, this gives me a chance to change. I have heard (here and elsewhere) great things about the Z 6s and BT 014s. Here I can ride year round, and we are now in rainy season. I also ride on back roads, which often have poor surfaces. Now through March or April, there is a lot of sludge, muck, gunk, slop, ****, leaves, twigs, branches, trees, sand, gravel, mud, mudslides and general debris on the roads. So, due to 1.) poor roads, 2.) rainy season debris, in addition to the usual assortment of sport / sport touring tires, I was thinking about tires such as the fairly new Dunlop D 616 or the Pirelli Scorpion Sync, which are both marketed as dual-sport tires, with an emphasis on road performance, both of which seem like they could handle less than optimum road surfaces. Anyone have any experience with these two tires or similar or recommendations ? Or should I just be the guinea pig for the D 616 or Scorpion Syncs as my contribution to this forum?

I was really young when I was born.

[ This message was edited by: jeffster on 2006-12-20 01:06 ]
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Dave M & Dusty,
Thanks guys for the comments. I'll look up the Avon Azaro/Storms. Dave M - how many miles or km do you get out of a set of the Avons ? The front looks good, but the rear looks like you've been shredding it either from burnouts or slides or both. (?) Shredding is fun !! I just got done checking prices on the web on the D 616s. Ron Ayers has them both for $193 USD + $20 shipping. For some reason they are cheaper than most of the other tires available for Sprints - I suspect that Dunlop is holding the price down in an effort to promote this relatively new tire. They were original equipment on the Buell "dual-sport" bike for a while, now Buell is using Pirelli Scorpion Syncs. The Dunlop is mostly marketed as a good rain tire, actually marketed as a "hybrid" tire, whatever that is, but how would they be in the dry ? I don't really know anything about them. The only independent comment on the web on this tire is in German - and another on I'm gonna sleep on it, but am tempted to order them and let you all know what they're like.

[ This message was edited by: jeffster on 2006-12-18 03:31 ]
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Thanks again, men, for all the feedback. I'm not sure about the Azaros. For me it is mostly between the D-616s, Z 6s, BT-014s. The BT 014s would probably handle great, but would likely have decreased mileage. The Z 6 sounds like one of the best all around tires + great mileage. The D 616s would be the wild card, capable in the rainy season, but dry handling and longevity would be the unknowns. I recently learned that Dunlop is an American outfit and that John Dunlop made what was likely the first working pnuematic tire in about 1888 !! For right now I am just sitting on it, can probably run another 1-2K on the Pilot Roads. has great prices on the major brands with only $20 shipping/set if you are Stateside. 2ndSpace - Pirelli is now promoting the Strada as an extended mileage sport touring tire.

A weld in time saves nine.

[ This message was edited by: jeffster on 2006-12-20 01:10 ]
Thanks 2ndspace,
First time I've heard any independent comment on the D 616s. I should check out a Buell forum for comments on them. It looks like I'm down to either the D 616 or the Z6/Strada. I forgot to mention that has a special on a set of Bridgestone BT-014s for the Sprint for just $225 with no shipping ! Then there are always the Dunlop D 220s and the Pirelli Scorpion Syncs. I'll just flip a coin in a cupla days and settle it, but I just remembered that I don't gamble. 6K on the D 616s is acceptable and my credit card closing date was yesterday ... However, right now Dunlop workers are on strike, so I'll have to check availability. Yeah, the tread pattern of the Stradas & Z 6s are almost identical. If I rode Stradas on many different roads would I get a Multistrada ?

[ This message was edited by: jeffster on 2006-12-19 23:39 ]
Dave M, You must be The Shredder !! Maybe you should open a wholesale acct with one of the tire mfgrs. and get them shipped direct.
2nd Space, if I get the Dunlops I will advise and post my experience and non-expert opinion here since no one here has (apparently) tried them yet.
Bottom line on tires is that most of the mfgrs make a decent sport touring tire, so it comes down to personal preference. I am now down to the D616s or the Z 6s. I have never heard a negative comment on the Z 6s. Z 6s and Stradas are almost identical. Pricewise, Z 6s run $229 incl shipping from, the Stradas run $227 incl shipping from SWmototires. Pretty much a draw.
The D 616s got a comment on I ran it through the Alta Vista translator (that's High View for the Spanish-challenged.) The translators aren't smooth, but the gist of it was that a Motorrad test rider got a shot at them and basically liked the "tidy" handling enough for them to hope that it would only be a little time before they were exported to the Fatherland. Jah !! If the Germans like them, then they must be good, right ?
Followed Dusty's link to the history of John Dunlop. How he could prevail against the original pneumatic tire patent holder is beyond me, but it demonstrates two subtle human issues - 1. influence, 2. karma - dare I say that here ?
So D-616s or Z 6s. I just reread the early tires stickys. Dolson is the expert on the Z6s, with great reviews. Still running them, Dolson ? Or current alternative ?
Checked out the Avon catalog only to find out that Pete Wilson is the senior test rider for Avon. Pete Wilson !! Pete Wilson used to be the governor of California ! I'm glad he got a gig after his gubernatorial run. Probably more fun testing moto tires anyway, but I'd miss the rides in the jet copter.
Lowered the rear tire pressure today, did a test run, found a marked improvement. As the bike comes into shape & I learn to ride better, by about 2085, say 2095 at latest, I should be reasonably proficient.

When I was young I asked my father what centimeters were and he told me that they were inches for little people.

[ This message was edited by: jeffster on 2006-12-21 17:51 ]
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Hi again, I know I'm a bit long-winded, but I enjoy writing. Now we're deep into the rainy season here, with alternate days of rain & sun. I just ran one of the routes I ride a lot and observed that most of the roads, in the sections that receive little or no sun, are glazed over. They won't dry out until spring. They're neither wet nor dry but worse to ride on than wet - if you would rate a dry, concrete road a 10 and a muddy road a 1, glazed roads must be a 3 or 4, rainy roads a 4 - 6. In other words you can ride on them, but the usual antics aren't possible, at least not the Pilot Roads. Would the Scorpion Syncs or D-616s or any moto tire do the job ? I don't know. I do know that motorcycles function only within a very limited set of operational parameters - violate those parameters and you will get an asphalt or concrete or worse thrashing.
Found more info on the D-616s. One post at was a kind of hyped up post for the aftermarket moto industry. Good posts were located on, for "adventure" riders, mostly on Buells, which were the 1st bikes outfitted with them. There the usual - some like the D-616s, some not. But there was some general consensus that due to the nature of the tread pattern, there was a bit of instability, especially over the ton. Something like when a big plane lands, there is some lateral movement, but it is in the nature of the design and/or runway pavement, not a design flaw. So in most circumstances it won't affect your riding.
I also checked out some Shinkos. They're quite cheap, supposed to be favored by the drag racers. Here we're more into curve surfing. Apparently after an earthquake in Kobe Japan, a Yokohama plant closed and a Korean outfit or the displaced Japanese sales reps bought the equipment and started making tires. Apparently they are passable to some, not to others, definitely not cutting-edge or quite state-of-the-art, as is a lot of Korean tech, electronics excepted. But they are substantially cheaper than anything else except the retreads, at about $165 the set.
For me the best overall choice of tire would likely be the Z-6s. I don't feel the Sprint is the right bike for even gravel or fire roads, what to speak of trails or off-road, but because I ride on these glazey, substandard roads, I'm still considering the D-616s. I think they look knarly, totally rad, bitchin' & kewl, but that alone is certainly not enough reason to buy them. Anyone else seen any additional posts ? I could be the guinea pig for the D-616s, but then I'm not a guinea pig, I'm a human, at least most of the time.

[ This message was edited by: jeffster on 2006-12-23 21:20 ]
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Happy Holidays, all. Today being Christmas, took the wife out on some of the back roads around here, my usual haunts. I usually ride solo and it is definitely more difficult riding two up, especially on those tight roads, w/worn tires. She is getting into leaning somewhat, but I still ride slower when I carry precious cargo (read "princess") and I don't want to scare her or she might not ride with me. Had a couple of small slides up there, but if you're gonna ride, you're gonna slide ! Again ran into some of the glazed-over sections. Coined a new name for them - "shizzle" - looks like they got drizzled on, but they're slick as sh.. .
Sent an email to Metzeler asking if they have plans to make larger sizes in the Tourance, ditto to Avon re: the Distanzia. We'll see if I get any replies.
Breaking news: on the Metzeler English-language website, they report that both Motorrad, the large German bike zine and a French bike zine have both rated the Metzeler Z6 as the top all around sport touring tire. But I'm wondering if what I'm trying to accomplish doesn't require a softer compound, per Dave M's theory.

"Wheelies and burnouts and slides, oh my !!" - What Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz might have said had she an interest in motorcycles.
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Thanks everyone for your continued input. I'm still waiting to hear back from Metzeler & Avon. Reply or not, I'll have to make a decision shortly, otherwise I'll be riding "unsafe at any speed." Now I'm leaning towards Z-6, BT-014 or Pirelli Scorpion Syncs. D-616s have too many iffy comments + Buell now goes with Scorpion Syncs instead. Since I have a Scorpion helmet, if I got Scorpion tires, I'd have matching set !!
Dave M, I don't attempt slides willingly, either, not enough experience. I only have 3 or 5 k miles on bikes, 800++ k on cars. I don't look for slides, but they always seem to find me, especially at this time of year. I just attempt to ride through them as best I can. Fell down on gravel once at 1/2 mph as I gassed it to start up an incline on a friend's property, maybe too much gas and it just slid out and low-sided. No damage to me but had to replace the front brake lever, scratched the fairing a bit, scratched the helmet, also. Couldn't even pick the bike up by myself, had to get my friend to help. Heh, heh, embarrassing, but it comes with the territory. That's why I'm looking for a tire that might have some lateral bite under slide conditions, but its just a theory, I don't know if there is any factual basis. But then if it hooked up too much during a slide, couldn't it throw the rider high side ?
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I just ordered a set of Pirelli Scorpion Syncs. It wasn't until the last series of posts + a little more research that I had enough info to make a decision. It was always my intention that my posts and questions would help not just me but anyone reading them. + this is a forum, i.e. "a medium of open discussion", according to Webster's dictionary. If someone doesn't like the posts or feels that there are too many, best NOT to reply to the post. Replying keeps the post going, if you don't reply the post will die as it slides farther back on the site.
Anyway, based on my style of riding and the roads I ride on, I finally concluded that the Syncs should work best for me, although the proof will be in the riding. They should last 6k mi., have decent rain siping and have some lateral bite because of the tread design, and the ability to handle various road surfaces. The downside will likely be noise, possibly slight instability at (very) high speeds, and possible puncture problems, per 2ndSpace. If I were riding on better roads and wanted a more pure sport tire, I'd be tempted to get the BT-014 or the Pilot Powers. If I were doing long distance treks and wanted a tire that could get 10k miles, I'd get the Z6s or Diablo Stradas. GRN's last post on the Z6s (the very center section of the rear has no tread) convinced me that the Z6 wouldn't work for me. So Scorpion Syncs. If anyone wants a review of them on a Sprint ST, let me know. Otherwise, since this tire is fairly well-known (though not necessarily on Sprints) I won't. I better stop here so triumphrat doesn't run out of space on the server ! Or I upset someone with my wordiness.

[ This message was edited by: jeffster on 2006-12-28 19:25 ]
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Hi Jeff (motomyth),
Thanks for that info on D-616s. I can always get them later. Who did your friend test them for ? Or was he doing an independent test ? I think a lot of the testing is purely subjective, that is, how does that particular tire feel to a particular rider ? The Buell test riders feel the opposite and that is why they stopped using the D-616 and started using the Scorpion on the Ulysses. That may also be just their opinion. Of course, there may be other reasons that we aren't told about, such as cost, availability, contractual tie-ups for racing etc. The Syncs come standard on 2 Buell models and on the Multistrada, which holds some cred, at least for me. I think that even the same rider, riding the same bike, with the same tires, on successive days will have differing opinions of the same tire, but over time will draw some firm conclusion. We pay our money and take our chances.
Happy New Year to all the TriumphRat Riders.

Ride well so you'll be able to ride another day.

[ This message was edited by: jeffster on 2006-12-29 12:41 ]
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