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Discussion Starter #1
DISCLAIMER: I'm not recommending this tire combo or to intentionally mismatch tires. If you always follow manufacturer's recommendations, you probably should move along.

OK, so when I got my 2012 SE it had a nearly new set of Avon RoadRiders on it. I rode it a lot, and I thought it went really well. Handled right, decent braking, etc. etc.

My other bike had a brand new Michelin Pilot Street Radial in the rear 140/70R17 and a low-mileage Pirelli Sport Demon on front, 110-70/17. I pretty much quit riding my other bike when I got the Triumph.

Then I put about 6K on the Triumph and the rear tire began to show squaring off in the rear and the front tire became pretty badly cupped so it was time for tires. At the same time I wanted to breathe new life into my other bike so I decided to put more dual-sport type tires on it. I figured I'd try the lightly used tires I pulled from the GS on the Bonneville.

So I swapped on the Pilot Street Radial 140/70R17 with less than 100 miles on it to the rear of my SE, and put the ~1K mile Pirelli Sport Demon 110/70-17 on the front in place of the worn RoadRiders. Yes, that's a radial in the rear and bias ply in front, in addition to being different brands of tire and really different tires altogether. And the wrong size for the rear. Yes, that's a lot of stuff that's not recommended. But it works!

The result turned out to be pretty killer. I have only ridden a few hundred miles since swapping the tires but the other day I did a longish ride that I've done many times before and across the board I found myself far more confident in corners, probably going an average of +10mph faster through most of them with ease. This tire combo is much, much better than the RoadRiders ever were. And there was really never much wrong with the RoadRiders. If online reviews are to be believed, the Sport Demon on front is likely to wear out faster than the Michelin in the rear, and I might just replace it with another 'wrong' Pirelli rather than matching up with another Michelin radial. French and Italian tires on a British bike made in Thailand ridden in the Republic of Texas. Works for me.
 

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I've often mixed tyres of different type and brands with no ill effects. Always thought Pirelli Sport Demon was a cross-ply though, didn't think anyone made bias-ply motorcycle tyres.
 

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@Mr72 last year I needed a new rear tire, had Pirelli Sport Demons on - the back was shot at less then 4000 miles but the front was still like new. I put a Michelin (cant remember the name) tire on the rear as I wanted to go back to radial's but since the front was still in very good shape I decided I'm getting my moneys worth out of it and left it on. I rode the whole season with that combination and it its the best combo of tires I've experienced, no issues. I hated the sport demon on the rear, didnt feel like it stuck to the road like I"d always heard.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@Mr72 last year I needed a new rear tire, had Pirelli Sport Demons on - the back was shot at less then 4000 miles but the front was still like new. I put a Michelin (cant remember the name) tire on the rear as I wanted to go back to radial's
Glad to hear I'm not the only one to have stumbled upon this combo.

Michelin doesn't make a Pilot Street Radial, or any "street" type radial, in the stock tire size 130/80-17. They do make a couple of dial-sport radials in that size. 140/70 is close enough for me, they have Pilot Road and Pilot Street Radial in that size. Wonder which tire & size you had.
 

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That's interesting. Do you think it is the front or the rear that makes it feel like it handles better? Maybe the extra width in the rear ?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think two things contribute to this, although I don't have any objective evidence at all of either of my theories:

1. The radial rear tire is more flexible and gets better contact patch with the ground than the bias play tire before, which improves grip at the rear.

2. The Sport Demon front tire preserves the solid and nimble feel of a bias ply tire but has stickier rubber than the Avon, and this improved grip matches well with the grippier radial rear tire without sacrificing the responsiveness of a bias-play front tire

The radial-rear, bias-front combo seems pretty good. So far I am seriously digging this specific tire combo.
 

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Glad to hear I'm not the only one to have stumbled upon this combo.

Michelin doesn't make a Pilot Street Radial, or any "street" type radial, in the stock tire size 130/80-17. They do make a couple of dial-sport radials in that size. 140/70 is close enough for me, they have Pilot Road and Pilot Street Radial in that size. Wonder which tire & size you had.
Ok I went out and looked, I have a Michelin Pilot Activ 140/80-17, if I recall I could have got it in the stock size but I chose to bump it up a bit just because.
But.... as I look at the tire and then search it on the net I realize that its not a radial! I didn't know that until just now. I chose this tire based on the recommendation of a member on here, from AZ but cant remember his name.... but anyhow the reason for choosing it was the longevity that he was getting out of them. Having just replaced a Pirelli Sport Demon that lasted 4000 miles I wanted something that'd last a least a couple seasons.
Maybe I thought I was getting a radial because reports of lasting 10-12,000 miles, not sure now and sorry for the mislead, I do like the tire though!

Product description

  • Sets a Standard for Bias-Ply Sport Touring Tires; 20% Greater Tread Life Than Earlier Michelin Bias-Ply Tires
  • Significantly Improved Wet and Dry Grip Due to Increased Rubber Contact With Road and New Rubber Mix
  • Optimum Performance Throughout Life of Tire
  • V-Rated for Speeds of 1149 Mph/240 Kph
  • Sold Individually
 
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