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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I checked previous threads and couldn't find answers to this problem. Just bought a 96 Thunderbird. New front tire was just installed by vendor. It is a 110 80x18 ME Z6 Metzler radial. Rear tire also needs replacing soon - 150 80x16 ME Z2 is on there now but apparently this tire is no longer made in that size by Metzler. What do I do now? I need to match rear to front so need a Metzler. Also need to match radial to radial. Is there another radial in the Metzler line that would mate up with it? Bias belt seem to be quite available in these sizes but I would then have to switch over entirely to bias, buy two new tires and scrap (try to sell) the new ME Z6 front. What are the opinions out there on radial vs. bias for Thunderbirds? What have you found as the best tire combo on your Tbird? If I have to switch over entirely and buy two new tires what suggestions do you have? Brand, size, bias or radial? Appreciate the help. Thanks :confused:
 

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IIRC the Metz Z6 is their latest sport touring tyre & reckoned to be very good. Many folks also use Avon Storms on much sportier bikes & like them. (I fitted one to a Tbird & liked it too, with a part worn Azarro up front, handled beautifully.) I doubt there's the slightest issue fitting an Avon Storm to the rear with a Z6 up front. Both high quality radials & way more peformance than these bikes really need or that we've ever had in the past. Stick to brand radials & I doubt you'll have any problems at all mixing whatever you like imo. Do stick to the reccomended pressures & check regularly as ime they do lose a little over a month or so.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Any others out there w. opinion on mixing brands?

Thanks for posts guys especially Mike in Ireland (top o' the mornin' to ya!) If it's OK to match an Avon radial rear with the new Metzler ME Z6 front then that looks like the solution. Any others out there with an opinion on doing that?
Checked out the web sites and Avon shows an Azarro Sport Touring radial AV46 rear in the 150 80 ZR 16 (that size not shown in the Storm). Looks like a nice tire and tread design (I actually like the look better than the Metzler Z6). Now I will see where I can find one. Tires Unlimited showing it posted at $145 USD http://www.tiresunlimited.com/ALL TIRES/AVON/AVON MC/avon_azaro_ST.htm
I also checked Metzler site http://www.us.metzelermoto.com/en_US/browser/attachments/pdf/2008_METZELER_FULL_LINE.pdf and wondering if a ME 880 rear might match up? They show a 150 80 B16 in that tire - it is a radial. I'll check with them. Thanks
James
 

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I never cared much for the look of the Z6 rear either. Looks a little dicey to me. I concur that is should be a reasonable mate with the Z6 front.

Move quickly on the AV46 - not sure how long they will be around. I had originally heard the Storm was to replace this tire, but some sizes of the AV46 remain in the catalog.
 

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I ordered the AV but a storm came in it's place....seems they simply substituing for the Azero. Same tread pattern and IMO I really couldn't tell the differnce. I now have stroms on front and rear. No wrries, good tire, good tread. Good in the rain, but definetly comes into it's own once the roads warm up.
 

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Might just be worth mentioning that Legend 17" wheels are a straight bolt up & I wouldn't think there's any issue going mix n match with a 17" rear to start with, which is where future tyre availabilty is most troublesome. (IIRC some folks have done this already.)

A 150/80 16 is 646mm diameter. The original fitment 160/80 16 is 662mm

Legend options are:

160/60 17 is 623mm

170/60 17 is 635mm

160/70 17 (the stock size) is 655mm

Some (most IIRC) brands are ok with a 170/60 on the 4.25/17 rim, Dunlop (for Roadsmart) say minimum 4.5, but that's what I have & it's A ok.

Ride height change is half the difference in diameter. If you want to maintain stock steering geometry you can raise the forks up thru' the yokes a bit. (Suggested max no more than 15mm)

Cheers
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Went with the Avon AV46-ST

Thanks for all your posts guys. Here's what I found out after calling around. Talked to Metzler USA - they said Lasertech (bias) is what they recommend for Tbirds so why was a Z6 (radial) put on front in first place? Well because the bike had Metzler Z2's front and back already. Z6 replaces Z2 but they don't make the Z6 in a 16" configuration now. Then called Avon USA - nice gal - she didn't think matching the AV46 would be a problem with the Met Z6 front and she reassured me that Avon would probably be making the Azaro ST in a 150 80 16" for a long time since the Yamaha Ventures use them (as front tire). Also talked to Buzz at Manayunk Triumph in Philly (referred from Triumph Rat friend Will Hildreth) who was very helpful. Says he mix matches tire brands on Triumphs frequently - i.e. has a Dunlop front and Pirelli rear on his Scrambler and runs it hard - handles great. So....I am going with the Avon Azaro AV46-ST on the rear and leaving the Metzler Z6 110 80 18 on the front. We'll see how it works and you'll hear back from me by post if it doesn't. If that is the case I will probably replace the Metzler with the Avon Storm in which case I will have a nice barely used Metzler front for sale at a good price! Cheers, James
 

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Thanks for all your posts guys. Here's what I found out after calling around. Talked to Metzler USA - they said Lasertech (bias) is what they recommend for Tbirds so why was a Z6 (radial) put on front in first place? Cheers, James
Because the Lasertech is a mediocre tire at best, possibly? You are going with a much better combo. Having sport touring compounds on there will allow you to have more confidence (and fun) in the twisties.

Sounds like you have it all sorted out. Have fun! FYI - for future consideration, try a sport compound on the front, with an ST compound rear. Awesome stickiness, plus they wear out more equally.
 

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Move quickly on the AV46 - not sure how long they will be around. I had originally heard the Storm was to replace this tire
That is what Avon said when they brought the storm out
 
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