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Loch

New tires feel weird

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Loch

After way too much research and second guessing, I replaced the original Pilot Road 3's at 22500 kms with

Front Q3+ 120/70, Rear Roadsmart 3 170/60

I've never ridden on a brand new set of tires before, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect- I thought they'd be smoother and turn in quicker etc

They definitely ride smoother, but the steering is way heavier. It feels stable while leaned over, but it is much harder to initiate the lean, much heavier to bring it back up.

They feel less stable at speed, any quick movement of the bars induces steering wobble that wiggles the whole bike a few times, not full tank slapper but feels like it might want to..  

Could this be because of the mismatched tires? The downsized rear? Suspension?

I feel pretty let down, considering they feel like they handle worse than my 5 year old michelin's. Maybe I should've just got road 5's?

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Loch

I know it's not track specific but it seemed appropriate. I plan on doing some track days, I have Cogent DDC's and a K-Tech shock on the way. I was hoping this tire combo would last a bit better since 95% of my riding is on the street, but still stick well enough for the occasional track day or canyon run 

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D.A.

I’m curious: How come you chose the narrower-than-normal rear tire? And why pick two different tire models?

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Loch

I got the narrower rear because of a few posts on this forum and others, that the 180 rear is overkill and a narrower rear is less rotating mass, lean angle geometry etc. Made sense to me anyway, I was curious to try it out and the 170 was cheaper.  I got a great deal on a q3+ front, and I wanted something grippier because I've hit my front abs a few times and it's sketchy.. if the rear wears faster than the front it makes sense to me to go softer in the front and replace together 

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stickshift
6 hours ago, Loch said:

Could this be because of the mismatched tires? The downsized rear? 

Probably caused by both of those things.

Different tyre types have different profiles; the front and rear profiles of tyre models are always optimised to work well together.  Mismatching them can cause handling issues.

Make sure they’re at the correct pressure too!

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Loch

First checking pressure, then alignment.. if that doesn't make a difference I will try a q3+ rear, if that still doesn't fix it then I guess it's safe to blame the tire 🤦‍♂️

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klx678

You could be experiencing what we often found riders did when they replaced worn out old tires - proper handling.

We had a rider flip out when he felt the Michelin front tire installed on his Gold Wing was "unstable" and "didn't steer right".   He was so used to the handling of a worn out front tire and a flat centered rear tire that he was shocked by how the bike should handle as it did with new tires.   

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cornerslider
9 hours ago, Loch said:

First checking pressure, then alignment.. if that doesn't make a difference I will try a q3+ rear, if that still doesn't fix it then I guess it's safe to blame the tire 🤦‍♂️

I would definitely go with a Q3+ rear, rather than the Roadsmart. I have run the Q3+ (front & rear) for many seasons on the street, as well as track days. Stick with the standard 180/55 rear tire size, and you will NOT be disappointed 😎-


""W.O.T. until you see god, then brake"

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Loch
3 hours ago, klx678 said:

You could be experiencing what we often found riders did when they replaced worn out old tires - proper handling.

We had a rider flip out when he felt the Michelin front tire installed on his Gold Wing was "unstable" and "didn't steer right".   He was so used to the handling of a worn out front tire and a flat centered rear tire that he was shocked by how the bike should handle as it did with new tires.   

Would 'proper handling' make it an effort to lean the bike over and stand it back up? I feel like I have to muscle the bars just to counter steer, I have wider than stock bars too because I like the feeling of having that extra leverage. But it's actually difficult to tip in, even changing lanes at 50+ mph it was starting to get noticeably heavy

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Loch
1 hour ago, cornerslider said:

I would definitely go with a Q3+ rear, rather than the Roadsmart. I have run the Q3+ (front & rear) for many seasons on the street, as well as track days. Stick with the standard 180/55 rear tire size, and you will NOT be disappointed <img src=">-

This will be my next option, if pressure and alignment don't help. I was trying to avoid a sport rear for longevity alone, but if this is the result of mismatching tires then I guess it's unavoidable

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klx678
1 hour ago, Loch said:

Would 'proper handling' make it an effort to lean the bike over and stand it back up? I feel like I have to muscle the bars just to counter steer, I have wider than stock bars too because I like the feeling of having that extra leverage. But it's actually difficult to tip in, even changing lanes at 50+ mph it was starting to get noticeably heavy

It could.   Don't take my comment wrong, it isn't an insult, it is a common fact that riders will get used to the handling of a worn out tire (not racers and not people pushing the limits a lot, common riders) and a new one will possibly feel weird.   Thus the comment of "proper handling".   

Of course I am not saying this is the only possibility, just saying without experience you said you don't know how it should feel.   I'd personally do the least expensive thing first - air pressure.  Then I'd get a reliable local shop check out the ride.  It could be the mismatched tires of course.  I would be surprised if it was caused by 10mm narrower tire profile (which would possibly have a lower aspect ratio).    No idea what would happen with mismatched tire models.

The way front tires wear it is possible you are feeling the handling aspect of a new tire.   Front tires tend to wear more  on the left and right sides of the tread and less in the center making more of a triangular profile.  If yours looked anything like this, that could be a problem.  Seen a number of front tires worn like this on sport bikes.  No idea which direction of rotation this tire should be, we saw it worse on the left side than the right - crown of the road and left turns being longer leaned over in the U.S. making higher wear.

  image-asset.png?format=500w

 

Since you say you aren't sure how it should feel, you might consider going to a shop and having a service mgr or mechanic ride your bike and tell you what they think.

 

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Loch
2 minutes ago, klx678 said:

It could.   Don't take my comment wrong, it isn't an insult, it is a common fact that riders will get used to the handling of a worn out tire (not racers and not people pushing the limits a lot, common riders) and a new one will possibly feel weird.   Thus the comment of "proper handling".   

Of course I am not saying this is the only possibility, just saying without experience you said you don't know how it should feel.   I'd personally do the least expensive thing first - air pressure.  Then I'd get a reliable local shop check out the ride.  It could be the mismatched tires of course.  I would be surprised if it was caused by 10mm narrower tire profile (which would possibly have a lower aspect ratio).    No idea what would happen with mismatched tire models.

The way front tires wear it is possible you are feeling the handling aspect of a new tire.   Front tires tend to wear more  on the left and right sides of the tread and less in the center making more of a triangular profile.  If yours looked anything like this, that could be a problem.  Seen a number of front tires worn like this on sport bikes.  No idea which direction of rotation this tire should be, we saw it worse on the left side than the right - crown of the road and left turns being longer leaned over in the U.S. making higher wear.

  image-asset.png?format=500w

 

Since you say you aren't sure how it should feel, you might consider going to a shop and having a service mgr or mechanic ride your bike and tell you what they think.

 

Definitely not taken as an insult, any perspective is helpful. The front and rear were both quite flat spotted, the majority of my kilometers being in a straight line on the highway- but they still felt nimble and tipped in easily. The new tires are very consistent, but it's the heaviness that I'm not stoked on.

I recently replaced my cruiser tires, which were basically square, and the new ones feel incredible. It rolls side to side with no effort at all and I was expecting the same with these new tires 🤷‍♂️

It's all good, just feel a little let down after having these expectations lol. I guess that's the cost of experimenting with mismatched tires. I guess I have my next two sets of tires chosen now

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Triple Jim
12 minutes ago, Loch said:

It's all good, just feel a little let down after having these expectations lol.

That doesn't sound all good.   :)

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cornerslider
22 hours ago, Loch said:

After way too much research and second guessing, I replaced the original Pilot Road 3's at 22500 kms with

Front Q3+ 120/70, Rear Roadsmart 3 170/60

I've never ridden on a brand new set of tires before, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect- I thought they'd be smoother and turn in quicker etc

They definitely ride smoother, but the steering is way heavier. It feels stable while leaned over, but it is much harder to initiate the lean, much heavier to bring it back up.

They feel less stable at speed, any quick movement of the bars induces steering wobble that wiggles the whole bike a few times, not full tank slapper but feels like it might want to..  

Could this be because of the mismatched tires? The downsized rear? Suspension?

I feel pretty let down, considering they feel like they handle worse than my 5 year old michelin's. Maybe I should've just got road 5's?

After reading the original post a second time, and reading the replies, I'd like to revise my earlier reply.... The "mismatched" tires are likely NOT your problem. Racers run different tires front and rear all the time, different compounds, and sometimes even different manufacturers on the front and rear. They rarely deviate the size of the tire though. I believe your real problem is deviating from the OEM rear tire size. You changed the rear width by 10mm, and the aspect ratio by 5mm. That doesn't sound like much, but I can assure that is HUGE, especially when you consider how small the contact patch with the asphalt is on any motorcycle tire. 

A couple years ago, I accidentally ordered the wrong size Q3+ for my front. I ordered a 120/60, rather than the correct 120/70. Since it was my mistake, and I didn't want to pay the return shipping. I kept it, I figured "how much different could it be"? Well, let me tell you my next track day was terrifying!!! I removed that tire, and sold it to a guy that drag races a Hyabussa (doesn't need to turn/corner). I re-ordered the correct 120/70 Q3+ front tire, and all was right with the world again.

You mentioned you ordered a K-Tech shock, and were planning on doing some track days. The Q3+ is great tire for the street, as well as cross training into track days. I rode on them for 3 seasons. Eventually I got fast enough to overheat them, and "graduated" to Michelin DOT "race-rubber". My point being, if you are doing ANY track days, get the right size tire, and get something that will work well for it. My personal opinion is the Q3+ is the best bang-for-the-buck tire for street & track. My Michelins are much more expensive, and don't last as long as the Q3+.... Saving money on tires is like like getting a good deal on a tattoo- "Can you live with it?"

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""W.O.T. until you see god, then brake"

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seven
4 hours ago, cornerslider said:

My personal opinion is the Q3+ is the best bang-for-the-buck tire for street & track.

If money weren't a concern, what would you say is the best street tire, that could handle some track days? Still the Q3+? On my car I normally put on really sticky summer tires (and of course switch to dedicated winters when needed), so I look for something with lots of grip focusing on stopping distances primarily and something with predictable handling. I don't want something that has loads of grip until it doesn't. And I want something that is good in both wet and dry. I figure I would use that same criteria for my bike too.

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stickshift
2 hours ago, seven said:

If money weren't a concern, what would you say is the best street tire, that could handle some track days? Still the Q3+? On my car I normally put on really sticky summer tires (and of course switch to dedicated winters when needed), so I look for something with lots of grip focusing on stopping distances primarily and something with predictable handling. I don't want something that has loads of grip until it doesn't. And I want something that is good in both wet and dry. I figure I would use that same criteria for my bike too.

 

All the major tyre manufacturers make track tyres that have a token amount of tread to satisfy road rules: Bridgestone RS10, Pirelli Supercorsa, Dunlop Q4, Michelin RS etc. These models have very good dry grip on track and can be used on the road, but they won't have great wet weather grip nor usually work very well in cold weather, stop start type road riding.

I usually choose tyres from the next rung down regarding outright dry track grip. Again, all manufacturers make something in this range: Bridegstone S22, Dunlop Q3+, Pirelli Rosso Corsa 2 etc. I usually choose something from this category for combined street and track duties.

The next category of tyres down the rung for outright dry track grip can't really cut it at quick pace on the track. But, they will work far better in a range of road conditions and weather, and will last longer than the models mentioned above.

I currently run Bridgestone S22s, I like the grip and feel they provide and they're respectable at the track (medium-fast group). A bonus is that you can sometimes find them cheaper than the competition. If money was no object, I'd choose Pirelli Rosso Corsa 2's for road and track.

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cornerslider

I agree with everything @stickshift mentioned.... Both my wife and I both run the Q3+ on the street. The centers have a harder compound for longer life, while the sides/edges have a softer compound for cornering. I used to get about 5,000 miles out of a rear on my 07. I'm hoping to get more miles out of the Q3+ on my new R3 (street bike).

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""W.O.T. until you see god, then brake"

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seven

I had heard good things about the S22 but will take a look at the Q3+ and the Rosso Corsa 2's. I am a bit of a Bridgestone symp admittedly because I love their car tires simply because I drive a boat of a car (Audi S4) that requires really stiff sidewalls to handle the weight in hard cornering (i.e. autocross).

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Loch
16 hours ago, seven said:

so I look for something with lots of grip focusing on stopping distances primarily and something with predictable handling. I don't want something that has loads of grip until it doesn't. And I want something that is good in both wet and dry.

I only have experience with the stock Road 3's, but if wet performance and predictability is your priority then they're a great tire. I went with Q3+ because I got the front tire 80% off, paired with the RoadSmart rear for longevity, I can already tell they're worse in the rain than my old stiff burnt out Michelins. If the Pilot Road 4 or Road 5's are anything similar, they'll be a great option. The only reason I didn't get those is because I was curious about the Dunlops and I found some at a local dealer for crazy cheap

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seven
15 minutes ago, Loch said:

I only have experience with the stock Road 3's, but if wet performance and predictability is your priority then they're a great tire. I went with Q3+ because I got the front tire 80% off, paired with the RoadSmart rear for longevity, I can already tell they're worse in the rain than my old stiff burnt out Michelins. If the Pilot Road 4 or Road 5's are anything similar, they'll be a great option. The only reason I didn't get those is because I was curious about the Dunlops and I found some at a local dealer for crazy cheap

How many km/miles do you have on the new tires? I know with car tires it takes a while to really scrub off the mold release compound to get the best performance out of the tires.

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Loch
Posted (edited)

Not enough to scrub them off, but just looking at the tread pattern/sipes it's pretty clear. I know this isn't everything when it comes to wet grip- rubber compounds etc matter a lot, but its an indication to the tire's intended purpose.

My issue with the new tires that prompted this post was about the handling/countersteering/tip in, not with the grip specifically

I don't want to put any more distance on them until I talk to my mechanic, in case they will exchange my tire or at least give me a discount on the correct size that I should have ordered from the beginning 🙄

Edited by Loch

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cornerslider
3 hours ago, Loch said:

Not enough to scrub them off, but just looking at the tread pattern/sipes it's pretty clear. I know this isn't everything when it comes to wet grip- rubber compounds etc matter a lot, but its an indication to the tire's intended purpose.

My issue with the new tires that prompted this post was about the handling/countersteering/tip in, not with the grip specifically

I don't want to put any more distance on them until I talk to my mechanic, in case they will exchange my tire or at least give me a discount on the correct size that I should have ordered from the beginning 🙄

My "gut" says you will own the choices you made with tires.... I have made really "bad tire choices" in the past, that really pi$$ed me off.... I've  "crashed" on my bad choices in tires as well...  I didn't see it as a failure, as long as I learned from the experience. 😎

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""W.O.T. until you see god, then brake"

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seven
45 minutes ago, cornerslider said:

I didn't see it as a failure, as long as I learned from the experience. 😎

A solid life skill right there. Learning when to course correct is another.

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shinyribs

The thing about motorcycle tires is I can never get more than about 4,000 miles out of one, so If I don't like it it's not going to be around long anyway.

 

Highly unscientific, but I never rode a Dunlop I liked. Won't say I know all their tires, and haven't ridden the ones in question, but every Dunlop I tried has always felt heavy and lazy.

The rear you choose seems to have a particularly rounded/lazy profile. Add to that the fact that it's undersized means it's stretched out on the rim, making it even less peaked and lazier. My guess is that's your culprit. Or it's simply a profile that doesn't suit your particular style. We all have different preferences at the end of the day! 

 

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shinyribs
On 3/14/2021 at 3:11 PM, Loch said:

This will be my next option, if pressure and alignment don't help. I was trying to avoid a sport rear for longevity alone, but if this is the result of mismatching tires then I guess it's unavoidable

You got 22,500 km on your stock tires? Has to convert that to something I could reference...13,700 miles! 

Not meant to sound insulting or like I'm saying you don't ride hard enough, but you're obviously easy on tires. Modern sport touring tires are amazing. They are better than the stickiest tires we had 20 years ago. Heck, probably 10 years ago. Sporty race type tires on the street are almost a gimmick at this point. Many will still run them for cool points and bragging rights, but if youre getting tens of thousands of kilometers from a tire I wouldn't fret over it. 

Again, I'm not trying to say you ride slow. Tire wear is directly related to friction. I know some fast guys that are incredibly smooth and can make tires last forever. One buddy has been road racing for decades. He buys the cheapest crap he can find and runs em til they rot, because he never scrubs the rubber off. Meanwhile, I'm thrashing through tires and can't keep up with him! 

 

 

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