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Loch

New tires feel weird

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Loch
10 minutes ago, shinyribs said:

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.

 

 

I don't feel like I'm particularly easy on tires, but I definitely rode them way too long. The majority of my riding was commuting in a straight line at steady speed, not a lot of acceleration or braking so that would contribute to their life

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Loch

I'm going to order a new tire tomorrow, haven't decided which one yet but I will definitely be going with stock sizing. Might do front and rear Q3+ just to eliminate variables, maybe it's just not a tire profile that I like. I guess I'll find out and hope we learn something from this haha

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klx678
On 3/14/2021 at 7:02 PM, cornerslider said:

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?"

I went from a 110/80 to a 110/70-17 on the front of my Zephyr 550, knowing full well what it would do - quicken turn in and make the bike more sensitive to steering input.  I also had the forks raised about 12mm in the triple clamps and the rear raised about an inch (rotate the axle eccentrics in the direction to raise, not lower).  Some might not like the nervousness of the setup, but I preferred it.

I've also done smaller tire sizes on a Gold Wing to quicken the steering there too.  Went to a 130/90 from a 140/80 on the rear and from a 120/80 to a 110/90.   Did the job.  

Right now with the Pirelli  Phantom on the XSR700 it takes some effort to turn in, even with the forks raised 12mm in the triple clamps.   I can live with it, but not after I change tires.  My brother's FJ-09 falls in extremely easy, running Avon AV53/54, after having such good experience with the Distanzias, he occasionally hits dirt roads, thus the coarse tread.  I have to believe it is partly the Pirelli Phantoms making the difference.  Kinda looking to change to something different, maybe the Bridgestone Adventurecross AX41S, just because.   Because I want to know what they're like.   Probably drop from a 180 to a 170 in the rear.  I think it should quicken handling, but not positive of that.  I do know a rider went from a 190 to a 200 on his 2003 R1, definitely felt the slowdown in cornering.

 

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Loch
2 minutes ago, klx678 said:

Probably drop from a 180 to a 170 in the rear.  I think it should quicken handling, but not positive of that.

 

This is precisely the opposite of what happened to me. I went from OEM Michelin Road 3 stock sizing, to Q3+ front stock size, and RoadSmart 3 rear 170/60, handling got waaaay more sluggish.

 I'm putting on a rear Q3+ stock size this week to see if it sharpens up the handling, if it doesn't fix my issue then I will probably sell the Q3's and go back to Road 5's or something

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FZ not MT
On 3/13/2021 at 7:51 PM, Loch said:

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.

That is exactly what I felt with my Michelin PR4 tires. I just assumed that was the way they rode until one day I added 3lbs per tire from what I had been running. Instantly the bike handled much quicker, but yet still had a smooth ride. If I were you, I would add 4lbs, and check your pressure every ride. Take at least two  10-20 mile rides before changing pressure. Then drop it 2 lbs and ride some more. The trick is, of course, finding that happy spot between quick handling and smooth riding. Like one of the posters said, it's free for this experiment. I couldn't believe the difference it made with my tires.

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Loch

Update!

Got a Q3+ rear in stock sizing, and damn what a difference! Tips in so much easier than the 170, with none of the stability lost. Where the narrower rear tire felt sluggish and hesitant to lean over or stand back up, counter steering is now light as a breeze and extremely intuitive. The Dunlops are still less tippy than the Michelin's, but in a good way.. Very predictable, very consistent from edge to center to edge.

Anyone who finds this thread in the future, don't make my mistake, stick with OEM sizing!!! I guess there are more expensive lessons to learn, so I won't complain too much about this one

Can't wait to install my K-Tech shock and DDC's and ride safely and responsibly down some winding country lanes 😎

 

Thanks for all the feedback everyone who tossed in their $.02, was a big help and made this learning experience a bit easier to swallow ✌️

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klx678
On 3/16/2021 at 6:17 PM, FZ not MT said:

That is exactly what I felt with my Michelin PR4 tires. I just assumed that was the way they rode until one day I added 3lbs per tire from what I had been running. Instantly the bike handled much quicker, but yet still had a smooth ride. If I were you, I would add 4lbs, and check your pressure every ride. Take at least two  10-20 mile rides before changing pressure. Then drop it 2 lbs and ride some more. The trick is, of course, finding that happy spot between quick handling and smooth riding. Like one of the posters said, it's free for this experiment. I couldn't believe the difference it made with my tires.

I found the same thing when I didn't check air before riding.  Bike turned like a truck.  I kind of knew what was wrong, having dealt with a lot of underinflated tires when selling bikes.  You could even feel it when pushing bikes if they were several pounds under.  Mine were around 25 psi.  Aired up to 33 psi and all was peachy. 

We'd have a Gold Wing rider complain about handling or the mechanic would go to ride the bike in the shop and it felt like the bike weighed a ton.  Tire check and there was 10 psi in the tire.   I guess it is more fun to polish chrome than check tires.

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cornerslider
8 hours ago, Loch said:

Update!

Got a Q3+ rear in stock sizing, and damn what a difference! Tips in so much easier than the 170, with none of the stability lost. Where the narrower rear tire felt sluggish and hesitant to lean over or stand back up, counter steering is now light as a breeze and extremely intuitive. The Dunlops are still less tippy than the Michelin's, but in a good way.. Very predictable, very consistent from edge to center to edge.

Anyone who finds this thread in the future, don't make my mistake, stick with OEM sizing!!! I guess there are more expensive lessons to learn, so I won't complain too much about this one

Can't wait to install my K-Tech shock and DDC's and ride safely and responsibly down some winding country lanes 😎

 

Thanks for all the feedback everyone who tossed in their $.02, was a big help and made this learning experience a bit easier to swallow ✌️

I'm glad to help, and glad you are happy with the Q3+ 😎


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

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Loch
Posted (edited)

Back to the topic of handling..

After putting a few hundred clicks on the q3+, they're feeling better and better but still sluggish compared to the road 3's. I've got the k-tech razor lite installed finally with a correct spring for my weight, dialed in my sag and I can't believe the difference it has made in overall ride feel. 

If I'm looking to sharpen up the steering, should I raise the rear by lengthening the shock, raise the forks in the triple clamps, or a combination of both? 

 

Edit: while reading about this, it finally has occurred to me that while I had previously cut down my preload spacers with the stock fork internals, I installed DDC's on the same spacers effectively adding +12mm preload to what I had before and raising the front up.. Could this be the sluggishness that I'm feeling?

Edited by Loch

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stickshift
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Loch said:

If I'm looking to sharpen up the steering, should I raise the rear by lengthening the shock, raise the forks in the triple clamps, or a combination of both?

 

Edit: while reading about this, it finally has occurred to me that while I had previously cut down my preload spacers with the stock fork internals, I installed DDC's on the same spacers effectively adding +12mm preload to what I had before and raising the front up.. Could this be the sluggishness that I'm feeling?

You should start by increasing the length of the shock. Length of the standard shock (bolt center to center) is 310 mm. I would add an extra 5mm and see how that feels. If you raise the forks through the yoke you reduce cornering clearance.

When you fit the DDCs you need to shorten the spacer by the same amount (10mm from memory, but you might be right). You won't have enough sag in the front, it certainly wouldn't be helping turn in. You can cut the standard spacer with a hacksaw (file the edges afterwards to remove swarf).

Edit: reduce your front sag first and see how it feels. Always one change at a time so you can learn how it affects the handling!

Edited by stickshift

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Loch
1 minute ago, stickshift said:

When you fit the DDCs you need to shorten the spacer by the same amount (10mm from memory, but you might be right

Like I said, I previously shortened them by 10 or 15mm after watching the famous Dave Moss video.. So when I installed the DDC's, it ate up that amount and brought it back to basically stock preload.

I tried to measure front sag with a friend, but the fork friction was giving me a different reading every time even after trying to account for that by lifting the forks and letting them settle, and compressing to let them rise. The midpoint of those two measurements was showing about 30mm sag on the front, after the DDC install. Assuming this is a good sag number, I'd want to raise the forks in the triple clamps?

If raising the shock gets the same effect as lowering the front, I'll definitely start with that. I didn't think of the ground clearance issue on the already low foot pegs. Thanks!

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