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Thread: GS Tyres FAQ

  1. #17
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Continental TKC-80

    They say;
    * internationally tested rally tyre
    * high levels of grip when used on or off-road
    * high cornering stability on soft terrain, with very good self-cleaning properties
    * long service life

    The reviews say;

    From MCN, 20 March 2002;
    R1150 GS Adventure test
    “The Continental Twinduro TKC80 tyres provided far more grip on road and dirt than their appearance suggests. Carving quickly around mountain roads, the rubber let the bike lean almost far enough to touch the panniers down.”
    Motorcycle Sport and Leisure, May 2002
    "At this point it is worth mentioning the excellent dual purpose Continental TKC80 tyres. These rubber hoops offer the best of both worlds and give a surprising amount of traction at both ends of the bike in on and off road conditions."
    RIDE magazine;
    "The CONTINENTAL TKC80 TWINDURO rubber provided amazing levels of grip
    for a road legal knobbly"

    "The CONTINENTAL tyres gripped amazingly...cornering is easy and precise"

    We say; Almost certainly the favourite off-road biased tyre for the GS, the TKC80 is worn by many a tosser's steed and doesn't seem to slow any of them down......

    Andy Leett;
    Just put some TCK's on, brilliant tyres should have done it sooner.
    £133 fitted on Thursday. I was expecting low speed squirming that I used to get on the 650, but so far (all dry roads) have behaved impecably. (Getting enough grip on the loose stuff to raise the front wheel now )
    Restricted to 99mph though..................so sh*t!
    What's the matter with you all, get the TK80s on it, and then come and play in the mud. TKs work out more or less the same price for me, 1 front and 2 backs compared to tourance's 1 of each. The main advantage of TKs is, you can keep up with anyone on road tyres, but they can't get anywhere near you on the dirt tracks/mud. TKs all the time, unless you're going touring.
    So there

    New info From Clive;

    TKC80 fitment information for R1200GS

    After checking the Fitment Guide linked from http://www.conti-tyres.co.uk/contibike/default.htm
    I discovered that the R1200GS was missing from the list.

    I used their Contact Us link and got the following reply...

    The TKC80 has been approved for use on the R1200GS, and has also passed the stringent German government TUV test for handling and stability.

    BUT...as with the R1100GS and R1150GS, you will have to reduce your maximum speed when using this tyre. The TKC80 in the sizes to fit your bike is "Q"
    speed rated rated (100mph) and you will have to remember this when riding.
    BMW are fine with, after all the tyre is original equipment on the R1150GS Adventure.

    The sizes to use are:
    150/70B17 69Q TKC80 - using 36psi
    110/80B18 59Q TKC80 - using 32psi


    Bryn Phillips

    Sales & Technical Support Manager

    Cambrian Tyres Ltd

  2. #18
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Continental Escape

    They say;
    * high performance street-based tyre for trail bikes from 80cc to 1150cc
    * distinctive tread pattern & up-to-date compound technology contribute to excellent wear characteristics
    * compound works exceptionally well across a wide range of surfaces & in all kinds of weather conditions
    * 150/70 R17 & 110/80 R19 are V speed rated for use on Tiger 955i & Capo Nord as well as Varadero. R1100/1150GS & V-Strom

    We say; Not enough information and no reviews currently available. If anyone has experience of therse tyres please let me know.


  3. #19
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    kept spare for missed out tyres

  4. #20
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    kept spare for missed out tyres 1

  5. #21
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    kept spare for missed out tyres 2

  6. #22
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    kept spare for missed out tyres 3

  7. #23
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    kept spare for missed out tyres 4

  8. #24
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Advice on motorcycle tyres from Manufactuers;

    Do new tyres need running in?

    Yes, all tyres need a period of running in.
    You should be very careful initially, as new tyres may not give full grip, particularly if the road is wet or cold. You should not use harsh acceleration or braking or maintain a sustained high speed for the first 100 miles or so. Then you should visually inspect your tyres and check the cold inflation pressures before using high power, harsh braking or high speed.

    Can I make my tyres last longer?

    To some extent – Yes.
    Riders with a smooth style, who avoid harsh use of the controls, achieve longer tyre life.
    Running tyres in properly helps avoid the development of unusual or heavy abrasion patterns, which can increase wear rate, occurring early in the tyre’s life.
    Regular tyre maintenance, particularly keeping tyres correctly inflated, also helps extend tyre life.
    Suspension settings which are, "too hard" will increase tyre wear (and reduce grip).

    Can I change the tyre sizes fitted to my bike?

    A great deal of effort from both the tyre and bike manufacturers goes into the selection of the best tyre and rim combination for each model as it is developed. The sizes recommended for your bike are those which work best with the chassis set up to provide you with the best combination of grip, handling and stability. If you choose to run sizes other than those recommended you will lose performance in one or more of these areas, potentially creating problems with handling and/or high speed stability.

    Can I mix tyres from different manufacturers?

    This is basically not a good idea. All the tyre manufacturers spend a great deal of time and money testing their own products, either to develop new tyres or to try existing tyres on new bikes. There is no way we could test all the possible combinations of different manufacturers tyres, it would just be too big a job. Therefore it really is best to stick with the same manufacturer front and rear, then should you have a problem you will at least have someone you can contact for help.

    Can my puncture be repaired?

    The answer to this is rather like a politicians speech; Yes and No.
    The legal regulations covering tyres are the "Construction and Use Regulations 1986". Under these regulations we are required, as riders, to maintain our tyres in a serviceable condition i.e. Correctly inflated, within the minimum tread depth requirement and free from cuts, splits and other structural damage. Within the regulations there is no mention of puncture repairs.

    So far, so good.

    BUT – the British Standards Institute have produced BS au159/f covering repairs to motor vehicle tyres. The standard limits the type and amount of damage that should be repaired in tyres for all vehicles.
    The limits for puncture repairs are: -
    Speed Rating

    No of Repairs
    Below "J"(up to 100kph)

    2 repairs up to 6mm diameter after
    preparation; repair patches must not overlap.

    Above "J" up to and Including "V".

    1 repair up to 6 mm diameter after Preparation

    Above "V" including "W" & "Z"
    (above 240kph)
    No Repairs

    In simple terms this means that the standard permits one repair in Scooter and most Cross Ply tyres but no repairs in ZR radials.

    Whilst this particular British Standard is not a legal requirement, unlike the standards for helmets and visors, it is still likely to be seen as the test of "prudence" or "reasonableness" in a court case. This being the case, it is possible that an insurer could decline a claim where a tyre has been repaired outside these limits. As you would have contravened the clause in all policy documents which requires you to maintain your machine in a "roadworthy" condition.

    There is also the issue of the penetrating object causing further damage to the casing construction where the tyre cords have been broken, or contaminated; and the possibility, with tubeless tyres, that the tyre has been run under inflated for some time. Either of these factors could mean that even if the tyre was repaired, the repair could fail in service.

    Consequently for road safety and insurance validity reasons it is our recommendation that tyres outside the above limits are not repaired.

    In any event: tyres should only be repaired by a competent dealer

    What is the minimum tread depth for a motorcycle tyre?

    The minimum tread depth regulations are to be found in "Construction and Use Regulations 1986" (revised in 1992 for cars). These state that for a motorcycle over 50cc you must have a minimum pattern depth of 1.0mm around the full circumference of the tyre for the central 3/4 of its width and the remainder of the original pattern must be visible.

    As an interesting aside, wet performance deteriorates markedly when the tyre is more than 1/2 worn.

    Can I use Racing (or Moto Cross) tyres on the Road?

    The answer to this can be found in the "Construction and Use Regulations 1986". The regulations require us to use "tyres fit for the purpose". As Racing and Moto Cross tyres have "Not For Highway Use" (sometimes abbreviated to "NHS") engraved on their sidewalls this clearly indicates that they are NOT to be used on the road.


    Racing tyres are of a very lightweight design with a very thin tread and none of the normal road use features, such as protective sidewall compound, included. This, along with their nominal design life of only 1 hour or so, makes them very vulnerable to damage from road hazards (potholes etc) creating a potentially dangerous situation.

    Moto Cross tyres have a very open block type tread pattern with very tall blocks; this tends to make them unstable on the road. Also the compounds used in Moto Cross tyres have a very high tear resistance, meaning that they have poor grip on a hard, wet surface.

    What do all the numbers on the sidewall mean?

    There are a number of tyre size marking systems in use.

    The most common system is the "millimetric" system. I am sure that everyone will have seen sizes which look like this: -

    120/70ZR17 (58W) TL Sportmax D207F

    120 is the overall width of the tyre measured in Millimetres, when fitted on the correct width rim.

    70 is the "aspect ratio" simply the ratio of the tyre’s height to its width, expressed as a percentage.
    So this tyre is: 120mm wide x 70% aspect ratio = 84mm high.

    Z indicates a tyre with a sustained maximum speed rating of over 240kph(150mph).

    R indicates "Radial Ply" construction.

    17 indicates the rim diameter.

    58 is the "Load Index" this indicates that the tyre can carry a maximum load of 236kgs when inflated to it’s maximum scheduled pressure.

    W is the actual continuous sustained maximum rated speed of the tyre, in this case 270kph(168mph). The tyre can actually achieve higher maximum speeds than this figure but in order to do so it cannot carry its full load potential. This is why even lightweight high-speed machines have fairly large tyres.

    TL indicates that the tyre has a tubeless construction. (Tyres intended for use with inner tubes are marked "Tube Type")

    Sportmax D207F is the commercial product description.

    Tyres for older "Classic" bikes use the "Imperial" marking system and look like this: -
    In this case the tyre is 3.50" inches wide and has an aspect ratio of 100, so its height is the same as its width.
    There is a further set of "Imperial" sizes using lower aspect ratios these look like: -

    4.10-19 for 90% aspect ratio tyres
    4.25/85-18 for 85% aspect ratio tyres.

    The third system in regular use is the "Alpha-Numeric" system originating from the USA. Tyres with these markings are now almost exclusively fitted to Harley Davidson machines.

    The markings look like this: -
    M indicates a motorcycle tyre
    T indicates how wide the tyre is from a table of nominal overall widths.
    90 is still the aspect ratio
    16 is the rim diameter.

    There are a number of other numbers on the sidewalls of motorcycle tyres that show which international standards the tyre conforms to.

    The two most common of these are the "E" mark, which is required by UK law, and the American DOT marking. As a rider you don’t really need to think about these as the manufacturers, distributors and retailers have a legal responsability to ensure that only correctly marked tyres are distributed and sold in the UK.

    Ensuring safety of purchase

    Tyre suppliers commit an offence if they sell tyres that do not comply with current government legislation. All tyres manufactured have markings on their sidewall which indicate if they comply with current legislation.

    It is illegal for tyre suppliers to supply passenger car tyres which do not observe the following criteria:

    * Does not have an 'E' mark showing that it complies with the load and speed requirements of ECE regulations
    * From the 1st January, (with certain exemptions ,i.e. tyres for pre-1949 vehicles and for off-road and competition use) new car and light trailer tyres (including 'VR' and 'ZR' radials) must be ECE OR EU approved and 'E' or 'e' marked respectively. (And from 1st June 1997 for Motorcycle tyres)
    * From the 1st January 1995 it has been illegal for any person to supply re-treaded tyres unless they are marked to indicate compliance with BS AU144e
    * It is also illegal for anyone to supply a part-worn tyre which does not comply with legal requirements outlined on this site and which does not have tread grooves of at least 2mm deep

    N.B. To the best of our knowledge, the information given here is correct at the time of posting (June 2001) but the law is subject to change from time to time. Please consult a solicitor if you need specific legal advice.

  9. #25
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    So........which tyres are actually best for my GS then??


    Well it depends on what you want to do with/on your GS and your style of riding.

    I'm not going to say which are the best, because opinions are like arseholes.....everyone's got one and they sometimes stink.........but the most popular tyres seem to fall into three fairly neat categories.

    Off road bias with road capability
    Road bias with off-road capability
    Road only tyres

    For Off-road tyres with surprisingly good road capabilty, the TKC80's are by far the most popular choice of hoops.......many of the board swear by them and anyone who's ever tried to keep up with people like Vern, MrTickle and even the beaver headed tosser himself will know that they are rather better than you might imagine ON the road as well.

    Whilst not hard-core off road tyres, the TKC80's will perform better than nearly anyone can ride on the big pigs off road, and only the PLumbs, paveys and Kuhns of the GS world will probably require something more able for off road.

    The drawback of the TKC80's are the lower life expectancy....wear rates go from between 800 miles for hard-all offroad riding at one extreme to around 5k miles on a rear for mixed off/on road use, with the average user probably achieveing at tleast 4k miles on a rear.

    Price-wise, the TKC's are cheaper than the more road biased tyres.

    For more road biased tyres with limited off-road use, the most popular tyres are the Tourance, with the Anakee coming a fairly close second particularly since some QC issues on the Tourance earlier this year (2004)

    Quiet, quick steering and very competent on road, both tyres are also capable of doing rough tracks with relative ease, ford crossings and mild mud, but get slippery on anything more severe than a mild green lane or in more than a few inches of mud.

    They are more expensive than the TKC's, but they do last the longest of the three types of tyre, with rears typically lasting 6-8k miles depending on riding style and conditions.

    Lastly, for road onlytyres, the most popular choice are the BT020's, recently launched in GS sizes.

    Much stickier than the TKC's and slightly stickier than the Tourance/Anakee options, the BT020's are usually slightly more expensive than the latter, but in the opinions of some, provide the best handling on road of all of the options.

    Don't even attempt to take them off-road, apart from bumping over the kerb and verge into a pub car-park, and you can expect to get slightly less miles out of one on average than from the Tourance/Anakee option.

    Please note that the summary here is based purely on the experience and opinions of the member s here and elsewhere and should not be taken as being factual information

  10. #26
    Compulsive tinkerer........! Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Round 'n' round in circles.........
    Excellant stuff there Fanum, well done & thank you.

    I have just picked up my new GSA that had fitted T66 tyres fitted as OE........no way was I keeping those on!! So after just 7 miles they have been replaced with good 'ole Tourances.

    Regarding Moto-X tyres stamped with 'Not for Highway Use', as I think we all know, this is a very grey area, and I think that I am correct in saying that no-one has every been convicted of such an offence?

    A traffic cop friend of mine explained that provided that the bike was being used of mainly off-road events, ie rallies & green laning etc etc then the Police would tend to "turn a blind eye to it".
    However, if the same bike was being used for daily duties, ie collecting the weekly shopping from Tesco's, then a "quiet word" would normally be suffice!

    "You only need two tools: WD40 and duct tape. If it doesn't move and it should, use WD40. If it moves and it shouldn't, use duct tape"

    Sorry, but if it hasn't got wheels, or a pair of tits or if its not covered in chocolate, then quite frankly, I'm not really that interested.....

    I'm a fiddler, I like to turn screws just because they are there.

  11. #27
    Spanish Bob
    well done Bill - quite a task youve set yourself!


    Ooops...I forgot to close the door after I left thanks for the comments though chaps.


  12. #28
    Toubab Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Thanks to Franco for pointing out the obvious mistake in the comments from the Conti man......I'm sure noone would have run the pressures as listed, but it's worth pointing out that the rears should be at 36 psi and the fronts 32psi, or for those of a continental bent, that's 2.20 bar front and 2.50 bar on the back.

    Thanks Franco


  13. #29
    The future’s bright.... Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    A press release from Michelin about the new Anakee II

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