Got a sportbike that wants the best rubber?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by faffi, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. kneedragon

    kneedragon Re-Member ... ?

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    The other thing one should note, is that tyres that work well on one bike may not work as well on another. Sticking with examples I know, pilot powers were the duck's guts on the Aprilia, but a Power / Pure combination was, er, acceptable but overloaded on the ZX14. I ended up with the M5 Metzlers, which worked OK. They did (as I was told they would) deal with the bike's tendency to stand up all the time, and the mixture and traction was pretty good... (At least once the tyre was scrubbed in, but they were a bit slippery and strange until then, and they did take a fair few km to scrub right in, none of which is a complaint - they did exactly what I needed and had asked for.) I don't know that I'd really like those tyres on another bike, but they worked alright on the 14. I'm trying to remember what I put on the R6. I know it was Metzlers, their track day tyre (er, M2 or M3 or something, er 'racetec?') and I never asked enough of them to know what they did at the limit. Yeah, I fell off once, but that was on the grass. So ... where was I? Yeah - a tyre that can work perfectly on one bike may not be that great on another. In very general terms, I like the same things no matter what I'm riding, but you might need quite a different tyre to get those things on another bike.
     
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  2. faffi

    faffi A.S.A.N.

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    Actually, it's pretty amazing how affected some bikes are by the tyres you put on. In Germany, some bikes are allowed to use any brand as long as size and speed and load ratings are correct. Other bikes may be limited to only the OEM stuff because it will not handle acceptably with anything else.

    Although not sporty in any sense of the word, one weird thing I'd like to menion about my Kawasaki and its classic Heidenaus is that the bike doesn't roll, pitch or slide on gravel anymore. With the Cheng Shin rear, it would move a little on loose gravel, which is expected. Now, zero. No other bike I have ridden have rolled over gravel roads and made them feel like solid asphalt. On the other end of the spectrum, my brother's Triumph Tiger 900 was lethal on gravel despite dual purpose tyres. Going over 40 kph on anything but the most hard packed gravel would see the bike work itself into a horrible weave. And if you told yourself to just relax and let the bike sort itself out, you got horribly close to crashing. A terror. Now I'd want one just to test with Heidenau street tyres and see what, if any, impact they could have on the big traillie.
     
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  3. kneedragon

    kneedragon Re-Member ... ?

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    Yeah. I was chatting with another old bloke on the notRider site, and he had a big wobble and off, like the one I had on the CB400/4, only he did it on a Z650 (yes, I know that's what you ride) on MT28s. Er, I dunno exactly when, but Z650s and MT28s were both standard things at the time, so it was a while ago. The point, or object, was that both the bike and the hoops had a quite good reputation, but the two together were a bit of a worry. The context was that one needs to be a bit cautious about reputation, and racing success. The things that work on the track, might not suit all users.
    ...

    My favourite example of that being the second gen VF750 Hondas. The very first ones had oil supply problems on the cams, and maybe a case hardening process that was a bit variable, but the 2nd had a 16" front wheel and huge cornering clearance, and a fair sized fuel tank. That was a combination that made it very competitive in production racing, more so at some tracks than others. The Castrol 6h used to be run at Amaroo, which was a funny little track by modern standards. There were no real long straights, but there were places where the bike was leaned over all the way for much of the time, and at least one where you had to go from full lean to full lean at quite high speed, so very aggressive steering geometry had a huge advantage there. That didn't always translate to a good (or safe) roadbike... They had a FIRM reputation, as a good thing, based (largely) on their race success, and also the owner reports of people who bought a new honda and rode it like it was a Rolls Royce... When pushed along, on real roads, by real people, they had handling issues, not unlike many other bikes of that time, but quite contrary to their reputation. It was like the reputation of Rolls Royce, actually, based on something, sure, but it could be quite misleading as well. Not entirely correct and not entirely deserved.

    [edit]
    Actually, at that time, Fast Freddy Spencer had just arrived, and he raced one, at Daytona and other places, with great success. Firstly, the fact that Fast Freddy was quick on something, didn't mean it handled right, or that the frame he was using was entirely stock. I don't have specific info about that one, but I do know at that time some US teams were doing quite major frame work, and because they were all doing it, nobody went to the governing body and complained, so the irregularities were not picked up... 'superbike' meant something a wee bit different to the Americans, in the '80s, to what it means to us. We, and I think the Brits, used bikes that had clip ons and fairings, but had frames that were pretty much as the factories made them. The yanks had standard looking seat and handlebars, bodywork, but their frames were home made and their engine made way more power than ours. We brought Fred Merkel (I think it was) out here, with his bike, and it looked nice and stock, standing on the grid with the Aussie supers, but that damn thing had about 30 ~ 50% more power than any other bike there. It was shocking to see how fast that bike was.
     
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    #43 kneedragon, Aug 26, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  4. darren

    darren :)
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    They are, and I have been doing lots lately, chasing pesky Panigale's....so much so that my rear S-20 now's RIP @ 2500km's.
     
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  5. lindsaymac

    lindsaymac Can't reMember
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    ....and not even a call. You've changed, man. *sniff*
     
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  6. darren

    darren :)
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    We usually do Nymboida-Dorrigo-Thora-Dorrigo-Nymboida so we dont go near Coffs, Sniffy. :D

    Aren't you usually 'working'?? Ox this thursday...... ;)
     
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  7. GrahamB

    GrahamB Decaying member

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    The first gen had shaft drive. The second, starting with the VF750D, had the 16" front, the suspect cams and the race wins. I owned one. Rode it all over the place... never had a twitch from it, unlike the Ducati that preceded it. By modern standards, the steering was slow. Also, the 130/80-16 front tyre was 16mm BIGGER in diameter than a modern 120/70-17. Some journalists just repeated over and over that 16" front wheels were unstable, presumably because they were intellectually lazy or just plain stupid. I've long since realised that almost everything written in motorcycle magazines is either
    a) repetition of received wisdom;
    b) wishful thinking;
    c) BS designed to sell bikes;
    d) copied from a press release;
    e) or all of the above.
     
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  8. faffi

    faffi A.S.A.N.

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    As you all know,I love road tests. But I also see many faults and, as you say, popular opinions. Still, if well written they can be a bit like novels; fun to read but hardly the whole and full truth :lol:
     
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  9. kneedragon

    kneedragon Re-Member ... ?

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    Yes, agreed. I've learned that road tests are just like what you hear on the tv, or at the pub. There may be a degree of truth here and there, but don't bet on it. I know that here in Aus, over the years, Kawasaki have built some rather special bikes for journalists to test, and if you can get hold of one of those later, it'll be a pretty good example. Usually, you can't (couldn't - this was a while ago) because after the press have played with it, it goes to local 'production' racing. I've often had the thought, reading American tests, that all the factories in the US do that, but Honda perhaps the most of all. Either all US bike journalists are complete for-sale wankers, or the bikes they get to try out are... very carefully assembled examples, put together by people who do know what they're doing.

    One really interesting example of the 'random' roadtest was from two wheels, who I did tend to read and trust back then. They got hold of the new GSX11 in early 1980 and 'tested' it ... (cough) ... and wrote a very pleasant and favourable opinion on it, which I did read before I got my first one... What they had to say about the comfort and the day-to-day stuff was pretty right. What they had to say about the high speed handling and stability, was ... not in line with what I and many others learned... Honestly, they couldn't have given it a bigger or more favourable rap, and they could not have been more wrong if they tried. Now whether Suzuki (Japan or Aus) actually build a good one, and saw to it that the people at Two Wheels got it, or whether money changed hands, or (most likely, I think) the journalist rode around the suburbs for a few days, at modest speeds and minor lean angles, and then wrote the bulk of the 'test' from his imagination...

    And yes, there was a lot said about 16 inch fronts that was just mindless repetition and cultural fungus. I tried out a GPZ9R that had been raced a little, and it had a feel, but didn't do anything particularly bad. I also got to ride an FJ12 - Greg Hansford actually came out and rode escort and chase with me himself - and that had quite pleasant handling, especially at very low speeds. The brakes were bloody good too. How it would have been through long sweeping 150km/h bends, with some up and down, I don't know, perhaps not so good, but everything I asked it to do it did beautifully. And yes, Greg was a great bloke, really pleasant to be around.
     
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    #49 kneedragon, Aug 26, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2013
  10. GrahamB

    GrahamB Decaying member

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    Still goes on. A certain French rider is getting a ride in WSS in a prominent green team, but I there was quite a delay in building him a bike. According to his father, they were waiting for a "good" frame...
     
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