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"KRS/GT" Tires Different tire-brands and suggestions

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  #1  
Old 10-09-2018, 02:07 PM
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Question Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

I was trying to set the bike up to ride softer for the wife as pillion.

BMW recommends 36 psi in the front tire and 42 in the back.

(The back is still a standard Road Pilot 4 at 42 psi.)

I had been riding at about 38 psi front.

So the front was dropped to 36 psi.

Riding two-up the bike was all over the road.

Worse, pulling out of a driveway, there was a strong "force" turning the steering more than what the initial input should have provided.

The bike started to fall but this was prevented by rapidly tightening the turn and strong throttle input.

So pumped up the front to the sidewall instructions of "inflate to 42 psi".

Great control but a little harsh over bumps in the front.

Suggestions???

Also see I-BMW thread at: http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?t=61191
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Old 10-09-2018, 02:44 PM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW
So pumped up the front to the sidewall instructions of "inflate to 42 psi".

Great control but a little harsh over bumps in the front.

Regardless of BMW's recommendation, I have always felt that the K1200RS handled sluggish at 36psi. I typically run my front at 40-42psi on that bike as it handles much better IMO.

Edit: after reading Beech's post I thought that I should come back and clarify. My opinions above are more "general" opinions as I have never run a set of Michelin Pilot Road 4 tires specifically.
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Old 10-09-2018, 03:23 PM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Do these tires utilize Michelin's new Adaptive Casing Technology?
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:29 PM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

So pumped up the front to the sidewall instructions of "inflate to 42 psi".
That is not an instruction comment but max pressure. I have had many customers install PR4's. I bought a set to try out on my K bike. They feel loose for me. Many times the rear feels like it is going over tar snakes. My comment would be not every tire is for any bike. Some combinations work better than others. You could not give me a set of PR's for my bike. . Other people love them so what to do. Steering is sharper with higher pressure, but your contact patch is smaller.
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:31 PM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate
Do these tires utilize Michelin's new Adaptive Casing Technology?

The front is several years old so probably not.
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Old 10-09-2018, 06:39 PM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW
The front is several years old so probably not.

That may be the issue right there - might be time for a new set of rubber. I liked the Pirelli Angel GT's - but I only got about 5,000 miles out of the set.
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Old 10-09-2018, 07:45 PM
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Red face Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beech
So pumped up the front to the sidewall instructions of "inflate to 42 psi".
That is not an instruction comment but max pressure.

Actually it essentially says "max load 520 lbs @ 42 psi".

So for those of us less informed, the 42 is maximum psi.

Thanks.
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Old 10-09-2018, 07:53 PM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

So the main issue is that this tire is dangerous at 36 psi, the pressure recommended by BMW for the front.

Previously it was at 38 psi and was still not completely straight-line stable.

With 42 psi being too stiff and causing a noticeably harsher ride, the next outing will be at 40 psi.

Nonetheless, new tires, front and back are due and another model or brand is a consideration.

I also wonder if mixing the GT front with a standard back could be the cause. Never had this issue at 36 or 38 psi front with a standard front and back.
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:51 AM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

I use Michelins exclusively and I find handling best with 40 psi front and 42 psi rear.
If you want a softer ride, decrease the pre-load on the rear shock.
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:38 AM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Could there be other issues like worn wheel bearings or the telelever ball joint, or an incorrect pressure gauge, or wrong size tires?? It sure sounds like a very low-pressure front tire, tho, by your description.

I've run several sets of PR4 on my R1100S and they are anything BUT squirrelly. But the bike is 200 lbs lighter, too.

After installing TPMS on my bikes and cars I noticed that the actual pressures vary as much as 7 psi due to the tire temperature while riding. The ambient temperature to start with, then the riding speed and road surface, then the sunshine on the tires all contribute to the tire temp which directly determines the current pressure. But, you have to start somewhere. I'm just not as anal about it as I used to be. But I darn sure don't stop to add 2 psi because the sun went behind a cloud or the road changed direction.

This K12RS came with a BattleAx on the rear (with 4 plugs in it!!) that I thought would NEVER wear out. Finally just gave up and installed a set of Metzler M7 RR which I have no complaints with, even hard riding in the twisties in the rain. Had to go with the 180 on the rear 5" rim, no issues. No idea yet about the tire mileage.
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:57 AM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

My last set of 4's felt squeamish before replacement. After a really close look the front tire left side was killed the right side still looked OK. Back tire was meaty but slightly cupped.

I would take a really close look and make sure to run your hands over the tires.

But tires are cheaper than skin & gear. Go buy a set then ride and access what you got.

At the age these bikes are getting you should check steering damper and all the joints on the front end. Also look really carefully to see if a brake is dragging really can make it darty.

K bikes just eat tires I would not run anything but a matched set.

Only really 2 conditions for tires on a K bike new or needing new.

All I know, maybe others know more...
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:16 AM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

I meant to add (the EDIT button isn't working for some reason) that the "softness" of the ride for the pillion is all about the rear spring and preload like Rick suggests above. And the preload also affects the handling big time. After installing the Metzlers the bike had a very annoying "weave" like grooves in the pavement but there weren't any. More pressure in the rear and more preload finally fixed it.

To see what your preload should "theoretically" be (and to see if your rear spring is somewhere near the correct rate for you and the pillion), watch a Dave Moss vid where he explains this plus more suspension stuff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obGoMPgiI18 He has several vids on Utube and they are all good, per Ted Porter.

Let us know what you find.

NOW the edit button is working.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:43 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowndes
It sure sounds like a very low-pressure front tire, tho, by your description.

Exactly.

At 36 psi and the stiffer sidewalls the tire acts like it is underinflated.

Will try 40 psi next round.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:49 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowndes
...the "softness" of the ride for the pillion is all about the rear spring and preload like Rick suggests above.

Back preload was cranked up to high and back tire was at a max of 42 psi.

But certainly could cause problems if not the case.

In our setting, the front psi at 42 psi completely cured the weaving but resulted in a harsh ride for the captain.

Going to try 40 psi, next round.

Thanks for the post and additional information.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:51 AM
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Exclamation Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Again, IMHO, the Michelin Pilot 4 GTs are dangerous on the front end of the K12RS when inflated to the BMW recommended psi of 36.
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Old 10-11-2018, 12:13 PM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

"Back preload was cranked up to high and back tire was at a max of 42 psi."

Are these the OEM Showa units?? If so, how many miles on them??

If the spring rate is not sufficient for the load (i.e. you, pillion, gear, etc) it won't be enough to crank the preload to the max. The only way to tell is the tape measure method that Dave Moss shows.

Lots of things between you and the ground that will affect handling besides the psi.
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Old 10-11-2018, 04:09 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowndes
"Back preload was cranked up to high and back tire was at a max of 42 psi."

Thanks for the insights and information.

The back suspension is the original OEM on a 2002 K12RS purchased in late Spring, 2001.

It currently has 66k miles on it.

The squirrelly behavior is also present when riding one up with and without preload when at a front 36 psi and a back 42 psi.

Perhaps a brave sole with a K12RS and MRP4 GTs could try these inflation pressures to see if the abnormality can be duplicated. Just be careful with low speed, sharp turns.
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Old 10-11-2018, 04:43 PM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW
Perhaps a brave sole with a K12RS and MRP4 GTs could try these inflation pressures to see if the abnormality can be duplicated. Just be careful with low speed, sharp turns.
Have a new set mailed to me and I'll be your Huckleberry.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:02 AM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

A couple clicks up on the rear Ohlins adjustable compression dampening tamed the squirrel.

66Ks on Showas? Time to at the very least measure the sag and determine if they need replacing.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:19 AM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

The PR4GT is really designed for a heavier bike, like the K16. I had them on for 4000 miles and they were just OK. I bet that tire at 42PSI on your bike is pretty hard!
Probably leave the front at 40 like the guys above said and you should be ok but really, use the non GT version for better results on your bike.
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Old 10-12-2018, 01:24 PM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

I have the Michelin GT tire on the rear of my RS now, only because that was all that was available in my size.
I have found no noticeable difference in handling from the non GT tire.
I have never had a GT tire on the front so I can't comment on that.
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:04 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
I have the Michelin GT tire on the rear of my RS now, only because that was all that was available in my size.
I have found no noticeable difference in handling from the non GT tire.
I have never had a GT tire on the front so I can't comment on that.

Got it.

Mine is the reverse situation.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 10-21-2018, 01:00 PM
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Thumbs up Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Okay.

40 psi seems to be the optimal on the K12RS with the front PR4GT.

Good straight-line stability and input control for turning.

At 38 psi there was still some wondering and at 42 psi the front suspension seemed harsh.

YRMV

Thanks again for all the info and replies.
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:55 AM
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Smile Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

The front and back Road 4s were replaced yesterday. Only the front was a GT model. Both were down to the wear bars. Cost for new tires, balancing, new valve stems, disposal, and environmental fee was a total of ~ $460 with the wheels off of the bike (Iron Pony, Columbus, OH).

The front and back are now both Road 4 GTs. They are inflated to 40 and 42 psi.

Eager to get them back on the bike and on the road.
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:28 AM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW
Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

I was trying to set the bike up to ride softer for the wife as pillion.

BMW recommends 36 psi in the front tire and 42 in the back.

(The back is still a standard Road Pilot 4 at 42 psi.)

I had been riding at about 38 psi front.

So the front was dropped to 36 psi.

Riding two-up the bike was all over the road.

Worse, pulling out of a driveway, there was a strong "force" turning the steering more than what the initial input should have provided.

The bike started to fall but this was prevented by rapidly tightening the turn and strong throttle input.

So pumped up the front to the sidewall instructions of "inflate to 42 psi".

Great control but a little harsh over bumps in the front.

Suggestions???

Also see I-BMW thread at: http://www.i-bmw.com/showthread.php?t=61191
Yep, keep it at 42 psi
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Old 11-08-2018, 11:32 AM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW
Cost for new tires, balancing, new valve stems, disposal, and environmental fee was a total of ~ $460 with the wheels off of the bike (Iron Pony, Columbus, OH).
If you don't mind me asking, what of that cost is BEYOND the tire cost itself?

I've been doing my own tires for about 10 years now, but that just seems like a LOT for the changing fee. I might have to do like Beech and start offering to do them out of my garage.
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Old 11-08-2018, 12:59 PM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

How worn were your tires when you found 36psi to be all over the road? And - how sure are you that your gauge is fairly accurate?


My experience is that 36/42 is just too low. I've tried front pressures from 32 to 52, and the sweet spot is 38 or a bit more. By the way, everyone should try some different pressures to see how their bike handles then. With 50+ in the front end, the bike is completely different/weird. The back tire - I haven't noticed much handling difference above and below 42, so I just try to keep it at 42.


I run Pirelli Angel GT's, and I often ride two-up. At 36psi front, I find the bike resisting low-speed turn-in only to sort of fall into the turn once started. Annoying unpredicable in a predictable way. Upping the front to 38 makes the bike respond predictably - it turns in without resisting and without a sudden falling-into-it. More PSI makes it perhaps even a bit quicker, but I don't find it making much difference in a positive way. 40psi is ok too.


The best way I can describe low speed turning going from 36 to 38 psi is like replacing a worn tire with a new one. Or making a (38psi) worn one feel like a (36psi) new one.
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Old 11-08-2018, 02:27 PM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattB
If you don't mind me asking, what of that cost is BEYOND the tire cost itself?

I've been doing my own tires for about 10 years now, but that just seems like a LOT for the changing fee. I might have to do like Beech and start offering to do them out of my garage.

The tires were $160 and $200 over the phone. The internet site has them listed for about 50% more.

Maybe a typo on the net?

They just ended a sale so they may have had some left over at the lower price.

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Old 11-08-2018, 02:31 PM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by phxazcraig
How worn were your tires when you found 36psi to be all over the road?

Down to the wear bars with significant and sharp shouldering.

Good to know that pressure needs to be upped with worn tires or handling is affected.

Pretty sure the pressure measurements were correct also.
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Old 11-08-2018, 03:37 PM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW
The tires were $160 and $200 over the phone.
So basically $100 for mount, balance, valve stem, disposal, and tax.

I'm just sitting here smiling at the fact that I have a changer. Thinking about it more, what you are saying isn't too far from what I used to pay I guess. Been a LONG time, but I feel like I recall that I was at/near $420 10 years ago.
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Street: 2000 Honda VFR @ 39k :: 2002 BMW K1200RS @ 49k ... round 2 - Welcome Back to a Long Lost Friend
Track: 2008 Suzuki GSX-R 750 :: 2008 Honda CBR1000RR
Dirt: 2004 Honda CRF80 ~ son :: 2006 Honda CRF70 ~ daughter #1 :: 1985 Honda ATC70 ~ daughter #2 :: 2006 Honda CRF150 ~ unclaimed :: 2007 Honda CRF450X ~ Dad
IBA #25520 - Iron Butting the Blue Ridge Parkway

If loud pipes save lives, imagine what learning to ride that thing could do.
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  #31  
Old 11-10-2018, 12:17 PM
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Sea Gull Sea Gull is offline
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

With all the above taken into consideration......66k miles on a stock Showa would really concern me (they are gone, IMO). Aftermarket is way better, but for sure ANY new shock will really make a difference. Also, as pointed out, you would be more assured of a quality ride if you did all the measurements and adjusted your preload and damping appropriately (front and rear with aftermarket). Your combined weights will be key for determining proper sag for 2 up riding. Way less preload is needed for two weighing in at 300lbs combined than for two weighing at 400-500lbs combined. I even changed my preload when I lost 30lbs. Proper preload really makes a difference. While I can see how a change in pressure of the front changes your feel and confidence in handling, I am hard pressed to see how it would affect the comfort level of the passenger. (BTW, I ride hard but still prefer the factory recommendations of 36 psi front, 42 rear on almost all 25 sets of tires I have gone through, including the current MPR4, with the exception of softer race rubber, way down on those).
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Jim Douglas '00 K1200RS black >140,000 Miles (moving to Mexico with it!), '09 K1300S light grey sold @22k mi, 93 K1100RS black -traded at 78k mi, '85 K100RS red -sold at 44k mi, Kaw 650 track bike sold
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  #32  
Old 11-10-2018, 07:16 PM
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Re: Michelin Road Pilot 4 GTs Squirrelly....

Lots of points to be considered.

Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Gull
With all the above taken into consideration......66k miles on a stock Showa would really concern me (they are gone, IMO). Aftermarket is way better, but for sure ANY new shock will really make a difference. Also, as pointed out, you would be more assured of a quality ride if you did all the measurements and adjusted your preload and damping appropriately (front and rear with aftermarket). Your combined weights will be key for determining proper sag for 2 up riding. Way less preload is needed for two weighing in at 300lbs combined than for two weighing at 400-500 lbs combined. I even changed my preload when I lost 30lbs. Proper preload really makes a difference. While I can see how a change in pressure of the front changes your feel and confidence in handling, I am hard pressed to see how it would affect the comfort level of the passenger. (BTW, I ride hard but still prefer the factory recommendations of 36 psi front, 42 rear on almost all 25 sets of tires I have gone through, including the current MPR4, with the exception of softer race rubber, way down on those).
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