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Tyre(Tire) advice
#810018 05/23/20 6:08 pm
Joined: Sep 2009
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CRH Offline OP
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The Avons on my very original 1961 T110 have a decent amount of tread but the sidewalls are looking tired (pun intended). If I'm interpreting the date code correctly they were made in 1990.
Avon no longer make the front Speedmaster and rear SM in 18". I can fit Roadriders etc. and benefit from much better performance but this bike is used for country lanes on dry sunny days. I certainly wouldn't let the current tyres anywhere near a damp surface. I'm keen on keeping the period look even at the expense of tyre performance.
Mitas classic tyres look the part. They are worryingly cheap. Any experience of them? Any other recommendations gratefully received.

Chris

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Re: Tyre(Tire) advice
CRH #810023 05/23/20 6:42 pm
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Dunlop tt100's. When I changed from Avons SM and ribbed front on my Thunderbird a few years ago, I could not believe the difference, was like a completely different bike (in a good way!)

Last edited by tbird649; 05/23/20 8:48 pm.


Re: Tyre(Tire) advice
CRH #810030 05/23/20 7:49 pm
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Not sure of the profile size on your 61' but Avon still make the SM mk2 in 18" but at a 4.00 profile.

Or have a look at the dunlop K70, these are actually as good off road as on.... read in to that as you will. They are good, but not great. But this can be said for any of the classic profile tyres, even the TT100 (K81) which is one of the best classic tyres isn't the best, I used to find them horrible when crossing the white line in the centre of the road.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

68’ A65 Lightning “clubman”
71’ A65 823 Thunderbolt (undergoing restoration)
67’ D10 sportsman (undergoing restoration)
68’ D14 trials (undergoing transformation)

Re: Tyre(Tire) advice
CRH #810036 05/23/20 8:34 pm
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I don't want to be thinking about all the money I saved on tires when I'm going around a bend at any kind of speed. Not much damp in the desert southwest but there is a lot of wind and fine sand. You can't see the sand on the road but the Avons give excellent feedback. Grip/slip. grip/slip, grip/slip. A little unnerving at first but you never lose control. Besides, Avons say "Made in England" right on the tire. Tyre.


1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
Re: Tyre(Tire) advice
CRH #810043 05/23/20 9:43 pm
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avons are pretty good. consider continental classic attack for pavement.

but if youre into dirt roads, the old K70s are hard to beat.


every day you do not take a chance is a day of your life that you will never get back.
Re: Tyre(Tire) advice
CRH #810049 05/23/20 11:21 pm
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Conti Classic Attack don't have a period look at all, but what they give in terms of grip and durability wins the day. They are a true radial, too.
Not sure about those tire sizes, though. 18" fronts are not easy to come by these days. They do have a 90/90 18 which is for the front actually. It might just be the hot ticket.
I run 19's on my bikes and the ribbed Avon tire. I can ground bikes parts in the corners with them and they look the part. For the rears, I use whatever I find at the time. Currently have a Dunlop D404 and a Duro in 18 inch. Will run probably an Avon on them when these wear out. They're OK, but the Avons handle a bit better.
Cheers,
Bill

Last edited by HawaiianTiger; 05/23/20 11:22 pm.

Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Black Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Tyre(Tire) advice
CRH #810051 05/23/20 11:26 pm
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I used to run TT100s on my '68 Trophy and liked them but did find that the front tended to turn in a tiny bit quick for my liking. Stable and responsive though.
Changed to K70s front and rear and found that the steering was more neutral and more stable in a straight line plus with the rear tyre being a higher profile it gave slightly higher overall gearing as well, a few less revs at cruising speed.

Re: Tyre(Tire) advice
CRH #810058 05/24/20 12:41 am
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I was assuming the roads in the UK are paved.


1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
Re: Tyre(Tire) advice
CRH #810087 05/24/20 9:14 am
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Desco, there are many Brit riders who might contend your assumption! Road surfacing hasn't been a priority here these last few years...

Reading the responses on this with interest, as I'm in a similar situation to CRH, with virtually unused, but probably ancient Avon Speedmaster & SM. I too wouldn't ride in the wet on them. How do you check the date code?

By the way, the Avon tyre factory (now owned by Cooper Tire Co) is two miles down the road from me, a sharp bend outside of the factory could be a good testing ground for tyre grip.

Re: Tyre(Tire) advice
CRH #810102 05/24/20 1:12 pm
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Thanks all for your comments and advice.

The 18" wheels of the T110 severely restrict choice. The original Avons aren't available in 18" except for a rear 4.00 which may be too wide plus I can't get the correct matching front so they are out. Likewise K70s unfortunately.

K82s or Roadriders seem to be the contenders in the sizes I need. I've no issue with the spec. and performance of these, just the non-period looks.

The only option I've found in the original style are Mitas - https://www.mitas-moto.com/en/products/motorcycle--on--road--tires/motorcycle--classic--tires. They offer a wide range of classic patterns but objective information and reviews on the quality and performance is very scarce. Also as I said before they are worryingly inexpensive. We all like a good deal, but.....

Bill, the Contis have a great reputation but I'm not sure that their only 18" rear isn't too wide. (I'm looking to put these on my T160 Trident when the Roadriders need replacing.)

Desco as DUHC says "paved" is becoming a relative term in the UK these days but my T110 is definitely staying on road.

DUHC: As you probably know, from 2000 on all tyres have a 4 digit code abcd. ab is week of manufacture and CD is year so 0418 is the 4th week of 2018. Prior to that the code is 3 digits abc where ab is the week and c is the year.The only possible contender for a date code on my rear SM is B090. I don't know what the B means but 090 means 9th week of 1990, or even 1980, 1970...... Knowing that my T110 was the subject of a comprehensive restoration in the early 90s and has done only 5000 miles since (judging by successive MoT certificates) I think they are likely to be 1990.

Thanks again for your thoughts everyone.

Re: Tyre(Tire) advice
CRH #810151 05/24/20 7:34 pm
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Hi Chris a mate of mine fitted a pair of Mitas on his 68 bonnie and swears by them.I too thought that the low price a bit concerning regards the quality but i fitted a pair on my bonnie and cannot fault them.Have now fitted Mitas to both my Kettle and GT550 IMO they are a great looking period tyre and handle extremely well.

Cheers Dave


Always remember there are 3 kinds of people in this world,those that can count & those that can't.
T140V 1974
GT750 1974
GT550 1974
TL1000 97s
Re: Tyre(Tire) advice
CRH #810157 05/24/20 8:12 pm
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Even new, the Safety Mileage is a dubious tire, in my opinion. I haven't had any difficulty with the SpeedMasters. There are certainly better handling tires out there, but I don't usually ride that fast anymore.
The Mitas tires are a bit confusing to me. I don't see anything in that lineup that really looks like the original Dunlops that came on our bikes.
I think most of them are pre 1950 period tires possibly?

A lot depends on intended use in my opinion. You'll never get modern performance from any reproduction tires. We've come a long way since those days.

I don't pick tires based on just performance anymore, though. I like long wearing everyday traffic tires these days.

Nobody around here would know the difference between a period tire and a modern type, so that's really not an issue.
Cheers,
Bill


Bikes
1974 Commando
1985 Honda Nighthawk 650
1957 Thunderbird/T110 "Black Tiger"
Antique Fans: Loads of Emersons (Two six wingers) plus gyros and orbiters.
Re: Tyre(Tire) advice
CRH #810173 05/24/20 9:05 pm
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When I first started biking in the early '70s the Safety Mileage was treated a little scornfully ie how could a tyre with that profile work? Wouldn't the bike just fall off the sharp edge? Back then at the smaller capacity, tyro end, the K70 was favoured, mainly because it looked right. Not that we were in the business of buying new anything, let alone something as inconsequential as tyres.

CRH - thanks for the tyre ageing information. Mine are 2002 & 2004, but with virtually no miles on them. My bike ('65 TR6SS) got passed from owner to owner for 25 years, each adding value, but nobody getting it back on the road, until I acquired it in 2011. I did some work, but it's been sat around for most of that time. Now on the road. As a consequence, tyres look fine, with no cracks, and they've been kept out of sunlight, but can't say I really trust them.


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