Classic British SparesKlempf British PartsBaxter CycleBritBike Sponsor SteadfastCyclesSRM EngineeringLucas Classic MotorcycleHepolite PistonsIndustrial tec supply

Upgrade your membership to: Premium Membership | Gold Membership | Life Membership | Vendor Membership | Site Sponsor Membership
Welcome to BritBike Forum!
Britbike forum logo
Member Spotlight
Ron T. in KY
Ron T. in KY
Northern KY
Posts: 407
Joined: August 2001
ShoutChat
Comment Guidelines: Do post respectful and insightful comments. Don't flame, hate, spam.
Search eBay for motorcycle parts in following countries
Australia, Canada, France, Holland, Italy, United Kingdom, USA
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#810018 05/23/20 6:08 pm
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 89
C
CRH Offline OP
Britbike forum member
OP Offline
Britbike forum member
C
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 89
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

Support Your #1 BritBike Forum!

Check out British motorcycles for sale: British Motorcycles on e-Bay UK, British motorcycles on e-Bay North America
CRH #810023 05/23/20 6:42 pm
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 742
Likes: 3
T
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
T
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 742
Likes: 3
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.
CRH #810030 05/23/20 7:49 pm
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 7,864
Likes: 123
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 7,864
Likes: 123
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)

CRH #810036 05/23/20 8:34 pm
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,347
Likes: 34
D
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
D
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,347
Likes: 34
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.
CRH #810043 05/23/20 9:43 pm
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 5,745
Likes: 116
DOPE
Offline
DOPE
Joined: Dec 2013
Posts: 5,745
Likes: 116
avons are pretty good. consider continental classic attack for pavement.

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


i'm old enough to remember when patriotism meant not trying to overthrow the government.
CRH #810049 05/23/20 11:21 pm
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,923
Likes: 17
H
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
H
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,923
Likes: 17
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.
CRH #810051 05/23/20 11:26 pm
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 214
Likes: 1
TJD Offline
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 214
Likes: 1
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.

CRH #810058 05/24/20 12:41 am
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,347
Likes: 34
D
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
D
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 3,347
Likes: 34
I was assuming the roads in the UK are paved.


1968 T120R
1972 T120RV
Any advice given is without a warranty expressed or implied.
CRH #810087 05/24/20 9:14 am
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 158
D
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
D
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 158
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.

CRH #810102 05/24/20 1:12 pm
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 89
C
CRH Offline OP
Britbike forum member
OP Offline
Britbike forum member
C
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 89
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.

CRH #810151 05/24/20 7:34 pm
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 155
Likes: 4
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 155
Likes: 4
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
CRH #810157 05/24/20 8:12 pm
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,923
Likes: 17
H
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
H
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,923
Likes: 17
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.
CRH #810173 05/24/20 9:05 pm
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 158
D
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
D
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 158
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.

CRH #811338 06/03/20 4:53 pm
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,298
Likes: 36
D
Britbike forum member
Online Confused
Britbike forum member
D
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,298
Likes: 36
My Matchless 500 has a Mitas on the rear, 2k miles and it's looking worn, must be all the rolling burnouts. Avon Speedmaster for me next time, 3.50 x 19" for the Matchless if I recall correctly, which apparently is available in the UK. I wouldn't be too concerned about having the same tyre manufacturer front and rear in terms of performance on a classic Brit bike, other posters may have a different view.

Traffic lights

CRH #811488 06/04/20 8:59 pm
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,656
Likes: 32
S
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
S
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,656
Likes: 32
Mitas are good tires. As are Heidenau. I’ve used these on Triumph twins and they are a match for anything. I use Avon Roadrunners on my 72 Trident though as that’s a modern Superbike.

SR

CRH #811491 06/04/20 9:13 pm
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,923
Likes: 17
H
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
H
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,923
Likes: 17
Which model of tire from Mitas is the best one for the 50's and 60's Triumphs?
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.
CRH #811531 06/05/20 10:17 am
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 36
Likes: 3
P
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
P
Joined: May 2020
Posts: 36
Likes: 3
The old SM tyres were scorned by many, but not those who actually rode on them.
The 'square' profile means that as the bike is leant over, the contact patch becomes smaller and loads the relatively hard rubber compound.
As the contact patch area is reduced, the grip is produced less by 'adhesion' between rubber and tarmac and more by 'mechanical interlock' as the rubber is forced into the road texture.This has two effects:

1) Increasing the effective pressure helps the tyre to cut through surface water, mud etc. on the road.
2) The mechanical interlock grip has a more progressive stick/slip characteristic, giving better feedback to the rider.

I put TT100s on my wife's Daytona. She doesn't hang about on that bike!


Still not dead
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,214
Likes: 10
T
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
T
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,214
Likes: 10
I have to disagree about Avon Speedmaster tyres. I had these on my A10 when I first got it (42 years ago). The handling was rubbish until I ditched them and put roadrunners on. I also once bought a T140 which had a Speedmaster on the front. It squealed under braking very easily, whereas the decent tyre I replaced it with couldn't be made to squeal at all under normal braking. SMs were fine on low-powered 1950s / 60s commuter bikes and sidecar outfits, but they're not suitable for anything expected to go round corners at any speed!


If anything other than a blank space is visible here, something's wrong.
CRH #811539 06/05/20 11:14 am
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 5,655
Likes: 112
knuckle head
Online Content
knuckle head
Joined: Oct 2012
Posts: 5,655
Likes: 112
When I got my first Triumph, a 67 650in the early 70's, K81's were the tire to have...Over the years on different bikes I had K81''s and some other brands...when bought the T140D a few years ago it had good tread not too old K81 tires. I was not impressed...Put on a set of Bridgestone BT 45's. Noticable improvement in handling and ride....


79 T140D, 96 900M Ducati ,61 A10 .On a bike you can out run the demons..
“But I don't want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked. “Oh, you can't help that,” said the Cat: “we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad.
CRH #811564 06/05/20 4:14 pm
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,298
Likes: 36
D
Britbike forum member
Online Confused
Britbike forum member
D
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 1,298
Likes: 36
Naaarfuk motorcyclists disagreeing re: tyres! In the previous century, this would have been settled with a "spirited ride" (no racing on the Queen's Highway), perhaps the back roads to Wells? Yes please!

In defence of the SM, it can be used for some light offroading, at least until the treads become blocked.

Bridges

CRH #811588 06/05/20 6:50 pm
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,923
Likes: 17
H
Britbike forum member
Offline
Britbike forum member
H
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,923
Likes: 17
My experience with the Safety Mileage is rather extensive. My verdict is OK for trips to the club meet once a month, but that's all.
I had one on the bike I brought to Maui 22 years ago. It was a 55 T110. I went riding with a couple of guys on Harley's, one of them a full dressed bike. In the twisties, they flat lost me. I was sliding around like a dirt tracker on the misty up-country roads. How embarrassing! But I have to say, both of those guys were very experienced and aggressive riders for Harley guys....
The first time I ever rode a bike with TT100's on it, I nearly dropped the bike in the first corner. I was used to hauling over a bike with some muscle to get it to turn in a corner. That's definitely not how you ride with those tires.....
All that aside, the tires today, even the cheapest ones, seem to be better handling than anything from the bad old days. (I don't get flats anymore, either)
I'm rather cheap, so I'm after good handling, but the tire has to last more than 3000 miles! Can we get a tire that lasts more than 3000 miles, please?
The answer is yes; The Conti Classic Attack to the rescue.
Doesn't look classic in the least, but it is an attractive tire as tires go. All those checkered flags in relief on the side look pretty cool.
I have no way to gauge how long this rather new radial will last, but comparatively speaking it looks like radials last twice as long at least than bias ply tires and that makes them a great deal at much less than twice the cost of a cheap tire.
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.

Moderated by  John Healy 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Job CycleBritish Cycle SupplyMorries PlaceKlempf British PartsPodtronicVintage MagazineBSA Unit SinglesBritBike SponsorBritish Tools & FastenersBritBike SponsorBritBike Sponsor






© 1996-2021 britbike.com
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5