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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This should be a FAQ and sorry for asking again! I'm running a 2003 ZX636B1 with the stock Michelin Pilot Sport 120/65 and 180/55. I'm 140 lbs, never take a passenger and ride reasonably fast on the roads. In the UK, so right now it's 20C. Last week it was 25C.

So the manual says 36/42psi and that's how the dealer gave me the bike. This feels too hard and I thought all sports bikes used 32/36 or thereabouts. That's what I used to run on my Ducati 900ss with Pirelli Corsas. So what do you recommend for this bike?

I reckon there's maybe 1500-2000 miles left in the tyres. So what should I go for next? Stick with Michelins, go for the other stock option of Bridgestone BT019/BT012 or something else entirely? Although I've got no rear chicken strips left I count myself as a chicken (grin) so I'm not going for ultimate grip or doing track days. This is strictly for fast road riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And another thing. Is it worth sticking with 120/65, or switching to 120/70? Any clearance problems with 120/70 from common makes?
 

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Originally posted by jbond
And another thing. Is it worth sticking with 120/65, or switching to 120/70? Any clearance problems with 120/70 from common makes?
A friend has a -03 636 with 120/70, no clearance problems.
I (-05 636) have always used 120/70 front tire, like it better when cornering/track day driving (feedback, grip). Also more common, so it's easier to get hold of tyres.

Tire pressure:
On the road: 2.25 bar (~33 psi) front, 2.5 bar (36 psi) rear.
On the track: 2.0-2.1 bar (~30 psi) in both front and rear.
This is what I drive with, gives me the best handling/performance. If one wants more mileage from the tyres one could have a little bit more, like 35 psi front and 40 psi rear.

/Marcus
 

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I haven't heard of any clearance problems with a 70 profile front tyre.

Which profile you go with really depends on whether you like the 65 profile front, or think the steering feedback/effort could be a bit better. If you like the 65 profile (or don't have any problems with it), I say stick with it.

People run pressures ranging from 36/42 (me) through to 28 or so f/r on the road, and few people seem to have any real problems with whatever pressure they choose to use. In fact, they'll often tell you why the pressures they use are the best, and that everyone should use those pressures.

Once again, if you were happy running ~32/36 on the Duke, then I'd use those. At least to start with. You can always change them and experiment a little.

As far as I'm concerned, what tyres you use is really about how you wnat the bike to behave, more than outright grip, or anything else.

Diablos and Metzeler SporTechs turn in quickly and feel quite stable and planted when leaned over. They also have good grip from cold.

Michelins take a bit of time to warm up and start gripping well, but once warm, they are good. They just seem to be the "Honda" of tyres though. They do everything well, they just don't do anything interesting.

I like Bridgestones. I currently use a BT-014F/Bt-020R combo, and will probably continue to use them until they stop making them. They work well enough for my riding style, they make the bike work the way I want it to, and they last well too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. I'm going to try 32/36 and see. I'll report back. I've also had good luck with Bridgestones so may well go for BT014/BT014 or maybe BT014/BT020 Presumably you get more miles with the BT020 on the back for not much less grip as it's a "sport/touring" tyre.
 

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That's right. I haven't had any problems with grip with the BT-020R, and I've got over 8,000 miles out of it so far, and it's only about 2/3rds worn.
 
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