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BMW R1100GS Tires

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R1100GS with an old Firestone advertisement board
Firestone in Spain

I did not use every tire which is available for the R1100GS, but have experience with some of them. Here is a review of the tires I used.

Michelin Anakee

My tires at this moment are the Michelin Anakees. One word: superb.

These tires gave me my confidence back in the wet. They give you all the grip that is possible, and when the surface is really slippery, they are well-behaved and slide gently.

They give you very good feed-back about the road surface, which is something I like about tires.

And in the dry, they behave very pleasant as well. I don't know exactly how many kilometers they last, but it is above 10.000 kilometers, that's for certain.
The only thing I still have to discover is how they keep up in Spain, when it's very warm.

For now, these are just *the* tires for me.

 

Pirelli MT90

Pirelli stopped making the MT80's. Instead, they offer the MT90's. I don't like them at all.

When the road is dry, they behave reasonably well, but in the wet, they tend to glide very easily, maybe even more than the Michelin T66.

Picture from the Pirelli site.

 

Pirelli MT80

After the Avon disaster, I tried Pirelli MT80's, and so far, I like them very much. I get the right feeling of the road, and they seem to have lots of grip (though after the last set of Avons, everything seems to have lots of grip).

They feel very confident in corners, and I did not notice any tendancy to slide in the wet. I don't know how they behave offroad, at this moment.

Picture from the Pirelli site.

 

Metzeler Enduro 4

My experience with the Metzeler Enduro 4 is short as well, but strangely enough (because everybody seems to like them very much), I did not like them.
They don't give you enough information about the road you're riding on, is my feeling. With the Avons or Bridgestones or Continentals, I can feel every unevenness of the road, I can feel what kind of tarmac it consists of.

The Metzelers don't give this kind of information.

The best I can say about them is that they are "neutral", but I don't like that ;-)

Picture from the Metzeler site.

 

Bridgestone Trailwings

I have tried the Bridgestone TrailWings 101/152 for a short time. They compare rather well with the Avons, with less feeling for the road, and less grip. The difference is not very big, so they are a good choice.

One disadvantage is that they don't have a long life, especially not in hot circumstances. During my vacation to Spain, the thread had almost completely gone (after less than 6000 kilometers), and they slid all over the place...

Picture from the Bridgestone site.

 

Continental TKC80

On the R3B, we always use Continental TKC80's.

For off-roading, they are THE tires.

But what is really amazing, is that they behave really well on the road. At first, they give you the feeling as if you "fall in the turns", but when you get used to that, you can do almost anything with them which you can do with real road tires. I like them far more than the Michelins on the road...

The only downpoint is that they don't last very long.

Picture from the Continental site.

 

Avon Gripster

From the moment I tried Avon Gripsters AV33/34, I felt at home. They are great road tires: they handle very sweet on the dry, don't have a tendency to slide early in the wet, and when they do, they do so controllably. Furthermore, for a road tire, they behave rather well in the dirt. They last considerably less than the Michelins.

However, one Avon tire I had, had a serious fault: the cord layers were broken, which resulted in a big crack in the side of the tire, starting at the inside. I was lucky that we noticed it before the tyre burst!

We have yet to hear how this could happen, from Avon, and did not even receive a new tyre. So, unfortunately, I have decided never to buy a tyre from them again.

I tried another set, because I like them so much, but this time they behaved terrible. It seemed that they have tried another rubber compound, probably because of the cord layer problem. They slide ridiculously fast in the wet, even when riding straight. And even in the dry, you can't ride corners too fast, because the rear will slide. I got rid of them after 3000 kilometers, and will never again try Avons anymore.

Picture from the Avon site.

 

Michelin T66

All R1100GSses that I bought came standard with the Michelin T66/T66X. They behave rather ok in the dry, but not so well in the wet: they slide easily and, more important, uncontrollably. They are rubbish in the dirt. However, they last a long time. Don't try them!

Picture from the Michelin site.

 

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BMW R1100GS Tires

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© Copyright Sylvia Stuurman (text) and Ernst Anepool (photo's).
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