New front and rear tyres for a Yamaha TDM850 (2001)
I am new to motorbikes and to get me started, I recently purchased a Yamaha TDM 850 (2001). I now have to think about replacing the rear tyre but I have no idea what is a suitable tyre to buy. As a learner, I'm not thrashing it about so don't need anything too spectacular, just a good quality tyre with plenty of grip suitable for my more general riding purposes. Also, should I change the front tyre out at the same time even though its in pretty good nick at the moment? I've read elsewhere that tyres are matching sets and are designed to work together (or maybe urban legend?).Any advice appreciated.
Unless you're riding hard then very sticky tyres won't get up to temperature. Given the weather we're having you'll want something with a decent bit of tread. A sports touring tyre would probably suit your needs well:
Michelin Pilot Road 2 or 3, Pirello Road Angel, Bridgestone 023s, Dunlop Roadsmart etc.
Tyres are designed to work as a pair, sometimes you can get away with mixing, sometimes it's not so good. Staying within manufacturer is recommended, but then I recently had a Michelin Pilot Road 3 (sipes) on the back, and a Pilot Road 2 on the front. It was bearable - largely because I've known the bike so long - but having a pair of new Pilot Road 3s on there recently has made it feel SOOO lovely again.
SOOO, if the front's not too worn - what is it? Selecting a matching rear might not be a bad place to start...
Good suggestion on getting a rear tyre the same as the front one (why didn't think of that?), I'll look into that.Thanks for the recommendations on the tyre makes too, big help.
Current tyres on the TDM are Bridgestone Battlax BT45's, presume these are OK?
Actually they're pretty good, and pretty cheap. I find they don't necessarily heat up enough in very wet / cold conditions - they probably don't have anything like as much silica in them as modern tyre designs - but they give good handling, feedback & wear for a bargain price
The Michelin Pilot Roads 2 & 3 have a similar feel and much better cold/wet performance, and last about as long. But they're more expensive...
The BT45s are also bias-belt / cross-ply construction, as were the Dunlop K505 OE fitment. The other tyres I've suggested are all radial construction I think. I heard it said that bikes designed for Cross-ply tyres shouldn't use radial and vice verse but that might be cobblers - ask a reputable supplier & let me know? In any event the TDM900 is fitted with radial tyres as OE fitment so I wouldn't be too concerned.
Thanks for you input. Now I know the current tyres are OK as a brand and spec, I'll stick with them until I get some more experience and am able to tell the difference when riding with different tyres. At the moment, its a steep learning curve as a neewbie and just getting the basics right is not so easy as its a big bike and I just wanted to make sure that I was not handicapping myself further with rubbish rubber. Thanks again
I think the difference between BT45s and the very modern tyres would be big enough for you no notice, but there's nothing wrong with your approach - too many people spend more time changing everything (including their entire bike) than they do riding, and never really get any better!
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