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Gasket Killer
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120 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just picked up KZ1000, the rear tire has about 2k miles on it. The front however, dry rotted and the tread is choppy. The rear is a Dunlop 491.

Am I restricted to putting a 491 on front? I'm no canyon carver, mostly a cruiser with a the occasional "get outta the way of something bigger" moment for a mile or 10. I usually ride with a buddy who's on a Warrior. He can move!

Is there something I should look for in a front tire with all of this in mind or should I look at 2 new tires?
 

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AZ's Official Mechanic
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5,201 Posts
being youre not a corner carver any touring duty tire will do. the 491 is a decent tire.... just get another for the front and have fun......doesnt have to be the same but for the price its a peice of mind for you... oh and if the front is toast then the rear prob. isnt far behind it...
 

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Obsessed by Z1's
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520 Posts
You don't say what year bike. Front tires on the old KZ's are very important. The frame geometry dictates a ribbed or semi-ribbed front tire on most of these machines.

You CANNOT safely run radial tires on these bikes - you must stick with bias-ply tires. NEVER, EVER run a mix of radial and bias-ply tires.

Personally, I would always run tires of the same general tread compound. Rarely would I recommend intermixing different brands as the compounds grip differently.
 

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11,328 Posts
Motorcycle tires and batteries rarely last more than 5 years. Tires get consumed by the ozone and sunlight, batteries due to vibration and voltage fluctuations.

A good Battery Tender or similar charging system can extend the life of the battery when the bike sits unused for a while.

I use paste wax on the side walls of my bike to retard formation of cracks(apply some with a rag, and buff the excess off) unfortunately, no preservative can be used on the tread for obious reasons.
 

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Gasket Killer
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120 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Ah, sorry about that. It's an '82 KZ1000 K2 LTD.

The rear tire was put on last spring when the PO started riding it again. But he didn't change out the front tire. Now that I have it, checking things out in between cold spells, I noticed the sidewall cracking. The tread has seen better days for sure.

Why wouldn't a radial tire in the front not work? They used to say that on 18 wheelers, now radials are all over the place. There's not much weight on the front end, bulging isn't an issue and heat would no longer be an issue for the front.

I've always put radials on my rides, whenever I've had to replace the tires. My Connie was the longest I'd ever had a single bike, putting almost 55k miles on it alone. But she was heavier in the front than this thing.

I thought this old argument was dead a long time ago, hence the non-mention of radial vs. bias.
 

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Obsessed by Z1's
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520 Posts
Here's a little reading off the Dunlop web site.

"Bias and radial tires have significantly different dynamic properties. They deflect differently, create different cornering forces, have different damping characteristics, as well as other differences. In order for radial tires to be introduced into the two-wheel market, it was necessary to change certain characteristics of the motorcycle. The introduction of the radial tire led to such things as modified frames, new steering geometries and suspensions. Therefore, it is recommended that a motorcycle be used with the type of tire construction that it came with originally. If a change is to be made, then it should only be done if the motorcycle or tire manufacturer has approved the change. Above all, do not mix bias ply and radial tires on the same motorcycle unless it is with the approval of the motorcycle or tire manufacturer.

What they don't mention either, wheel rim construction is different, so you can have issues even getting a tire bead to seal correctly on the wrong style of rim.
 

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Gasket Killer
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120 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
So I'm guessing that the 491 is radial and Dunlop's site is pushing a bias, but they have no ridged tires. Bridgestone has a ridged tire, I have to get the front tire size to compare.

I'm not going to change out the rear tire as of yet. With only 2k miles on it, I'll just have to do some more burnouts to get it down there.

But if I were to put a radial on the front, what would a person do to prevent any adverse vibration or to decrease the head-shake that is inherent on these whoppers?
 

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Gasket Killer
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120 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
OK, never mind! The 491 is a bias ply tire, so I'm all good and bueno. Anyway, back to tire reccomendations!

Jeff, you mentioned the ridged front tire. Anything jump out as far a decent tire? I'm scouring through a bunch of tires this evening. I'm also allowing the wife to buy a lot of kitchen stuff for herself, thereby making it possible to continue to spend money on my new ride. You sell tires over there on Z1? Ah, I'll look anyway. I'm like a kid in a candy store over there.
 

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Gasket Killer
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120 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Going with the F24 Dunlop.
 

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This space for rent
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687 Posts
Here's a little reading off the Dunlop web site.

"Bias and radial tires have significantly different dynamic properties. They deflect differently, create different cornering forces, have different damping characteristics, as well as other differences. In order for radial tires to be introduced into the two-wheel market, it was necessary to change certain characteristics of the motorcycle. The introduction of the radial tire led to such things as modified frames, new steering geometries and suspensions. Therefore, it is recommended that a motorcycle be used with the type of tire construction that it came with originally. If a change is to be made, then it should only be done if the motorcycle or tire manufacturer has approved the change. Above all, do not mix bias ply and radial tires on the same motorcycle unless it is with the approval of the motorcycle or tire manufacturer.

What they don't mention either, wheel rim construction is different, so you can have issues even getting a tire bead to seal correctly on the wrong style of rim.
Hmm, 1980 KZ750E with 99 GSX750 forks and wheels, and 83 GPz750 swing arm. Do they even make a 170/60/17 bias tire? :mrgreen:
 
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