What kind of tires are the best for Ninja 300? Brand, etc (Not for racing) - Kawasaki Ninja 300 Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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Hello just bought a bike off Craigslist and looking to replace the tires. This is my first bike so I’m lost. Anyways what tires should I put on my bike? I don’t want race tires or whatever.. I’m new and learning. I just want tires to ride around, ride to work, and to the store. I want to be able to ride on highway as well (for work). Thanks for your help

I’ve been researching would sport touring be good? Looking for your guys opinions since you guys are the experts lol.

Also I know the sizes for the front and back tires.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 07:37 AM
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FortNine - Motorcycle Tire Comparison - Best Sport, Adventure & Touring Tires of 2019

On the other hand, if you just want first-price tires to treat as consumables, just go on a couple online motorcycle stores and search for tires, sort price from 'Low to High' and research the cheapest tires with good-enough reviews. I normally find the best prices on eBay, but YMMV.

I've personally migrated to the opinion that it's the rider's mindset and skills that keep you out of an accident in 97% of cases, with only 3% or less being accidents that aren't the riders fault and better tires would have prevented. But you'll find plenty of people, here and elsewhere, happy to tell you that stock and equivalent tires are death traps and to upgrade, so just think about what you want and stick to it.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Neekmill View Post
Hello just bought a bike off Craigslist and looking to replace the tires. This is my first bike so Iím lost. Anyways what tires should I put on my bike? I donít want race tires or whatever.. Iím new and learning. I just want tires to ride around, ride to work, and to the store. I want to be able to ride on highway as well (for work). Thanks for your help

Iíve been researching would sport touring be good? Looking for your guys opinions since you guys are the experts lol.

Also I know the sizes for the front and back tires.
The latest Sport Touring tires are very good - sometimes better than the latest Sport tires for street use.

I'm currently running Michelin RSs (Sport tire) on one of my street bikes. Great tire, in the right conditions. When they are hot they are great, but many times the temperatures and short trips keep them under their optimum temp, so they will move around a bit.

My son has Dunlop Roadsmart IIIs (Sport Touring tire) on his VFR, and doesn't have the same issues. He loves them and is on his second set.

Sport Touring tires are usually designed for optimum performance in cooler temps. He pushes the VFR pretty hard at times, and the Roadsmarts haven't let him down.

After almost 40 years on the street with Sport tires, I'm ready to make the switch.

I believe you always want fresh quality tires on a cycle. I've throw away new OEM tires with 500 mi on them because they weren't good enough. It's not worth it to me to drop the bike just because the tires aren't adequate.

In the event that you need to haul it down quickly, you want a tire on the front with good traction that isn't going to lock easily. An old or mediocre tire isn't going to provide the traction when you need it the most.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 09:47 AM
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Also worth keeping in mind is that an absurdly large proportion of accidents are within the first 6 months of a motorcycle's ownership. And that goes for both new riders and veteran riders alike. Be honest with yourself about how you'll ride, and how you'd ride with better tires. It's one thing to use tires as a safety net, and another thing completely as an excuse to touch knee.

I personally think tires should be upgraded at 0 either miles (when at least you can resell them easily) or if not wait until they are roughly spent - they're supposed to be consumed and replaced on a routine basis anyway. Keeping OEM tires until they're spent helps my self-control since I don't feel like it's wise to push it. On the other hand if I slap on some Dunlop race tires, I know I'm going to want to push the bike to its limits... and that's when accidents happen. Especially on a bike you're new to. Considering OEM tires as "training wheels" of sorts just makes sense in a lot of different ways.

Now if the tires are already gonners, in an unknown condition or showing signs of damage, definitely level up.

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 12:16 PM
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^^ What they said.

I got the Michelin Pilot Road 5. Very good tires. More expensive at the time of buying, but they should last you longer than sport tires.

The only thing about big brand touring tires for the N300 is that I couldn't find the size 110/70 for the front. All I saw was the more popular 120/60, and that's what I got.
The 120/60 gets a bit pinched in the rim and you don't get to use the edge of the tire. When leaning to the edge, you're a bit more on the hard compound in the center, and a bit less on the soft compound in the shoulder. It's not bad for the street, as you won't be leaning up to the edge.

As for the rear, I got the 150/70, which many claim to be a better choice for the N300 than the stock size, 140/70.
The 150/70 sits well on the rim and I get to use the whole thing. No chicken strip on the rear.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Gables_Ninja View Post
Also worth keeping mine is that an absurdly large proportion of accidents are within the first 6 months of a motorcycle's ownership. And that goes for both new riders and veteran riders alike. Be honest with yourself about how you'll ride, and how you'd ride with better tires. It's one thing to use tires as a safety net, and another thing completely as an excuse to touch knee.

I personally think tires should be upgraded at 0 either miles (when at least you can resell them easily) or if not wait until they are roughly spent - they're supposed to be consumed and replaced on a routine basis anyway. Keeping OEM tires until they're spent helps my self-control since I don't feel like it's wise to push it. On the other hand if I slap on some Dunlop race tires, I know I'm going to want to push the bike to its limits... and that's when accidents happen. Especially on a bike you're new to. Considering OEM tires as "training wheels" of sorts just makes sense in a lot of different ways.

Now if the tires are already gonners, in an unknown condition or showing signs of damage, definitely level up.
Tires shouldn't dictate how you ride. I never push a cycle to its limits on the street anyway.

I ride the same with whatever tires I have on, but the level of safety is increased with a fresh high quality set of tires.

If you need to make a quick direction change or stop quickly, a crappy OEM tire isn't going to respond like a fresh quality tire.

Now some OEM tires are fine, but the ones I've replaced (Dunlops) would squirm and slide at a moderate pace, and generally provided odd handling.

A new set of quality tires and my cycle felt completely different and much more predictable. The difference was easily noticeable in normal day to day riding at moderate levels any time you turned a corner.

The cost of tires is irrelevant to me. The consequences of using a questionable set of tires past their prime is too high, and ultimately way more expensive, compared to replacing them with a quality set.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 04:17 PM
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Tires shouldn't dictate how you ride. I never push a cycle to its limits on the street anyway.
Tires shouldn't dictate how you ride, just like the sound of one's slip-on exhaust shouldn't, but they do. It's just human nature for most people. If one wasn't going to drive a sporty vehicle somewhat aggressively, it isn't really that savvy a purchase to begin with (as in there are more convenient options).

"If you need to make a quick direction change or stop quickly, a crappy OEM tire isn't going to respond like a fresh quality tire" - If that's the case for someone, 9 times out of ten they already made the mistake before the accident was inevitable. Just speak with any motorcycle instructor and watch him chuckle at how many people say that tires were the cause of their accident. Or look at accidents statistics where booze, lack of licensing (read competence), speed, inattention and user error are at fault for most accidents. Again, I'm not saying better tires won't help, but they are relatively low on the list of safety priorities when starting with an OEM tire in normal condition.

"The cost of tires is irrelevant to me. The consequences of using a questionable set of tires past their prime is too high, and ultimately way more expensive, compared to replacing them with a quality set." - Talking about the cost of a potential is hard to do objectively. I imagine it's safe to say that at least 90% of people who don't care enough about their vehicle to join a forum to talk about it ride OEM tires until they're more or less spent without issues or tire-related accidents. So to take an accident for granted if I don't upgrade my tires right away gives me a bit of cognitive dissonance. For regular street riding, if the need to upgrade right away is so great, the only message I take away is that they're not riding enough miles to begin with. After all, it's not like tires last that long anyway. 3-7k miles and it's already going to be a bit squared and worn enough to justify upgrading.

Anyway, I've long since realized that using OEM tires is potentially the most controversial topic on this forum, even more than oil. I find it a bit amusing. I don't disagree on the benefits though, just the urgency or inevitability of an accident for normal riders.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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^^ What they said.

I got the Michelin Pilot Road 5. Very good tires. More expensive at the time of buying, but they should last you longer than sport tires.

The only thing about big brand touring tires for the N300 is that I couldn't find the size 110/70 for the front. All I saw was the more popular 120/60, and that's what I got.
The 120/60 gets a bit pinched in the rim and you don't get to use the edge of the tire. When leaning to the edge, you're a bit more on the hard compound in the center, and a bit less on the soft compound in the shoulder. It's not bad for the street, as you won't be leaning up to the edge.

As for the rear, I got the 150/70, which many claim to be a better choice for the N300 than the stock size, 140/70.
The 150/70 sits well on the rim and I get to use the whole thing. No chicken strip on the rear.
so what did you use on the front tire? Since you said this tire is good I will most likely buy it.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Neekmill View Post
Hello just bought a bike off Craigslist and looking to replace the tires. This is my first bike so I’m lost. Anyways what tires should I put on my bike? I don’t want race tires or whatever.. I’m new and learning. I just want tires to ride around, ride to work, and to the store. I want to be able to ride on highway as well (for work). Thanks for your help

I’ve been researching would sport touring be good? Looking for your guys opinions since you guys are the experts lol.

Also I know the sizes for the front and back tires.
The latest Sport Touring tires are very good - sometimes better than the latest Sport tires for street use.

I'm currently running Michelin RSs (Sport tire) on one of my street bikes. Great tire, in the right conditions. When they are hot they are great, but many times the temperatures and short trips keep them under their optimum temp, so they will move around a bit.

My son has Dunlop Roadsmart IIIs (Sport Touring tire) on his VFR, and doesn't have the same issues. He loves them and is on his second set.

Sport Touring tires are usually designed for optimum performance in cooler temps. He pushes the VFR pretty hard at times, and the Roadsmarts haven't let him down.

After almost 40 years on the street with Sport tires, I'm ready to make the switch.

I believe you always want fresh quality tires on a cycle. I've throw away new OEM tires with 500 mi on them because they weren't good enough. It's not worth it to me to drop the bike just because the tires aren't adequate.

In the event that you need to haul it down quickly, you want a tire on the front with good traction that isn't going to lock easily. An old or mediocre tire isn't going to provide the traction when you need it the most.
so you think the dunloops are better yours? I guess I’ll buy those then!
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 09:31 PM
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so what did you use on the front tire? Since you said this tire is good I will most likely buy it.
I got the set of Pilot Road 5, both front and rear.
I wanted sport touring tires and didn't care much about the front being a 120 instead of a 110. I ride mainly street and some track days. I ride all year round in South Florida, and in the summer we get a lot of rain.
These tires are supposed to hold well in the rain, and as far as I can tell, they hold.

I've done two track days already on these and I like them. They are good enogh for my pace, low intermediate I'd say.
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