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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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.
 

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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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^^ 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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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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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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Discussion Starter #8
^^ 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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Discussion Starter #9
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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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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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.
OK. I'm surprised at the resistance I'm getting on this.

What is the down-side to having good tires again?

Most of the time it may not matter, but in an instance where you need maximum traction it is going to matter. I get the whole - "you should be able to avoid needing to make emergency maneuvers and stops if you are a good rider"- thing, but there are going to be times when you are stuck reacting to a totally unexpected event. That's when it pays off.

If you consider yourself a "Sport" rider it's just part of basic cycle set-up.
 

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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.

Re reading your post, if you're not planning to seriously lean your bike, as in a twisty road or a track, I wouldn't put the more expensive touring tires that have double compound, soft compound on the sides and hard in the center, since you will not use the soft sides.
I would look for a single harder compound touring bike. It will last you the same or more and it'll cost you less. Most brands offer single compound touring tires, or it may also be a 'City' or 'Urban' tire.


As for the size, stock sizes are 110/70 in the front and 140/70 in the rear. You can go wider if you want to, but I don't think it will give you any benefit other than the look if you care.
You can go 120 in the front and 150 or 160 in the rear.


Remember that no tire will save you from a crash if you have the wrong attitude in the streets. Ride defensively and within your limits.
 

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OK. I'm surprised at the resistance I'm getting on this.

What is the down-side to having good tires again?

Most of the time it may not matter, but in an instance where you need maximum traction it is going to matter. I get the whole - "you should be able to avoid needing to make emergency maneuvers and stops if you are a good rider"- thing, but there are going to be times when you are stuck reacting to a totally unexpected event. That's when it pays off.

If you consider yourself a "Sport" rider it's just part of basic cycle set-up.
Just to make sure one thing's clear, I'm only referring to the OEM tires that come with a new bike. I'm not advocating for installing OEM tires (as a general rule) after the first set has been spent.

"What is the down-side to having good tires again?" - Having them, none. The same way there's no downside the changing your oil monthly. Besides economical, time and hassle, of course. But that doesn't mean it's necessary either. Let`s say someone drives somewhat legally in an urban/suburban setting and like most riders doesn't have an accident (I doubt we all crash our bikes yearly). What's the upside of wearing down a 250$ on a set of tires versus the set of effectively free, decent tires you already have installed? You'll have plenty of time to upgrade later, so there's no hurry.

All in all it boils down to:
- You're in no hurry, we're only talking about postponing the upgrade a handful of months. You can upgrade once their squared.
- It's an unnecessary expense. OEM tires aren't great, but they aren't manifestly unsafe either. If you don't trust the manufacturer to pick safe OEM tires, why would you trust them to build a safe bike?
- Like with other hobbies like photography, firearms and everything else, expensive top-shelf gear isn't a substitute for basic skills and training.
- Most accidents happen within the first 6 months of ownership, and most aren't due to subpar tires. You already failed if you truly need better tires.
- While the expense isn't huge, it isn't trivial either, and upgrade tires often last a lot less. If the expense of tires isn't important and has a hyphothetical benefit, than with that mindset why not change synthetic oil monthly?
- If the inevitability of an accident is just the difference between tires, then surely motorcycling is too dangerous to be worth engaging in. Just because the penalty is large does not mean that it's likely. Likewise, installing better tires doesn't guarantee you won't have an accident.
- Upgrading to expensive tires with better grip can be a motivating factor to push the bike's limits to test said grip while you should still be getting to know your bike. If not you're just turning good rubber into dust for nothing.

Anyway, that's way more than enough. I know this is just repeating what I already said, but oh well. Lately it's just a topic I've found myself thinking of. If anything what bothers me most is not being honest with ourselves. And I say this as someone that has thrown away 500 mile old OEM tires for some better rubber and then wondered why. If someone says "Just bought the bike and I'm going to put on some Diablo Rossa's because I can, they're cool and I want to" I have zero complaints and nothing to object to. It's the "You better change your OEM tires because if not you're going to total your bike" mentality that gets me. With the thousands of squids and recreational riders out there on OEM tires that don't crash on the first set, it's a sad state of affairs to consider ourselves less competent.
 

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Just to make sure one thing's clear, I'm only referring to the OEM tires that come with a new bike. I'm not advocating for installing OEM tires (as a general rule) after the first set has been spent.

Whereas I agree with you in sentiment, I'd like to point out a small exception: the Ninja 300 Winter Test Edition (in the USA) did NOT come with crappy tires, but instead with some pretty nice Battleax tires (and a 150mm wide rear).
 

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Anyway, that's way more than enough. I know this is just repeating what I already said, but oh well. Lately it's just a topic I've found myself thinking of. If anything what bothers me most is not being honest with ourselves. And I say this as someone that has thrown away 500 mile old OEM tires for some better rubber and then wondered why. If someone says "Just bought the bike and I'm going to put on some Diablo Rossa's because I can, they're cool and I want to" I have zero complaints and nothing to object to. It's the "You better change your OEM tires because if not you're going to total your bike" mentality that gets me. With the thousands of squids and recreational riders out there on OEM tires that don't crash on the first set, it's a sad state of affairs to consider ourselves less competent.
Well - thanks for the insults, but you have no idea of my competence, experience, or skill level, and no basis to question my decisions for replacing tires. I've never stated my opinions in the way you have interpreted and "quoted".

Your entire rationale is flawed. Mine is based on increasing the level of safety, for both new and experienced riders. Not sure how you can't agree with that.

We will not agree. It's up to the people who read this to decide who is right.

EDIT: I don't mind a heated debate on a subject, but it would be nice if we could stay on the side of being civil, and not getting into personal insults when we don't agree.

I don't agree with your point of view, but some do - which is fine. Having both sides of an arguments represented lets the reader decide which one he or she believes, and gives them more information to make their own decision on the subject.
 

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I'm not talking about you, @jkv45. Like I said: "Lately it's just a topic I've found myself thinking of", so it wouldn't make sense for the ideas to be against you. Don't take it personally, really. You're among the better informed people around here so I definitely have nothing but respect for you. This is just, like I said, a topic I already have thoughts about so I'm venting bottled up thoughts that may or may not have anything to do with this thread. The questions weren't challenging you, it's just the Socratic method type of reasoning. Likewise, quotes can be used in a lot of different ways and I didn't mean I was quoting you. Some denote alternate meanings and others are just representative placeholders for some other general opinions. A lot of the demeanor gets lost in text so don't take this personally at all. This would have been an awesome conversation around a few bottles of beer and the only feisty argument would've been who picks up the tab (You of course :p - I'll pay for the shots later).

"Your entire rationale is flawed. Mine is based on increasing the level of safety, for both new and experienced riders. Not sure how you can't agree with that."

Nah, the basis of my rationale is that if my number one priority was safety, I wouldn't get marginally better tires, I'd drive a car. It really boils down to that.

As a motorist in general and a motorcyclist in particular, you (royal you, not you in particular) have to come to terms with the fact that nothing - absolutely nothing - will guarantee your safety. You're vulnerable on two wheels. You can install the best tires in the world, and they're completely worthless if you hit a patch of loose gravel on a blind corner at excess speed. And to make matters worse, one has no idea of what type of accident one is going to encounter. Tires don't really help if you get side-swiped, or crash due to distraction. A top of the line helmet is great, but makes little difference if you get t-boned by a car.

I have zero evidence to back it up of course, but I'd bet my bike that those with a new motorcycle (inexperienced and veteran alike) would statistically have safer outcomes by subscribing and paying attention to channels like McRider, rather than by swapping okay tires for better tires. It's just my conclusion from things like the Hurt Report. Motorcycling is dangerous, but more often than not what makes it deadly is our own over-confidence and less than brilliant behavior. When you're starting off with that presuposition, putting prime focus on going from okay tires to better tires just seems to be attacking a secondary issue. I think there's something to be learned for all riders from driving with okay tires and not over-relying on sticky rubber to keep us from low-siding. It wouldn't make sense for us to argue over whether the "keep under 4500 rpm for the first 500 miles" in the owner's manual is due to over-zealous lawyers, but then reason that the same people installed death-trap tires.

Anyway, much love jkv45! If it weren't for conversations like these I would have been bored of this forum long ago so in no way do I regret it. If it sounds too serious, it's just my style but it isn't my intention.
 

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I'm a big fan of the Bridgestone S20 Evos, in stock size. I've got a set on my 300 now that are starting to get square from too much commuting, so I'll be swapping them soon, but likely with the same model. I wish Bridgestone would make the S21 or S22 in the 140 or 150 size.

I'm not sure they'r the "best" tire possible, it depends on what sort of riding you do, but I think what you feel comfortable with is more important. Confidence is everything for riding, and I've grown used to the 'stones on my 300, my 250 before that, my ZX6R and ZX10R, I put them on a Monster 796 I had before, they just feel familiar and comfortable to me.
 
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Anyways what tires should I put on my bike? I don’t want race tires or whatever.. I’m new and learning.
Is there a specific reason why you want to change the tires?
Stock ones are not the best but they are still good, I knee dragged on track with those, and it was my first track course ever!
@Gables_Ninja makes a good point about tires and safety (if that's the reason), and in general I think you should focus on learning with the bike stock before making changes.

But hey, your call. For the tires I tested:

I eventually changed my stock IRC's for Michelin's Pilot Power 2CT, they are amazing tires!
Really good grip in all conditions, dry, wet, I even went so far as to ride on melting snow/ice patches and didn't drop the bike.

Right now I had to replace the rear with a Shinko 003 (puncture) and, well, unless you want to drift I would advise against it!
I am able to do power slides which I never managed before on a 300...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
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.

Re reading your post, if you're not planning to seriously lean your bike, as in a twisty road or a track, I wouldn't put the more expensive touring tires that have double compound, soft compound on the sides and hard in the center, since you will not use the soft sides.
I would look for a single harder compound touring bike. It will last you the same or more and it'll cost you less. Most brands offer single compound touring tires, or it may also be a 'City' or 'Urban' tire.


As for the size, stock sizes are 110/70 in the front and 140/70 in the rear. You can go wider if you want to, but I don't think it will give you any benefit other than the look if you care.
You can go 120 in the front and 150 or 160 in the rear.


Remember that no tire will save you from a crash if you have the wrong attitude in the streets. Ride defensively and within your limits.
Thanks for help. I just got Michelin road 5s. I need a front now. Should I get 110 or 120? I know 110 is stock
 
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