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For Those Who Have Ridden On Old Style Tyres As Well

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I have extensive experience riding on diagonal tyres and fairly limited experience with radials; Dunlop D205s on my Sprint 900 and Katana 600, Pirelli Angels on the Sprint 900 and Daytona 900 as well as BT001/014 combo on the latter bike. Also, Dunlop D208s, Bridgestone BT090, Nankang something and Michelin Pilot on the CB400SF.


I liked the Pirelli Angels because they made the bike handle more like I'm used to. I wouldn't say grip felt appreciably better than the diagonals I'm used to for road riding - I could make the rear slide from lean alone on coarse tarmac, just as with "normal" tyres. Neither of the tyres in question impressed me when it came to outright grip other than the BT001 in the softest mixture - it would only slide when cold and when warm I didn't have the guts to get close to its limits because I couldn't "read" it.


Enough about that. I currently have some Heidenaus on my Z650 and I think they are splendid. Never let go even when I've slammed the centre stand tang down hard and they grip from the first yard. For track they would likely overheat immediately, but as a road tyre they perform great. I also feel that diagonal tyres are much more direct than radials. To me, radials often feels a little vague, as if you first turn the handlebars and then the tyre follow a split second later.


I like the comfort most radials offer, but at my limited pace diagonals seems to work better. Most doesn't need any warm-up time, they communicate what's going on between the road and the tarmac well and their narrowness makes the bike less likely to react to bumps. Yes, there are very crappy diagonals as well, so it's not just black and white, but I feel more confident on the better diagonals than I have on the radials I've tried. I also strongly disliked the Bridgestone BT45s, a diagonal tyre I have later heard some say mimic radials in the way they behave.


So, am I totally wrong? Have I just not ridden hard enough to make radials work? Or have I used inferior radials/wrong types for my easy riding? Or have my bikes been too old to take advantage of the radials? Or do the older type of tyre offer some advantages?

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do you mean bias build tires?

radials (usually) offer lighter weight and heavier load bearing imho...

lighter unsprung weight = more compliant suspension

heavierr load bearing = more direct feel at same pressures.


but if radials make your bike flinchy, then there MIGHT be a big problem with the rebound damping in the suspension system (much less of a problem with modern cartridge system shock/forks)


older bikes with damper rod systems tend to have this; bias tires with more weight helps keep part of the problem in check thou~

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Only one of these bikes - the Katana - were tried with bias ply (which should be the same as diagonal, I'm told :unsure: ) and there were pros and cons. The biggest con with the radials were a dangerous lack of grip on worn tarmac, even worse when wet. On asphalt they were good, wet and dry. Fitting "normal" tyres made grip more predicable.


My personal feeling is that radials, regardless of load rating, fail to give the same direct feeling as bias ply. Also, the seem to work well over a narrower temperature range.

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imho could be the tire compound as well...

but there IS less flex on radials , which can lean to warm ing problems and road holding capabilities on worn tarmac


bias has more flex but the tradeoff is they are more prone to overheating during long stints


michelun pilot road 4's have this hybrid construction that mixes radial and bias pros into a tire, u might wanna givvit a look ^^

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  • 2 weeks later...

Michelin is producing the pilot road 4's which is a mix... wonder if it will be best of both worlds or just an over hyped product...



on the other hand, the new Dunlop D211 GP-A PRO's whith manufacturer approved flippability (rear only) really brings up a financial advantage to the racer!


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