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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know the title may seem odd, but here's my situation. I had open heart surgery about 15 years ago and had to get a mechanical heart valve put in, which requires me to be on blood thinners for the rest of my life. Needless to say, if I get into a serious crash, I'm likely screwed. So I rode for a few more years after my surgery, sold my KTM Superduke 1290 with titanium exhaust (most incredible motorcycle I've ever ridden in 40 years of riding, by the way), and got a Honda VFR 800. Really enjoyed that bike, then a couple years ago I realized maybe I was pushing my luck with riding and sold it. So I sold it and got a Mustang GT, figuring I could have something fun and fast and not worry so much about safety.

Fast forward to this year...the Mustang was sold (too impractical), and the bike bug never left. I'd kept all my gear and decided to get back into riding. I rationalized it by A., you've got to live your life, B., I've ridden extensively for over 40 years, much of it rain or shine, and only dropped my bike a few times in the first few years of riding, C., I have the luxury of riding only for pleasure, so I can minimize heavy traffic and bad weather, and D., I friggin missed it.

Needless to say, I ride fully geared up at all times...custom Vanson leather jacket with back protector, Arai helmet, Bohn padded leggings, Kevlar slider jeans, full boots, racing gloves.

So I got the SV and I'm digging it. I'm doing the usual mods to it...louder horn, lower handlebars, EBC brake pads with Spiegler lines. Mostly safety related stuff.

My question is, would it be worth it to replace the tires (I only have 700 miles on it) to get some that have maximum traction? I am NOT an aggressive rider...my "fast" pace is likely a fast rider's 7 out of 10. But I've gone down the rabbit hole in watching youtube videos, and I've watched countless people go down in turns where, while they were going faster than I would, it was still a little surprising to see the sudden lack of traction.

My thought is, if I'm ever in a turn and need to tighter due to an emergency or underestimating the turn, I want to feel confident that the bike will be able to handle it if I have to really go tighter, rather than sliding out. I think having more grippy tires increases the odds here. I also want tires that can handle braking extremely well. So I'm thinking of getting a more sport oriented tire, and just knowing I'll likely never need all the traction they can provide, and that I'll replace them more often than I'd otherwise need to. I'll likely never NEED the extra traction, but in my case it may be worth the peace of mind.

I don't ride many miles, I'm imagining it will be maybe 7000 a year, maybe less. Mostly commuting and light corner carving, with the occasional 500 mile trip. I ride almost exclusively in dry conditions here in the Bay Area. If I ride in the rain it means I got caught in it, and that's not at all likely. I'm not exactly rolling in the dough, but at that rate if I replaced a set of tires each year to be more safe, I'd feel okay with it.

Mine has the Dunlop Roadsmart III tires, which seem to have pretty good reviews. I'd appreciate any of your input or suggestions. I know some may say I shouldn't ride at all, but it's been an important part of my life for the majority of it, so I will just try to be as cautious as I can and roll the dice. And, given that the current tires only have 700 miles, I can likely sell them and recoup some of the cost of the new tires.

Lastly, I plan to take a riding course...even though I've ridden for so long and for so many miles, I don't feel I corner especially well and am rather cautious I know the bike is far more capable than me.

Thank you for your feedback and suggestions.
 

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Better tires are ALWAYS better ;), but I replace them when they wear out which is typically twice a year for the back, a little less for the front. I switch tire brands/modelsetc. when I want something different out of them, which lately has just been dry weather traction. I'm partial to Pirelli's Rosso 3s but you may look into a long lasting sport touring tire for your needs.

It sounds like you've put a lot of thought into this. If you have a spare $300 you don't know what to do with you may as well buy tires. They are just about the most important consumable on a bike.
 

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I've had a lot of experience with Roadsmart IIs and I was pleasantly surprised when my new '19 SV came with the Roadsmart IIIs. Also, when I needed tires for my '17 Z900 I went with Roadsmart IIIs. I traded in an '08 Concours 14 on the SV and I had gone through two sets of RS IIs on that bike. I rode the Concours mostly on two lane curvy roads, wore the tires to the edges, and always had confidence in the tires despite it being a heavy bike. I understand your problem, but I think you're worrying needlessly. Keep the tires you've got.
 

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I'll also add that the tires feel planted, I like them. Recently traded bikes with a much better rider while on a ride with friends. I rode his 600 and he on my sv with Roadsmart IIIs. I was a little concerned how low he leaned into turns. I shared this with him and he said the "stock tires feel good".
 

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There's a DOT code on the sidewall of your tires with four digits inside an oval — those four digits tell you the manufacturing date of your tires. The first two digits indicate the week of the year when the tire was made and the second pair of digits indicate the year. For example, (0615) would indicate a tire manufactured mid-February of 2015.

As a rule of thumb, you should not ride with tires that are older than two or three years on a motorcycle —EVEN WHEN THEY DON'T LOOK WORN OUT— as they start degrading and drying out from the moment they are made, losing their ability to maintain traction, which could be the difference between life and death under cornering and/or hard braking circumstances. Heat, humidity and UV cycles will only accelerate such degradation.
 

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You're really in that no wrong answer middle area in my opinion.

You sound like you have a lot of experience and are a generally cautious rider, not an invincible testosterone driven 20 year old, so you could probably safely wear out the tires that are on the bike.

On the other hand, it's your bike and your @$$, so if you don't feel comfortable with the tires on it, by all means, upgrade. Confidence in your bike will help you ride better, and that's worth something.

Although, if I didn't feel confident in the tires to the point of replacing them, I wouldn't sell them, unless the buyer just planned to roast them off the bike at the next burn out contest.
 

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Well I'm 59 yrs old, own 3 bikes (SV, MT07, RC390), ridden since I was 16, and have had the same concerns as yourself concerning tires. I used to have Road smarts, pilot roads etc...now I use Bridgestone S22's and get about 3000 miles on a set. Note: Mileage is not a concern of mine, grip is. I use these tires as I have never had them slip and I ride strictly on the curvy mountainous roads of eastern Tennessee. I can get them overnight from Rocky Mt. ATV/Motorcycle site for a good price with rebates most of the time. I also purchased a No-mar tire changer and balancer so I can save some cash and why pay a mechanic to screw up your rims.
If your questioning your tires, get better tires, it's not worth the worry.

BATTLAX | BATTLAX HYPERSPORT S22 | Motorcycle Tires | Bridgestone Corporation
 

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Well I'm 59 yrs old, own 3 bikes (SV, MT07, RC390), ridden since I was 16, and have had the same concerns as yourself concerning tires. I used to have Road smarts, pilot roads etc...now I use Bridgestone S22's and get about 3000 miles on a set. Note: Mileage is not a concern of mine, grip is. I use these tires as I have never had them slip and I ride strictly on the curvy mountainous roads of eastern Tennessee. I can get them overnight from Rocky Mt. ATV/Motorcycle site for a good price with rebates most of the time. I also purchased a No-mar tire changer and balancer so I can save some cash and why pay a mechanic to screw up your rims.
If your questioning your tires, get better tires, it's not worth the worry.

BATTLAX | BATTLAX HYPERSPORT S22 | Motorcycle Tires | Bridgestone Corporation
I used to run Battleaxes on my old CBR1000F and found them to be nice and sticky. It sounds like you use your bikes the same way I do, maybe I should give them another shot when the time comes. 3000 miles sounds about right, I get 4500 out of the Pirellis but the grip is gone by 3500ish.
What part of eastern TN? I have family out around Clinton.
 

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This really depends on YOU! do you feel safe? do you like your tires? If it's a yes, then keep them. If you want to change and money isn't the issue; then change.

One thing that could push you to change the tires, is their age. A tire age expectensy is 5 to 6 years, and not 2 to 3 like someone has said before. a 2 year old tire is fresh in reality. Rubber Oxydation takes a long time. we're not talking about food here. Obviously certain factors can increase or decrease that time. maybe the person lives in a humid, cold area and has seen rapid oxydation, but it is nowhere normal.
 

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I live in Athens, Tn.
I'm not dragging my foot pegs or knees but I ride at a swift pace. I should say when I change tires the front still has life left, I just got tired of a new rear and worn front game so I just change as a set anymore. I tried the Bridgestone T31 sport touring tires and they were OK but the S22's I have total confidence in. I previously had run Dunlop Qualifiers for years but they seemed to wear quicker and felt a little stiffer. I also have tried Michelin 2CT's they wore about same as the Bridgestone's but they felt spongy the first few hundred miles. Really all 3 are good but you can get Bridgestone S22's at a cheaper price than the other two.

56132
 

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If your OEM Roadsmart IIIs are the same as the standard Roadsmarts IIIs - I'd say you are good. Sometimes OEM tires are not the same as the tires produced for retail sale.

One thing to note about "sticky" sport tires - they suck when cold. I've been running a full-sport tire (currently Michelin RSs) since back in the day, but will change to a sport touring tire next time. Until my RSs are up to temp they aren't very good, and with short trips and colder temps that doesn't always happen.

My son has been running Roadsmart IIIs on his VFR for a while (2 sets) and really likes them - good traction and wear. He pushes them pretty hard at times, and feels they are up to it.

As noted - check the production date. If they are 3 or 4 years old it may be time to replace them, but if not I think they are more than adequate. Always make sure pressures are correct.

I did replace the OEM Dunlop 220s on my new 2006 SVn after about 500 miles, but there was absolutely no question in my mind that I didn't like them - but others have run them until the wear bars show up (and past) without any complaints.
 

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One thing I would add: I did a track day a few years ago and before I did, swapped from sport touring michelin pilot road 2s to the new at the time sport michelin pilot power 3s. At the shop, I spoke with someone who said they had been to the track and been knee down on road 2s, so I shouldn't worry as much about needing full sport tires if sport touring tires were a better fit.

Thankfully I somehow wear out my tires 1/2 as fast as pretty much everyone else. I got 18,000 miles from my Road 2s and I get around 12,000 from power 3s. So now that I am riding more like 3,000 miles a year instead of 12,000 miles, I enjoy the extra grip and sportier profile of the power 3s.

I will echo what was said above about sport tires being sketchy in cold temps. Road 2s were no problem down as cold as I'd ever want to ride. Power 3s are slippery until they warm up when it's below about 45F.
 

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To the OP, watching a good rider carve up curves knee down on my bike with your same tires really made a HUGE impact in my confidence and riding. I got back on my bike and went immediately much deeper in my lean angle knowing it was possible. That ride that day was in your area, Pescadero.
 

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I went with Continental Road Attack 3 tires for my SV after the stock tires wore out. They are nice and sticky and didn't require any scrub-in. I have about 2000 miles on them so far and they still feel amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Really appreciate all your thoughtful replies. I think I'm going to ride these for a while and see if they feel as confidence inspiring as the reviews seem to indicate. I'm used to stock tires being rather inferior...seems these may be pretty solid. Thanks!
 

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I take a little different approach. I live in the Bay Area, too. (North bay) For the last 5 years or so I use 90/10 tires on my SV, V-Strom and Royal Enfield 650/. Because the roads are 90/10. There isn't anyone out here sweeping the corners for me. And as you know, out in the countryside we get that little strip of sand/gravel between the car tracks in our lane. We also get a fair amount of water running across the shady turns until mid-June. In particular, I use the Avon TrailRiders. If you read the technical descriptions on the UK web site you might agree that they have a lot of nice features. I ride them edge to edge and never get that OhChit feeling even if I have underestimated a corner and need a correction. On dry roads you will never even notice that 10%. On the occasions when the road turns nasty, you will love that 10% that the "track-day" tires just don't have.
 
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