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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm asking a question that I already know how most of you will answer, but want to see if anyone has an opinion that I haven't considered;

I recently bought a '17 SV650 (5k original miles) with a rear tire that's starting to get squared off, but that still has some decent tread/grip on the sides. It still handles ok; just a bit of an 'edge' to overcome each time I start the lean into turns as it comes off the flat middle patch.. I'm probably going to run it for a bit longer but look to replace it within 1-2k miles.

I have an old but unused Dunlop Sport-Touring tire 160/60x17 I have left over from ages ago, but it's been kept covered and in garage(s), out of the sun / elements / temperature cycles, etc. For a 5+ year old tire it still has a good appearance to it, and the rubber feels decent/

If I were to ask the forum's advice (or any seasoned rider) on running this old tire, I imagine most replies would say something like "don't risk it; it's not worth risking personal health / safety, etc."; I'd probably reply the same way if I read a similar inquiry on an online forum.. I already agree with you!

So I'll try to make my question a bit more specific; more like: what handling characteristics will be affected by riding on a tire that is time-degraded only, but nothing else (not UV, moisture, temperature)? I'm guessing the tire might lack overall traction as compared to a brand-newly manufactured tire, but it couldn't be less than 85-90% overall traction could it? Maybe it takes longer to warm-up and perform more poorly in wet-weather? Could it somehow be at a higher risk of jumping off the rim? If I ride it cautiously, might I get at least a few thousand miles from it (and then do some stunting / drifting / burnouts to finish it off??)? =)

Advice / suggestions? Thanks..

-K. Lim
Oakland CA

'17 SV650
'13 Super Tenere
 

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You know the answer. A tire with dry rot is more likely to blow out, was there any electricity in the area where it was stored? If so there is degradation. What could go wrong with lower traction? If you go down healing skin from road rash doesn't cost anything unless you have to pay for medical attention. You can ride slowly and be cautious, what happens when you have to take evasive maneuvers to avoid something in the road - runs on to the road - a car in your lane? When you need 100% and have 85-90% what could go wrong? On the plus side it's not jumping off the rim. Guaranteed to have less available traction, but heck not like it will lock up easier in a panic stop or slide more in a corner.

The original tire on a 2017 is already 4+ years, 5 years is generally accepted time to replace.
 

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I was recently in this position. I ran a good looking 5yo tire on the back and 8yo tire on the front for a couple of months just because I didn't want to drop $300 on new rubber (I had just dropped money on other stuff on the bike, trying to budget accordingly). I didn't wreck, but it wasn't smart. I only run in the dry and this was over the Summer so it was pretty much ideal traction conditions. They still squirmed all over the place. I replaced with my typical set of Pirellis and I felt like I had gotten my bike back. Old rubber is old rubber, pure and simple. It will get you by, but don't plan on being superman while you ride.
 

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You want a pragmatic answer? What's the point of riding a motorcycle if you're afraid that your tires might not be able to do whatever you ask of them?

Even if you were commuting or doing some long distance highway touring or other mostly upright riding, what if you encounter rain or someone cuts you off and you need to stop asap? I wouldn't want to be wondering in that moment just how much braking or swerving I could do before the tires give up on me.
 

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It depends on the type of tires you have and their manufacturing date.

What's the date on your unused sport touring tire? If it was stored in a garage it may last much longer than just 5 years and may be an alternative to the squared off stock tire. But generally speaking I cannot recommended using tires older than your bike.

However it's hard to believe your stock tire is already done at only 5k miles. I would just ride it to the wear limit then put a set of fresh tires on.
 

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Riding a Motorcycle has dangers enough. I'm not going to add to them by running suspect tires. My life is worth more than the cost of a bit of rubber.

My 2 cents.

 

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Three months ago I threw out a pair of tires with less than 200 miles on them. They were Pirelli Supercorsa SP V2 trackday tires. They had been sitting in the garage for years. They might have been fine; after all, I had only ridden on them a handful of times at a very relaxed pace.

All that said, I'm not willing to take the risk on a track bike, and the track is safer than the street in many respects. Yes, I'm accelerating and braking much harder, but there's no oncoming traffic or mailboxes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the feedback / input;

I recently bought the bike used; the former owner might have decided to send it off with some farewell burnouts, hence the line down the middle of the rear tire. The tread is still good on the rest of the tire, and the bike was in pretty good shape overall, so I didn't complain about it when purchasing.

My desire to re-use this old tire is probably related to:

a) resourcefulness; not wanting to waste materials / resources

b) confidence in my riding abilities; I'll be able to adapt to the condition

c) the tire is visibly in good condition (no cracks / deteriorated rubber)

d) justification of me paying for / holding onto this tire for so many years (!)

Maybe I'll mount it, ride it gently for a few hundred miles, slowly pushing its limits, and if it gives me any hint of compromised handling, quickly replace it.

The front tire is still decent; I'm trying to figure out if the minor handling issues I'm experiencing now is due to the squared off rear, the budget suspension, or a combination of the two. It's hard to explain exactly what it is, but typically occurs when I'm on a transition left-right or right-left, and too abrupt with the throttle, the bike sort of lurches and takes a split-second to settle back onto it's line.. if I'm smooth on the throttle / brakes it's not as noticeable.
 

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Sounds like you already decided to use before asking and looking for others that agreed. You can take it easy all day but when an emergency happens and you need 100% and only have 85% available is when it will matter.

Mismatched tires, different brands/models mixed can create strange handling, most recommend replacing front and rear at the same time with matching. A rear tire worn in the middle with a noticeable edge to the sides will not handle the same as a new tire and likely your handling problem.

The SV is a budget bike with lower cost suspension, a GSXR has better handling and brakes, contributors to the higher price.
 

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There are some very wise advice posted here, tire brands are very subjective topic. I'm still searching myself. OEM Dunlops went 5,950 miles: terrible tire. Bridgestone BT023 next got 9,000miles, good up grade. Next set another pair of BT023 for10,314 miles. Bridgestone T30 EVO went 6,736 miles, awesome handling tire but worn out fast. Michelin road 5 next for 6,800 miles, squared off fast. Currently running T31 Bridgestone tires, at 7,848. Close to wear bars and really squared off. I can honestly say that these tires no longer inspire confidence. Which tire next? All these tires are sport touring, extended tire mileage and performance I still haven't found. Old rubber is a bad choice and matching tires as a set works best. Good luck and be safe.
 

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If it is a top brand and model of tire, and shows no checking, I would run the tire and keep an eye on it for rapid wear or chunking. I change and balance my own tires so I don’t have to worry about the labor costs. If I had to pay someone to change tires I’d just buy a new tire.
 

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I’ll give you the answer you want to hear. I think the general internet consensus is overly conservative on this issue. I have yet to see anyone point to any real data on the five year limit. Dunlop recommends changing after “five or six” years. Michelin says after five years inspect regularly and change it regardless of condition after 10. And these guys make money selling tires.

The front on my current track bike is 6 years old (hasn’t been mine that whole time, I’m guessing it sat). I ride intermediate, no issue. It will get changed out this winter. I’ve heard of people racing on 8 year old tires. An ST tire should last longer than a softer sport/track tire.

But… I don’t think you ever actually said how old we are talking. How old is “ages”?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
wyb2, I like that, that's a good wholesome well-rounded reply. =) thank you!

looks like it's 2010 =/ I was just thinking about some of the replies, notably:

"Old rubber is old rubber"

and:

"When you need 100% and have 85-90% what could go wrong?"

I agree; the moment I'm demanding the full performance of the tire could be the time that I might regret mounting it. However, as a 'seasoned' (maybe overconfident?) rider I feel like I could run it for a few hundred miles, gently pushing the limits, and the moment I discover it's not performing as I'd like, order some new ones.

My only justification is that it's been covered in a garage out of the elements all this time.. I'm still on the fence

(I know some will reply "10 years??! No way I'd risk running that!!")

Automotive tire Font Tread Rectangle Tints and shades


Tire Wheel Plant Automotive tire Bicycle wheel
 

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we teach that tires older than 2 years have reduced grip. in a completely hypocritical move, i routinely send it on 5-6 year old tires (i'm a fairly ok rider and can ride through some occasional front/rear slides if they're not too bad). you will NEVER see me on an 11 year old tire. that tire is hitting puberty and will just say "no, dad" every time you ask it to do something...
 

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You correctly surmise that this forum is comprised mostly of mature, seasoned riders who care about each other. No one will publicly say, "yeah, it'll be fine, send it." Whether they would use that tire themselves or not.

Would you want to be the person to give questionable advice and then a few months later you find out that person took your advice and got hurt or killed?

That said, some people just have to fall for themselves rather than learn from the experience of others.
 

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11 years is pretty old. Want to do some testing for everyone’s benefit? Mount it, run some practice drills in a parking lot, and let us know how it does. Unrelated: you have frame sliders, right?

Thought experiment - what would you rather have under you in a 50mph sweeper: this 11 year old Roadsmart, or one of those knobby dual-sport tires that are popular on adventure bikes?
 

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This is funny. Tires, like oil, are SOOOO much better nowadays than they were a few decades ago, and all we can do on the internet is complain/argue about them. klimber27 is going to run an 11yo set of Dunlops on his bike. Period. If he rides hard, he will probably notice some squirm and hopefully be able to compensate for it. Old rubber is, after all, old rubber. He will probably be fine, but will eventually decide that $200 on a new set is worth the money because old rubber isn't as much fun as new. I would guess that we've all been in his shoes.
 

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very big dumb
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If he rides hard, he will probably notice some squirm and hopefully be able to compensate for it. Old rubber is, after all, old rubber. He will probably be fine
eh... 2010s might just put you on your ass leaving your driveway... they're gonna be pretty wooden.
if it stills smells and you can dig a fingernail into it... MAAAAYBE. but awful idea.

the silliest thing is, spending money to get them mounted just to find out they're trash (some more scrupulous shops might say "no we're not mounting it" )
 

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Would you bet your skiing season using a pair of 10 y.o. skis with rusty foils, or a pair of 10 y.o. polyurethane ski boots?
Would you play a tennis match with a racket using 10 y.o. strings?
Would you ... never mind ... you probably would.

I know I wouldn't do it simply because I would not enjoy it.
 

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eh... 2010s might just put you on your ass leaving your driveway... they're gonna be pretty wooden.
if it stills smells and you can dig a fingernail into it... MAAAAYBE. but awful idea.

the silliest thing is, spending money to get them mounted just to find out they're trash (some more scrupulous shops might say "no we're not mounting it" )
Legit. I've never run anything that old, 8 years is as vintage as I've gotten and it was not enjoyable. I would hope he's mounting these for free, accepting money to mount those would be a crime.
 
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