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Baby's got new shoes! AKA long tire review...

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Well, I've been tire shopping and decided on a pair of Conti Force SM's in 120/70HR-17 and 150/60HR-17. I ordered them through American Motorcycle Tire which worked out great. They were about $180 plus shipping, it came to $194 or so.

I've got an '06 SM with FCR, Yosh Ti and some other stuff, and ride it pretty hard in the mountains around my house in addition to commuting on it. So I'm hoping for a tire that will stick but not just burn up the center when commuting.

So, on to the review. First impression: They're round, they're black, so far they look OK! The tread design looks nice with plenty of rubber and what appears to be a fairly low void ratio. The front tire actually has no voids at all on the outer inch or so, once you get that thing leaned over far enough it's basically a slick. So I got out to the garage Sat morning and changed the tires. Nothing unusual here, they went on pretty easy, the beads seated at about 45psi for the front and 55 for the rear, and both tires balanced easily using just the OEM spoke weight with each ending up almost directly opposite the valve stem. The stickers on the tires advised 32 psi for SM use! Seems way to high even with what should be a softer construction than a standard sportbike tire. I was using 22 front and 23 or 4 rear on the Dunlops to minimize chatter. I decided to swag it and try 25f and 27r.

Now, how do they perform you ask? Read on... I got out on them today in the afternoon, it was a nice day with temps here around 70 - 80. They scrubbed in very quickly, and seemed to come right up to temp. They immediately felt very smooth in comparison to the dunlops. From day one I had some chatter issues on the stock tires, these felt very good right away. Within just a few miles I had them all the way to both edges, they were immediately confidence inspiring. I had the bike up to an indicated 105 at one point and they felt great. Very neutral in and out of corners, from vertical to full lean. Great grip, really, really nice! I backed into a few corners smoothly and spun the rear just a bit at high lean angles a couple of times, but I had to try hard to do it. Later, after we got up higher on a very tight road and I was working the tires pretty hard, I got both tires to slide just a tiny bit. This was while laid over with the footpeg touching down very slightly. The corner was slightly off camber too, and I had to push to make it happen. Not scary at all for a two wheel drift. I didn't have a gage with me or I would have checked the pressures with the tires hot. We found some sand on the road at higher elevations and it was no problem, where there was just a light dusting I felt no loss of traction. So far I'm stoked! Great tires for the price, now all I have to do is see how they hold up to some miles. I know this was long but I hope it helps someone out with a tire decision.

Doug

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sweet, thanks for the review Doug. I just got an older model pilot race to run through, I may try these next. Let us know how they hold up to commuting as my stock dunlops wore down the middle. Not enough twisties here. :applause:

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I'm runnin Pilot Powers myself, but have heard good things about the contis. May have to try them out!

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Good to hear that they have to potential to last a little while. So far I'm happy with their "sporting" performance, lets hope they can survive some commuting. :applause:

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+1 on the Conti force SM tires. About a 1000 miles on my pair and lots of smiles.:applause:

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Just a quick update on these tires. I've got about 450/500 miles on 'em so far and they're doing great. I'm back to about 22psi and 23psi front and rear respectively for back road thrashin' and I bump the rear up to 25+ for commuting.

Far superior tire compared to the stock dunlops, and if they last 2500 miles or better I'll be happy. The 150 rear is just right for this bike, the profiles seem to match very well front and rear, with both wearing well at the edges. I've got 'em pretty hot a few times now, so we'll see i f they hold up with the heat cycles.

So far I've got nothing to complain about, especially for the price. :bonk:

Doug

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Thanks for the update! I just purchased and had installed a set of the Conti's myself but haven't had them out yet (doing the Yosh Ti & Unabiker upgrade as well...) I got them for $206 for the set, tax incl, locally.

You said your front tire was a 120/ *60* HR17?? Is your rear a 150 or 160?? Both are available, although you list it as 150 in your first post and 160 in your last...

My set was 120/70HR17 Fr & 150/60HR17 Rr which is what Burned recommends for the SM... Does your 160 rear (if thats what it is) rub the chain?

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Oh boy, my BAD, looks like I'm not paying attention. Good catch on your part! Thanks, maybe I can hire you as my editor... I'll go back and fix both posts.

I never noticed that I typed 120/60 for the front. That was very sloppy of me, then I go and say the rear is a 160:thumbsdn: The front is a 120/70HR 17. The rear is a 150/60HR 17 ~ Good lord I hope I didn't lead someone astray...

I have the same size tires as yours, the 150 rear is a great fit, as you know. I wouldn't want a 160 rear on this bike.

Thanks for keeping an eye on me:excuseme:

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