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Old 09-02-2018, 09:47 PM   #1
FasYankee
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Default Tire question

So I desperately need tires for the Paso. I took it out Friday just to cruise to work to get my check (ya, Wallingford is still in the dark ages....no internet in any town offices......no direct deposit.....) Anywho, the tires on the bike are either the original or 2nd set. Seeing as the bike has 11k on it and is almost 30 years old I'd wager that they're the 2nd set. So during the ride back I sat up and took my hands off the bars.....which proceeded to immediately shake violently. The tires are seriously squared off, especially the front that also has a slow leak (I checked the air pressure prior to leaving and when I returned from the 45mi round trip checked again and was at 20 psi), which is where my question starts. From the beginning of my relationship with this bike it has been STUPIDLY hard to steer. Like you need to put a shitton of pressure on the inside bar to get the bike to turn. Now I'm sure that some of this is due to the nature of the bike, but I have to wonder if the other reason is that the front tire is a 130/60/16. (Rear calls for a 160/60/16...those are the stock sizes). It just seems to me that the front tire is a little too large. I was thinking that running a 120/50*or60/16 would help the turn in be a little quicker. The tire selection for this bike is scarce......back in the 90's they hadn't figured out the tire sizes yet....Honda ran the 16 front on the 900RR till when.....2000?2001?.

I'm pretty sure I'm correct that the narrower tire will make the turn-in easier. Just wanted to get another opinion(s).

I gotta say though this bike is a fucking blast to ride otherwise. Such nostalgia.....such history.....It's comfy, makes all kinds of cool sounds and while it's not as super-awesome as Adam's Tuono (riding that thing has ruined me) it's no slouch.

I got accosted by this curmudgeon at a gas station in Wally who knew what it was and chewed my ear off for about 20 minutes--after he scared the shit out of me pulling into the parking lot like Starsky and Hutch--that he had one and regretted selling it. Said it was one of the blue ones (stupid rare) and he got wind that it was owned by someone in Middlewtown. He asked me if I'd sell it to him to which I was like, nah.....
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:32 AM   #2
richw
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I always think that Chapparal has all the tires


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Old 09-03-2018, 06:55 AM   #3
Imbeek
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Not sure about the size change, but squared up and going flat are both sure to make it feel crappy, even if the size/profile is good. If you end up sticking with the recommended sizes...or maybe better yet, to decide if you should change, have you tried raising the forks in the triple clamps a bit (so, more fork tube showing above the top clamp), and/or raising the rear ride height? I’m always blown away by the effectiveness of those adjustments on steering feel, but unfortunately, it’s not likely to help with the head shake. Almost certain to make that worse, but hopefully that is (totally) due to a shitty old out of balance and out of round tire, and will disappear with a new one. Then you can make it steer quicker without going so far as to introduce instability...

I had a bwm that was steering like crap (hard) once a long time age. turned out I let the steering head bearings get way too worn and stiff.
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:15 AM   #4
FasYankee
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Not sure I can adjust either end of the suspension like that. It has those bars that are above the top clamp (like heli-bars). Last year (maybe year before?) Seacost did a complete overhaul of the bike which included new steering head and swingarm bearings, rebuilt the forks (new oil/seals/wipers) and the shock (Marzocchi—Big deal to find parts for that) They also updated the entire electrical system, which was basically the major gripe with the bike when it was released.

I could up the preload in the rear, and honestly I haven’t set the sag yet. The bike doesn’t have wicked geometry as it was posed more as a sport-tourer aiming at competing with the likes of the VFR. I’m betting the tires (being old) are the culprit. Gonna start with a new set of baloneys (one change at a time) and then I’ll set the sag and then go from there.....
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:50 AM   #5
Imbeek
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Makes sense. I thought about mentioning sag in the rear, but if steering is slow, I doubt that is the culprit since I recall you aren’t very heavy, so it’s unlikely the bike is assuming a chopper stance with you on it..unless sea coast never even got the sag in the ballpark when they rebuilt the shock? Hopefully the fork springs (and preload, if applicable) are soft enough for your body weight...

Good luck with the changes; I hate being the guy with an answer to a question that wasn’t asked, it’s just that the fork height thing is free, quick, easily reversible, and very effective,for steering feel issues. If the bars won’t allow it, that really blows (I might try different bar clamps that would, if they are swappable!) All I can say is that even 1/8” (if that much can be accommodated) of fork height change usually results in a feel-able difference. But as you said, it’s going to need tires no matter what; only suggested tinkering with the settings before buying tires because it might help you decide which size to buy. Personally though, if the front is that old, squared off, and shimmying, I’d be not too thrilled about riding it at all until something fresh is on there, at,least on the front. Never owned a Ducati but I’d be shocked if handling cannot be dialed in with the recommended tire sizes.
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Old 09-03-2018, 01:02 PM   #6
FasYankee
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Yeah I raised the forks in my SuperDuke 5mm.....the difference was huge. I’m betting it’s the tires. I talked with my uncle (who I got the bike from) and he said that he never had an issue like what I described. Said the bike was always dead stable and nimble enough. He was surprised that I rode the bike on those tires though.....probably shouldn’t have but eh....nothing happened.

I shouldn’t have called the handlebars clip-on’s either.....they’re integral to the top clamp and the forks actually, in that there’s a plate bolted to each side of the top clamp which the handlebars come out of, and in the center of the plate is the top of the fork tube, with a schrader-type air valve. So there’s no adjusting that (with the exception of air). I have a set of AVON’s in my cart on revzilla.....I’m on the Paso forum, just gotta look there for tire recommendations before I buy them though. It was a big discussion because the OEM tires are no longer available and the pickings for 16” quality rubber was somewhat scarce.....
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Old 09-03-2018, 01:16 PM   #7
csmutty
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Maybe look at pirelli sport demons. Was the tire of code for first gen 16" ex500's.
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Old 09-06-2018, 12:55 PM   #8
FasYankee
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Maybe look at pirelli sport demons. Was the tire of code for first gen 16" ex500's.
Yeah they got them in 16s but wrong width/AR
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