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Re: The skinny on skinny tires...

I assume that you're going to put the (slightly) wider tire on the same wheel. Does the manufacturer of the tire offer any suggestions for what wheel widths that it works with? Don't know about motorcycle tires, but for my pickup truck, the better tire manufacturers offer charts for each size tire that includes the range in width of rims that can be fitted. The vehicle manufacturers (motorcycle or truck) usually say to use only the size that THEY fitted, so they're no help. Unless a tire manufacturer steps up and says that their tire will fit your rim, you'll be exploring new territory. BTW, what exactly do you hope to gain by going from a 130 to a 140? Looks? Performance? Squirmy sidewalls?
 

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Re: The skinny on skinny tires...

Stick to the original size ... "over tire-ing" a bike my cause some very nasty handling characteristics.

BTW, A bigger tire will not look much bigger as the narrow width of the std rim will simply force the tire into a more rounded profile. The only way to go bigger is to go for wider rim to suit the wider tire.
 

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Re: The skinny on skinny tires...

About 15 years ago I thought it would look cool to put a wider tire on the stock wheel of my 900 Ninja. Handled like crap. Keep the stock size.
 

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Re: The skinny on skinny tires...

I'm a believer that bike manufacturers did not chose tire size because of some economic benefit to them, but rather that size made the bike handle the best. They really do want to sell more bikes, and unless the manufacturer is a novelty type (Indian, etc), I always stick to the OEM size. Just MHO.
 

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Re: The skinny on skinny tires...

Yes, there are rim width requirements for each size tire. Go to the tire mfr sites for this info. Don't forget that a wider tire might rub against something (like your chain) depending on your clearances. Just one size wider might work, or not. I wouldn't do it.
 

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Re: The skinny on skinny tires...

I've never understood the compulsion to put wide tyres on bikes. So many people stick 180 rears (with new rims, mind) on SV650s - why? Cause the squids think it looks cool! No benefit, just more expensive tyres to replace. I think the same goes in this case.
 

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Re: The skinny on skinny tires...

What they said, re stick to original size, BUT, what is even more important is that you don't change the profile, ferinstance, your tire is likely a 130/80 which means that the height is 80% of the width. Going from a 130/80 to a 140/80 probably won't make much difference, other than clearance issues, but if you were to go to a 140/70 (if there is such a thing) it would cause major problems, as wide profile tires require wider rims. The major tire manufacturers have websites with the aforemention fitment guides for tires with recommended, minimum and maximum rim sizes. Use those and at least your choice will be safe. Needless to say manufacturers recommendations only apply to their products, so if say Michelin says a particular size of tire they sell is OK for you rim doesn't necessarily mean the same size dunlop is OK as well.
 

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Keep in mind the profile relationship between the front & rear will effect handling as well. I currently have a 190 rear (oem) and will be changing to a 180 when the time comes.

IMO, the 190 profile is too "flat" for the 120 front.

I would keep the stock 130. And if you think a 140 will improve handling, go to some vintage races and watch those guys drag everything on some really skinny tires.
 

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It's "Low" profile, not "Wide" profile

140/80's and 140/70's have the same cross section Width --- 140 mm (assuming we filter out brand and manufacturing variances)

A lower aspect ratio number (70 vs. 80) is generally referred to as a "Lower" profile.

Generally, lower profile tires "narrow" the choice of approved rim sizes because they have less sidewall to accommodate multiple widths.
 

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Re: Why??

Bigger contact patch. The thinking is that a wider contact patch will result in better handling. Isn't that generally true?
 

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Thanks for the input. Are wider tires (180 series) on many new bikes a styling thing... or are they better handling?
 

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Re: The skinny on skinny tires...

I want the best handling setup possible. I was thinking that wider tire = bigger contact patch = better grip and handling. Why do many newer bikes come stock with 180 and 190 series tires? Are they just for looks or are they truly offer better performance?
 

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Re: The skinny on skinny tires...

Nope. The best handling out will be the size the manufacturer recommends.

If you widen the back (both rim and tire) the bike will resist turning. It will take more effort to initiate a lean and it will want to upright itself once in the turn.

Modern bikes are designed for wide tires and consequently work with those tires. Even so, you are not going to see sport bikes with 240-250 on the back anytime soon.

Simply sticking on a bigger tire is not a good thing to do. The rim needs to be wide enough to handle the tire it supports.

I suspect you have 3" rim width. May years ago I put a 150 on my ‘84 GPZ900R (3" rim width) and the handling became very very strange. Each time I went into a lean it felt as though the rear wheel had gone over an imperfection like a deep rut. It actually seemed to step-out an inch or each time I leaned into a corner which, believe me, it was very unnerving.

Being to much of a hot head to go back to a 130, I had the rim widened to 4 1/4" which got rid of the strange step-out, but the bike then really resisted leaning. I ended up dropping the front 1 1/2 and raising the rear an inch. That caused even more problems – but I digress.

Try it if you like but if you do find the bike behaving funny simply go back to the manufacturers recommended size. It may not look as cool, but ending up injuring yourself is worse.
 

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The newer bikes are engineered to make use of these tires from the beginning. To answer your question, yes to both. 180 width tires on the rear are pretty much the sportbike standard for middleweights these days, so all the bikes look best with them, and they also perform best with them.



You can usually go 10mm wider without too much wierdness going on. However, the previouse comments are indeed true. Youre bike was engineered with 130's in mind, so it will perform best with 130's.
 

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Re: The skinny on skinny tires...

Thanks for the input! I think I'll heed your advice and stay "skinny".
 

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I feel the 180 is a pretty resonable size for current sport bikes. You still have a large contact patch while retaining a round profile. I think the 190 was put on a lot of bikes for "bigger is better" and many owners have replaced them with 180s for a quicker response.

A few bikes the 190s were oem for bragging rights, (GXSR-750, ZX-9, 998, Daytona) could benefit from a 180. Ask the hotshots here; I don't think you can get a 190 on those bikes "feathered" to the edge before you get into trouble.
 
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