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The Toad
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You're main concern is ice. If you hit a patch of ice you will have no absolutely control unless you are using spiked ice racing tires. If you hit ice while turning you will probably low side. If the patch is very small you may start to low side and then high side when your wheels go back on pavemnet and start to grip. I have other fanatical riding friends and none of us ride when ice is possible.



Your choice.
 

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I've never heard of a "winter" tire. You might look for a tire with an aggressive tread or siping pattern to remove water, but I've never heard of a tire advertised for freezing weather or ice, for obvious reasons. That's not to say that you can't ride in freezing weather, or even on ice - I've done it. (Riding on ice wasn't easy, but it was kind of fun!)



As for a tire that will warm up easily, I'd just stay away from a sporting compound and you should be ok. You won't be riding that aggressively in freezing temps anyway.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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" I do ride in the wet without hesitation."



Not if it's 15F you won't. That's called ice, and after a couple of nice crashes and out a grand or so in repairs, I figured it was better if I didn't ride on those days. Gotta learn the hard way I guess.
 

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Its good to have that reinforced, though, I should have made it more clear, I have no intention of riding on ice or when its likely to get icy. If the roads are clear and dry and the weather isn't going to change I still want to ride, even if its sub freezing.



I'm not necessarily looking for something labelled "winter tire", just want people's feedback about what tires they have found work better when they ride in sub freezing temps ('cos I know some of you do).

 

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The thing is, if it is below freezing, you won't know if there will be ice until you are on it. Don't you realize that an intersection where cars sit and idle waiting for the lights to change, the small amount of moisture coming from their exhaust can freeze on the ground forming what is sometimes referred to as black ice. But hey, it's your life.
 

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You are not going to get "fast warm up" (or any real warm up at all) with any tire at sub-freezing temps. I ride all winter long to and from work whenever the roads can be reasonably expected to be ice free. Here in southern Idaho, that means frequently down into the teens, occasionally lower. I use the same tires as I have on the rest of the year. You have to ride with the awareness that your tires are not heating up, the road surface is cold, so you don't have the traction you have when it is warmer. I have Metzeler ME33/ME88s, Dunlop 220s, and Metzeler Tourances on the various bikes.



As others will note, riding in traffic when there is ice on the road is foolhardy. Even when the weather is dry, you still have to watch the intersections, places where snow chunks have fallen off trucks and turned to black ice, etc. You can't reliably spot black ice.

 

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Thanks for the useful response - I've read in another thread where longride apparently doesn't change his tires for winter either.



How do you find the tourances as a compromise for gravel/wet vs. highway? Would you use them if you were doing 10% of your mileage on gravel?
 

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I'm not the tourance user, but I'd suggest that it is the BIKE and the RIDER more than the tire that makes the difference on gravel. In other words, if you can handle it during the warmer weather on your current tires, don't sweat it.
 

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The Toad
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I don't know about tourances but I do know that sport touring tires like D205s or Avons have little tread and are abominable off of the pavement. I take my GSXG to our cabin occasionally and the same dirt road that I can bomb up and down on on my dirt bike are tippytoe city on the G with the Avons.
 

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Yeah, I can handle the gravel on it, but I don't like it much - the Shinko rear tire in particular is not very confidence inspiring.



I'm wondering how much highway stability I'd lose if I moved to street/enduro tires, since I'm due to replace the current sport/touring ones anyway.



The Metz. Tourances won't fit my front wheel, but the somewhat similar Pirelli MT60 Corsas will fit both ends. I've heard the MT60s are a little hard, which makes me a bit reluctant.



So to condense that down to a short question, when do street/enduro tires become worthwhile?



 

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Yeah, that's my experience with my current sport/touring tires on gravel too. Would you consider street/enduros if you were travelling gravel regularly (eg. every week, same route), or is the highway tradeoff just not worth it?
 

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I have the Tourances on a BMW R100GS. They are a good compromise, especially when most of the miles are on pavement. They are fine on gravel and dirt roads (not very good in mud), and I consider them very good on wet pavement.
 

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There were a few that would ride everyday through Anchorage Alaska winters. It was their only wheels and "crazies" are over represented up there. Smaller enduros and one guys CX500 being mostly what you'd see. These bikes had that "Winter bike" look, so did the Riders It's way easier to ride/walk on 15F ice than 32F ice. I rarely and slowly rode on the ice with the ZRX, it can be done but it's not fun. A XR200 with studded tires ("they" screw hex headed machine screws into the tires) is a hoot if there's nothing close by to hit (other than the ground) think Big Lake. Good thing that's one of the bikes the "boys" had. Think Sorel for riding boots, Carhartt Extreme for a Riding suit! 87F now, here, think I'll go for a ride.
 

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The only RELIABLE Wintertime ride would be a HawkGT and a spare set of wheels mounting a couple of Cheng-Shen's with 1/2" ice-spikes.........
 

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Oh yeah, I could be wrong but unless studded, I don't think tires will matter so much at those temps i.e. they'll all suck. Also, it's always good to be able to use the rear brake to check traction "Is that water or ice?", take that "linked brakes"!
 

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The Toad
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
If I were to ride on dirt roads regularly then I would use a KLR or a Zooker DP. No tire can make up for a bike that weights 500lbs or more.
 

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The Toad
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wrong!

The only way to ride on ice is with a JAP Speedway bike with 2' spiked tires! Yeeeeeeee..haw!
 

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The Toad
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
On second thought maybe someone at MO could test out different tires on a Suzuki M109 for riding on ice. Kill two birds with one stone so to speak.
 
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