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Thread: Tyre aspect ratios

  1. #1
    apriliaforum Junkie coolonthecoast's Avatar
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    Tyre aspect ratios

    I've got a 190/55/17 on the rear of my bike and a 120/70/17 on the front. I'm not wishing to discuss the relative merits of different brands of tyres here, there are plenty of threads on that subject already and also on the benefits or otherwise of fitting a 190 on the rear in place of a 180 I'm more interested in the effects on handling if you change from say a 55 to a 50 on the rear and from a 70 to a 65 on the front. I know the bike will sit a bit lower, but has anyone got any comments/conclusions on whether a 50 rear is better or worse than a 55 on a Caponord TP. Same for the front; has anyone gone from a 70 to a 65 and what benefits/drawbacks were the result?
    40 odd powered two wheelers over 40 odd years. Currently in the garage are a 2016 Tuono V1100RR and a '79 Honda CB550F

  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert Ricardo J's Avatar
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    You'll get a variety of opinions on this. Thinking back to my 2000.5 RSV Mille, I thought the handling was far better when the stock 120/65-17 front was swapped for a /70 series. More grip, more feedback, more trust. The difference was even greater on imperfect pavement.

    I stayed with the 180/55 rear. A lot of guys who tried the 190/50 said it made the bike less agile. Sure, this is not a Caponord 1200 but the basics should be the same.

  3. #3
    apriliaforum Junkie wthammond's Avatar
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    I've stayed with the Metzler Z6 180 for the rear. Older profile tire, now make in China but good quality, and pretty cheap. Had a 190 on the back when I bought it and thought it handled wonky to me. Like the 180 better.
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    apriliaforum Member The Alien's Avatar
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    I chose size of the replacement for the original based on how frequently I was using the 180 all the way to the edge of the tire. On twisty roads I was using all of the 180. I don't think at risk of pushing the 180 too far, but when buying the replacement I liked the idea of the extra security the 190 provided. After putting on a 190/55 I am really glad. It is just piece of mind when pushing it hard.

    In my opinion the long wheelbase of the Capo prevents the opportunity from actually feeling a real difference between a 180 and a 190.

    I would not get a 190/50. The profile is too flat for my liking. I would stay with 180/55 before 190/50. the 190/50 is not as linear. the 190/50 gets more responsive with more lean.

    Did you get the 180 all the way to the edge frequent enough to merit a bit more rubber?

    The front is wired on this bike. I can't use anywhere near all of it. I would be interested in others opinions, because I am not fully certain what a 65 profile would do.
    Last edited by The Alien; 10-09-2017 at 09:24 PM. Reason: Better wording
    Mark D. (aka The Alien....... definitely no relation to "The Aliens")
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  5. #5
    apriliaforum expert Ricardo J's Avatar
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    Alien, in my experience it's the more aggressive steering inputs that scrub a front tire's edges. On the road my style is more relaxed and flowing, with less forceful and rapid countersteering. This leaves virgin edges. A trackday scuffs that off.

  6. #6
    apriliaforum Junkie coolonthecoast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Alien View Post
    Did you get the 180 all the way to the edge frequent enough to merit a bit more rubber?
    The bike had the 190/55 on when I bought it so I've never ridden it with a 180. I have no complaints with the rear tyre and will probably go for the same when its worn out but as per my thread starter, I was wondering if anyone has tried a 190/50 or a lower profile front tyre.
    40 odd powered two wheelers over 40 odd years. Currently in the garage are a 2016 Tuono V1100RR and a '79 Honda CB550F

  7. #7
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    I found the extra ground clearance of the 190/55 to be worth it. Less scraping of centrestand.

  8. #8
    apriliaforum Junkie coolonthecoast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACTCapo View Post
    I found the extra ground clearance of the 190/55 to be worth it. Less scraping of centrestand.
    Did you have a 50 profile tyre on previously?
    40 odd powered two wheelers over 40 odd years. Currently in the garage are a 2016 Tuono V1100RR and a '79 Honda CB550F

  9. #9
    apriliaforum Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by coolonthecoast View Post
    Did you have a 50 profile tyre on previously?
    no, that was compared to the 180/55 it came with standard.

  10. #10
    apriliaforum expert disco dave's Avatar
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    190/50...challenge accepted.

    Just installed a PR4 in 190/50 today to replace the Metz 190/55 that was on there. I bought the bike new with its 180/55 Dunlop, so i will now have some experience with all three varieties. My reasoning for the 50: i used to live in a place that allowed me to do a lot of recreational riding on twisty roads, so the improved turn-in feel of the 55 was nice. Ive now moved away from that place, and my riding primarily consists of straight up and down droning down the interstate on commutes to work and back, with rarely a corner in sight. After seeing a side-by-side (here maybe?) of the different profiles, i reasoned that a 50 would be slower to square off than a 55. The fella at the dealership said something to the same effect, that a 50 would wear slower if you were doing a lot of straight line riding.

    Im not saying this is sound reasoning, but it seemed solid enough to convince me to give it a go. Since WTHammond recently swapped his rear as well but kept the 180, maybe we could do a switcheroo next time we ride together for a quick back to back comparison.


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  11. #11
    apriliaforum Junkie wthammond's Avatar
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    Yup - I'm now on my 3rd Metzler Z6 180. 1st was replacement for a Pirelli that came on the bike that didn't suit my riding style. 2nd was a replacement for that one which suffered an untimely puncture, and 3rd was a replacement for the 2nd that I wore to the cords in about 8K miles.

    Been off skiing last week and working next weekend, but will give a report when Disco and I have a chance to swap bikes.

    Happy New Year!

    Quote Originally Posted by disco dave View Post
    190/50...challenge accepted.

    Just installed a PR4 in 190/50 today to replace the Metz 190/55 that was on there. I bought the bike new with its 180/55 Dunlop, so i will now have some experience with all three varieties. My reasoning for the 50: i used to live in a place that allowed me to do a lot of recreational riding on twisty roads, so the improved turn-in feel of the 55 was nice. Ive now moved away from that place, and my riding primarily consists of straight up and down droning down the interstate on commutes to work and back, with rarely a corner in sight. After seeing a side-by-side (here maybe?) of the different profiles, i reasoned that a 50 would be slower to square off than a 55. The fella at the dealership said something to the same effect, that a 50 would wear slower if you were doing a lot of straight line riding.

    Im not saying this is sound reasoning, but it seemed solid enough to convince me to give it a go. Since WTHammond recently swapped his rear as well but kept the 180, maybe we could do a switcheroo next time we ride together for a quick back to back comparison.


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  12. #12
    apriliaforum Junkie SudEst's Avatar
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    Here's a pretty good explainer on tyre widths and note the effect a wider tyre has on required lean angle.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hPTiYh4fic

    I'm running a 180 which is giving me a very easy turn in, good grip with a large contact patch in cornering and I can count on one hand the number of times I've scraped the pegs.

    Incidentally, I want to go to the edge of the tyre when cornering. It has the MOST grip. Of course as you turn in you are winding on throttle but you wouldn't give it a handful until you have the bike more upright.

    There is no extra security in a tyre that has chicken strips on the edge. You want to rely on virgin rubber if you have to turn harder?

    Plus a 180 is a lighter tyre which equals better acceleration.

  13. #13
    apriliaforum expert Ricardo J's Avatar
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    I've heard guys chosing between the 180/55 and 190/50 based on their personal riding styles. Favor cornering speed and more agility? Go with the 180. Are you a point-and-shoot sort? The 190 seems to suit them better.

  14. #14
    apriliaforum Junkie SudEst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo J View Post
    I've heard guys chosing between the 180/55 and 190/50 based on their personal riding styles. Favor cornering speed and more agility? Go with the 180. Are you a point-and-shoot sort? The 190 seems to suit them better.
    Fair enough to base it on seat of the pants feeling, but there is absolutely no grip issue when "going to the edge of the tyre" on a 180. To choose a wider tyre based on an impression of added security when cornering is, respectfully speaking, not a better choice.

    Of course altering the rear ride height with a taller tyre will produce a different handling characteristic, which some may find positive for their riding style.

  15. #15
    apriliaforum expert Ricardo J's Avatar
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    I always liked the 180 because it gave a more agile bike and was more neutral in a corner...i.e. that "railing" feel. But some other loons with the RSV Tuono preferred because they felt the 190 gave more grip and lasted longer with heavy acceleration. I never did try the 190 but those guys tried both and liked the 190/50 for their hooligan lifestyle! But my corner speeds were usually faster...haha!

    The last tire I ran on my RSV Tuono was a 190/55, not sure it gave any advantage. Yes, it felt grippier but the bike picked up a bit of understeer and in general was a little less agile. Acceleration was of course slower, too...the taller tire was heavier, and its greater circumference raised my overall gearing.
    Last edited by Ricardo J; 01-14-2018 at 11:05 AM.

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