Long Road Ahead - Yamaha FJR Forum : Yamaha FJR Owners Forums
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
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Long Road Ahead

Hello everyone,

Im planning a long trip coming up 17,253KM to be exact around the entire USA. We are doing it over 15 days. My question is, is there a tire that will last the whole trip? We will be riding through the summer, through some mountains in Montana, California and TN. We will be going to Key West etc. I have used BT020 on my st1300 but I have a FJR as well. they will both be going on this trip. If there isn't a tire then any recommendations of people that can change tires after hours along the eastern seaboard would be great!

Thanks guys
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 11:57 AM
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Hmmm. Interesting First Post. A Tire Question. I hope you are not just trolling us.

10,720.5 miles with no tire change. It would be possible but I would not recommend it. You could always go Darkside and mount a car tire on the rear...

Some random Redfish Thoughts here...

1. Michelin Pilot Road 4 GT.
2. Your "Exact" mileage figure will not be. You will always find some interesting detour, something you did not know about, road construction will divert you, something will happen to extend that total distance.
3. I LOVE to plan out my trips in great detail. I always leave extra time/distance for the above reasons. I never return home within my mileage budget. Never.
4. Keeping a Tire Mileage Budget will take a lot of joy out of your trip. "I want to push it hard on this lovely, twisty, racetrack of a road but I don't want to wear out my tire..." You will always have to ride conservatively and the tire life will never leave your thoughts.
5. What if the last 500 miles before you get home with the tire worn out are in torrential rain? Do you want to ruin an Epic Trip right before you get home?
6. Some states (Arkansas!) have a road surface that eats tires. It's impossible to plan for that.

I have some tread depth numbers from Pop's PR4GT for a 5800 mile ride that had very little Interstate.

0 miles: Front=5.5 mm Rear=8 mm
5800 miles: Front=3.25 mm Rear 4 mm

I would budget a day at a dealership for a tire swap and be willing to throw away a tire that had some life left or else arrange with a willing forum member for a tire swap assistance.

Good Luck.

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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 12:41 PM
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Around the entire US in 2 weeks? Not enough time. You are not going to see much but highways and hotel rooms. 2 weeks in the west and 2 weeks in the east would be a minimum I would think. My wife and I have probably spent 2 months just travelling in the west and haven't seen everything we wanted to see. There is a lot of space between things out west. Maybe if you are just hitting certain highlights...Pacific Coast Highway, Glacier, Yellowstone, Tetons, Grand Canyon, Rt 12, Beartooth Pass, then head east ... it takes a good 3 1/2 days just to go from there to the Smoky Mountains and BRP, Dragon etc, then to Key West?. Wow, a lot of saddle time for sure.

I agree with Redfish. As far as the rear tire lasting. Gosh if you started on a brand new premium tire...maybe, but I wouldn't count on it. Watching those last couple of mm wear away each day will wear on you mentally. It doesn't take long going from" that doesn't look TOO bad, to dang, where did those cords come from?" Especially on the rear. The worry will zap the joy from the last part of your trip. I too plan trips pretty carefully and always allow at least one day for "emergencies" in my trip plans. That could be mechanical or weather related or just eating some bad food at a restaurant.

I plan on 6,000 miles on a trip tire (even though it will probably go more). Weight, heat, pressure and road surface as Redfish mentioned are the enemies of tires.Too much weight, too high of speeds, too low of tire pressure and rough roads will eat tires up.

Redfish's pop got great mileage imo. Using less than half the available tread in 5800 miles. Tells me he is not too hard on the gas or brakes and not that aggressive in the twisty bits. He is undoubtedly a very smooth rider. If you can emulate that you might make it on one tire. If it were me I'd also have a back up plan in case a tire was needed on the way home.
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 01:13 PM
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@the Ferret is right. 15 days averages out to 715 miles per day. That does not sound like a Fun Trip to me.

Trying to see all of that country in that amount of time would be frustrating for me. It would be like looking at the front of a 12 feature movie theater and saying you had seen all 12 movies. Or standing in front of a library and saying you had read all of the books. All you will be doing is scratching the surface.

FWIW, I can count on 9500 miles out of a set of PR4s, Pop usually does about 500 miles less per set. That tire I referenced in my first post was changed at 9200 miles and still had plenty of useable tread. YMMV
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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 02:07 PM
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The hardest two wearing tires to me are the PR2 and the Roadsmart 3's right now. You can most likely do it... keep your pressures up to keep heat build-up down... on a trip like that 42 front, 44 rear. Will gain you some mileage.
However, just my opinion... I wouldn't attempt that trip in two weeks. You think you're gonna see stuff, but you aren't. You're just Iron Butting it and going to be worn out after the first week.
I had a hard enough time seeing all I wanted to see on a trip last year for the whole month of June... Started in Montana, went south to the Grand Canyon, west to the coast, up into BC and back to Montana... 10 states and 1 province in 25 days, but that did include a 3 day event called CFR in BC.
My tires wore fairly evenly due to the varied roads, but you'll end up flat spotting yours more than I did. I did change tires for the last week, RS3's, I had rubber left at 10 k kms. I'll guess they could have done the whole trip of 12k kms., but that was an unknown/unproven with the new-to-me RS3's at that time, and I had pre-ordered fresh rubber shipped to a good friend's house.
You can easily spend 2 weeks just in eastern Canada and back lots to see and I like to smell some flowers on my trips rather than slab it.
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 04:06 PM
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I agree that it sounds like too much distance for the time available; more like a forced march than a fun motorcycle tour, but to each their own. When Spousal Unit and I go on long trips we will have a day or two that I call mileage days; get on the interstate and get where you want to go in a hurry. A mileage day's purpose is to allow us to ride shorter days (350+/- miles) on roads we want to spend time on and enjoy.

As far as the tires go, it is very unlikely you'll make it on one set and trying to do so will put a cloud of worry over your head, potentially end up costing much more than a planned change and could be dangerous. One approach you can try is to decide where you will change tires and see if there is anyone on the site who can do it for you. If you decide on west central Montana, then I will change your tires for you if the timing is right and I will be home. I change 20-30 tires a year on our bikes and for friends and itinerate motorcycle trash. You can have your tires shipped here. Cost.... a wee dram.

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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 04:33 PM Thread Starter
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Hey guys thanks for the input, long miles are not an issue for us. we ride for as long as the sun is in the sky. seems like everyone is fond of the PR GT tires for the FJR I will give them a try. Do you guys find the pr4 any better longevity wise then the pr3's. Its funny the ST1300 guys all go Bridgestone but the FJR guys go with Michelin.
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 04:54 PM
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I ran nothing but Michelin's on my ST 1300 after the stock Bridgestones wore out. Same with my FJR. I've used 3s, & 4s, 4GT's. I liked them all. I didn't get too much difference out of the 3s and 4 GTs. Both went 9-11K for me. I run PR3's on my CB1100. Come to think of it I run Michelin tires on my Honda Ridegline too. Guess I'm a (not the) Michelin man.

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It doesn't matter what I ride, where I ride, or how far I ride... it only matters THAT I ride...every day. "Ferret"
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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Wervers View Post
Hey guys thanks for the input, long miles are not an issue for us. we ride for as long as the sun is in the sky. seems like everyone is fond of the PR GT tires for the FJR I will give them a try. Do you guys find the pr4 any better longevity wise then the pr3's. Its funny the ST1300 guys all go Bridgestone but the FJR guys go with Michelin.
Each to his own, I have done a SS1K but I don't enjoy a motorcycle trip that requires that kind of riding.

Like the Ferret, I ran the Michelin PR series on my ST1300. The majority of the ST1300s I encountered on the road were running Michelins. Other than the original BT-020 I had no use for the Bridgestones I tried after that.

Please do a RR when you return so we can see how this all turned out.

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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 08:00 PM
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The PR3's are a softer compound, will not last quite as long as PR4's. Bridgestones are stiffer sidewalls, the BT-020's are just fine.
I'm not sure if Pterodactyl just called me itinerate motorcycle trash or not, but I can tell you I was treated very well... take more than a dram...
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