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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's been quite a lot of tire discussion recently, so I wanted to share my experience. Even though they don't seem to be anyone's favorite on the forum, I've been avidly using Continental tires on my motorcycles for years...always with very consistent results and great grip throughout the length of the tires life...usually right down to the bars on the back. On my VFR I use Conti "Motions". I get both tires for around $160 and get them put on "off bike" for another maybe $70? Thats CHEAP in the motorcycle world and I usually get enough mileage from the front to last two rear tires. I decided to stay loyal and experiment with a longer lasting beefier Conti tire for the FJR and see how it goes. I went with the Conti "Road Attack 2" ($250 for both!). At the suggestion of RaYzerman and a couple others on the boards I went with a 190/55/17 on the rear instead of the 180 that comes stock. MAN was that a good choice! I spent 6 hours on the FJR in the NGA and NC mountains yesterday having a hoon of a time. The bike falls into corners soooo easy now....enough that it will catch you off guard the first ride after you get them put on. Once you get used to the new curve of the tire, it performs excellently! As for the tires themselves...amazing grip....quiet.....GREAT on wet roads....wherever there was shade on the road yesterday, the roads were still quite wet from the passover showers....I was a little more timid with the lean and throttle of course on those spots, but not once did my wheels slide at all, and I was still cranking it way over. The only CON I can see for some riders already struggling with standover height on this big bike, is that the tire adds another 1/2 inch or so to the height of the rear. I'm 6 feet tall and i am on the balls/toes of my boots when I put both feet down....but I'm used to that characteristic of this bike already. I'll attach a couple pics of the ride. You can see how much of the tire I used yesterday and I still had room for more. I scraped my boot toe sliders a couple times, but never the peg feeler....there's clearly room enough on the tire to go further as well. I remember on my 180 tire, I used almost the entire tire except maybe 1/8 inch....so I see this as another positive. What a bike!

One more thing. Speedo is dead balls accurate now.....cross checked with my Garmin 660. So it DOES fix the speedo error! Too many PROS and not enough CONS for this guy!
 

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excellent review
 
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Agree! I much prefer the profile and characteristics of the 190/55. Like Frank's Red Hot says, "I use that @$!# on everything!" :D
 
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No clearance issues? I always ran a 190/55 on my R1, but it had a 6” rim, not the 5.5 of the FJR.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No clearance issues? I always ran a 190/55 on my R1, but it had a 6" rim, not the 5.5 of the FJR.
None that I saw. The only thing that could be an issue for some is trying to get the wheel back in with that stock mudflap. One of the first things I did was cut off the big reflector part of the flap when I got the bike.....and it's STILL a tight squeeze getting that tire in there. I'd say you'd need to put a piece of plywood or something under the center stand before lifting it up to get that extra space. As far as other clearances I had no issues. Tire doesn't look "squeezed" either....still has a very nice profile. You can tell it's bigger as well from the back.
 

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Most of the 190's are for 5.5" -6" rims. Used them for years no problem. It's only 5mm wider each side, so no clearance issues whatsoever.
 

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I realize that the radius of the same size tires of different brands can vary, but it would be very small. Going from a 180 to 190 with both having the same 55 aspect ratio, the difference in radius should be about 1/4 of an inch. So in theory, that should be how much higher the bike sits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I realize that the radius of the same size tires of different brands can vary, but it would be very small. Going from a 180 to 190 with both having the same 55 aspect ratio, the difference in radius should be about 1/4 of an inch. So in theory, that should be how much higher the bike sits.
Could be.....but given the "butt and feet height-ometer" feels like more than that. Be cool to know exactly though...
 

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Some tire manufacturers show the overall diameter for various sizes and profiles... but less specification details these days.....
E.G., Avon Storm 3DXM... 180/55 is 629mm and 190/55 is 651mm. So, the difference/2 = bike will sit 11mm higher or approx. 3/8". Handling and turn in will improve as I found and like. I suppose you can simulate this by keeping your existing 180 and raising the forks in the triple clamp by 10-11 mm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Some tire manufacturers show the overall diameter for various sizes and profiles... but less specification details these days.....
E.G., Avon Storm 3DXM... 180/55 is 629mm and 190/55 is 651mm. So, the difference/2 = bike will sit 11mm higher or approx. 3/8". Handling and turn in will improve as I found and like. I suppose you can simulate this by keeping your existing 180 and raising the forks in the triple clamp by 10-11 mm.
My original plan was to get a raising link and/or raise forks. But I MUCH prefer to not fiddle with this bike in that manner if a larger tire does the trick... which it does! I am happy with it. On my VFR i raised the rear quite a bit...i love how it corners BUT it's a much lighter naked bike and also if i take my hands off the bars under 40mph there's a slight wobble because of the changed rake and trail. Fine for the hoon bike but not my ideal for the fjr..lol
 

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At the suggestion of RaYzerman and a couple others on the boards I went with a 190/55/17 on the rear instead of the 180 that comes stock. MAN was that a good choice! I spent 6 hours on the FJR in the NGA and NC mountains yesterday having a hoon of a time. The bike falls into corners soooo easy now....enough that it will catch you off guard the first ride after you get them put on. Once you get used to the new curve of the tire, it performs excellently! As for the tires themselves...amazing grip....quiet.....GREAT on wet roads....wherever there was shade on the road yesterday, the roads were still quite wet from the passover showers....I was a little more timid with the lean and throttle of course on those spots, but not once did my wheels slide at all, and I was still cranking it way over. The only CON I can see for some riders already struggling with standover height on this big bike, is that the tire adds another 1/2 inch or so to the height of the rear.
Was like pulling teeth to find any hard data on motorcycle tire physical size. Car tires are easy at Tire Rack. But here goes from Dunlop on the Roadsmart III. While I don't expect this data to be exactly same for Continental I would expect the proportions to track.

https://www.dunlopmotorcycletires.com/tire-line/roadsmart-iii/

180/55-17 is 24.96" in diameter
190/55-17 is 25.31"
190/50-17 is 24.80"

The 190/55-17 is 0.35" larger in diameter than 180/55-17, 0.175" higher, roughly 3/16" not 1/2" (or 8/16").

Speedometer will be about 1.4% slower. What was 71 displayed will be display as 70 MPH.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
At the suggestion of RaYzerman and a couple others on the boards I went with a 190/55/17 on the rear instead of the 180 that comes stock. MAN was that a good choice! I spent 6 hours on the FJR in the NGA and NC mountains yesterday having a hoon of a time. The bike falls into corners soooo easy now....enough that it will catch you off guard the first ride after you get them put on. Once you get used to the new curve of the tire, it performs excellently! As for the tires themselves...amazing grip....quiet.....GREAT on wet roads....wherever there was shade on the road yesterday, the roads were still quite wet from the passover showers....I was a little more timid with the lean and throttle of course on those spots, but not once did my wheels slide at all, and I was still cranking it way over. The only CON I can see for some riders already struggling with standover height on this big bike, is that the tire adds another 1/2 inch or so to the height of the rear.
Was like pulling teeth to find any hard data on motorcycle tire physical size. Car tires are easy at Tire Rack. But here goes from Dunlop on the Roadsmart III. While I don't expect this data to be exactly same for Continental I would expect the proportions to track.

https://www.dunlopmotorcycletires.com/tire-line/roadsmart-iii/

180/55-17 is 24.96" in diameter
190/55-17 is 25.31"
190/50-17 is 24.80"

The 190/55-17 is 0.35" larger in diameter than 180/55-17, 0.175" higher, roughly 3/16" not 1/2" (or 8/16").

Speedometer will be about 1.4% slower. What was 71 displayed will be display as 70 MPH.
Speedo is exactly accurate with about a 1 second lag on my gps vs display. Used to be two off. Aren't those raw measurements not talking into effect that the 5.5 inch rim will slightly pinch the 190 tire, thus raising the part that touches the road by more than what the raw data shows with the tires on the shelf?
 

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Seems overall tire height would slightly increase from 6" to a 5.5" rim when inflated. This may be why you feel that it raised the ride height more than 1/4" and closer to 1/2". Splitting hairs though unless one already has issues getting sure footing on the 180 rear.
 

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Speedo is exactly accurate with about a 1 second lag on my gps vs display. Used to be two off. Aren't those raw measurements not talking into effect that the 5.5 inch rim will slightly pinch the 190 tire, thus raising the part that touches the road by more than what the raw data shows with the tires on the shelf?
6.00 is listed as optimal for the 190, 5.50 for 180. Why do you think the center of the tire will increase in circumference when the beads are pinched closer together? Where does the extra material come from? Steel belts, rayon, aramid fibers, etc, don't stretch.
 

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Seems overall tire height would slightly increase from 6" to a 5.5" rim when inflated. This may be why you feel that it raised the ride height more than 1/4" and closer to 1/2". Splitting hairs though unless one already has issues getting sure footing on the 180 rear.
If you want to attribute behavior to 190 vs 180 then you can not compare an old 180 at end of life to a new 190.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Speedo is exactly accurate with about a 1 second lag on my gps vs display. Used to be two off. Aren't those raw measurements not talking into effect that the 5.5 inch rim will slightly pinch the 190 tire, thus raising the part that touches the road by more than what the raw data shows with the tires on the shelf?
6.00 is listed as optimal for the 190, 5.50 for 180. Why do you think the center of the tire will increase in circumference when the beads are pinched closer together? Where does the extra material come from? Steel belts, rayon, aramid fibers, etc, don't stretch.
Reading on some other sport bike forums where numerous track going folks preferred how the 190/55's performed on their mid 2000's sport bikes with 5.5's *shrug*. I love how it feels so far....if tire wear is trash that might change my opinion, but healing the speedo plus handling great is a win win for me personally so far.
 

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Reading on some other sport bike forums where numerous track going folks preferred how the 190/55's performed on their mid 2000's sport bikes with 5.5's *shrug*. I love how it feels so far....if tire wear is trash that might change my opinion, but healing the speedo plus handling great is a win win for me personally so far.
And that is just what I've been saying, that there is no one ultimate ideal perfect tire for everyone. That GT options are just that, options because some won't like a stiffer tire and others do.

Some may like a particular tire in 190/55 on a 5.50" rim, others on a 6.00" rim. Tire manufacturers give their blessing for use on either. I don't doubt if you search you could find an OE using 190/55 on a 5.50" rim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for the great review and the pictures. Compliments on the chicken strips, I know you had fun!
I did indeed. Consensus on some sport forums is that you basically can't use the whole tire when you run a 190, even in a track setting...which is actually comforting to me. I like knowing theres more rubber touching the road on this big arse bike..lol.

And that is just what I've been saying, that there is no one ultimate ideal perfect tire for everyone. That GT options are just that, options because some won't like a stiffer tire and others do.

Some may like a particular tire in 190/55 on a 5.50" rim, others on a 6.00" rim. Tire manufacturers give their blessing for use on either. I don't doubt if you search you could find an OE using 190/55 on a 5.50" rim.
Yeah. The best way to describe what I like about it is when you are in the hardest lean angle of the turn...the part where your brain always says " I can't believe I'm yanking this big bike over at this angle"..lol.....it feels like you are on a little shelf of rubber, which in fact you may be I suppose. It gives you that "wave with your inside hand" to the cameraman confidence that you might be more likely to have on a smaller bike. Thats my take.
 
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