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Best 150 or 160 size DOT race tires for a sub-300 pound bike/supermoto?

Discussion in 'Tech' started by Ungarisch, Aug 12, 2020.

  1. Ungarisch

    Ungarisch Well-Known Member

    I'm having a really hard time finding tires appropriate for my Husqvarna 630. It's a 280 pound supermoto, which I currently have 120/70F and 150/60R Michelin Power RS's on it but it's simply too hard of a compound for this bike in this size. I've done 1500 Malibu miles and 5 track days (3 go-kart and 2 big track) on them and the tire is barely half worn on the sides with nearly 3/4 tread still left in the middle of the front. I really don't want my tires lasting longer than my engine rebuild. o_O I'm pretty sure this tire/size is meant more for a 420lbs SV650, not a 280lbs bike. I don't think I'm able to get them up to proper temps and I think it's up to the lack of weight. I run 26f/26r cold for pressures for both track and street.

    In the beginning grip i felt pretty good, but now that the tire is getting older (made in 2017) the front just doesn't feel right anymore. I don't have the same confidence in it. It tends to do this thing where the front will looses and regains traction momentarily when at high lean angles, kinda like a slide/hop. The rear I don't really pay too much attention to, since loosing that momentarily is not really an issue.

    Ideally, I would like to replace them with Michelin Supermoto tires or Metzeler's Racetec SM tires, but there is no literature anywhere that say whether they will warm up adequately on their own or if you must use them with tire warmers with them. Anyone use these without warmers? How's the warmup times?

    Next option is to go with SuperCorsa TD tires or Metzeler RaceTec K1/2's, but again, I think I'm gonna have the same problem as the Power RS's where the 150/60 rear size is designed more for a heavier middle weight bike rather than a lightweight SM.

    I currently have Power Cup 2's on my sport bike, and I absolutely love them, the warmup is immediate and grip is unreal, though they only really last about 1000 miles on the rear. I would love to put them on my SM, but they don't come in the 150 or 160 size. So what I'm currently thinking is getting 120/70 Power Cup 2's for the front and Power Cup Evo's for the rear as those do come in 150 size. Per the description in the link below, it says it's compound is specifically formulated for light weight bikes. Any thoughts on this combo? I can't find much reviews or praise for the Evo's anywhere on the interweb.

    Or any other tire suggestions is welcome.
  2. noles19

    noles19 Well-Known Member

    Lots of people run the metzeler supermoto slicks on the street and can get them to temp, so that maybe a option but they don't last long...
    Ungarisch likes this.
  3. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

    There is a Metzeler SM data sheet for the tires because I posted it in a Supermoto thread here back in Jan. I think?
    In Europe the 150/60 rear is popular because there are a lot of 400cc and like sized bikes that this size.
    These are not sold in a 150/60 size, sorry.
    You can get a race compound Supercorsa DOT or a TD in a 160/60, but the 150/60 Supercorsa race compound was discontinued last year. But you might get very lucky and find one somewhere but it wasn't a popular size.
    Finally rim width is the main thing you look at when choosing a tire size, and of course there is a size range with rims and tire sizes so you do have options.
    Ungarisch likes this.
  4. G2G

    G2G I feel the need

  5. IL8APEX

    IL8APEX Well-Known Member

    Bumping this up for more info.

    @Ungarisch Did you ever find a tire you liked?

    I've seen some people running Metzeler SuperMoto tires on 300lb bikes, would like to hear from someone who has experience with it or similar.

  6. parillaguy

    parillaguy vintage+GP racer

    My supersingle based on a WR450 Yamaha is limited by the width of the swing arm and chain run. A 160 gets the edge chewed by the chain. I couldn't get Pirellis or Dunlop Q3+ in a 150 size so ran a Michelin. It worked well.
  7. Ungarisch

    Ungarisch Well-Known Member

    Yes I have tried quite a few tires since I started this thread. The best and most sticky option would be the Metzeler RaceTec SM, tried both the K1 and K2 compounds, however the both only last around 500-600 miles on the street regardless of compound. Zero issues with warm up, so NO they do not require warmers and can be used on the street just fine. Now I'm in socal where the weather doesn't really drop below 50*F so I cannot say how they behave in super cold temps, but above 50 they are perfectly fine without warmers. With my riding habits (around 60 miles in very tight canyons, plus 20 miles of freeway getting there), the Metzelers wore completely evenly on the middle and sides. If you do more straight line stuff, you're going to burn through the middle quickly as I believe they are a single compound throughout the tire, also the Metzeler's do not come with a lot of tread depth.

    The other notable tire I have tried is the Michelin Power Cup Evo. This tire, like the Metzeler was designed for light weight bikes, I believer the compound is also very similar to the K2 so the warmup and grip is nearly the same but unlike the Metzelers the Michelins give you a lot more tread depth and thus for me they lasted around 700-800 miles instead before the sides were gone. This is a dual compound tire so the middle was around 50% for me when the sides were completely gone. So for excessive street riding this is probably a better tire. Two thing I didn't like as much about the Michi's as the Metzelers was the profile shape and the weight of them. The rear weighed significantly more than the Metzeler, probably because they give you a lot more rubber with it. As for shape, the Metzelers are a lot more peaky, and have a lot more edge grip at extreme lean angles that you can achieve at the track. Also the Michi's cost $150 for a rear whereas the Metzeler's are $210.

    Next I'm going to try the Michelin Power Supermoto tires and will report back on how they are for canyon use.
    IL8APEX likes this.
  8. Ungarisch

    Ungarisch Well-Known Member

    The Metzeler's run super narrow, narrower than most 150 street tires, also they have a specific shape to the sidewall to avoid chain slap. It doesnt have that ridge where the sidewall meets the tread like most street tires do. Q3's run much widers than any tire I have ever tired. I would avoid those on the dirt swingarm.

    IL8APEX likes this.
  9. IL8APEX

    IL8APEX Well-Known Member

    @Ungarisch The Michelin Power Cup EVO caught my eye also. I actually purchased a 160 for the rear, but as it is winter and the bike is in Michigan it will be awhile before I get to try them out.

    As a race tire I'm very interested in trying both SuperMoto specific tires: Metzeler Racetec SM in 165/55 and Michelin Power SuperMoto Slick in 160/60. Both look like a good "sprint" tire option for my KTM 690.

  10. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

    Ungarisch's message is a bit confusing so I’m going to clarify things as I’ve read them. It seems he's comparing a larger 165/55R17 race tire to a smaller 150/60ZR17 street tire? The bike being used is a Husky 630 SMS street bike with a 3.50-17 front rim and the rear wheel is 4.25-17. And the OE tire sizes are 120/70ZR17 and 150/60ZR17.

    Of course not the Racetec SM is a non DOT approved RACE tire where a Power Cup Evo is a street/trackday tire. Street tires will almost always have more tread depth.

    It doesn’t quite work like that in this comparison. Street tires MUST be built to certain industry standards to meet the load and speed index of the intended application with a specific carcass/tread/construction. So ANY 150/60R17 tire is designed for a lightweight m/c. But a Supermoto non-DOT approved product doesn’t have the same requirements so it’s carcass/tread/construction will be different and it’s focus is simple, winning Supermoto races.

    Huh? A Metzeler Racetec 165/55R17 is designed for a 5.00-5.50 wide rim and on the measuring 5.00 rim it is 162mm wide. The Power Evo 150/60ZR17 measures 150mm on a 4.25 rim according to their data sheet. So yes, if you try and squeeze a 165 on the wrong skinny rim the profile will get weird.

    Hope this helps
  11. Ungarisch

    Ungarisch Well-Known Member

    all you're doing is trying to prove me wrong without really bringing in any real world experience, other than looking up numbers on a data sheet. Perhaps tires were different back before you retired, but today there is no industry standard for width, every manufacturer has their own loose interpretation in regard to sizing, so yes a 165 RaceTec Sm IS significantly narrower than a 160 Power Cup Evo. See evidence below. Also, you're assuming I have a 4.25" rear wheel, which I don't.

    165 Metzeler has about 10mm gap between tire and brake line

    160 Michelin has about 3mm gap between tire and brake line, I even had to rotate the line retainer otherwise the tire would rub it during high speed left sweepers

    And again, same with tire tread depth, there is no industry standard for this. Would you not agree that the Metzeler RaceTec RR (happens to be a K1 compounds) and the Michelin Power Cup2 are in the same category of tire? Both are DOT race tires, yet the Metzeler come with 5mm of depth in the center, while the Michelin comes with 7mm. I just so happen to have a pair of each in the closet, so here is the proof:

    metz.JPG \
    IL8APEX likes this.
  12. IL8APEX

    IL8APEX Well-Known Member

    @Ungarisch I think within the confines of the discussion your points were well understood.

  13. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

    No what I was trying to do was to help you. In your previous posts there was no mention about using a different size wheel and a 160 tire, right? But now there is.
    You almost have that right. There are industry standards but there is an allowable range, like that a 165/55 measured on the 5.00 rim is 162mm and not 165mm. Then remember anytime you fit a tire to .5" less wide rim you typically crown the tire more and the tire width narrows about 5mm.

    So now we are NOT comparing a 165/55 SM non-DOT approved tire and we have switched to comparing DOT approved race tires? Ok understood, and we are now looking at 180/55ZR17 (73W) race tires? The Power Cup Evo is available in one compound where the Racetec RR 180/55ZR17 (73W) is available in 3, a K1,2, and 3. I would think the tread depth on the K1 is related to the faster/grippier compound and the need to meet the 73 in brackets speed rating. Again, you are almost right with tread depth, but there are other factors to be considered.

    Well, I still do consulting work and I was the one who decided to import the Racetec SM tires to the NA market. And does fitting over 10,000 plus tires over the years account for real world experience?

    Hope this helps
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2021
  14. noles19

    noles19 Well-Known Member

    Bless you for bringing them here
  15. Pneumatico Delle Vittorie

    Pneumatico Delle Vittorie Retired "Tire" Guy

    Opps my bad, you said Power Cup 2

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