Spend a little extra money and get some Avons, they are very sticky and work well on the Norton. Avon Super Venoms are a popular choice for Commandos. If they aren't available in your area, you might have to buy off the internet. I got some Avons for my Vincent from M.A.W online(reasonable price) via amazon.com, delivered by UPS.
Avon Super Venoms are a good choice, although they wear quickly. I finally went to a 2.5 x 18 rim and now have a much larger choice of tires. I now have 120/90-18 Dunlop GT 501's and have been extremely pleased. I can corner better than the Avons and they last amost twice as long. Ill soon recoup the extra expenditure for the 18" rim.
Just got rid of the tt100's and fitted the 19" Avon AM26 front and rear slightly smaller on the front 90/90x19 been using them on the Suzuki GS for a while now and really pleased an improvement on the super venoms.
the avon AM26 is the replacment for severel tyres. the super venom and roadrunner being 2 of them. I have an am 26 100/90 on the rear and finnising up a roadrunner front so I can fit the 90/90 front tyre
. so far the rear looks like it will outlast the super venom's I was using
I don't view motorcycle tires quite the same way as car or truck tires. With those I get quite annoyed if they don't last 60,000 miles or so.
With the bike tires though, a soft compound is needed for maximum road adhesion. Soft compounds cannot last as long as harder compounds.
A MC tire that lasts twice as long as another of the same size with the same loading pretty much has to be made of a harder compound, and therefore is likely to have less adhesion.
When I was heeled over on the Vincent at speed and up very close to the stone wall with my right kneeslider scraping while going thru the 90 degree bend at Ramsey in the IOM this fall, all I could think of was tire adhesion. That and how humiliating it was going to be when the rear end let go and I crashed into the wall in front of about 150 spectators!
So I am OK with soft, fast wearing tires on a bike, in fact I look for them. They can save your life, or at least save you some bigtime embarassment.
I agree with the above. I was getting less than 3000 miles from my 100/90-19 Avon Super Venom (rear). The Dunlop 120/90-18 gives me more than 5000. I suppose increased tire width would account for some of the increased wear. Since I still have a great cornering tire, I'll stick with the Dunlops. I recently sold my BMW R1100R that had Bridgestone Battalax tires. The rear would last about 8,000 miles and that was with about half the mileage at constant high speeds. I never once felt those tires were too hard. In my opinion the Avons Super Venoms are softer than need be.
Jim , I can see why you switched tires if you were only getting 3,000 miles, that is a very low number.
I seem to get around 7,000miles from my Avon Roadrunner on the Vincent rear, (4.10 x 19 size) and maybe 6,000 from the Super Venom rear on the Norton. Front tires go at least twice as far for me, even the skinny little 3.00 x 20 Avon Speedmaster on the Vincent front.
I have never complained about tyre wear as I never have gotten more than 3500 miles on a rear tyre and when I was on a modern sport bike $150.00 a tyre was not cheap. but as most of my riding is now in the mountains of east Tn. now it has taken a drop on the rear. I was getting 2 rears to a front, that has changed also to a front for every rear so as can be seen my tyre cost has gone up a little. still not complaining just stating my experance. the AM26 has sofar shown me to be an exelent replacment to the super venom and helped avon to consolidate there tyre line.
when I was using the old style dunlop K81's my milage was no better and I did not like some there bad habits like tracking ANY marks in the road.
Sorry Bill, I hope I didn't offend you or anyone else with my thoughts on MC tire mileage.
I think if I was only getting 3500 miles from a tire I would look for an alternative too. In addition to the cost it is a pain to be dealing with tire changes that often, especially if you do high mileages.
For some reason I have gotten much better mileages than this from my Avons, both the Super Venoms and the Roadrunners. Perhaps tire wear is greater in hotter climates. We rarely see temps over 80 degree F during the riding season, this might be the difference.
worntorn i did not take it that way. like I said it is just my experence with tyres but I all ways use premium sport tyres also so they are a LOT softer than a touring tyre. I also ride fairly agressive and in the mountains makes it that much harder on tyres. some of the sport bike riders will only get 1000 miles on a set of tyres so I am glad I dont have there tyre bill's
Over on the Ducati forum, a lot of the Hypermotard owners are wearing their rear tires down to the cords after about 2200 - 2400 miles. Of course, wheelies and track days and "backing it in" to corners tends to reduce tire life!
On my Norton, I have about 4000 miles on my current set of K81s and the rear will need to be replaced within 500 miles or so. Doesn't seem too bad. I've also noticed an unexpected side effect to the worn rear tire - no more wiggling in the rain grooves! I always thought that was caused by the front tire, but apparently not.
I've been happy with the K81s and don't feel any particular need to change. My 850 came with a new set of Super Venoms though, so I'll get a chance to try them out and see what I think when I get that bike on the road, hopefully next spring.