Tires

I have use two brands of DOT street tires on my Buell XB12R Firebolt. The first set I have used that I will talk about is the Pirelli Diablo T. This tire came standard on my Buell when I bought it. I didnt know much about them or how much confedence they would  in them in wet and dry conditions, lean angle, wear and grip. Rear tire size for both sets are 180/55 ZR-17 and 120/70 ZR-17 for the front. Some riders and racers may use a 190 size rear tire.

Over the months of riding i felt great having these tires on my Buell. Hitting the twisty back roads of North East Kansas was great. The Diable T held the road great and has great wear as well. I was able to ride 5,000 -6,000 miles before the tread cords started showing through the rear tire.  I currently still have the orignal front tire on the bike. Its now at 8,000 + miles. Although it now is showing signs of needed replacement.

In dry conditions these tires gave me no problems or worry.  I could take corners with ease. I will say if most of your riding is commuting or two up riding. Over a period of time the tire will develop and sort of crown to it.  A few hours on some twisty roads will return the wear of the tire back to a more true profile again. Just beware of that crown egde during your first few turns. Feel it out and dont go to crazy, its a strange tipsy feeling at first. Wet conditions on the street where fair. I didnt run with these at speeds over 55 in the wet. I during those wet ride days i didnt feel much difference. The tires acted the same as if the road was dry. Grip was super  and the bike handled great. I would run the standard tire pressures recomended by Buell in the owners manual which was 34psi front and 36psi in the rear.

The second set of tires I have use are the new Dunlop Sportmax Q2 tires. I havnt run on the street with these tires yet. I used this set of tires during one full track day at Heartland Park Topeka Kansas.  Starting the day out on a brand new set of smooth tires on a race track. I must say i was a little cautious about it.  Tire pressure was at 40psi front and rear which was what the side wall of the tire recomended. Since I was riding on the track, I dropped them down 2 -3 pounds each for starters. Conditions of the day where very hot and windy… Its Kansas! I set out on track to run some pace laps and build some heat in the DOT street performance tires. After two laps I decided to push it a little and see how fast I could go. Side grip was great with these tires, as i ran the tire all the way to its edge. No “chicken strips” for me on this track day my first time out! I dropped the pressure down to 30 psi front and rear for my next session and left it at that the rest of the day.

Grip and speeds where great! I could fly down the track and really charge into the corner hard. Not once did i feel the back end of the bike start to lose grip. Each session i had more faith in these tires. The profile to them is awesome and they felt very consistant in each corner of the track. By the end of the day i checked the wear of the tires. They where scuffed all the way around, the in side of my rim showed small rubber marbles stuck to it. The tires still had plenty of grip and life left in them and were begging for more track time! I was very happy with the Dunlop Sportmax Q2 tires on the track. I plan on getting another set soon!

Dunlop is also the offical tire for AMA Pro Road Racing.

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