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Best Rain Tires

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  • Best Rain Tires

    As I'm hoping to expand my riding season, I want to get geared up for some safe, comfortable all-weather riding. Years ago, on a stint through the Rockies, my XS was wearing some Continentals. These tires came with a nice center groove which seemed to allow water dissipation at any speed and maintained good traction. Looking for any member's experiences regarding available tire choices today, specifically for good wet weather traction. With the Conti's on (being younger and somewhat more foolish) I found I could go faster in the rain as, not only was I confident in how they stuck to the road, but speed tended to clear the windshield better. Never had to really test hard stopping in the rain, luckily, however. Thoughts?
    1980 XS1100G (one owner-me)
    1983 Kawasaki GPZ750 (Frankenbike)
    Owned - 1976 XS750D
    Owned - 1972 Honda CB750
    Owned - (unknown year) XS650
    (+ too many Yammies/Hondas to mention)

  • #2
    Hah! I'm also Len B the name I use on here is my initials, 3rd in line behind dad and grampa.

    I've run a lot of different tires in the last five years on various bikes, generally wearing out a couple of sets each season. I've tried most of what you'd consider "cheap" brands and a couple of bigger named brands.

    True, you want to evacuate water away from the contact patch. Thing is, one continuous groove right down the center tends to make the front tire ride in the direction of rain grooves instead of the road and bridge grates will leave you wishing you brought a change of underwear. You might wanna keep that in mind as you shop.

    Personally I prefer a tread pattern that uses cross hatches across the center going in both directions to clear out the contact patch. The Shinko 777 I had on the front of a lightweight Suzuki kept me feeling confident in both the wet and dry. One particularly day I was up about 9,000 feet in the Rockies with a good rain coming down and the road looking slushy from the golf ball sized hail coming down. That tire impressed that day. There was also a Continental Conti Trail Attack II that I ran on that bike which is billed as dual sport tire. It's not much of a dual sport tire but it went through a couple of heavy downpours extremely well and the bike rode better overall compared to the Shinko 777.

    Splurged on a set of Dunlop Elite's for my Goldwing. Damn, they never seemed to wear out! Thing is though, when your in the wet and gearing down at 3k and the back tire skids you know the rubber you got back there is harder than Chinese math. Can't hardly have fun in the twisties riding an RV!

    I'm on my second set of Dunlop 404's on my 1100G. If you want an all around tire it's the best choice out there. It runs as well down the interstate as it does down a dirt road, doesn't care about rain grooves or bridge grates and I've never felt nervous riding through the rain on them. Yeah, they're a cheap tire and they wear fast but I like a sticky feel and am not afraid of getting dirty with a set of tire irons in my hand. Fresh rubber feels and rides better either way.
    1980 XS1100G

    I'm selling good clean hay. If you want something that's already passed through the horse, that comes a little cheaper.

    The quickest reply on a motorcycle repair forum comes when you post the wrong answer to your own question.

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    • #3
      On my CX650 that I rode rain or shine, I loved the Metzler lazertech front. They still make the same tread pattern more than 30 years later so there is something to be said for that. It is the straight line down the middle and like 45° lines out the sides. I'm fair weather rider nowadays and on my XS11 I like the fresh 777 shinkos so far.
      1979 XS1100 Special
      1980 XS1100 Std parts bucket
      1987 ZL1000 Eliminator
      1976 XS750D Project in waiting

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      • #4
        For what it's worth, the Continental Conti-Go front and rear of my Venturer sipes the water at speed very well and holds well pertaining to sharp cornering at speed.
        81H Venturer1100 "The Bentley" (on steroids) 97 Yamaha YZ250(age reducer) 92 Honda ST1100 "Twisty"(touring rocket) Age is relative to the number of seconds counted 'airing' out an 85ft. table-top.

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        • #5
          Always felt comfortable with my Metzler tires. Excellent rain tire.
          1980 XS1100 SG
          Inline fuel filters
          New wires in old coils-outer spark plugs
          160 mph speedometer mod
          Kerker Exhaust
          xschop K & N air filter setup
          Dynojet Recalibration kit
          1999 Kawasaki ZRX1100
          1997 Jeep Cherokee 4.5"lift installed

          Comment


          • #6
            good morning, I just finished my last ride of the season here and ran into rain every day on the 1300km run, in my humble opinion the best rain tire is the four on my GMC truck.... rain riding on a bike in twisty mountain country is a challenge I have never enjoyed. thanx andreas

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            • #7
              Originally posted by LAB3 View Post
              I'm on my second set of Dunlop 404's on my 1100G. If you want an all around tire it's the best choice out there. It runs as well down the interstate as it does down a dirt road, doesn't care about rain grooves or bridge grates and I've never felt nervous riding through the rain on them. Yeah, they're a cheap tire and they wear fast but I like a sticky feel and am not afraid of getting dirty with a set of tire irons in my hand. Fresh rubber feels and rides better either way.
              With my favorites all now NLA for the XS11, I too have gone to the Dunlop 404. So far, I happy with it.
              Marty (in Mississippi)
              XS1100SG
              XS650SK

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              • #8
                I don't have a problem riding in the rain, but where my Mom lives and in the area, there are several grooved roads that are slick when it rains and they are around a curve. I think it is to slow down vehicles but never liked grooved road sections.
                1980 XS1100 SG
                Inline fuel filters
                New wires in old coils-outer spark plugs
                160 mph speedometer mod
                Kerker Exhaust
                xschop K & N air filter setup
                Dynojet Recalibration kit
                1999 Kawasaki ZRX1100
                1997 Jeep Cherokee 4.5"lift installed

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by oldyam80sg View Post
                  I don't have a problem riding in the rain, but where my Mom lives and in the area, there are several grooved roads that are slick when it rains and they are around a curve. I think it is to slow down vehicles but never liked grooved road sections.
                  What tires are you running?

                  1980 XS1100G

                  I'm selling good clean hay. If you want something that's already passed through the horse, that comes a little cheaper.

                  The quickest reply on a motorcycle repair forum comes when you post the wrong answer to your own question.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Have Meltzers on my SG. Don't remember which one but ME something.
                    1980 XS1100 SG
                    Inline fuel filters
                    New wires in old coils-outer spark plugs
                    160 mph speedometer mod
                    Kerker Exhaust
                    xschop K & N air filter setup
                    Dynojet Recalibration kit
                    1999 Kawasaki ZRX1100
                    1997 Jeep Cherokee 4.5"lift installed

                    Comment

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