Just checking in with a long-overdue story and a question. When I first bought my 'new to me' 2000 K1200RS late last year, it was wearing a set of new 120/180 Dunlop Roadsmarts. I switched to Michelin Pilot Road II's and the results have been dramatic. The RS's would break away in any kind of damp/wet road conditions. I mean ANY. Not long ago, I was riding with my wife up 35 onto Skyline Drive one sunny Sunday morning. Doing 50 mph; a tad damp in the shade, 12pm. Medium sized uphill sweeper, INcreasing radius, slightly POSITIVE camber. NO sudden throttle crackin'. Slight countersteer, nothing heroic. Result? Rear tire slipped maybe 12"-18" out; a smooth increase in throttle along with a butt-shift got it back under us, but... WTF? A near-lowside on a damp road with NO shiny dribbles (what are those pavement eels called again?), in it? The temp was well over 50 degrees, very little wind. Even allowing for the cold tarmac that looked pretty non-porous, this was enough to stop and look at the corner on foot. No oil, chemicals, nuthin'. There have been several other sketchy episodes with the rear tire, and all involve wet/damp roadway and nothing else. No wild countersteering, uneven throttle, decreasing radius off camber hairpin soaked in tranny fluid, nada. On any other tires, I'd have cut them off with a Buck knife right then and there after I called in a trailer from Ted Porter Beemershop and an order for some Metzys or PR
/PPII's... I'd just heard so many *good*, tasty things about these Roadsmarts, I let it go, stupidly. Now on a pair of Michelin PR
II's and lovin' it. No comparison, and no mystery lowside tendencies at all, as I'd expect from *any* tire, from my '70's-era Bultaco 250, let alone a set of modern Z-rated radials huggin' the front and rear (5.5") rims of one of the best sport touring bikes ever made.
If this was one isolated incident, I'd probably write it off. But about 4 or 5 other, similar one-up riding incidents on damp/wet pavement in ordinary, no stress to any *normal* radial tire's traction situations have caused me to lose confidence in these tires to the point where I would absolutely refuse to ride in the wet with these tires ever again, on any bike, let alone my K1200RS. BTW, the bike was running on a new set of shocks and steering damper, everything in perfect mechanical condition. I'm closing in on 1 million miles of street riding, and like to think that experience, sobriety and slightly more mature judgement and the even temper that comes with having raised both hell in my youth and children in my middle age have all conspired to qualify me to safely pilot my wife and I up a mountain road in clear weather.
Just want to run this by y'all to share the experience and ask the obvious: anyone else have a campfire tale with these donuts as either culprit or hero?