Unexpected Sketchiness with Dunlop Roadsmarts - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 3rd, 2010, 9:56 pm Thread Starter
crh
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Point Reyes Station, CA, USA
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Unexpected Sketchiness with Dunlop Roadsmarts

Hi All,

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?

Brakes only slow you down!

Last edited by crh; Mar 3rd, 2010 at 11:59 pm.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 2010, 5:10 am
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: n.e.ohia, , usa
Posts: 1,126
Over the years, I've tried just about every brand of tire on my
'98. I figure I've put at least 15 sets of tires on it in the 95K miles
I have on it.

The only ones that have ever scared me were Dunlops, and
I've tried a couple sets of them.

Oddly enough, I really liked Dunlops on my '92 Sentra SE-r.

tim-----still on the right side of the frostline

you can't stop the signal
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 2010, 6:42 am
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Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 311
I've had really good luck with the Z6's I've put on my bike over the years. The only other tire I had was the orginal Bridgestone BT-020's that were okay except for the funky wear patterns that would develop on the front tire. I did manage to go down twice in two years using the Z6's though.

1. Temps in the 20's I went down after taking a right at a STOP sign. Very low speed, probably 10 mph. Just twisted an ankle and spun the bike around on its side a couple times. I figure this was a cold tire/pavement issue along with perhaps black ice. ($8k). Lesson learned.

2. Temps in the 60's I went down around a corner in town from oil on the road at about 20-25 mph. Hurt my riding gear, the bike slid along the left side and bruised my pride. Another lesson learned. ($6k)

.....Mike
'10 K1300GT
Royal Blue Metallic
Garmin Zumo 660
Nolan N-103 w/ BT Kit
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 4th, 2010, 10:40 pm
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Location: Burton, British Columbia, Canada
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Dunlops....even if they were free I would not take them! I had a near new Honda Sabre with OEM Dunlops, that thing was so effing scary...the reason I got a good deal on it from the PO, I think he shat his pants a couple times! But I quickly switched to Metzlers and went on scraping pegs.

I'm biased, my dad was a Michelin dealer....!

Benelli 50cc at 14
Yamaha RD 200 at 16
Yamaha RD 350 at 17
Honda CB 750 F at 18
Honda V45 Sabre at 24
BMW K100RS at 27
BMW R100GS at 34
BMW K1200RS at 53
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 5th, 2010, 2:41 pm Thread Starter
crh
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Location: Point Reyes Station, CA, USA
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Thanks, Guys!

Quote:
Originally Posted by H96669
Dunlops....even if they were free I would not take them! I had a near new Honda Sabre with OEM Dunlops, that thing was so effing scary...the reason I got a good deal on it from the PO, I think he shat his pants a couple times! But I quickly switched to Metzlers and went on scraping pegs.

I'm biased, my dad was a Michelin dealer....!
Thanks, guys! This is just the kind of feedback that's valuable to me... another notch in the 'knowledge & wisdom' database... I'll stick with Michelins and try the Metzler Z6's at some point, too. I'll leave the Dunlops for the county fair bumper cars.

Brakes only slow you down!
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old Mar 6th, 2010, 8:57 am
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Location: northport, michigan, u.s.a
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I'm also running RoadSmarts on 98'krs. So far no major issues,although, the reviews say "Roadsmarts are super "rain tire" I beg to differ! That is when I lost confidence a bit in the Dunlops. They have a neutral feel,nice response, I've pushed them pretty hard and in the "dry" Roadsmarts did well. So, how will they last? I've got just 3900m. on this set and they should be good another 1800-2000? What to try next?? Wondering about "New" Avon Storm 2's.....Ride Safe!!
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