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Thread: 1978 R100/7 best tires?

  1. #1
    Registered User LDB's Avatar
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    1978 R100/7 best tires?

    I need to put new tires on when I get the bike road worthy. My hero is the tortoise not the hare. I will never ride over 90 and most likely never over 80. I would usually ride below 70. The better for enjoying seeing things while riding. So, the primary requirement is safe riding up to at least 80mph with good all around performance handling, braking, cornering. Next would be longevity and last would be price/cost.

    So, not knowing anything about such things, someone said something about different tires for a new current liter touring bike and a 35 year old liter touring bike. To me it seems they'd be similar and take the same tires but who knows. So, what are the best tires for a 1978 R100/7?

  2. #2
    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    I have a 1977 R100RS the same bike as yours only mine has a faring.

    I run Bridgestone Spitfires 90/90 19 Front & 110/90 18 Rear.

    I get great distance out of these tires without giving up anything in handling.

    I have 516,000 miles on my RS and 200,000 with Bridgestones. 300,000 miles pulling a Bushtec Trailer.

    I tried a lot of others tires too. I liked Metzler Marathons till they stopped making a suitable tire for the front.

    Good luck
    Ambassador BMW MOA Ontario Canada
    President Niagara BMW Riders #298
    Knights of the Roundel #333
    1977 R100RS, (Retired) 1993 R100GS (just getting started)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDB View Post
    So, not knowing anything about such things, someone said something about different tires for a new current liter touring bike and a 35 year old liter touring bike. To me it seems they'd be similar and take the same tires but who knows. So, what are the best tires for a 1978 R100/7?
    You're comparing apples and oranges with tires for an Airhead versus tires for any of the latest generation of current BMW motorcycles - tube versus tubeless, rim widths, suspension - thereis no comparison.
    JWMcDonald
    2003 R1150RS (current) / 1978 R80/7 (prior)
    1966 R69S (prior) / 1972 R75/5 (prior)
    Windsor, California

  4. #4
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    I recommend that you focus on tires that are inch-size. This will preserve the geometry of the suspension and make the sidestand work as intended in terms of lean angle. Ask me how I know! Avon and Michelin makes good inch-size tires for Airheads.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  5. #5
    Registered User LDB's Avatar
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    Well it wouldn't be polite of me to ignore a request by someone who helped me with information I needed so sure, how do you know? And thanks to everyone. I found Michelin Pilot Activ on their website that are the correct inch size according to the specs on my bike.

  6. #6
    Registered User PAS's Avatar
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    A good inexpensive tire is the Bridgestone Spitfire S11, I use to run the Dunlop 491 but they dont exist. I tried the Avon Road Riders but the rear cupped so they are out. I think you and I ride the same manner. I'm an older guy, dont take offense to that statement. Now I have the S11 on the rear and the Avon on the front which works fine. I used to get some tracking with the front S11
    1981 R100RT

  7. #7
    Old Salt MEAirhd's Avatar
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    This older guy is liking Dunlop K70's on my 79r100T.

  8. #8
    Registered User LDB's Avatar
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    I looked up the Avon and the Michelin on their respective websites and found the tire for the 1978 R100. Comparing them on motorcyclesuperstore.com the Avons are $229 a set and the Michelins are $209 a set or roughly 10% more for the Avons. So, are the Avons 10% (or more) better than the Michelins?

  9. #9
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    It's all a crap shoot anyway...two different people aren't going to get the same performance due to many factors. I think you won't be dissappointed with either. You'll need tubes, as well.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  10. #10
    Registered User LDB's Avatar
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    For a split second I was going to do something stupid like say I'm sure I'll want new stems as well since that goes automatically with my van tires but it was only a split second until the light came on that tubes have stems attached.

  11. #11
    Registered User JB1982RT's Avatar
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    Activ

    I recently put Pilot Activs on my 1982 R100RT.
    Purchased because they come in inch sizes.
    Not able to comment on tread life yet, but bike runs much smoother than the old Conti Go's that were on it when I got it last year.
    Handling great on highway at 70-80+ mph and precise on backroads.

  12. #12
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    I second Kurt's remark. Too many variables to guarantee same performance on any two bikes - shocks, weight, style of riding, where ridden, and on and on.

    Years ago, I had an Avon on my old Honda and it may have been the best tire I ever had - it stuck to the road and I trusted it completely.

    I hated the Continentals that I had on my old BMW but bought them due to that was what had originally came on it.

    I have Dunlops now, but my son on his K recently purchased Michelins and likes them.

    Sometimes, it boils down to the overall reputation of the company.

  13. #13
    Registered User ezwicky's Avatar
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    pilot activ

    one thing you might want to consider is the ease of road-side tire repair. the michelin pilot activs and said to be very difficult to mount.
    BMWMOA #182796

    '76 R90/6

  14. #14
    James.A
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    Another consideration is the clearance of stamped fork brace and the edge of the tire. I know of a rider who mounted Avon Roadrider on a /6 and there was no clearance. I have a Spitfire on my R100/7 and it gets the tiniest rub from the brace.

  15. #15
    Administrator 20774's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James.A View Post
    Another consideration is the clearance of stamped fork brace and the edge of the tire. I know of a rider who mounted Avon Roadrider on a /6 and there was no clearance. I have a Spitfire on my R100/7 and it gets the tiniest rub from the brace.
    What size where those front tires? I doubt a 90/90 tire will rub the brace on a /7 (the OPs bike). But going to a 100/90 (not really recommended) might. The larger tire doesn't really help things...it actually may hurt handling due to the poor geometry and creating more turn-in force.

    Now the /6 is definitely a different story...different brace at some point.
    Kurt -- Forum Administrator ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

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