Tire speed ratings and handling


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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Solina Dave
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Tire speed ratings and handling

Postby Solina Dave » Tue Mar 17, 2015 6:13 pm



I've been trying to educate myself regarding motorcycle tires. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information out there.
I have a question, regarding the Bridgestone Battlax BT-45 and BT-45V tires, as an example. The BT-45 has an H speed rating (130 mph.). The BT-45V has a V speed rating (149 mph.). Does anyone know if, aside from the obvious need for sturdier constuction for the V rated tire, would there be any difference in the handling characteristics of the tires? The tread pattern looks to be the same for both. Randakk said they were, he believed, the best tire around for a GL1000, and to be sure to choose the V rated tire. Why? No explanation. Why other than to cater to racer types, as opposed to tourers like us. My GL wouldn't even go 130 mph. I don't understand the blanket recommendation for everybody to go for the higher speed rating. That's my reason for wondering, and asking if there's a handling difference between the two tires. I can't see it. And besides, the BT-45Vs seem harder to get.

Any comment?............................Dave


"Assume Nothing"

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Re: Tire speed ratings and handling

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:13 am

The speed rating means that the tire is designed to be operated at the specified speed, carrying its specified load, with correct air pressure, without failing. Tires with a higher speed rating may have a different design internally to withstand the stresses of higher speed, or perhaps better dissipation of heat.

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HawkeyeGL1200
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Re: Tire speed ratings and handling

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 9:42 am

It's been a while since I exceeded 149 mph on a motorcycle, and personally I don't plan on going that fast any time soon. I look for how much LOAD the tire(s) are rated to carry before I look at speed rating, if I look at speed rating at all. I'm more concerned with "if" my tires are designed to carry a combined weight of 1000 pounds or so... I figure the bike is making up most of that load... but I do represent about 20-25% of that weight.. plus the junk I carry around in my bags and trunk...

There's a whole lot to learn about tires. I wish I knew more and I try to learn as I go. If you get a tire that isn't designed to carry the right amount of weight, nothing good will come of it regardless of how "fast" it is designed to go. I looked at the Battleaxe tires and decided I'd opt for a set that has a higher weight rating, if memory serves me ... I know they're marketed as "Harley" tires.. and one would think a Harley is a pretty heavy motorcycle, but they're apparently not as heavy as some Goldwings.
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Solina Dave
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Re: Tire speed ratings and handling

Postby Solina Dave » Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:12 am

HawkeyeGL1200 wrote:It's been a while since I exceeded 149 mph on a motorcycle, and personally I don't plan on going that fast any time soon. I look for how much LOAD the tire(s) are rated to carry before I look at speed rating, if I look at speed rating at all. I'm more concerned with "if" my tires are designed to carry a combined weight of 1000 pounds or so... I figure the bike is making up most of that load... but I do represent about 20-25% of that weight.. plus the junk I carry around in my bags and trunk...

There's a whole lot to learn about tires. I wish I knew more and I try to learn as I go. If you get a tire that isn't designed to carry the right amount of weight, nothing good will come of it regardless of how "fast" it is designed to go. I looked at the Battleaxe tires and decided I'd opt for a set that has a higher weight rating, if memory serves me ... I know they're marketed as "Harley" tires.. and one would think a Harley is a pretty heavy motorcycle, but they're apparently not as heavy as some Goldwings.


I just ordered a pair of Battlax BT-45 tires from Canada's Motorcycle.(10% off for buying two tires, free shipping, up in Canada anyway, and a 13% sales tax). $301.07 Cdn. delivered. You'd probably do very well with the dollar the way it is right now.
They were pictured, on their site as BT-45. I had looked on Bridgestone's website, and there were pictures of two tire possibilities, a BT-45 and a BT-45V. I contacted Canada's Motorcycle for confirmation, and got the following back from them.

The speed and load ratings for the Bridgestone Battlax BT-45 tires are as follows:
Front 100/90-19 = 57V - 230kg/240km (507 lb/149 mph)
Rear 130/90-17 = 68V - 315kg/240km (694 lb/149 mph)

Canada's Motorcycle only pictured the tire as a BT-45, but it has the load and speed ratings of a BT-45V. They ensured me that the tires, which I should receive in a few days, were a "V" rated tire. I'll let you know once I check the sidewall info.
I've never used the Battlax tires, only the Spitfires which have been excellent, but I have a feeling that they're going to be as good, or maybe better. I can hardly wait Hawkeye. Imagine, 149 mph. through those Blue Ridge roads, on my '78 Goldwing!

Lean into those curves...........................Dave
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HawkeyeGL1200
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Re: Tire speed ratings and handling

Postby HawkeyeGL1200 » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:59 pm

Make sure you shoot video of that ride. I'm sure you'll get two or three billion hits if you post it on YouTube :-)
I am wrong as often as I am right concerning what is wrong with someone else' motorcycle without having seen the machine in person. Guessing with limited information, as to the source of the trouble, is sketchy at best.

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Dusty Boots
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Re: Tire speed ratings and handling

Postby Dusty Boots » Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:10 pm

Solina Dave wrote: ...... My GL wouldn't even go 130 mph ......
Any comment?............................Dave



:?: My old 75 would regularly hit 126 - 128 mph!



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Solina Dave
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Re: Tire speed ratings and handling

Postby Solina Dave » Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:16 pm

HawkeyeGL1200 wrote:Make sure you shoot video of that ride. I'm sure you'll get two or three billion hits if you post it on YouTube :-)


Yeah! Especially holding the camera with one hand.
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f1xrupr
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Re: Tire speed ratings and handling

Postby f1xrupr » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:07 pm

I'll be needing tires soon, but I guess for the putting around locally that I do, I should be ok with a set of eco-brand....? Something caught my eye above-Wingadmin mentioned heat dissipation. I was at a tire show years ago, and the salesman did a interesting demonstration about heat dissipation in steel belted radials...he took a quarter, and placed it on a unfolded paper napkin. Then, he raised all the edges of the napkin, and twisted that quartet up in that napkin so that he had 1 layer of paper flat against that quarter. Then, he took a lit cigarette-puffed it a bunch to get it hot, and then, he tried to burn a hole in that napkin with that quarter behind it. It wouldn't do it....not at all! I thought that was impressive, and showed it several times since (I no longer smoke) Speaks well for radials I suppose-I don't know if there are bike radials or not...? sorry if that was to far off topic...


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