Q Should I tread carefully with tyre size on my GSX-R?
My Suzuki GSX-R1000 K6 had a 190/55 rear tyre when I bought it. The standard size is 190/50 which I have on now. I did notice that it turned quicker with the 55, but was advised to go with the manufacturer’s recommendation. My question is, can I simply change the tyre size to a 55 without altering anything else? Rob Tucknott, email
Answered by Bryn Phillips, Cambrian Tyres Ltd
A Of the seven main tyre manufacturers, four have approved the fitment of 190/55ZR17 sports tyres on your GSX-R1000 K6. They are Bridgestone, Continental, Pirelli and Metzeler. Does this mean that the other three manufacturers’ 190/55ZR17 tyres won’t work on your Gixxer? Probably not, but without those three tyre manufacturers’ confirmation we’ll never know. Maybe they haven’t bothered testing this size because they don’t see the need, or maybe they have tested them and they failed to meet the required standards of performance. My money is on the former, but like I say, we’ll never know. This creates a dilemma for you because by fitting a non-approved tyre you might need to inform your insurer. Alternatively, you could simply fit approved 190/55ZR17 tyres from the four that have approved them, which then gives you those manufacturers’ full support. This includes the Continental Sport Attack, Metzeler Racetec RR K3 and Pirelli’s Diablo Supercorsa SP. One advantage of a 190/55ZR17 is that it gives you a slightly larger contact patch, giving a bit more grip and traction when comparing like-for-like tyres. If you want to try the Michelin Power RS on your bike my advice would be to stick with the 190/50ZR17.
Tyre size can make a noticeable difference to a bike’s handling