Q Should I tread care­fully with tyre size on my GSX-R?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - GARAGE -

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

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