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Love My Baby
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Discussion Starter #1
Read the verses, searched the net and I've tentatively decided on purchasing Pirelli MT66 tires, front & rear, to replace my stock Bridgestones at just over 10,000 miles.

Before taking the plunge, I'd really like to hear from some of my VN750.com buddies who may be riding with these babies. Any comments or experiences you can share with me?

Thanks all...
 

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I replaced my stock Bridgestones with the MT66s at about 12K mi. My impressions are that the rear tire is really quite round. I don't think there is any chance of wearing off the chicken strips on that tire. My other observation is that they don't seem to stick quite as well. I've had the rear slip on me a bit a couple of times when the stock Bridgestones never did. They do have the advantage of lacking a center groove which was one criteria I had when looking for replacements. All and all, I'm not in love with these tires. I'll do some more searching before I buy new ones.
 

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Premium Member
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I put Pirelli Rt66 on both my bikes shortly after I got them. Since these are my first bikes, I don't have other tires to compare them to. I put 6,000 miles on the VN750, and the tires look almost new to me. I don't think I'm too hard on the throttle, which may be a contributing factor to tire longevity. I try to avoid riding in the rain, but have been caught in some storms on a couple of occasions. I didn't notice any slipping problems, but I ride more conservatively in the rain, so that may not be a good comparison.

In short, I like them and it looks like they will go at least 12,000 miles before they need to be replaced.
 

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Undercover Sportbiker
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I have zero personal experience, but here is a review from the Ninja 250 board, based on experience form multiple riders:

This is basically a Harley tire. The tire life is good, but the tire has almost no wet traction, so it would be a poor choice for touring (even though it's labeled as a touring tire). It's made for long, straight, dry stretches of interstate. The cornering on dry roads is no better than the stock rear. Crawling to a stop at a light in the rain is annoying as well.
 

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I have them on mine and have almost 7000 miles on them. I only have about 1200 miles on bald stock tires to compare them too so I couldn't really say how they compare to others, but I am very happy with them. I have ridden in the rain a couple times an haven't had any problems, but I don't ride in the rain like an idiot either. My rear tire is starting to show some wear, but I'm thinking I can probably get 10k out of it. The front still looks new. All in all they didn't cost an arm and a leg and they seem to do the job. I'll probably get them again when the time comes.
 

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One more thing to notice. You will definitely wear off the chicken strips on the front long before you do on the back. The rear has a rounder profile, at least when mounted, than the front does.
 

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Love My Baby
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1,165 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I replaced my stock Bridgestones with the MT66s at about 12K mi. My impressions are that the rear tire is really quite round. I don't think there is any chance of wearing off the chicken strips on that tire. My other observation is that they don't seem to stick quite as well. I've had the rear slip on me a bit a couple of times when the stock Bridgestones never did. They do have the advantage of lacking a center groove which was one criteria I had when looking for replacements. All and all, I'm not in love with these tires. I'll do some more searching before I buy new ones.

One more thing to notice. You will definitely wear off the chicken strips on the front long before you do on the back. The rear has a rounder profile, at least when mounted, than the front does.
Thanks Jworth. But I got two questions for you.
1. Does the front tire not last as long as the rear? Or as long as the front Bridgestone? Ususally a front tire will last almost twice as long as a rear.
2. Why don't you like a center grove in the rear tire? I would think that would be an excellent rain channel.
 

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I have put bout 3k on the MT66 tires with no complaints. Not aggresive when riding in the rain, that said, no traction problems wet or dry. I did oversize front and back with no problems that I can perceive other than when on the open road the tires seemed to kinda wander and not track rock solid straight. But, that could be anything, tire pressure, etc. I currently run 36psi front and back only because that was the installers recommendation and they sell a ton of the Pirellis. The center groove issue is a tracking concern like in respect to bridge grates and road seems, as I understand it. Compared to the wife's Metzeler 880s, I find 'em comparable...my 2c.
 

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My vn750 isn't my primary bike so while I've had these tires a while, I've not put lots of miles on them. I haven't put enough to know how they are going to wear out relative to one another or previous tires. My stock tires on this bike wore at pretty much the same rate. I replaced them both at the same time and they both needed it. That is going to vary depending on how a particular individual rides, their weight, bike loads, etc. Point is, I don't know how they are going to wear. They do seem to have rather deep tread channels if that counts for anything.

As far as the center grove is concerned, the center grove in a tire will tend to track rain groves that they put in some pavement. They say it isn't unsafe, but it sure feels weird and I don't much care for it. I imagine that effect would be reduced on the rear tire as compared to the front. Nothing wrong with that center grove as far as channeling water. Well maybe. The way I see it, I'd rather have groves that are diagonal from the center out towards the edge. That'd get the water actually out from under the tire as compared to shifting it fore or aft. That said, the groves on the MT66 aren't that way either. They're not a straight central grove, but the center groves do not connect to those on the outside of the tire IIRC.

I have heard/seen pics of of some tires failing at the center grove. That might be anecdotal, but it still gets my attention. I really don't think that is a big risk, but once you've seen it, it's hard to get that out of your mind.
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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I have no experience with the Pirelli MT66 tires, but the more time I spend on the Darkside forums, the more inclined I am to try a car tire like the Vredestien 165H R15 that crznurs put 15k miles on the rear wheel with her vn700 before she sold it. She said it still had 75% of the tread left. She has a car tire on her new ride too, a 1600cc Vstar, I believe.

Here are two links where she talks about car tires on her bike(s), and that she will never go back to motorcycle tires.

http://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11004&highlight=darkside+vredestien
http://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13243&highlight=darkside+vredestien

Here is another Darksiders experience: http://lifeisaroad.com/stories/2004/10/27/theDarkSide.html
 

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My favorite tire is the stock Bridgestones that came on the later models. I got 20,000 miles out of more than one set of those. I don't know if they are still available. A dealer might be able to get them, or possibly bikebandit.com. Dennis Kirk used to carry them, but I don't believe they do anymore. Just one more part you can't get for these bikes anymore. They are not cheap, but I hate changing tires, especially balancing, and they are the longest lasting tires I've ever used. The Pirelli MT66 "Route" tires seem to work fine on dry pavement (it doesn't rain here in the Phoenix, AZ area), but they just don't last long enough. 10,000-12,000 miles, and they were worn out. I'm on my second set of Metzler ME880s, and so far they are the best non OEM tire I've used. They don't last quite as long as the Bridgestones, but way longer than the Pirellis or Dunlops. I never had an issue with the center groove. In fact, it's what I used to tell me when the tire was worn out. When the groove was gone, it was time for new tires. BTW, I now use Ride-On when I install new tires. I balance them perfectly first, then put the Ride-On in. Jerry.
 

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Love My Baby
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Discussion Starter #13
Just got my Pirelli MT66's installed. Went with the 110's up front. Paid $40 for the two tires mount/balance/install and they re-lubed the splines for me, no charge. I provided the Honda Moly 60 'cause it was my preference. Hated to pay for the install but I don't have the time right now to do it on my own.

Road over 50 miles on them today, and they seem great. Of course, my stock Bridgestones were pretty darn worn, at just over 10,500 miles, so any new tire would probably feel better. Hardly had any center groove left on the Bridgestones.

I made a fatal error that I hope others can avoid. Forgot to make sure the install would include new valve stems, especially a low profile one for the rear. Seems they re-used the same ones I had originally. I can tell because my front stem is only 1 inch but the rear is 1 1/4. Guess that might have happened when I had the rear tire replaced due to a flat from a big screw between the treads shortly after I bought the bike. They probably changed the rear valve stem back then and didn't think about the size of it. This time they didn't even change the stems. I should have specifically asked them to, but I just ASSumed...
 

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Other than the failure to change the stems, that's a great price for all they did. Local shop charges $35/loose tire to dismount and mount. That doesn't include balance or taking tires off bike, let alone spline lube.
 
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