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TOPIC: 1980 KZ440 LTD Belt Tire Options/Reccomendations

1980 KZ440 LTD Belt Tire Options/Reccomendations 08 Oct 2019 09:43 #812064

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Hello everyone,

My '80 KZ440 is in need of new tires. Both the front and rear are beginning to crack on the sidewalls from dry rot. She takes a 3.25-19 on the front and 130/19-16 on the rear, according to spec. I do not have the best grasp on tire sizing when it comes to motorcycles because it's a bit cryptic. I have tracked down a set that I like, but I'm not sure if the rear will fit. The Front tire is an exact match at 3.25-19 and can be found here. www.motosport.com/irc-gs11-grand-high-sp...5d=IRC0009-X001-Y002 It's an IRC GS-11 Grand High Speed tire. They do not have an exact match in this tread style for the rear tire, but they do have a 4.60-16 sized rear tire which can be found here. www.motosport.com/irc-gs11-grand-high-speed-rear-tire?variant [IRC000A]=IRC000A-X001-Y003 I'm pretty sure that it would fit the rim on the rear tire just fine, but the width is what I'm unsure about.

Would this rear tire fit alright, you think? And even if it would fit, would it look "goofy" on the bike, given the difference in size from the original tire? The bike is all stock. Any info would be appreciated, or even if you have a particular set of tires that you recommend for this bike! Thanks

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1980 KZ440 LTD Belt Tire Options/Reccomendations 08 Oct 2019 13:08 #812069

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Just curious. Why did you pick those tires? Tread Pattern? Cost? or ...
That site has Shinko 712 tires in the needed sizes.
For metric-alpha-inch tire sizing >> do an internet image search for motorcycle tire conversion chart

...

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1980 KZ440 LTD Belt Tire Options/Reccomendations 08 Oct 2019 13:37 #812071

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martin_csr wrote: Just curious. Why did you pick those tires? Tread Pattern? Cost? or ...
That site has Shinko 712 tires in the needed sizes.
For metric-alpha-inch tire sizing >> do an internet image search for motorcycle tire conversion chart

...


I picked them because I liked the tread pattern on them, and thought they sounded like they would provide good performance. Admittedly, I have never bought a set of motorcycle tires before. I've been riding for 3 years and doing my own work the whole time, but I never had a reason to mess with the tires until just recently. Is it not a common practice to select a tire not only by the performance it provides but by the visual look as well? Or do most just find any tire that safely fits what the bike needs, and then buy them regardless of how they look? Honest question!

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1980 KZ440 LTD Belt Tire Options/Reccomendations 08 Oct 2019 18:22 #812090

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I think some riders do buy them based on how they look. Some guys like raised white lettering, often times the 1000 Ltd owners. I haven't bought very many sets of tires, but I just try to choose a tire with good traction. I'm currently running Bridgestone Battlax BT45s. my motorcycle uses the same sizes as your 440.

....

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1980 KZ440 LTD Belt Tire Options/Reccomendations 09 Oct 2019 04:14 #812110

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Buying motorcycle tires can be confusing, even though with these older bikes there are fewer choices every year. For street bikes there are basically three major types of tires, touring, spot touring, sport and antique / classic.
Touring tires focus on long life and performance in the rain. Sport tires focus on dry traction. Sport touring tires fall somewhere in between. Classic tires focus on looks and durability. Yes, these are general characteristics.
Sizing is even more bewildering. In the old days in the U.S., tires used inch measurements like 3.25 - 19. That meant that the bead of the tire was close to 3.25 inches wide, and it would fit a 19 inch diameter wheel. European and Asian manufacturers used metric measurements, which has become the standard. In the 1970s, tire manufacturers began measuring the tasting between the tire width and sidewalk height, so we now have sizes like 110/90-19.
Decide how you will ride and find the proper size.
1982 KZ1000 LTD parts donor
1981 KZ1000 LTD awaiting resurrection
2000 ZRX1100 not ridden enough
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1980 KZ440 LTD Belt Tire Options/Reccomendations 09 Oct 2019 10:30 #812128

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TexasKZ wrote: Buying motorcycle tires can be confusing, even though with these older bikes there are fewer choices every year. For street bikes there are basically three major types of tires, touring, spot touring, sport and antique / classic.
Touring tires focus on long life and performance in the rain. Sport tires focus on dry traction. Sport touring tires fall somewhere in between. Classic tires focus on looks and durability. Yes, these are general characteristics.
Sizing is even more bewildering. In the old days in the U.S., tires used inch measurements like 3.25 - 19. That meant that the bead of the tire was close to 3.25 inches wide, and it would fit a 19 inch diameter wheel. European and Asian manufacturers used metric measurements, which has become the standard. In the 1970s, tire manufacturers began measuring the tasting between the tire width and sidewalk height, so we now have sizes like 110/90-19.
Decide how you will ride and find the proper size.


Sheesh, they sure didn't make it that easy, did they? My main problem at the moment tho is that I can't seem to find 2 of the same exact tire that will fit. The user, Martin_crs, who posted earlier in my thread mentioned that the site I posted with the tires I liked had Shinko 712 tires in my size on it. However, upon looking, I see only 3.00-18 for the front tire which is not the 3.25-19 mentioned in the spec, and then a rear tire that would fit correctly to spec. I can literally only find mismatching tires, and I really want to avoid that, lol.

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1980 KZ440 LTD Belt Tire Options/Reccomendations 09 Oct 2019 15:25 #812141

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I think when the site lists tires for your specific motorcycle, they probably only list the 3.25-19 size.
Using a motorcycle tire conversion chart, a 100/90-19 is the metric equivalent.
I don't know much about Shinko tires & never had a set of them. I just happened to see them in the needed sizes for a matched set.
I did not search for any other tires.

motorsport.com >> Shinko 712 100/90-19 Front

motorsport.com >> Shinko 712 130/90-16 Rear
...
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1980 KZ440 LTD Belt Tire Options/Reccomendations 09 Oct 2019 16:44 #812142

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According to Kawasaki.com the 1980 KZ440-D1 (LTD) uses 3.25/19 front and 130/90-16 rear tires. The metric equivalent of the 3.25/19 front tire is 100/90-19 (see www.maxxis.com/other-motorcycle-informat...torcycle-tire-school ).

So one option is to buy Pirelli MT66 Route 66 tires. See www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/pirelli-mt66...KfD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds and you’ll find that Pirelli offers those sizes. I give that site as an example; you may find better prices elsewhere. Ed
1977 KZ650-C1 Original Owner - Stock (with additional invisible FIAMM horn)
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1980 KZ440 LTD Belt Tire Options/Reccomendations 10 Oct 2019 13:42 #812191

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Ah, now I understand. That conversion chart was very helpful. Thank you both. I think it's just a sad byproduct that a bike that is 4 decades old will simply not have a lot of OEM options left, typically. I think I'm going to go with the Pirelli MT66 Route 66 tires. They still look very nice, and are very reasonably priced.

I did find a set of Firestone Deluxe Champion tires that would fit, but they're quite expensive. Although I do like the way they look very much. I'm not sure which I will ultimately decide on, but I'll be sure to update once I do!

Here's the Firestone Tires that I found.
Firestone Front Tire
Firestone Rear Tire

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1980 KZ440 LTD Belt Tire Options/Reccomendations 10 Oct 2019 17:20 #812214

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Even though the word "Firestone" may be present on the tire those tires are made by Coker; Firestone has not made motorcycle tires for quite a few decades. I would not use them on any bike I planned to ride since their tread pattern was designed decades ago and is not nearly as good as any modern motorcycle tire tread pattern. Notice even the Coker statement says they are "extremely popular for pre-WWII American motorcycles." The link below explains. Keep in mind that motorcycle tires keep the rider from becoming a stain on the asphalt, so buying really good tires with excellent wet and dry traction characteristics is quite important from a safety perspective. A flat tire on a car is an inconvenience; a flat tire on a bike lead to a tombstone. Ed

www.cokertire.com/tires/styles/motorcycle-bike.html
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1980 KZ440 LTD Belt Tire Options/Reccomendations 10 Oct 2019 19:16 #812220

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How about these?
www.avontyres.com/en-us/tyres/?searchtyp...Z+440+LTD+Belt+Drive

I have had good luck with Avons
1982 KZ1000 LTD parts donor
1981 KZ1000 LTD awaiting resurrection
2000 ZRX1100 not ridden enough

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1980 KZ440 LTD Belt Tire Options/Reccomendations 10 Oct 2019 20:08 #812226

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Try looking at denniskirk.com.

You can enter your year and model of bike and search for exact-fit parts, including tires. I bought a set of tires a couple years ago for my 440 project bike; now if I could only remember what they are. :unsure:

They're still in the box. I'll try to check tomorrow or on the weekend.
1979 KZ400 Gifted to a couple of nephews
1967 Yamaha YCS1 Bonanza
1981 Yamaha XT250H
1981 KZ440 LTD project bike
1981 GPz550
2013 Yamaha FZ6R

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1980 KZ440 LTD Belt Tire Options/Reccomendations 11 Oct 2019 10:41 #812258

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TexasKZ wrote: How about these?
www.avontyres.com/en-us/tyres/?searchtyp...Z+440+LTD+Belt+Drive

I have had good luck with Avons

Those look pretty nice! I'm not sure which one's i'm going to get just yet. I'm still debating with myself as to which I would prefer. I'll add these to my list of possible choices though. Thanks!

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1980 KZ440 LTD Belt Tire Options/Reccomendations 11 Oct 2019 10:44 #812259

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650ed wrote: Even though the word "Firestone" may be present on the tire those tires are made by Coker; Firestone has not made motorcycle tires for quite a few decades. I would not use them on any bike I planned to ride since their tread pattern was designed decades ago and is not nearly as good as any modern motorcycle tire tread pattern. Notice even the Coker statement says they are "extremely popular for pre-WWII American motorcycles." The link below explains. Keep in mind that motorcycle tires keep the rider from becoming a stain on the asphalt, so buying really good tires with excellent wet and dry traction characteristics is quite important from a safety perspective. A flat tire on a car is an inconvenience; a flat tire on a bike lead to a tombstone. Ed

www.cokertire.com/tires/styles/motorcycle-bike.html


Thank you for pointing that out. I definitely did not realize that they weren't actually Firestone tires. The tires are incredibly important and I want to make a good choice on which ones to get, but they're also such a large part of the bikes aesthetic. I want to get safe and dependable tires, while also satisfying my desire for a good looking wheel to complement the bike. 98% chance that I will not be getting the Corker tires though, haha.

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1980 KZ440 LTD Belt Tire Options/Reccomendations 11 Oct 2019 11:15 #812260

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Nerdy wrote: Try looking at denniskirk.com.

You can enter your year and model of bike and search for exact-fit parts, including tires. I bought a set of tires a couple years ago for my 440 project bike; now if I could only remember what they are. :unsure:

They're still in the box. I'll try to check tomorrow or on the weekend.


I took a look there and I found a coupe different sets that could work! Namely a set of Continental Conti Twin RB2/K112 Tires , which seem very nice. I like the look of them, and they're not crazy expensive. (Although they are a little on the higher end of the price range) I'm torn a bit between these Continental tires or the Pirelli MT66 Route 66 tires, but those are the one's I'm currently leaning towards.

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