Tyres 900SS

When I bought it my 900SS, it had two new Dunlop 208s fitted - they’ve been excellent for grip - very sure-footed before a gradual, controllable slide, and longevity not bad, although both are on their last legs after 5k miles. They gave me enough confidence on the SS to happily follow modern supersports in and through the twistys, and often around the outside of many… Strangely, the front has worn more on the edges than the centre, yet the rear has slightly squared off :open_mouth: Anyone else encountered this? I’m assuming this has happened because I like to push the weight onto the front more than the back through corners?

I’ve been forced to replace the rear because of a nail through the carcass - and as I had a pair of Avon Azaros in the garage, the back one’s gone on to get me back on the road.

I’m interested in other riders comments on these and other tyres fitted to Ducs. First impressions are the back feels slightly looser, but not bad considering they are marketed more as for use on wet than dry roads, and that could be a combination of the new tyre sheen and a need to fiddle with the pressure… Yes I’d love to fit race track rubber, but a tyre thats baldy in 1k miles isn’t much use on a bike that’s used as on the daily commute…

I scoured the internet and found that 95% of reviews are so biased towards certain make/compounds to be a waste of time…so, what do the people who own and ride Ducs use? What lasts best on the tourers? What’s a definite no-no on a tuned superbike?

I dug out MCN’s old tyre tests… interesting


1st Pirelli Diablo 95%
2nd Metzeler Sportec M1 90%
3rd Bridgestone BT012 87%
4th Avon Azaro SP 83%
5th Dunlop D208 79%
6th Michelin Pilot Sport 78%
7th Continental Contiforce Max 77%
8th Tomhawk Road 58%


1st Pirelli Diablo Corsa 100%
2nd Metzeler Rennsport 98%
3rd Bridgestone BT012ss 91%
4th Avon Azaro SP Pro series 88%
5th Dunlop D207RR 87%
6th Michelin Piolt Race H2 82%
7th Tomahawk Race 39%

the details indicate the Azaros should prove as good as the 208’s but last longer… and apparently the unusual wear on the front was due to using recommended tyre pressures :astonished: Me friendly local race mechanic says I’d be better using 35 psi and not 32 on a lightweight bike like a 900SS or 600/4 cyl. especially if I favour the front through twistys… he also told me he knows of a well set up 996 which destroyed a rear 208 in under 1k miles, but gets nearer 3k out of Diablos… his opinion is that for the sub 110 bhp machines (so all the 2 valvers), modern sports tourer tyres are brilliant for everything bar trackdays - and only then need changing by the brave ( stupid! )