Best tyres for a BMW K1600GT

Published: 23 November 2011

Q. I love my BMW K1600GT but I have struggled to get a decent mileage from the OE tyres. On my best behaviour I can get 3500 miles tops, but I want to get it above 4000 miles otherwise a big trip becomes a pain.

When I got the bike there was a shortage of tyres, so I tried to shop around, but I was told that although there were other tyres available, they weren’t type approved. Yet they were being used in other countries on the same bike. Surely if the tyre is correctly sized, correctly speed rated and weight rated then it should be legal in the UK?

I assume the original tyres as supplied by BMW would have needed to be type approved as part of the whole vehicle approval, but where does that leave aftermarket tyres, do they need to be type approved for every vehicle they would fit?
Steven Leys, email
 
A. Getting 3500-4000 miles from tyres on the biggest, fastest, sportiest handling touring bike is pretty good. A Goldwing it isn’t. When BMW developed the bike they will have worked with Bridgestone and Metzeler to put the rubber through as general type approval for the whole bike.

So you have a choice of Bridgestone 021 and 022s and also Metzeler Roadtec Z8 Interact C (the C refers to the construction, which is stiffer than normal to take account of the bike’s weight andperformance).

Replacement tyres do not need to be type approved, instead the tyre firms carry out their owntests on a bike when it comes to market and recommend tyres in their range off the back of that.

That’s not to say that you can’t use any other tyre, apart from the BMW OE-spec tyres. The problem is you will be doing it off your own bat as none of the other firms have tested their tyres on that bike yet.

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