Best tyres for a 2000 Triumph Sprint ST 955i
Q. I ride a 2000 Triumph Sprint ST 955i and can't afford to change it, so I have lowered the gearing to give it a bit more stomp.
It's a great bike but I would like it to steer a bit quicker with some more feel from the front so I can hang it out more. I'm currently running the last pair of Bridgestone 010s I could find as it has always behaved well on those.
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So, what can I do to improve the steering and where should I go with the current crop of tyres? I am a fast but not frantic road rider and tend to tear the tyres up half way between the centre and edge of the tread.
The rear is scrubbed to the edge of the tread but the front has 12mm of virgin surface!
Clive Talbot-Brown, Essex
A. The tyre wear you've mentioned would seem to indicate that the bike isn't set up right and could do with being more on its nose to get the best from it.
If there's too much preload in the front forks it will stop it steering well, as will too much sag at the rear.
Loaded sag is the name given to the amount of suspension travel used up when the bike settles with a rider on board.
To alter the sag you need to adjust how much the springs in the forks and the spring in the rear shock are compressed (also called altering the springs' tension or altering the preload).
As a very broad guide, a road bike should have 25-30mm of loaded sag at the front and 20-22mm at the rear.
Type in 'suspension sag' on motorcyclenews.com and you'll find a general guide on how to get it to your liking.
Those 010s are a good generation older than the current crop and if you get it set up properly a pair of Dunlop Roadsmarts will fit the bill on your bike.