Following apparent delamination of the tread on a TT100, I suddenly needed a pair of new tyres, as the other was due for replacement anyway. With a pair of Avon's almost £100 cheaper than two TT100 I took this as God's way of telling me it was time to give the Avon's a try!
First impression was that they didn't look as bad as I had feared from various comments on the forum, so I was keen to do a few miles, and eagerly set off down my street. 50 yards down the street there is a 90 degree bend into which I casually tipped the bike. It dropped into the bend like a Stuka over Dunkirk and frightened the life out of me. What it looked like I have no idea but it felt like the bike had almost fallen over completely! I wobbled along and realised that the bike felt very different on its new tyres. After a mile I decided that it was unrideable and that the tyres would have to be sold! I went a bit further and probably calmed down a bit - and decided to drop the pressure in the front tyre by a couple of pounds. This calmed the front end down and encouraged me to ride further.
I have now completed about 230 miles on the new tyres - 229 further than I initially thought I would do - and can report that I'm actually very happy with the change. It's certainly very different from how it used to be, but I pretty much got used to that in the first 5 miles . Now the bike needs a lot less effort to change direction - in fact it's much more like my modern bike. As to levels of grip, I can't really say as I couldn't fault the TT100's in that department over 30 years or riding in all weathers - and so far have only ridden the Avons in the dry. One thing that is apparent though is that the bike doesn't shake it's head as badly as it used to do if I ever took one hand off the bars and the other thing is that I am without doubt riding faster now on the Commando than I ever used to. I would guess 5 to 10mph faster, which can only be the result of the increased confidence these new tyres inspire? Time - and miles - and maybe a little rain - will tell.
When I bought my Commando back in the 80's the TT100's lasted 2 weeks before I fitted Avons, just could not get used to the whitelining. First and last time I ever changed tyres before they were worn.
I am surprised you have not switched to these sooner, they have been about for over 10 years now!! They are fine in the rain as I doubt anyone riding on the UK roads would test a tyre to its limit in the rain.
Many members have been using them for years and have done many miles in total, and I would imagine that anyone of them will tell you the Roadrider is a very good tyre for the cost.
I used them for years, but now I am a radial convert, they are a level above the Roadrider but more expensive though not as expensive as TT100.
After 25 years of TT100s I put Road Riders on my Commando. They are better in every way, most importantly making the Commando feel like a modern bike that actually handles properly.
So pleased was I with them that I put them on my 2017 1200 Bonneville, and 1973 750 Honda, both with the a massive improvement on what was previously fitted.
I doubt if I will ever use any another tyre now.
Something tells me you will, even a letter in this OBM this month suggests radials are the way to go. I hear some classic racers are switching to road going radials for the track over a bias ply race tyre.
The Roadrider is a good tyre, it could be better and I suspect it will be in the future. The problem for the radial is that despite it being better than a Roadrider, there will be many that will not give them up as they like them like an old pair of slippers.
As one solent branch member said, that tyre is a bit hot, but could keep his hand on it. It could even be hotter to the extent he could not keep his hand on it and it would have been normal, sadly road use does not allow them to get that hot.
Thankfully the price of the radial is now coming down to sensible levels, and I suspect the Roadrider price will rise as it has been low priced for some while now. If Avon raise the price, then more owners will try radials - I am very sure that Avon are aware of this, and would respond one way or another. The idea of universal tyres is old hat and compromise, I doubt it will be long before the ETRTO will not approve of them and dedicated front and rear will replace the universal Roadrider.
If you or anyone else would like to try some, you know where to find me. If the bike is with me then feel free to take it out.
My 99 uses the old Avon Speedmaster and SM tyres. I would love to fit something more modern but until Avon produce something to fit or I change mudguards, rim diameter, swinging arm (and gear up) to counter the much reduced rolling diameter ,its a no go. I have tried !.Perhaps another manufacturer will come up with something. It will be expensive to switch to 18" rims only to find the handling compromised and have to go back.
Which radials do you use, Ashley, and what sizes? Is this on a Commando, or Dominator?
Its the Conti Classic Attack
90/90 R18 M/C 51V TL (Replaces 3.00/3.25-18)ContiClassicAttackF
110/90 R18 M/C 61V TL (Replaces 4.00-18)ContiClassicAttackR
120/90 R18 M/C 65V TL (Replaces 4.25-18)ContiClassicAttackR
100/90 R19 M/C 57V TL (Replaces 3.25/3.50-19)ContiClassicAttackF
100/90 R19 M/C 57V TL (Replaces 3.25/3.50/4.10-19)ContiClassicAttackR
Reviewed by Ashley in another post and also my next choice of tyre.