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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Good Afternoon!

I am just a baby in terms of riding/maintaining motorcycles, I just got my license last year! I am loving my bike, and really enjoy riding. I am, however, experiencing some issues that I'm not sure are due to my inexperience, or something else. I bought my 2009 EX500 with 4,000 miles on it, and I noticed it had the original tires (date coded for December 2008). I really haven't been riding as much as I'd like, due to the obvious tire situation. When I do ride, It seems like I am being pushed ALL OVER the road, even on less-windier days. I have tried sticking the knee out, and shrugging in closer to the bike, however it just feels like I have no control, almost as if I'm riding on glass. I was accelerating out of a turn, and gave it a slight bit of throttle, and felt the rear end slip out. I definitely did not "give it the beans" so I can't imagine that is normal..

I plan on getting some new tires before this upcoming season, however I am worried that perhaps my problems are not solely due to old tires.. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Edit: I realized I didn't really ask any question, basically I was wondering if the old tire factor would make that big of a difference when it comes to being pushed by wind, or losing traction. I know how it would be in relation to a car, this is "babies-first-bike" though.
 

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The old tires are going to be slick. You need to replace them.
 

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Yep! Dry rot will set in after so many years. As your tires are from 2008 I would definitely get a new set ASAP!

Once you do you will notice a HUGE difference in handling!

***BTW...what part of the world are you from?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yep! Dry rot will set in after so many years. As your tires are from 2008 I would definitely get a new set ASAP!

Once you do you will notice a HUGE difference in handling!

***BTW...what part of the world are you from?
Okay, those were my thoughts exactly! I just don't have anyone to speak with about these things, and the mechanics around me are not the friendliest. I was just worried that I was going to drop $300 for new tires and still have the same problem.. I am in Kansas, unfortunately.
 

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I'm not saying that Kansas wind wont blow you around.
I can get blown around in 40 mph wind, maybe even 30 mph. But I don't loose traction (even in the wind) on my good tires.
 
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being new to this motorcycling thing it can be difficult to assess where issues are and how to cure them. we have all been there. several issues can cause handling problems like wheel or fork alignment or something loose in the running gear. like wheel bearings or swing arm. but tyres have a huge effect also. given that the bike is ok mechanically I would look at tyres first when they get old and the rubber gets stiff and no longer supple the handling can be unpredictable more so in the wet or on sections of painted pavement. I won't run tyres over 6 years old some say 5 is better yours are double that.
my first EX was rebuilt in 2015 and new tyres fitted. this year they will be changed even though they look almost new.
running a bike costs money they will always require consumables like brakes. oil and filters as well as tyres. it is not money wasted it has to be spent. put new tyres on if it is no better then look elsewhere but you will have new rubber and can tick that off the list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
being new to this motorcycling thing it can be difficult to assess where issues are and how to cure them. we have all been there. several issues can cause handling problems like wheel or fork alignment or something loose in the running gear. like wheel bearings or swing arm. but tyres have a huge effect also. given that the bike is ok mechanically I would look at tyres first when they get old and the rubber gets stiff and no longer supple the handling can be unpredictable more so in the wet or on sections of painted pavement. I won't run tyres over 6 years old some say 5 is better yours are double that.
my first EX was rebuilt in 2015 and new tyres fitted. this year they will be changed even though they look almost new.
running a bike costs money they will always require consumables like brakes. oil and filters as well as tyres. it is not money wasted it has to be spent. put new tyres on if it is no better then look elsewhere but you will have new rubber and can tick that off the list.
Yeah, I will admit, I am kicking myself for not just biting the bullet when I first got the bike, but i'm definitely going to replace them before I ride this season. Thanks for the help, I assumed they would play a massive role in keeping the bike straight, assuming all else is in working order. The two previous owners barely rode it, and It's never been dropped (even though I am sure I will be the lucky one to be the first) and I had a mechanic check it over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm not saying that Kansas wind wont blow you around.
I can get blown around in 40 mph wind, maybe even 30 mph. But I don't loose traction (even in the wind) on my good tires.
Haha it does feel like Dorothy in the tornado, sometimes! Yeah I was prepared to be blown around a bit, but this is just...extreme. Shifting my weight and tucking, counter-steering, and the knee technique help slightly, but it just walks wherever it wants when i get hit by a gust of wind (not even a super large one). And I'm not one to lie to myself, so when the tire broke lose when I barely accelerated, I figured I should get some new tires. She's a great bike, but it's not going to break tires lose THAT easily lol.
 

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The old tires are going to be slick. You need to replace them.
Yes, before the YouTube crash vid comes out.
 
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You can buy a set of Shinko's for about $200, maybe a few bucks less. I use Shinko's a lot and never had an issue.

If you can take the tires off yourself then it should be cheaper to bring them to a shop yourself, like a Cycle Gear. Here's a set of Michelin Pilot 2's for less than $200.


Look around, price out local shops or use Revzilla/Cycle Gear. Sometimes FB Marketplace or CL.

Welcome to the world of motorcycling! $$$ Wait until you want to start modifying.
 

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when looking for tyres it is important you look at and buy tyres with the correct speed rating and load index. can't remember what they are offhand but almost all cheapie scooter/small bike tyres are well under rated for the EX500. that is 388lbs and capable of 120mph most of the lightweight tyres are rated for bikes 100lbs lighter and 50mph slower.
 

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I was in the same boat last year - time capsule of a 2009, 4,500 miles, original tires. They weren't dry rotted, just old. Ended up putting 1,000 miles on them by the time I could get my hands on a pair of Michelin Pilot Street Radials, which I highly recommend. Much better grip and they've been wearing very well 5,500 miles later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I was in the same boat last year - time capsule of a 2009, 4,500 miles, original tires. They weren't dry rotted, just old. Ended up putting 1,000 miles on them by the time I could get my hands on a pair of Michelin Pilot Street Radials, which I highly recommend. Much better grip and they've been wearing very well 5,500 miles later.
That's basically my exact current situation! I got screwed around by a local mechanic when I first bought it, so I didn't have any of the money I had originally planned to take care of things like tires and such. Thank you all for the input, it really calmed the nerves. Always second guessing if it's the idiot attached to the handlebars, or not!
 

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Okay, those were my thoughts exactly! I just don't have anyone to speak with about these things, and the mechanics around me are not the friendliest. I was just worried that I was going to drop $300 for new tires and still have the same problem.. I am in Kansas, unfortunately.
I believe any bike inspection would have failed the tires. Was your bike properly inspected for tags?
 

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The old tires are going to be slick. You need to replace them.
Quoted for truth. If your date code is 2008, that makes the tires over a dozen years old now.

They get pretty slick after a while, even if the tread is still plentiful. Also, if your previous owner rode straight roads all the time, the tires "square" off and that can cause it's own kind of handling woes.

Age doesn't always dry rot and crack tires. I have an old 1983 Suzuki in my garage...the tires are ancient and likely last changed in the early 1990s.

They aren't cracked at all.....but they resemble a plastic like beach ball. I'd guess they're slick as they look.

Way back when we got my EX from the original owner, he'd ridden it as a commute bike. The tires were squared off so badly it didn't want to lean in to a turn.

It took me a couple of weeks dogging that bike into corners until I managed to wear down the "crown" enough that the bike began to handle like it should.

New tires completely changed the handling. It went from reluctant to tip in, to acceptable to positively light and flickable with new tires. BTW, there is a sale on tires over at Motosport dot com.

I am in no way connect to them or their business, just a customer..........sean
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I believe any bike inspection would have failed the tires. Was your bike properly inspected for tags?
It was inspected, it was bought out of state from my friends parents, so I had to get it inspected. Kansas, they just kind of breeze over the bike, make sure the VIN isn't stolen, and everything.
 

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Great conversation. I have an '87 EX500 - my friend bought it new, I bought it from him two years later. It's still rolling the original front tire (from 1986). It has 13k miles - I try to drive it at least once every month to keep the fuel fresh.
 

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Hi in the past I had a bike (MZ Skorpion) that in earlier years was supplied with bias ply tyres but later came with radials which were a significant improvement in grip and particularly handling in hard fast corners. I have just ordered a set of Michelin Pilot Street Radials for £143 which is cheaper than my usual bias ply choice of Bridgestone Battlax (the old BT45 had been replaced by the identical looking BT46). Not sure what price you can get the Michelin radials for in your part of the world but I suggest it is worth having a look for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi in the past I had a bike (MZ Skorpion) that in earlier years was supplied with bias ply tyres but later came with radials which were a significant improvement in grip and particularly handling in hard fast corners. I have just ordered a set of Michelin Pilot Street Radials for £143 which is cheaper than my usual bias ply choice of Bridgestone Battlax (the old BT45 had been replaced by the identical looking BT46). Not sure what price you can get the Michelin radials for in your part of the world but I suggest it is worth having a look for them.
Ironic, as I've actually just ordered them yesterday! That makes me feel quite a bit better, as I was slightly worried because they were about $179. And, compared to the Pirelli's I was looking at, made me feel as if they were a "cheap" tire. But I know Michelin makes good tires, and I read a ton of reviews on them, so I felt pretty confident. I am glad to see you also recommend them, I should be getting them put on here in about 5 days, looking forward to riding!

Is the "be careful on new tires" thing a myth? Or should I be delicate for the first hundred miles, or so?
 

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Thats no myth....personally, I baby them for the 1st 50 miles then progressively corner harder.

I'll be doing the same shortly....I've got Metzeler M7RR here for my 2019 CBR650R, been riding on a plugged rear. The stock Dunlops leave quite a bit to be desired. Then we'll see how that little Honda does with some real rubber aboard.
 
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