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Upgrades: Tires

The stock tires on older GS500 models (Bridgestone Exedras) are widely regarded as sub-par. Upgrading to a newer tire can improve your handling considerably. There are a wide and confusing array of tires available, which this page will try to help with. The newer 2004+ GS500's use a better alround tire the Bridgestone Battalax BT-45.

Tire Sizes

Stock tire size is 110/70-17 front, 130/70-17 rear. (and they are "bias" tread, not radials, so dont freak out about using bias replacements). It is recommended that the stock size be used for any tire that is available in that size. This will maintain the best handling. Sometimes a larger tire is used, for example on the rear, a 140/70 or 140/80, and in some cases 150. This is done because certain styles or compounds are not available in the stock sizes. It is often also done for cosmetic reasons.

Putting a 150 on the GS's 3.5 inch rear rim is a controversial topic. It's been done with success, but it can cause excessive wear and erattic handling in some cases. It also requires modifying at least the brake caliper torque arm for extra clearance. Swapping rear wheels to something wider allows for proper fitment of most 150 section tires.

Someone has claimed that putting a sliiightly higher tire on the front.. specifically size 110/80-17... is fine, and can actually improve the accuracy of the speedo. It may also be more commonly available.

Best Bets

There are a number of tried-and-true and highly recommended tires for the GS500. If you are not into experimenting and want something that "just works" go with one of these. Details on each tire are below.

(Update for 2012: according to magazine review at http://www.ex-500.com/wiki/index.php/Tire_Comparison in 2012, best rated tire is "Avon Road Rider". US page here The other Avon parts dont seem to be on Avon's site any more?)

By Brand

Avon

2012 Update: seems to be only 1 choice now: Avon Road Riders. Front fitting 110/70= "54V". 110/80 would be 57V Rear fitting, 130/70= "62V". 140/80=69V. Note that this last 140 choice is classed by Avon as a "Universal" fit, rather than a true "rear tire"

Bridgestone

Dunlop

Pirelli

Metzler

Michelin

DIY Tire Installation

Read How to Remove, Fit and Balance your own Tires

Tire Weight / Tread Width / Recommended Rim Width

  1. Bridgestone Battlax BT-45 110/70/17 = 9 pounds - Width 106mm - 2.75-3.50 Rim
  2. Bridgestone Battlax BT-45 130/70/17 = 14 pounds - Width 136mm - 3.00-4.00 Rim
  3. Bridgestone Battlax BT-45 140/70/17 = 15 pounds - Width 145mm - 3.50-4.50 Rim
  4. Bridgestone Battlax BT-92 110/70/17 = ? Pounds - Width 110mm - 2.75-3.50 Rim
  5. Bridgestone Battlax BT-92 140/60/17 = ? Pounds - Width 140mm - 3.50-4.50 Rim
  6. Bridgestone Battlax BT-92 140/70/17 = ? Pounds - Width 146mm - 3.50-4.50 Rim
  7. Bridgestone Battlax BT-090 110/70/17 = ? Pounds - Width 110mm - 2.75-3.50 Rim
  8. Bridgestone Battlax BT-090 140/70/17 = ? Pounds - Width 140mm - 3.50-4.50 Rim
  9. Bridgestone Battlax BT-090 150/60/17 = ? Pounds - Width 156mm - 3.50-4.50 Rim
  10. Michelin Pilot Activ 110/70/17 = 9 Pounds - Width ? - 3.00 Rim
  11. Michelin Pilot Activ 130/70/17 = 13 Pounds - Width ? - 3.50 Rim
  12. Michelin Pilot Activ 140/70/17 = 15 Pounds - Width ? - 3.50 Rim
  13. Pirelli Sport Demons 110/70/17 = 9 pounds - Width ? - 3.00 Rim
  14. Pirelli Sport Demons 130/70/17 = 14 pounds - Width ? - 3.50 Rim
  15. Pirelli Sport Demons 140/70/17 = 15 pounds - Width ? - 3.50 Rim
  16. Pirelli Sport Demons 140/80/17 = 15 pounds - Width ? - 3.50 Rim

DO NOT RIDE WITH A MIX OF RADIAL AND PLY TIRES!

The different handling and grip characteristics of these tires can cause major handling issues.

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Page last modified on November 23, 2013, at 08:13 PM