Front Tire Direction Arrow - Mount Which Way??
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Thread: Front Tire Direction Arrow - Mount Which Way??

  1. #1
    Junior Member TW200!'s Avatar
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    Question Front Tire Direction Arrow - Mount Which Way??

    I plan on purchasing a Michelin T63 tire size 130-80-18 to be mounted on the front of my TW. This tire was designed to be mounted on the rear of motorcycles and it has a direction arrow on the sidewall. Should this tire be mounted with the arrow pointing forward or backward?

    I have researched this issue on the internet and came across this:

    FAQs | Avon Tyres

    I called Rocky Mountain and my local Yamaha dealer. They both said to mount the tire with the arrow pointing forward because that is the direction the tire was designed to go. I brought up the front braking stresses and tire design issues that are on the Avon website. Response I got was that a TW200 is not heavy enough or fast enough to create those kind of problems.

    What are your opinions regarding mounting the tire with the arrow pointing forward or back?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Leisure Time Larry's Avatar
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    I would mount it as the arrow indicates. Rear tires brake too.
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    Senior Member RobG's Avatar
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    I know what he means. Most tires end up mounting the front one "backwards" compared to the front.

    I just pulled up a picture of the rear T63. I don't see what difference it makes, really. It looks totally symmetrical. Even the T63 front tire (the 21" model), despite being a different tread pattern, also appears to be symmetrical. So in this case, I wouldn't worry about it and just mount it.

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    Senior Member ejfranz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lrppcer View Post
    I would mount it as the arrow indicates. Rear tires brake too.
    Yeah, but under hard braking the rear tire will skid or come off the ground.
    The front tire will have 80% of the braking.
    Go out and get the TW up to 20 mph and hammer on both brakes, you should be able to stop in a bikes length and you will hear your rear wheel squeal and the front end compress.
    Try it at a faster speed and you should be able to get the back tire off the ground. Personally I would not try it with a stock front tire or golden boy, but with the MT43, I have confidence it is going to grip and not skid.
    2001 TW200 sporting a MT43 up front. Duro has gone to a good home. 2015 VStrom XT, 1996 DT 200, Broken 2010 Xingue 400 XY. 2009 WR250r now shared with my son.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Werloc's Avatar
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    Mount it reversed without question. Rear tires are made for acceleration, so you'll need that pattern to help you stopping since your stopping power is 80% in the front tire. 100% in my case since I hardly ever use my rear brake. Only to slide into a turn while dirt riding.

    Ask 10 people, 5 say one way, 5 say the other. So do whatever you think it should be. Honestly, I would most likely mount what That tire maker said after asking Them. I've always reversed mounted rear tires that were mounted on the front when I worked at dealerships. It's what I was tought and always did.
    Last edited by Werloc; 05-28-2015 at 08:38 PM.
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    Senior Member supachip1's Avatar
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    surely the direction arrow is there for that exact reason…direction, otherwise there would be no point the manufacturer putting on the tyre in the first place and I'm pretty sure they did a bit of research when designing the tyres to sell to the public?

    is the direction not more to do with how the tread pattern dispels the water on wet roads as opposed to braking? as someone said about the rear brakes too??

  8. #7
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    With regard specifically to the Michelin T63 — although the tread pattern is symmetrical, I’m guessing that the reason it has a directional arrow is more to do with the tires construction, not the tread pattern.

    And I agree with Werloc, that the underlying pattern of construction will be to counter acceleration forces, not braking force, as this is what it is designed to do when mounted on the rear, hence the arrow. But when you hit the brakes, the weight of any vehicle is transferred to the front — hence the use of a small rear single disc, and big twin discs on the front.

    As the G force on the front is only really present on the front when you’re braking, the arrow should be reversed for front use.

    This also applies to asymmetrical tread patterns on other tires.

    The dealer is correct in stating “It ‘aint gonna make a difference on a TW” with this specific tire — you could go either way and not notice the difference. But with asymmetrical tread patterns on other tire designs, it will make a big difference.

    If in doubt — always check first if you are actually mounting a front tire or a rear tire — and if you are mounting a rear tire on the front wheel — reverse the arrow.

    The notion of “water dispersion” is a perfectly valid point on more complicated tread patterns, but you’re most unlikely to encounter that issue on a TW tire. On this particular tire, it’s a non-issue.

    I’d be more inclined to question your choice of tread pattern — those wide lateral blocks on the rear version will hamper front wheel steering on the road (though not so much in the rough) …………..
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    Junior Member TW200!'s Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies.

    I agree with you Purple that a Michelin T63 tread pattern is probably not the best choice for front wheel steering on pavement.

    Werloc I believe you are right above mounting the tire on the front with the arrow pointing back.

    I was having second thoughts about the T63 because of the tread pattern and the controversy with direction arrow, so I went back to my local Yamaha dealer again this morning and looked through their racks of tires. They had different sizes of IRC GP-1 tires, Shinko 244, Michelin T63, Pirelli MT-21, Dunlop D606, lots of non DOT knobby tires, and lots of street only tires. No Kenda 270 which I know has the same tread pattern as a IRC GP-1. Read that some people believe the IRC GP-1 has a better rubber compound than a Kenda 270 or that Kenda may have recently improved their rubber compound to make it as good as an IRC GP-1. I don't know how true this is.

    Did not see any direction arrow on either side of the IRC GP-1. Decided that I liked the IRC GP-1 the best in size 5.10-18. Plan to get this tire mounted and balanced next week.

  10. #9
    Senior Member frog13's Avatar
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    It is the composition of the tire , not what we outwardly see . Fronts are fronts and rear tires are rear tires . Now , saying that , Shinko advertises on some of their tires: "can be mounted front or rear" . Not saying that Shinko is the "god" of all tires, but I hope you see my point. At least mount the tire according to its rotational specifics.....direction in which is shown on the sidewall.....by the people who designed it .

  11. #10
    Senior Member Bucknutz's Avatar
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    I posed that same question to a knowledgeable service manager at my local Honda dealer and he said it should be mounted reversed if used on the front. The reason being that the composition of the tire was designed to be optimal while propelling the bike while mounted on the rear. Since the front wheel does not propel the bike, then it should be reversed as it would also better utilize the design of the tire to slow the bike down. Made sense to me.

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