All were pretty good in the dry, never ran Scorpions in rain (pulled them off quite early to fit new set for big tour) The 1090 on Tourance was great in wet and the Trail Attacks on 1190 felt awful in wet.
I have since tried:
Dunlop Roadsmart 3's (1190) - Very good wet or dry, worked well on cold mornings or at the top of high mountain passes in the Alps etc. Alos run these on Mrs TDM and they feel really nice. Ran Roadsmart 1's and 2's on other bikes in the past and always found them a good all round (ha ha) Tyre
Michelin Road 5 (1290) - Hated these, they have odd profile with sharp change just before last slick tread section which I think makes them feel iffy as you're cranking onto that last section of tyre - or could be compound change, either way they felt as if they were about to let go then would feel as if grip returned as I leaned further. I know some folk love 'em but I did not. Also had them on my CB500X where they did not feel quite as bad (maybe better in 17" / maybe because I only used it for commuting)
Conti Road Attack 3 (1290) Bit nervous fitting these as the experience in wet on Trail 2's on 1190, but as I was gifted a pair (Won in competition) they cost me nothing. In a Ride Mag Sport Touring tyre test they came second overall and placed mid way in a Ride wet tyre test Beating Roadsmart 3's (which I always found great in wet, and had won wet tyre tests when launched a few years ago)
No regrets at all, they have given me the most confidence in the front end compared to every other set on 1190 / 1290, they have felt good wet or dry, hot or cold, like the Roadsmarts only better. Look to be wearing quite well, hard to compare as I had mainly done lots of Euro-Tours on other tyres and these have not been allowed to leave UK shores. Feel and Feedback from tyres is very personal, but these really suit me.
Prior to having these handed to me on a platter I was leaning towards Sportec 01's as they tend to be at or near the top of every mag test, but love these Conti's so much I will buy again, and I like the "Traction Skin" Conti's have - they are not slippery when new, they say they are not 100% scrubbed, but the surface is slightly rough and mottled, handy not to worry about falling off on unscrubbed rubber, or fitting a set for a tour only for it to piss down on day one (been there, did not like it!)
Currently running Michelin Road 5 trails..... Love'em!! Super sticky and able to put the pegs on the floor / knee down. You will want to remove the centre stand, though (and any side stand extension get you may have fitted) if you're pushing to this limit!! ...... Had a very sketchy moment when I found this out and was lucky there was plenty of run off
Downside... The grove in the rear tyre seems to pick to stones and fire them backwards. Not a problem for me but cars / your mates might not like that
Tyres are a personal choice IMO. If you are used to a type and make of tyre and you change brand, its going. To feel different mentally and your confidence in them will reduce, until your mind has accepted them.
Riding style and confidence in a tyre makes a lot of difference. Stick with what you know. I ran the original Tourance on my old 54 GS12, now they were superb. Tourance then went to Tourance 2...hated em. All in the mind...people hate change...or I do..
Just saying.......a tyre will keep giving when your skill, confidence and bravery has left you.
Dunno.. I like to try new tyres. If you don't try you don't know and I'd still be riding on Avon Speed Masters.
Often I'll try something new to try and improve one small thing. I love Conti RA 3s. My only complaint is I'd like a sportier profile as it's fairly easy to ride off the edge. And as the rear wears and flattens it really slows the steering and makes the bike feel heavier. Though I can get 4000 miles out of them, they're only really sweet for 3000.
So I tried Pilot 5s, as they have a much more aggressive sports tyre profile. At first I loved them because they gave me that extra lean angle and very light steering. I ragged the first set out in fairly short order and put another set on. But once the novelty of the sporty profile had worn off I started to notice other issues which I hadn't had with the Contis. Like the way the P5s would break traction under braking just before throwing it into a corner. The central strip of the dual compound doesn't have much grip and if you ride at all aggressively and like to brake and turn late, it can be quite alarming when the back skitters just as you're about to chuck it on its ear. Especially since as I'm riding an 1190 with fairly soft springing, I tend to trail brake a lot to flatten out the weight transfer. I wondered if it was just me but realised it was the tyre when I pulled out of a junction and gunned it to keep ahead of an up-coming car and the traction control light came on and it spun up the rear bolt upright on a dry road.
Then I started to notice poor stability and found I was struggling to get the bike to track a steady line through bends.
So it took two sets to lose faith and I went back to the Contis.
It is partly psychological but tyres need to suit your riding style as well as your bike and when you try something new often your riding style alters temporarily while you get the feel for them and it's not til you settle and revert to your usual style that you begin to notice shortcomings.
Basically I think you have to keep an open mind with tyres and get your old ones out of your system and get to know the new ones properly before making a judgement. That's how it works for me anyway.
As you have noticed, trail braking flattens out the weight....
If you use the engines torque on a V twin and ride that, there should be no need to trail brake (I know VR does it...so it must work) any braking late into a corner will unbalance a bike, always brake B4 the corner...if you can, settle the bike and then gun it out of the corner.
It's all about being smooth on a big V twin (that's why I love em) my nephew came with us to the KTM Rally I 2018, same tyres same distance etc. His front was ramping on the front, due to late braking, mine had no signs of such wear....ride the torque baby.
You are right tho, if you don't try you won't know, but most top of the range tyres are superb, stick with one....if you love em...stick with em...until they improve them lol
I'm finished braking before I turn and the bike never gets unsettled. I do use the torque and rarely brake hard but I do trim the bikes stance with the brakes, especially on roads I'm very familiar with where I know there are humps or dips. I often use the brakes more to iron those out rather than actually slow the bike. And I trail brake on slower tight turns to avoid using any front. On fast bends I rarely touch the brakes at all.
I've never ever had the back break traction with the Contis, (not even with the OE Trail Attacks) only with the Michelins.
In fact, thinking about it, the front end grip from the Contis is so good that I use very little front brake at all in any bend. You can trust the grip and stability of the front tyre. That may well be part of the problem with the P5s. If the front doesn't inspire the same confidence it's quite likely I was using a lot more front brake into bends without realising - especially given the way the P5 fronts don't hold a cornering line like the Contis do - where I'd just have let it run through with the Contis. Which kind of underlines what I said earlier about unconsciously changing your riding style when running on unfamiliar tyres.
As others stated few of us genuinely run out of grip, we run out of feel and / or confidence.
Although i am not a riding god I know what I like, be it tyres or suspension and if its how I like it I ride fairly well, if I don't like it I find it hard to press on.
The conti front feels glued to the road, it always feels like i could of gone faster through a bend, whereas some tyres it can feel as if I am near the limit, even though I know I can't be.
I prefer the frustration of feeling as if the tyre is laughing at my feeble riding, rather than the frustration of not being able to feel the tyre.
For now I will stick, road 5s were a failed attempt to move off roadsmarts, road attacks a success, but tyre tech moves fast so in a few years I will try another tyre, but might start with next gen road attack.
In my 35 years biking tyre makers have claimed more grip and longer life with every new tyre...
...had it been true road bikes would achieve 89 degrees lean and rear tyres would last 50,000 miles by now.
There's nothing wrong with the 01's compound for stickiness or wear, there's just not enough of it. The Roadtecs have hardly any tread in the centre to start with. Conti RA 3s have 7.5 mm in the centre. Roadtecs seem to have about half that.
I did like the original Roadtec 01s. They're light on their feet, very grippy and have a magic carpet ride quality. But struggling to get 3000 legal mile from a sports touring rear on a bike I use for touring is not acceptable. They're not cheap either.
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