Before I bought my Kawasaki ER6N (nick name “Mutu”), I never bothered about the total cost of ownership of the bike. I did ask around, mostly responded it would cost as much as maintaining a car, I told myself I can live with that, I was wrong.
The tyre that came with the bike is worn out. I can feel it twitching when I try to give it a little torque. On dry days, riding to and from office is easy. It got worst when it rains. Pakcik going to mosque laps quicker than Mutu.
I deliberately delay the change because a MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2 set of wheel costs RM980. Yes, That’s enough to change all 4 tyres on Jenny (my Gen2). But that’s not all, through wear and tear, a car tyre can potentially last 2-3 years, motorcycle tyre last about a year. Mutu is about 15,000km (not really far).
MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2 – ER6N size is front: 120/60/17 and rear tyre: 160/60/17
Why is it expensive? Well, a motorcycle tyre is made of 3 to 5 compound, soft-medium-hard. Soft gives you grip but wears out quickly. Hard gives you the endurance but lacks the grip. Mixing this compound is only natural. Normally, hard is place in the center and softer by the side. The shape of the thread also plays an important role for wet or dry.
I did search at Mudah.my just to familiarize with other options. Due to the nature of Mudah, some tyre are not longer displayed. So I Googled, it was very specific, thus making it harder to find. To be honest, I didn’t know what exactly to find, I just keyed in “Tayar ER6N”, a lot of links selling the bike instead of the tyre. I also didn’t know the size of my tyre nor the brand (I couldn’t see on Mutu’s tyre). So I went to Facebook and found a nearby shop.
(Note: for brick and mortar shops, it is really important to have Facebook page or Mudah Niaga.)
I went there with my car for two reasons, 1. I didn’t want to be conned/pushed to purchase. 2. I wanted to see how they treated the bike and customer. The staff was really helpful, explaining stuff I didn’t even consider. I got the price for MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2 brand new for RM950 after bargaining but it proves to be to steep for me. Hey man, I can buy an iPad with that money (what an iFag!).
I walked around the shop (they were pretty happy to see me exploring the shop) and my eyes were fixed on used tyre. I was really surprised to see the condition of these tyre. The kid told me, sometimes bikers change tyre because they hated how it handles, some wants better grip. Well, one mans trash is another man’s treasure. It did feel like I found a unicorn. After negotiating, I got the MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2 for RM 690.
They carefully put on paddock stand and extract the old tyre.
The front tyre was wobbly and the wear is uneven making it harder to control during raining season.
Personally, it didn’t really matter whether is new or used, I just need one soonest before I go crazy getting stuck in traffic jam commuting to work.
How does MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2 handle? Well, as a noob biker, I say it does take a while to adjusting to the new one. Because the tyre is so round, it felt unbalanced when it is slightly tipped to the side. On straight line, better grip. Giving additional torque does make it feeling doing a little wheelie. Corners are fantastic, entrance is easy and exit is the best. I have rode the ER6N for 2 years, I have never done anything above 70kmh while cornering, on MICHELIN PILOT ROAD 2, I did 85kmh and it felt natural. With such a speed I should know most common Florida speeding ticket areas.
I would to reemphasize that I am a relatively new biker and comparison was made against the OEM tyre.
So to those who are still dreaming of owning big bikes, I seriously urge you to consider this, the tyre cost change annually RM 1k, Road tax and insurance about RM 1.5 k, maintenance RM 600 (every 4 months or mileage). Now, you need an additional RM 3,100 per year just to maintain the bike. For starters go for 250cc bikes.
Hence the reason of buying a big bike is critical. The parts aren’t exactly cheap, the oil change isn’t too, accessories costs your pinky finger, helmet maybe a bomb, safety and yara-yara. If there’s any advise I can give to fellow riders or aspiring rider and this has been passed on to me by other riders is, “Ride within your means”. Budget, speed, guts, safety and reason. I ride to escape the traffic, therefore I don’t have to ride like a maniac 🙂