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It's autumn so I figured that now is a good time to shop for tires on some of my lesser used bikes. For instance, on one of my old BMW airheads I haven't had new tires since I acquired it 10 years ago. My tire of choice for a lot of my old bikes is the Michelin Pilot Activ in 3.25x19 front and 120/90x18 rear....pretty common and popular sizes. Literally NONE of the mail order places like Revzilla, Dennis kirk, etc have them. Not only that, there are no Metzeler Lasertec, Bridgestone Battlax, etc.

Anyone care to speculate as to what is going on?
 

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I have an awful suspicion that I know why, at least partly. In some cases, the tires simply aren't fashionable anymore. I know: idiotic, but also believable.

I've run Bridgestone BT45s (Battlaxes) on everything I've owned for like 30 years. Don't know how long before 1990 they were introduced. Anyway, a young guy to whom I recommended them (on another forum) replied that BT45s looked like something his grandmother would run if she had a bike.

The tires you mention function beautifully on our old, crudely suspended, not very high-powered bikes but not well enough to stick on a modern superbike. If that's so, and if they no longer look adequately hip or badass to attract people who buy tires for their looks, maybe that leaves only the dwindling market that is us.

I know where you're at with trying to find tires. BT45s in 18" and 19" have been getting scarcer for at least a dozen years. Not coincidentally, who still manufactures bikes with 18" and 19" wheels? Nobody ...
 

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I have an awful suspicion that I know why, at least partly. In some cases, the tires simply aren't fashionable anymore. I know: idiotic, but also believable.
This is a good point, have you reached out to Michelin to see if the tire you're looking for is still being manufactured?
 

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There is apparently a shortage for speciality tires. The Fastrack racing series is cancelling races because of tire shortages.
 

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Last year I was looking for some BT45s for my GT750 and also came up dry. I ended up with the newer BT46s and they've been pretty good for what they are.
 

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Thanks, that's good to know. Whatta you mean, "for what they are"? Are they worse than 45s in some way?

Wish I could remember what tires they were, but a set that came recommended as behaving just like BT45s turned out to be a lot harder compound. Perhaps the thinking was that old-fashioned 18/19" tires get put on old bikes whose riders don't push them hard.
 

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Thanks. That's particularly good news because your '70s sportbike weighs 150 pounds and makes probably 40 more HP than mine!
 

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The shinko dual sport 705 and duro dual fitment ie front/rear still are available in 18/19 inch in proper widths. They give pretty good performance. The newer kd 78 and kd80 tyres don't seem to have the same bite they had years ago.. last longer but r definitely harder compounds! Continental makes a few good tyres for our lite older scoots..
 

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Tire supply for cars and bikes alike is fucked sideways at the mo.
 
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