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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The old:
My 2018 ninja 400 stock tires, the Dunlop GPR 300’s, died of good usage at about 4,500 miles. The tire suffers from being just a standard tire, with barely acceptable feedback, ok cornering, poor sidewall wear, and not very good tire life. This is my perspective coming from my Blackbird cbr1100xx with Angel GT II preferred tires. That got about 5k miles, riding hard, good feedback, a great quality tire for a heavy sportbike.

Losing 180 lbs in bike weight to the Ninja 400, I would assume slightly better tire life, even riding hard, and using a basic tire. The Dunlops, from my perspective, are ok, but need to be retired as soon as your first set wears out, or sooner. The profile of the tire is fairly flat, meaning you have less cornering ability. The rubber compound is ok, but it does not provide much detailed feedback, especially in the corners. Also, when using the tire edges when cornering hard, leaned over, a lot, the tires develop a weird very slight concave near the edge.

Take this with the fact I have an Ohlins 36stx hypersport shock, and its tuned pretty well now. The first couple thousand miles were from the first owner. They were not ridden very hard based on wear marks.

The picture shows the end of life.
13568


The new:
Pirelli Diablo Rosso III: Yes. Just yes. Spot on fantastic tire for this moto. The profile is rounder providing much better cornering. The rubber provides great feedback. I am currently using 35 psi front, 37 rear, for street hard sport riding. Been recently reviewing Dave Moss videos for help, and confirmation the shock is setup right/well. It just feels like a whole new moto, in a way it should have been, and finally is! Just did a long day up the California coast, route 1, some of the best, constant clean twisty roads.

From good grip in the morning escaping a drizzly wet San Francisco, to amazing dry grip on sunny warm roads. Even after hard street corning, grinding some titanium knee slider sparkers for fun, the edges have another 10 to 12 millimeter of rubber left for more lean angle. The rounder profile means better feel and predictability. This being their first hard ride, getting used to traction and confidence was the goal, not necessarily pushing the edge. Fabulous tire, highly recommended. Mileage life tbd. Not really expecting any more mileage, but the increase in all around performance makes up for anything else.

New, post first hard day trip riding:
13571


Link is for tire reference:

Just get it. Worth every penny.

Picture of where the tire, and I, love to be...
13569
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good write up. Sounds like a worthy upgrade. Just curious about your tyre pressures as they seem pretty high. Is that what Pirelli recommends or what you've worked out is best for you?
Yea, the tire pressure is one of those personally specific and use specific items. Its a balance of use, traction, wear, performance. The shop put it higher, as they do. I had it at 34/36 and that was good, tried the 35/37 on my ride. Felt good, grippy, and pretty in tune with the suspension. Given the Pirelli’s are a soft walled tire, they tend to need a little more psi than the Dunlops.

I would lower it way down for the track, by 4 to 5 psi or more. In all other use cases it is a balance of tire wear, grip, and life. Higher tire pressure, longer life, less response and grip, and more reliance on suspension. Still dialing in the specifics for me and the moto.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
2.7k miles on the tires now. I can report they are still fantastic, love em. Mileage is about as I would expect for these tires and my riding style. I am going to be right about 3k+ miles. I have a set of Rosso II's that will go on next. Will expect about the same life. Then I think Angel GT tires. Interested to see how they perform with 180 lbs less than using them on the Blackbird.
14391

(Rechecked mileage and adjusted the post. Was off by 700. Memory. Overated.)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
What's your experience with front/rear tire wear?

So, I am ready to replace the rear, and I have always done the front along with. Always. I double checked my front today, and it is totally fine. I mean fine. It would be pushing it to say 50%. I have kept 36psi in the rear, 34 front. Anyone else have this experience on the N400? Even if the front were noticeably down from 50%, I would replace. But it's nowhere close. Seems I could actually get a two for one rears/front.
 

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2 rears to 1 front is very common, not just on the N400. The rear tire is always pushing the bike forward and is the connection between the power and the road, so it wears more than the front.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So I checked tread depth. I compared to the set of Rosso II’s I have waiting. Assuming tread depth is similar, it starts at 3.5mm depth. Looks like I am at 2.5mm, so one mm usage, plenty to go. All in just over 3k miles, on the front. I am still amazed at so little wear. This gets ridden pretty hard. Put the Vesrah RJL pads on the front. Pretty psyched the 400 just keeps showing all its prowess and savings!
 

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I would love to upgrade to higher quality tires. Ninjabird, You have me sold on these Pirelli Diablo Rosso 3. Just have to budget for them which could be a big challenge.
 

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Official tire mileage for the rear Pirelli Rosso III: 3,150.
On to a Rosso II rear, and second half of the front.
BikeBandit has a pair of Pirelli Diablo Rosso III for $255.43. Of course ad tax but shipping is included. I pull my own wheels off. Have a friend that will mount and balance for about $20 each. Have 2500 miles on stock Dunlops but looking ahead.
 

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Don't forget that the tires may also incur an extra fee if you take them to the dump (presuming you don't have a collection of worn-out tires that you want to add to). I think that was the case when I cleared a lot of stuff to the SF dump, most of it was no charge but once they saw old tires . . . . If you can get a local shop that will take care of that (and in CA you'll have to pay the recycling fee to the state too) it might be worth spending a bit more to keep them in business a little longer and letting them provide and mount/balance tires on wheels that you take in. That all depends of course on how much the differential is, but by the time you pay shipping and dump fees it may not be too big of a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The old:
My 2018 ninja 400 stock tires, the Dunlop GPR 300’s, died of good usage at about 4,500 miles. The tire suffers from being just a standard tire, with barely acceptable feedback, ok cornering, poor sidewall wear, and not very good tire life. This is my perspective coming from my Blackbird cbr1100xx with Angel GT II preferred tires. That got about 5k miles, riding hard, good feedback, a great quality tire for a heavy sportbike.

Losing 180 lbs in bike weight to the Ninja 400, I would assume slightly better tire life, even riding hard, and using a basic tire. The Dunlops, from my perspective, are ok, but need to be retired as soon as your first set wears out, or sooner. The profile of the tire is fairly flat, meaning you have less cornering ability. The rubber compound is ok, but it does not provide much detailed feedback, especially in the corners. Also, when using the tire edges when cornering hard, leaned over, a lot, the tires develop a weird very slight concave near the edge.

Take this with the fact I have an Ohlins 36stx hypersport shock, and its tuned pretty well now. The first couple thousand miles were from the first owner. They were not ridden very hard based on wear marks.

The picture shows the end of life.
View attachment 13568

The new:
Pirelli Diablo Rosso III: Yes. Just yes. Spot on fantastic tire for this moto. The profile is rounder providing much better cornering. The rubber provides great feedback. I am currently using 35 psi front, 37 rear, for street hard sport riding. Been recently reviewing Dave Moss videos for help, and confirmation the shock is setup right/well. It just feels like a whole new moto, in a way it should have been, and finally is! Just did a long day up the California coast, route 1, some of the best, constant clean twisty roads.

From good grip in the morning escaping a drizzly wet San Francisco, to amazing dry grip on sunny warm roads. Even after hard street corning, grinding some titanium knee slider sparkers for fun, the edges have another 10 to 12 millimeter of rubber left for more lean angle. The rounder profile means better feel and predictability. This being their first hard ride, getting used to traction and confidence was the goal, not necessarily pushing the edge. Fabulous tire, highly recommended. Mileage life tbd. Not really expecting any more mileage, but the increase in all around performance makes up for anything else.

New, post first hard day trip riding:
View attachment 13571

Link is for tire reference:

Just get it. Worth every penny.

Picture of where the tire, and I, love to be...
View attachment 13569
Sadly, so much of CA is burning. Photo from today at the same spot. Several cliff barriers are burnt out. Thankfully only vegetation. Pt Reyes is also a large campfire dropping ash all over Pt Reyes Station and Olema.
15138
 

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Ninjabird: Since you apparently have the Rossi II and Rossi III tires in hand, I am curious about the WEIGHT of both the front and rear, for both the II and III.

Reason being that Pirelli tires are OFTEN lighter weight than many other brands, and thus give that great hanlding PLUS they reduce moment of inertia due to the lighter weight!

Pirelli won't disclose the weight (I asked them via email). Can you possibly weigh the Pirellis?

Jim G
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have a new Rosso II showing up today for install. I don't have a super accurate scale other than a human scale, so not sure it is going to be a good test... What you say is true Jim G, Pirelli's are known for a software sidewall, so the weight would definitely be less.
 

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I have a new Rosso II showing up today for install. I don't have a super accurate scale other than a human scale, so not sure it is going to be a good test... What you say is true Jim G, Pirelli's are known for a software sidewall, so the weight would definitely be less.
If you stand on the human scale first withOUT the tire and take your weight, and then right away stand on it again with a tire, the weight will be at least "close". The only truly accurate way to weigh an 8 lb to 25 lb tire (that's actually the range for front and rear tires in our 400's sizes!), is to use a scale designed for postage or for industrial or warehouse weighing. I have a scale designed for 0 to 60 lb and it is accurate to no worse than a tenth of a pound.

Jim G
 

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I have a new Rosso II showing up today for install. I don't have a super accurate scale other than a human scale, so not sure it is going to be a good test...
Hey NnjaBird, did you get a chance to weigh that Pirelli Rossi II ? I'm dying to know if it would make a big difference on tire weight on our 400s. It sure has on past motorcycles i've owned:

On a Yamaha R3, I saved about 2 lb of rotating weight by changing the front and rear tires to Pirellis.

On a Harley Breakout, I actually saved 7 lb on the rear tire alone on a Pirelli Diablo versus the OEM Dunlop tire, plus a smaller saving on the front tire (cannot remember the exact weigh difference on that front tire)! I described it on the Harley forum at the time as "It felt like the Breakout lost a pair of concrete overshoes"!! The Pirelli tires truly transformed that bike.

Jim G
 

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Well, I got the weights of the Pirelli Rosso 2 tires from DennisKirk.com. The customer service rep there found that neither their own website, or even Pirelli's Customer service, knew the weights, but he/she (don't know which) persisted and got someone in the warehouse to find those tires and weigh them! The weights are:
Front 8.65 lb
and
Rear 10.85 lb

TOTAL Rosso 2 = 19.5 lb

This is lightweight, but it turns out only 0.5 lb lighter, for the pair, than the OEM Dunlop tires, which are:
Front 8.0
and
Rear 12.0

TOTAL OEM Dunlop = 20.0 lb
So, only 0.5 lb weight saving if you don't mix tire manufacturers.

Interestingly, if you stay with the OEM Dunlop front but the Pirelli Rosso 2 for the rear, you have a total weight for the pair = 18.85 lb, which is 1.15 lb lower than OEM F+R. But I don't know how well the Pirelli Rear would work with the Dunlop Front. I have no idea of the differences in cross-sectional profile shape.

1.5 lb would be helpful on its own for a rotating part whose outer diameter is LARGE (24") and would make a notable difference in accelerating, as the moment of inertia (MOI) for a rotating part is proportional to weigh times radius SQUARED!

Add on any weight and MOI reductions you can make via rear sprocket, front sprocket, and brake rotor, and you have some pretty tangible differences for a lot less cost than a pair of low MOI wheels (alloy or Carbon Fiber).

I don't know what other brands, if any, might be lighter than the Pirelli tires, as the Pirelli Diablo series has for a number of years been about the lightest you could buy (Pirelli focuses on tire performance (nimbleness and traction) versus high mileage and durability. I've usually gotten only about 4000 to 4500 miles out of Pirelli rear tire on any bike I've had them on, but they were very satisfying miles.

Jim G
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Glad you found the weights. I missed it, caught up in my first tire change. All went well. A 1.5 hour event. Next time likely 30 to 40 minutes max. The few tricks learned translate to lots of time savings as most steps were repeated at least twice.

Then had to go break in the new tire up the coast on Sunday.
 
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