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There are other references to the Austone Taxi Tire (175R16) on the Forum but no thread devoted to it as there is for the Federal/Formoza that some of you are using. Thought I’d make it easier for those doing a search. I know that Saibeer and mwhit 1500 installed them and will hopefully give their opinions as well, though I know they have weighed in on other threads/forums.



I did my due diligence and decided to try an Austone Taxi Tire on my ‘97SE. Radial. 175R16 that equates to about 175/80-16 I’m told. Only Q-rated (99 mph). 6 ply rating but sidewalls still feel softer than my Pilot GT. Tread width -5.5”, height – 26.9”. Running 45 lbs, though it calls for 55 lbs and 1650 lb load capacity (The website says 36 but the sidewall says 55).


https://www.universaltire.com/175r16-austone-taxi-black.html


Why the Austone?

a) Increases the height of the seat by about an inch. My 34” inseam legs are long enough that I can still flat-foot on both sides with the shocks @ 60lbs. Feels comfortable to me.
b) (a) gives me about 200 rpm at speeds above 60 mph. I’m now running 2600 @ 60, 2750 @ 65, 3000 @ 70, 3250 @ 75. And to me it makes a difference. Never tried to shift to ‘6[sup]th[/sup]’ once today.
c) The tire is more ‘rounded’ on the edges (shallower radius) than the others that will fit on the 1500s. While reports of other CTs indicate a positive counter-steer is required through corners, this tire does not. See below for more on that.
d) This tire is rated for over 100,000 miles. The only reason I may ever change it is due to damage or age. Price is cheaper than an E3 by a few bucks but I hope to only have to buy one in my lifetime, not one a year.


Let me begin by describing my riding style. For those of you downhill skiers in the crowd I’d be categorized as a mostly Blue rider that delves into the Black Diamond runs from time to time. I can and will scrap ‘em if I’m so moved but am happy scooting through twisties with a bit of leash. Rarely will I see anything above 75 mph on the ‘Wing riding down the slabs. Don’t see the need. See my signature. I have a Valk for days when I need to clear the cobwebs.


Initial Impression: Popped on like a slipper. A good dose of detergent on the beads and it snapped into place at 40 lbs. No problem installing and the slight mod at the front flap to avoid rubbing took 30 seconds prior to tire installation. Good clearance on both sides, front and top (pics to come). But this is one tall tire. The bike goes onto the center stand about as easily as the side stand goes down. I may have to carry a piece of 1 X 4 to put under the stand because I have only about 1 inch of clearance between the tire and the floor in the garage. Put this thing on the center stand in a vulnerable place and it could just walk off the stand on its own. It’s a shade narrower than the Pilot GT I just took off but its round enough on the edges that most people won’t even recognize it as a CT unless I tell them.


Riding the Slabs – Wow! Quiet, smooth, solid, predictable. At anything over 60 mph this tire just cruises along and within 50 miles you’ve forgotten you’re riding a CT and start enjoying the scenery. And I looked for trouble. Cracks between lanes, tar snakes (85 out today so they were soft), ruts carved into the blacktop by 18-wheelers. By comparison this tire dwarfs the performance of the GT. And I was as disappointed as anyone when they discontinued the GTs. They were great tires. Very little wander in the ruts or grooved pavement. Seems like the front (Pilot GT) is more responsible for any shimmy I do feel. Not that there is much. As I said, I was looking for trouble.


Back Roads – This tire seems to smooth the road out a good bit. Very little jumping around compared to the Pilot. Patches of rough or repaired blacktop pose no problem or wandering. Railroad tracks, even angled crossings present no surprises. And I even stopped and adjusted the suspension down to 25 lbs and did them again to see if I’d bottom out. Nope. No rubbing at any point. After about 100 miles I got comfortable enough to do the 60 mph sweepers hands-free. No counter-steer required. Just lean into it and then lean back.


Gravel – I have an apples-to-apples comparison for this one. One of my local rides involves a 10 mile jaunt over gravel. Tried to ride it last week right after a maintainer had spread loose gravel all over the road. Didn’t even make it a mile on the Pilot before I turned my tail and headed for home. Today I rode that same road and its still in about the same shape it was last week. Swore I would do the whole thing and see what happened. Started out pretty timid but it took next to no time and I was whizzing along at 55 mph. I grew up on dirt bikes but I rarely would ever have tried 55 on a ‘Wing on gravel before. Felt rock solid and had room to do more. But I have no need or desire to ride gravel. I will say that construction zones will no longer cause the sweat to form on my brow.


Crosswinds – had a 25 mph crosswind for about 75 miles and was curious how the tire would react. The Pilot always just did a lean into the wind but held a good line. Same is true for the Austone with less lean. The flat footprint of the Austone holds the line very well. Look forward to heading out in one of our Praire gales to see how it really handles.


Twisties and wet roads – Jury is out. We, a) have no twisties within 700 miles and, b) are going through a drought with no hope of rain for some time. But from reports from others using this tire I doubt I’ll be disappointed.


Pulling a Trailer – Again, the jury is out and I will post an update once I’ve pulled the Leisurelite a few miles with it.


The Very Good – Stopping power. I should have done a test to see what the stopping distance from 60 was with the Pilot. I’m positive this tire shortens it by at least a few feet. That is major for a bike that pulls a trailer a good bit of the time. Like my father used to say, “Anything can go fast but not just anything can stop on a dime. Always know how you’ll do the second before you try the first.” The ‘second’ improved dramatically today.


The Bad – The Austone does not like slow speeds. It handles extremely well in the parking lot doing figure 8s but out on the street traveling at 30-45 mph it seems to want to jump all over the place finding a line. Not enough to scare me. Just enough to make me pay attention. Am interested to see how that will feel on a wet road. Had to tell myself to relax a few times until I got used to the feeling. Don’t know if that’s a reflection of our pitiful roads or of the tire. It’s worth noting so that you’re not surprised if you decide to try one.


I hate driving in the city as it is so the slow driving thing is a non-issue for me. 90% of my miles are out on the open road.


Though I have only ridden the tire for 400 miles I am quite impressed by it. And I’m told it gets better as it wears in. If that’s true then I will not be going back to a MT.


Remember, this is just my opinion. Your experience may be different. I’m only putting it out there for your information. File where you feel appropriate. I will not take offense.


Here's some pics ( if the pics are too big could one of the mods drop me a PM and I'll resize them):
 

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Great write-up!

I wonder if the "wandering" you mention, at low speeds, is due to the low (psi) suspension setting you tried?... I had same happen to me recently on a new Dunlop Wintersport... I originally thought it was the tire, but then found that I had a suspension leak, that caused the psi to drop, and the bike to wander.

Similarly, perhaps with a higher pressure in the tire, it might become more rounded (widthwise), and wander less?... perhaps you could verify that the tire is sitting on the "full tread", or at least the center, by spray painting line on it, and observing how it wears off? --eg If the center is "high" then you might be ossilating from one side of the tire to the other... without any stable "center" as typically found on a cycle tire.
 

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ALEX BERECZKY wrote:
Great write-up!

I wonder if the "wandering" you mention, at low speeds, is due to the low (psi) suspension setting you tried?... I had same happen to me recently on a new Dunlop Wintersport... I originally thought it was the tire, but then found that I had a suspension leak, that caused the psi to drop, and the bike to wander.

Similarly, perhaps with a higher pressure in the tire, it might become more rounded (widthwise), and wander less?... perhaps you could verify that the tire is sitting on the "full tread", or at least the center, by spray painting line on it, and observing how it wears off? --eg If the center is "high" then you might be ossilating from one side of the tire to the other... without any stable "center" as typically found on a cycle tire.
You may be right Alex. I'm not done playing with it. Should have thought to boost the shocks after the experiment on the tracks. Am planning to do a 'chalk test' to see how much rubber I have on the road and how far to the edge the tire will ride when forced around a curve. Our 'curves' are just cloverleafs on the freeway. :cheesygrin: I know others are running 45 lbs in this tire but I'm going to try putting the whole 55 lbs in it and see how it feels. Stay tuned.:action:
 

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Thanks Alex, I"ll soon be looking for a CT for my Shadow, sounds like a contender :action:
 

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Did you install a new front as well or does the Pilot have some miles on it? If new, did you go with the radial?
 

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Front tire is still the Pilot I put on last year. It still has about half its life left with still no cupping. I got 11K miles out of the rear Pilot and it was cupping pretty well by the time it came off. And, yes, I'm religious about checking tire pressure. I will probably go to the front radial (rear tire running backwards) set up when the Pilot goes. I attribute some of the slow speed wandering to the front Pilot.
 

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Great write up and happy to read it!

I have the Auston Taxi tire sitting in my shop for the 1500 myself. I was going to mount it before riding to Nassir 4 for the long trip I had planned, but did not go.
Not installed Taxi yet since my E3 is still very good shape on rear.

How is the road noise? I hate the E3 when it sounds like a UFO is hovering over me LOL
Nice and quite going perfectly straight, but a little lean and woo woo woo UFO!
Is the Taxi silent so far?
 

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Chromo wrote:
How is the road noise? I hate the E3 when it sounds like a UFO is hovering over me LOL

Is the Taxi silent so far?
I know just what you mean about the UFO whir. My rear Pilot was on the edge of dangerous on the way home from Nassir 4. I told my wife that it was 'singing' around every corner.

I have to lean over on the lee side to hear the Austone over the front tire and wind noise. Someone who's got more miles on their Austone might be better able to say how quiet it stays.

Saibeer?
 

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All;
I am just under 4,000 miles on this Austone - but:
Been on a lot of different roads, mostly city driving though with quick jaunts out on the weekend. Even at 122°F this tire tracks true, no searching at 47psi and 55psi shocks. The front tire searches more than the rear tire does and is quite annoying now that the rear is so solid.
The twisties are limited by front (and sometimes rear) suspension bottoming out not the back tire breaking loose. (Yeah I know a few tricks about road racing). Trust me on this one. I do not have a high performance front end and the Austone clearly outperforms the stock suspension.
Rain is a joy (I know no one enjoys the rain that much). You will never fear the rain due to worrying about loss of traction. Just look in the mirror at that huge dry patch behind you. I am much more comfortable in the rain now and only worry about oily spots.
Sound: No one is going to believe me but I can hear the front tire (E3) easily and I cannot hear the rear unless I am pushing a corner when I hear it squeal (even though it squeals it doesn't feel like the E3 rear which was a very soft and light feeling - almost scary in that I thought it would break loose once it started squealing - it never did though)
Tire pressures: I have been as high as 52 for several hundred miles and down to 37 psi. I have chosen 47 psi more because of how easy it is to read on the gauge that I have. This tire has a wide comfort zone.
The pressure in the shocks, I have been down to 28psi (actually 0 when I started and quickly changed) but the bike really wriggles at that pressure. I have been as high as 75psi but it felt like a rock there (and VERY tall). I now keep it at 55psi because I can ride 2-up in a heart beat. The bike is tall at that pressure - but so am I (just be warned)
Stopping power is unbelievable as compared to the E3. You have to try it to understand what I am talking about. There is absolutely no comparison period.
This is a very heavy bike and throwing it around in the curves is not my favorite thing to do with this bike. It takes concentration and a lot of fore-thought. You cannot let the bike get ahead of you even for an instant. With that all said - the CT doesn't make things any more difficult or better. I can ground out the pegs and bottom out the front end easy compared to other lighter bikes made with a lot less rake on the nose than this bike.
I have never endorsed any aftermarket anything (including when I was racing back in the days when I used to be immortal) and I do not want anyone to think this is anything other than expressing what I have experienced on MY RIDE.
Everyone ride safe and enjoy the scenery.
 

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Thanks SaiBeer for a very informed report.

That is the kind that gives others something to work with in making their own decisions.

you convinced me, and I'm invincible :ROFL:
 

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wpgfire wrote:
There are other references to the Austone Taxi Tire (175R16) on the Forum but no thread devoted to it as there is for the Federal/Formoza that some of you are using. Thought I’d make it easier for those doing a search. I know that Saibeer and mwhit 1500 installed them and will hopefully give their opinions as well, though I know they have weighed in on other threads/forums.
wpgfire, and Saibeer.

I want to thank both of you for giving us a very well thought out report on the Austone Taxi tire.

Your reports have convinced me to try it on the next tire change. My E3 is starting to do the infamous "whine" sound now when it leans over a bit. Not bad, but it is there even with only 4,000 miles on it now.
 

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Dusty and I just put one on his 1500 last week and we ran a 400 mile test run last Saturday with it. He has been running it through the Dragon and all over the Skyline roads since and his preliminary reports are very positive.

A couple of warnings with this tire... You better have some long legs and you better find something to extend your side stand with. Dusty already dropped his up in the mountains on the side stand. Stumpy forkers need not apply.

Other than that, I wish I could get a 6 ply tire in the Federal Formoza size I have now. The outside diameter of the Austone is a good 3 inches above the Formoza.

Also that extra diameter will add a bit of wear to your clutch and brakes.
 

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Why don't they make something like this for the 1200's?

Could you get one that would fit?
 

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Rudy wrote:
Dusty and I just put one on his 1500 last week and we ran a 400 mile test run last Saturday with it. He has been running it through the Dragon and all over the Skyline roads since and his preliminary reports are very positive.

Dusty already dropped his up in the mountains on the side stand. Stumpy forkers need not apply.

Also that extra diameter will add a bit of wear to your clutch and brakes.
Nope, didn't drop it Rudy, but like you say with the extra height of the tire, the bike leans a lot more while on it's side stand. When I dropped in to see my buddy Les at the cabin the rented in the hills around Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, the drive was very slanted due to the extremely steep hills in the are, I thought the bike might tip over when I placed it on it's side stand, after jockeying it around for 5 minutes trying to find a suitable place/angle to park it. Once on the side stand, I couldn't get the bike upright until I removed both gear bags unloaded and placed a flat, 2"thick rock under the side stand. The next morning, once the bike was loaded again, I had to get Les to help me get the bike vertical off of the side stand.

Other than that drawback, I'm really liking the Austone. Unlike the Federal Formoza, ruts are barely noticeable, there is very little/no sidewall 'flex'/wiggle, so the bike is more stable.

Compared to the Formoza, withthe larger diameter Austone tire, you notice that throttle response during roll ons are a little slower, you have to slip the clutch a bit more to get underway , the bike revs a little lower while cruising and hills affect it more, so you'll have to either dial in more throttle to negotiate them, or down shift so as to not lug the engine. The bike sits higher, sogrounding/bottoming out on speed bumps are no longer a worry

IMHO, the Austone is THE CT to get, if you have the inseam to handle the increased ride height.



Dusty
 

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3 inches taller than the Formosa... Hmmmmm

I think I will wait until I see Dusty at the next NASSIR and see how tall it is for me.
 

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Dusty Boots wrote:
...The bike sits higher, sogrounding/bottoming out on speed bumps are no longer a worry

IMHO, the Austone is THE CT to get, if you have the inseam to handle the increased ride height.



Dusty
I think I'll try one on the sidecar rig when I wear out the Dunlop. I had a heck of a time getting the tall sidecar to set level next to the short Wing.
 

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AZgl1500 wrote:
3 inches taller than the Formosa... Hmmmmm
I think I will wait until I see Dusty at the next NASSIR and see how tall it is for me.


Don't forget that the 3" that Rudy is talking about is the difference in overall tire height, compared to the Federal Formoza, which is close to 1 1/2"shorter than a 160/80-16 stock MC tire.

When mounted, it is only a bit over an inch, or so taller than the stock MC tire
 

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Dusty Boots wrote:
AZgl1500 wrote:
3 inches taller than the Formosa... Hmmmmm
I think I will wait until I see Dusty at the next NASSIR and see how tall it is for me.


Don't forget that the 3" that Rudy is talking about is the difference in overall tire height, compared to the Federal Formoza, which is close to 1 1/2"shorter than a 160/80-16 stock MC tire.

When mounted, it is only a bit over an inch, or so taller than the stock MC tire
Yes I was talking about diameter not radius and I was comparing the shorter than stock Federal to the taller than stock Austone.
So the Austone is about as much taller than the MC tire as the Federal is shorter than the MC tire.

AZ, Dusty's tire will be shorter by the time you see him again. :D
 
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