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Noo front shoo

February 2, 2012
GTS front tire

Orin O'Neill photo

The sun is out. The sun will be out through the weekend. If we make it through the third weekend of February without a snow event, there won’t be another one. If you live somewhere to the east of Western Washington, my sympathies.

Though the GTS’ front tire was nowhere near worn out, I decided to replace it anyway. For one thing, I had a new one (a Kenda K413) that I won at a rally last year. That new one had been sitting on the coffee table the whole time, which goes against my attempt to have my dwelling unit look a grown-up lives there.

But the biggest reason was because the old tire did the same thing as it wore down as did the hated original-equipment Sava: The tread blocks had turned into little ramps, which caused a noticeable shimmy in the headset.

Michelin City Grip

Michelin City Grip scooter tire (Michelin photo)

Jason pointed out that due to their rather soft suspension settings, modern Vespas’ tires squirm. While this contributes greatly to the rear tires’ tendency to wear out after 4000 miles (give or take), the front tire is affected as well.

New front tire, shimmy is gone. The old one was on there for almost two years/10000 miles, and was a screamin’ deal thanks to a coupon in a rally pack (from Spokane, as I recall) so I think I got my money’s worth. And while I have no reservations about the Kenda K413 as the low-price champ, I think I’ll try something else when the rear wears out.

The Michelin City Grip comes to mind. Like the Pirelli GTS, there are specific front/rear tread patterns. Unlike the Kenda, there are no grooves extending across the full width of the tread. A bit more expensive, yes, but not horribly so. And there seems to be less likelihood of the ‘ramping’ wear pattern. Well, there’s plenty of time to consider other possibilities as well.

In the meantime, I need to take advantage of the sunshine. 😉 Favicon

  1. February 2, 2012 7:15 pm


    I’ve had those same Kenda tires on my GTS and they were good, especially for the price. And I’ve tried every other brand out there I think. The Pirelli’s are my favorite in terms of ride but the worst for longevity. Michelins and Continentals were fine. Savas not so fine. And the Avons were pretty good too. The Heidenau winter tires are fantastic.

    Don’t you love the nice ride right after new tires???

    What’s happening to me? I’m talking about tires…

  2. February 2, 2012 7:21 pm

    Steve, back in the days when I owned an SCCA Showroom Stock race car, tires were pretty much all I talked about. When I wasn’t talking about brake pads, that is… 😉

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