Yamaha FJ1200 (-87)

(updated September 99)

Rim Stock Size
Front 2.75 x 16 120/80-16
Rear 3.50 x 16 150/80-16

Manufacturers' Recommendations

Manufacturer Front size Rear size
(no data)
Bridgestone BT17 120/80V16 BT17 150/80V16
(no data)
Metzeler ME-33 Laser 120/80V16 ME-99A 150/80V16
ME-33 Laser 120/80VB16 ME-99A2 150/80VB16
ME-33 Laser Comp-K 120/80VB16 ME-1 Comp-K 160/70VB16
Michelin Macadam 50 120/80V16 Macadam 50 150/80V16
Macadam 90X 120/80ZR16 Macadam 90X 150/80ZR16
Pirelli MTR 03 120/80ZR16 MTR 04 150/80ZR16
MT 09 120/80VB16 MT 08 150/80VB16

Martyn's Opinion

General Comments

The 16" front wheel of the older FJ1200 makes this a very different prospect from the later models.  Oddly enough, while it limits options in terms of the newer radials, it does open up some of the more classic (and very fine) bias-ply choices.  The radial/bias ply decision is a tough one for this bike.  As you'll see, my leaning is towards the radials, although it's not at all as clear-cut as it usually is.  The pre-88 FJ sits right at the transition from one generation of litre-class sport-tourers to the next, and as such can pretty much take advantage of new or mature tyre technology -- after all, the manufacturers are investing in bias-ply development too, and not just limiting better compound chemistry to the radial lines.

The Safe Bet

Brand Model Size MAW
Front Metzeler ME-33 Laser 120/80V-16 $88
Rear Metzeler ME-55A Metronic 150/80VB16 $139

While there are better choices, certainly considering the price, the conservative fitment to an older sport-tourer is undoubtedly the classic ME-33/ME-55A combination.  While the Dunlop K591's are cheaper, for this bike I'd go with the Metzelers -- call it a hunch, if you like, but I just feel that they work better on a powerful large machine.  In any case, I'd choose one of the selections below, so it's a moot point.

A Tight Budget, General Purpose, Touring, Sport-Touring, Sport-Riding

Brand Model Size MAW
Front Metzeler ME-Z2 120/80ZR16 $88
Rear Metzeler ME-Z2 150/80ZR16 $110

What to do, what to do...  If there were an ME-Z1 in this size, the case would be closed.  As it is, for sport-riding do you want to go for top-notch bias ply tyres (Avon Super Venom) or sport-touring radials?  In my book, the radials win.  The Z2 might not be as sticky as you'd want on the front, but the advantages of radial construction far outweigh that in the real world of uneven pavement.  Likewise for touring or sport-touring the radials have big advantages in terms of the traction vs. tread life trade-off and highway comfort.  The other tricky choice is whether to pick the Metzelers, or to go for the Avon AV27/ST23 combination; while I really like the Avons, I think for this bike the Metzelers win -- especially since, oddly enough, at present the Metzelers are also the cheapest.

Martyn's Choice

Brand Model Size MAW
Front Metzeler ME-Z2 120/80ZR16 $88
Rear Metzeler ME-Z2 150/80ZR16 $110

Definitely radials, and in view of the current prices, the ME-Z2 pair is a real winner.

The Full List

(from MAW and manufacturer web pages)

Exact matched pairs

Brand Front size MAW Rear size MAW
Avon AV27 120/80ZR16 $129 ST23 150/80ZR16
Super Venom AM18 120/80V-16 $95 Super Venom AM18 150/80V-16 $139
Super Venom AM20 120/80V-16 $98 Super Venom AM18 150/80V-16 $139
Bridgestone BT17 Sports Mileage 120/80V-16 $94 BT17 Sports Mileage 150/80V-16
BT45 Sports Mileage 120/80V-16 $68 BT45 Sports Mileage 150/80V-16 $92
BT53 Sports Touring 120/80VR16 BT53 Sports Touring 150/80VR16
Dunlop K591 Sport Touring 120/80V-16 K591 Sport Touring 150/80VB16 $135
Metzeler ME-33 Laser 120/80V-16 $88 ME-55A Metronic 150/80VB16 $139
ME-33 Laser 120/80V-16 $88 ME-99A Perfect 150/80V-16 $116
ME-33 Laser 120/80V-16 $88 ME-88 Marathon 150/80H-16 $134
ME-Z2 120/80ZR16 $88 ME-Z2 150/80ZR16 $110
Michelin Macadam 50 120/80V-16 $103 Macadam 50 150/80V-16 $128
Macadam 90X 120/80ZR16 $89 Macadam 90X 150/80ZR16 $116
Pirelli Dragon GT MTR03 120/80ZR16 $98 Dragon GT MTR04 150/80ZR16 $124
Match MT09 120/80VB16 $96 Match MT08 150/80VB16 $130

Listing by Manufacturer


Front size MAW match Rear size MAW match
AV27 120/80ZR16 $125 exact ST23 150/80ZR16 exact
Elan HL30 160/80HB16 $152 wide
Elan II HL30 140/90HB16 $138 soft
Elan II HL30 160/80HB16 $165 wide
Roadranger HL26 140/90H-16 $133 soft
Super Venom AM18 120/80V-16 $95 exact
Super Venom AM20 120/80V-16 $95 exact Super Venom AM18 150/80V-16 $139 exact


Front size MAW match Rear size MAW match
BT17 Sports Mileage 120/80V-16 $94 exact BT17 Sports Mileage 150/80V-16 exact
BT45 Sports Mileage 120/80V-16 $68 exact BT45 Sports Mileage 150/80V-16 $92 exact
BT53 Sports Touring 120/80VR16 exact BT53 Sports Touring 150/80VR16 exact
SE11 140/90H-16 $111 soft
SE27 MU90H-16 soft


Front size MAW match Rear size MAW match
Blitz TKH-24 140/90H-16 $92 soft
Milestone CM2 140/90H-16 $91 soft
Tour TK-17 140/90H-16 $98 soft


Front size MAW match Rear size MAW match
Cruisemax 150/80--16 $117 exact
D205 Sport/Touring 150/80ZR16 $114 exact
K177 Touring 160/80HB16 $138 wide
K491 Elite II Touring MU90HB16 $92 soft
K491 Elite II Touring 160/80HB16 $107 wide
K591 Sport Touring 120/80V-16 exact K591 Sport Touring 150/80VB16 $135 exact
K627 140/90H-16 $108 soft


Front size MAW match Rear size MAW match
Durotour RS-310 120/80H-16 $49 exact Durotour RS-410 140/90H-16 $87 soft
Road Winner RW-010 140/90-X16 $61 soft
Wildflare WF-920 140/90H-16 $88 soft


Front size MAW match Rear size MAW match
K657 Sport Challenger 120/90H-16 $53 tall K657 Sport Challenger 140/90H-16 $65 soft


Front size MAW match Rear size MAW match
ME-33 Laser 120/80V-16 $88 exact ME-55A Metronic 150/80VB16 $139 exact
ME-33 Laser 120/80VB16 exact ME-99A Perfect 150/80V-16 $116 exact
ME-99A Perfect 150/80VB16 exact
ME-88 Marathon 150/80H-16 $139 exact
ME-880 Marathon 150/80HB16 $149 exact
ME-Z2 120/80ZR16 $88 exact ME-Z2 150/80ZR16 $110 exact
ML2 Plus 140/90HB16 $126 soft
ML2 Plus 160/80HB16 $137 wide


Front size MAW match Rear size MAW match
Hi-Tour 79 120/90H-16 $135 tall Hi-Tour 79 140/90H-16 $143 soft
Macadam 50 120/80V-16 $103 exact Macadam 50 150/80V-16 $128 exact
Macadam 90X 120/80ZR16 $89 exact Macadam 90X 150/80ZR16 $116 exact


Front size MAW match Rear size MAW match
Dragon GT MTR03 120/80ZR16 $98 exact Dragon GT MTR04 150/80ZR16 $124 exact
Match MT09 120/80VB16 $96 exact Match MT08 150/80VB16 $130 exact
Route 66 MT66 150/80H-16 $109 exact


Exact Precisely matches original spec
Excellent Precisely matches a recommended alternate
Good An exact or alternate in a different sizing system
Short Exact or excellent width, lower profile.  Consider these both ends to lower the bike
Soft Similar diameter by using a taller profile and narrower width; used on the rear only
Tall Taller profile, stock width; similar in effect to "soft", but for the front only
Wide Same profile, wider tyre.  This MAY NOT FIT your rim.  BE CAREFUL!!!