In my experience, the Avons are very sticky early in their life, have a somewhat softer ride, and the tread lasts a very long time. Great wet traction -- a couple years ago, I came down the west side of Lolo pass, in the rain, at a brisk pace, and the Avons simply stuck like glue. I was very impressed.
However, later in their life, the tire profile begins to change, and two things happen. The first is that they get pretty noisy when leaned over. Mine are really howling at 11000 miles. A bit annoying, but big deal, I can handle that. The second is that the bike doesn't stay leaned over as easily. It really wants to stand up and takes considerable counter-steer to keep the bike leaned over in, e.g. in a fast sweeper. Just back from a week riding around the Big Horn mountains in WY. Lots of fun in the twisty mountain roads, but noticeably more work in corners than it would have been had the the tires been new. Probably because of the "shelf" that forms after the softer side tread is worn away leaving the harder center tread. This behavior is a bit more annoying to me. Also the noise makes me suspect that the contact patch is no longer optimal when the bike is leaned over.
This is my 3rd set of Avons (last four sets were Avon, Avon, E3, Avon), and this is the first time I've put over 10K miles on the Avons. I replaced each of the first two sets around 6000 miles because I was about to start a long trip. (I have no problem tossing out tires with a few thou' left if I am about to start a new trip). Current set is nowhere near the wear bars, but they are definitely "worn" in other ways.
I returned to Avons after E3s because I felt more confident in the rain on the Avons than the E3s. Could be simply because I had lots more miles on the Avons and they felt "familiar"? Very subjective, take that with a grain of salt...
I am ready to try something else, if only because change and experimentation is the only way to find out what *I* like. Considering Bridgestones again.
I'm running the Avon on the back and a Bridgestone G709 on the front. I like the way the Avon feels when it's new, makes the bike roll into a curve faster and the tire feel very sure footed both on wet and dry roads. The Avon feels every bit as surefooted in the rain as did the Bridgestone I had before the Avon. The Avon when new, rides nice and is wearing very well too, but it also got quite noisy in the curves by 4000 miles or so. The noise is getting annoying to me and I will switch back to Bridgestones this winter for next years riding. The rear Bridgestone might not last quite as long as the rear Avon but it sure rides a lot quieter and sticks just as well on both wet and dry roads. The front Bridgestone is a great front tire and preforms so well in both tire mileage and road performance that I wouldn't go with any other brand of front tire at this point in time.
I have an 02. Bought it used with Avons on it. It seemed like I was riding on a rail. At slow speed the bike did not want to stay up. I was all the time having to put my feet down not to tip over. I bought bike with 30K at 40k I had a set of Metzlers ME880's installed! The 1800 is much easier to handel with the Metz. I am happy not to have the Avons on the bike. They did make a lot of noise also. When you would bank into a turn they would hum a bunch. If you do go Metz. Keep the pressure up.. 41/41 is what I hear is best.. Have a good one. I have now been on the Metzs for 2000 miles. I will not buy Avons again.
only 4000 miles on my avons and a light rider. They grip well and howl!! Have to replace the front tire due to a jack danials bottle incident, the base of the bottle sliced the side wall like a designed cut. May consider the metz next time? Avons do grip, but just loud, happy so far.
Love my Avon's but only have 1200 miles so far. My stock D-250's cupped so bad I had to change them at 4800 miles plus the wobble was getting worse. Put the Avon's on and the wobble is gone, the ride is softer and the grip is ten times better. If it rains no problem. No noise problem yet.
I also would like to add that my wife told me that the back end does not slide in corners now and the ride is much better. She said that bumps now feel soft not as jarring.
Time will tell. My dealers (2) say that Avon's are the number one seller with the Mez a close second and Dunlop's use to be the number one but can't be found.
These tires felt good (awesome) at first. I commute to work most days on the bike (45 miles round trip). I take spirited rides in the Texas Hill Country one or two weekends a month and maybe one or two 3000 mile trips a year. I was disappointed that the traction did not last through the depth of the tread. I was also shocked when I was showing cords on the rear in 6000 miles. I am on to the next tire I have not yet tried. Of course I am also looking for the ultimate balance of wear vs performance for my riding style. After I finish going through them all, I will probably have to try them all again.