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Tire talk again.

8394 Views 17 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  tngarren
Hi guys, I've looked over the past tire discussions but have a couple of questions. I typically run Metzeler 888 on my other bikes but I'm not sure its the right answer on this heavy cruiser. I'm at 3500 miles and already wearing the left of my front tire enough to get a wobble on deceleration.

Has anyone tried the Bridgestones for the Goldwing?

How is the 120 70 19 R thing working out for you guys now that you've put on some miles?

Also, did you go with the 200 55 17 on the back with the 120 70 19 and how do you like it?

Which brand is your favorite thus far?

Shrubbo, You seem to have the most miles on tires so feel free to jump in. lol

Here we go, please try and stay on track here folks
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Unless I find something better in 6 months when I should be due, Dunlop Elite make a 130/60-19 61H front tire and 200/55-R78V rear tire.. The tread looks like the Dunlop Elite 3s I just changed on my 850lb ***** chieftain at 25k miles.. I put the new Elite 4s on it to see if they yield the same high mileage. I have no handling issues with the Elites or uneven wear that most bike stock front tires exhibit. actually the Front was still good, but hey, 25k smiles. go ahead and change them both. poncho

Metzlers were my goto tire. I have 888s on my little puddle jumper, scout. They are doing well, I might get 12k out of this set. I do ride it harder than the big valk. well, because I can thrash a 550lb bike around more than 750lb.
I have a 120 Avon Cobra on the front and a 180 Dunlop Roadsmart 2 on the back. The Avon has been on for close to 20,000kms and still looks great. The Dunlop has been on for 12,000kms and will need changing by mid summer. I bought another Roadsmart 2 to put on when this one has done it's time. I see no need to put on a 200 series tire. A skinnier front tire coupled with a wider back tire doesn't handle as well as tires closer in size to one another.
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Micheline Pilot 5 Radial on the rear - this is the goofy looking one with no siping on the sides. Have 5000 miles on it, and should get about 1000 more. Hope so - I leave on a 900 mile trip on Monday.
Michelin Commander II radial front. Again, have 5000 miles on it - looks good for at least another 2000.

Note that my miles are mostly high speed. Either fast vacation road trips (Tucson to Carmel last month for the Quail, about 2000 miles RT), or 30 miles of my 45 mile one way commute. I generally run slightly faster (80-85) than most traffic (75-80).

At $3/gallon, I actually spend about as much on tires as gasoline. So instead of 35 MPG, I get about 18 MPGWT (MPG with tires).

Crimeny - on a cost basis, may as well drive the Jeep Liberty - it also gets 18 MPG - as well as 75k on a set of tires. Nowhere near the fun though...

But other than going darkside (which still seems goofy to me), or swapping wheels and trying a bona fide GL1800 tire (which is on my project list, along with about 20 other things...), not much else to do.
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PC, look at those Dunlop Elites.. they make sizes that fit our rims. I just pulled a set of Elite 3s off my 850lb chieftain at 25k smiles. the front was still good or many more k's. I put the Elite 4s on it. because, well, they're 4s must be more better than 3s? I dunno, will find out. but I am planning on putting standard Elites on this when I burn off these stock units. Finally mc tire technology is catching up, no need to go over to the darkside. here is what they look like, minus the ugly WW.
I thought I looked at E3's before, and did not find the same rear size (180/55R17), in a radial.
Close sizes - 160/70-17 and 200/55-17 - but both still Bias ply.

Do they make a Radial in the same size? I can't seem to find it.

I use E3's regularly on my Legacy 2000 Valk - and usually get real close to 10k out of the rear, a bit more on the front.
Anyone try these?

It would be great if someone would make a 130 70zr 19. in a heavy cruiser tire. I'm thinking it would fit and give a much better riding tire.
I realize this post is now a month old, but I *finally* got my new tires on today.
I gave up on the Dunlops but got 12,000 miles out of them.
I went with these:

Rear: Michelin Road 5 - 180/55ZR17 73W
Front: Michelin Road 5 Trail - 120/70ZR19 60W

Ran me about $450 for the set and after the first couple of hours on them I have to say I like them a lot! Cornering is noticeably different with the narrower front so still getting used to that. Not sure if it is strictly the width or also tire shape, but the Dunlop felt more "stable", where the Michelin is effortless to add lean in either direction, instantly!

I've seen many reports of the Michelins (mostly the Road 4's) and that is part of what helped me make my decision. If you are still considering tires (e.g. haven't purchased yet) I am happy to offer any feedback or answer any questions about them.


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bp, be sure to give report of performance at least several thousand miles from now. any new tire is going to feel different, aka better, well because its new and you just came off of worn out questionable tires. after a goodly amount miles and wear then the real behavior of the tire emerges. the real praise is at the end of a tires life. let us know how these go.

btw, I just topped 7k on this new sled ~7weeks. the front is quickly wearing flat on the left as expected. It might make it to 10k.? I have been looking at this front wheel and it appears I may be able to pull the axle and rotate the whole wheel and ride this tire backwards for another 2k'ish. the current right side becomes the new left side for additional tire tread wear.

before anybody gets their dander all up about reverse rotation tires / cords / wear, be advised I have done this before and I don't ride stupid. I know what I am doing.

as for left side early wear, flat spots. if you want to know how even minimal road crown does this, I will 'splain clearly. if you want to argue their isn't enough road crown to cause it, don't bother. poncho
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i am also looking to the future on tire change. wonder why the left side does seem to wear more on the front? I think but not sure i see that at 6K miles.
while i love handling i want a wide contact patch up front and in reality i may only change tires twice more in my riding career .

A lot of Bikers being killed lately where i live , this car almost hit me from behind and swerved in front - posted speed limit is 45


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I wonder why the left side does seem to wear more on the front?
u2, skinny stock tires are most prone to this normal tire wear. left side flat flat spot. some even develop scallops that will "howl" when turning left as they slap the pavement. stock tires tend to be the cheapest the mfg can put on a scooter. but that it not "why" they wear to the left.

it IS the Road Crown of the pavement that causes this errant left side wear. All, most all pavement have some degree of road crown or tilt for drainage of rain water. Some will say that there is no crown or not enough to cause such a huge offset wear on the left side. The road surface does have some degree of tilt such that rain water does find its way to the side drainage with the exception of tire wear grooves made by heavy trucks.
It is not just this Tilt that causes the wear but rather How the bike must be Trimmed to keep it going down the road Straight. The road surface is not perpendicular to the center of the earth but has this offset tilt.
When you ride down the center of the lane and maintain some degree of straight running, you Must Imperceptibly tilt your bike a bit of degree to the left to keep it going straight.
If you could only hold the bike exactly perpendicular to the road surface (as you think you are) your path of travel would be affected by Gravity and in short order put you on the right shoulder. To counter effect this, you naturally lean your bike imperceptibly to the left to maintain something resembling of a straight line down the road.
this is much like the Trim Tabs on the Rudder of an Airplane, the pilot dials in a small degree of left pitch to correct for prop wash and sometimes crosswind. So that even the airplane is Yawed at an angle and appears to be Crabbing (flying skewed), it is maintaining a straight flight path in relation to ground.
Ok, this minimal offset you do without thinking, your front tire contact patch New Centerline is skewed to the left of center. but that is not the end of the story. If you pay attention to just the little movements in your ride-flight path, you will notice that the bike drifts to the right (left in oz) and you are continually giving little commands to bring the bike back up center of the line you are trying to maintain. What is happening is you are Constantly Climbing to the left at a microscopic rate that is scrubbing the left side tire tread even further beyond this new left-center of your tire,, considerably more so than the right side.
I would expect some of our aussie couz to chime in and give account of Right side front tire wear from having to do everything backward and upside down.. But then maybe because it doesn't ever rain (much) in Oz, they might have zero road crown and all their pavement is flat perpendicular to the center of the earth.? they do things funny down there when no one is watching. poncho
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...they do things funny down there when no one is watching
Australian motorcycle tyres are supplied pre-biased to cancel out the right side wear we would otherwise experience. End result: even wear across the tread. I would have thought Murrica would be onto that by now - been around since the 1950's. Oh, that's right...
left side wear from " Road Crown " i never would have thought about that but immediately thought about the countries that drive on the wrong side of the road ;)
thanks for the explanations as i celibate 55 years of riding and still learning things .
Australian motorcycle tyres are supplied pre-biased to cancel out the right side wear . . Oh, that's right...
yeah I bet all those shoes you guys get from China also have more sole/tread on the right side so that over time they all wear about even.. like I said, when no one is looking.. things go wobbly over there.
left side wear from " Road Crown " i never would have thought about that but immediately thought about the countries that drive on the wrong side of the road ;)
thanks for the explanations as i celibate 55 years of riding and still learning things .

u2, could even out the wear by crossing over and riding sometimes on the other side of the yellow line. if an occifer might inquire about your death wish, you could just say your practicing for when you go down under.. either way your going. down. under. but at least your tires will be all even tread wear..
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Reactions: 1 I said, when no one is looking.. things go wobbly over there.
Time to change the record?
ugh! So I put a Dunlop 408s on the front. Its a Harley Street glide tire. I leaned to Shrubb's past posts with this one. But now the rear is smoked. Thinking I want to try a Dunlop Elite or Commander ll but that leaves me going to a 200 55 17. We all know the commander works but what about the Elites?
Just replaced original OEM front tire with a Michelin Commander III 130/60B19 61H. Out the door w/ mount and balance was $213. OEM had 5,900 miles on it. Probably would have gone another 1K miles but riding from NC to Key West next week and did not want to chance it. Bike rides/handles significantly better with new tire. IMO the OEM Dunlop is a really poor tire.

Thanks to all those who provided experienced comments and opinions in all the tire threads.
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