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Tyres anyone?

25388 Views 53 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  po9n
I have posted twice elsewhere in this forum, and neither one is visible after several days, so I’ll try here. Why can’t I post links?
The standard Valkyrie front tyre is a Dunlop D254F 130/60 R19 61H radial, a very odd size for a radial. It's in the Dunlop Australia catalogue, but I don't know if anyone imports it. This tyre is available on Ebay, from the UK, so that is one solution. Rear is 180/55 R17 73H, also a radial. To replace that my choice would be Michelin Pilot Road 4 GT.
Then there is the alternative front tyre size 120/70 R19 60V radial, available in several brands. I'd go for the Michelin Pilot Road 4 Trail. The speed rating is higher than 61H, but the load rating is 7kg lower. A tyre calculator on the web (I’m not allowed to post the link here) shows this to be 1.9% larger in diameter, not enough, I assume, to affect the ABS. Elsewhere I have read that relative tyre profiles do not affect ABS, is this true?
There are cruiser front tyres 130/60 B19 61H in bias, like the Dunlop D208, Dunlop American Elite, Michelin Commander 2, Michelin Scorcher 31 etc. My tyre dealer insists that mixed bias/radial on a bike renders it unroadworthy here in Australia. I could find no rule like that, and I think he's wrong. There appears to be no problem with bias front and radial rear. Many bikes come from the factory like that, and Michelin recommends that combination for some bikes. Another such bias front tyre is the Metzeler ME888.
Finally, my tyre retailer suggested a more cruiser oriented tyre for the back, for longer tyre life. The 180/55 R17 size appears limited to sports or touring tyres, but the Metzeler ME888 180/60 B17 75V is close. The tyre calculator says it does 2.8% fewer revs per mile, so the speedo (sensor is on the final drive) would read 97.2km/h where it would read 100 on the 180/55. That might make it more accurate.
So I'm thinking about the ME888 bias/bias combination. What tyres are people running on the Valk?
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You can't post links because you don't have enough posts, I think you need 15 or something like that.

Anyway, I'm running a mich commander 2 on the front and pilot road 2 in the back. They feel great and are supposed to last longer than oem. I'll let you know if that's true in another 6000 miles. :)

I don't know they compare to the 888 but I had metz 880s on my last bike, a suzuki m50. They still had decent tread after 10k miles when I traded it in for my Valk. I don't think it's a bad choice.
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I'm more concerned with grip (especially wet) than long life. I might go with the Michelin Commander 2/PR4 GT combination. If I get 10000km (6250 miles) I'll be satisfied. I'm used to about 11000km from Pilot Power 3/PR3 on my Daytona 955i.
I am running
Rear : Michelin Pilot road 4 gt 190 55 17 73W
I swear by these until something else comes along. I get similar mileage to the OEM Dunlop but the wet weather grip is not comparable. With the OEM Dunlop I could spin the read in any gear except 5th in the wet. A lot of fun was to be had. When I tried the PR4GT that was no longer possible. A lot less fun but hey a lot safer.

Front: Michelin 120/70 ZR19 60V Pilot Road 4 Trail
Only got 10000k's or so on that so far. Bit of a flat spot but wet weather grip is comparable to the back (IE awesome) and still has plenty of tread.

If you want longevity on the front then go for the Dunlop D408F 130/60B19 M/C 61H. It has Harley Davidson on the side walls. I also got around 25000k out of that bugger... no kidding. The down side is that it is well... a Dunlop so not that great in the wet and it also had a vibration. For example you let the bars go and they wobbled slightly. No issue when hands on bar tho. That mileage may allow it to sneak back onto my front again tho. I still have to see how fat this PR4 trail goes. If I can get 15000k or so then the PR4T will stay cause the grip is well worth a 10000k hit I think... maybe.
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Thanks for the info Shrubbo. I guess the 190/55 gears you up a bit. I'm a little concerned about the 120/70-19 60V PR4 Trail, as the load rating on all the 120/70-19 tyres is less than Honda's 61H specification, thus contravening ADRs. I was wondering too about the Michelin Scorcher 31 tyres, also with Harley Davidson on the side walls. I don't know if they are available in Oz.
I don't know if they are available in Oz.
Shrubbo's in your corner of the world, so that at least answers one of your questions. :)
There is nothing noticeable as far as "gearing up" is concerned.

Honda specifies a tire that is $500au for the front and $750au for the rear and have pretty much diabolical grip in the wet. Well they did cost that last time I checked. The PR4T tire seems great and I was a long way from being the first to run them so they are not unknown item or anything that even slightly concerns me. It is also looking like it will easily out last that nasty OEM but your choice :)

BTW if you really want to be worried a Honda dealers put that Harley tire on my bike without permission because there was zero tires available at the time. Honda Australia said it was dangerous and I had to pull it off... at my own expense (I am not kidding). Honda doesn't know **** and can burn for all I care.

That being said I may still go back to that tire. Huge mileage I got out of that Harley hoop. Something like 25000k.

..and yes, I am in Oz as Turbo pointed out. Can you tell I don't think much of Honda Australia or their dealers? Good thing I love the bike else I would have an M109 ;)
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Good thing I love the bike else I would have an M109 ;)
Funny you say that, the m109 was my first on my list when I started thinking about upgrading, but I hate suzuki as much as you hate honda. :)
I paid a little more, but got the better bike. Please excuse the hijack.
haha I spent 2 years dreaming of the 109. Laid eyes on theValk on the net in blue when it came out. Not interested. Spotted it in real life in black and chrome. WTF. Never rode an m109 :D
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I preferred the 2015 red, but seeing the blue in the flesh it looked OK, and it being maybe my last chance to buy a near-new Valk, I bought it. I think the black looks good too, but only because the engine is shiny. I don't like that completely blacked out look too much. Mine has the black engine, but the blue relieves it.
I very nearly went for a V-rod, but the Muscle, not the all-black Night Rod Special. The 2010 Muscle in red looks great, and is identical in every way to the current model (just discontinued), including ABS. The Night Rod has pillion pegs located to force the passenger to assume a foetal position, which rules it out anyway.
I'm not sure what it would do to the handling, but I'd like a 240 rear tyre on the Valk, it would look much better.
As far as I can see there was no problem with that front tyre that Honda installed. Bias is OK on the front. What were they on about?
I like the idea of long lasting tyres too, until it starts raining :)
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Ahh yeah the red looks great. In fact they all look great to me in the flesh, totally uninspired by the promo photos tho. Never even considered it again until many months later I saw one in the flesh. About a week of researching later I took it for a ride and signed the paperwork. Says how much I liked it by the fact at the time there was bugger all on it but after the test ride I couldn't sign the paperwork quick enough.

The 240 would look awesome!!! and totally destroy that handling but hey... awesome! Man some engineering to make that happen :)

What were they on about? Trying to force me to buy another tire that was vastly more expensive even tho their dealer was the one that put it on. Apart from that I rode that tire pretty hard from time to time and had no issues at all in the dry and none in the wet either but I knew its limits and respected that and had no problems. The vibration was a bit annoying but it was only visible if I let the bars go and could not be felt.

I am still waiting to see how far the PR4T will get but honestly I don't think it will come close to the k's the Dunlop. There is also the lol factor of having Harley Davidson stamped on the tread. There is a lot of fun that can be had with that so perhaps I am seriously considering it for the next change ;)
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The Michelin Scorcher 31s have Harley Davidson on the side walls too, if you can get them in Oz. ;)
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Would please convey the specific tire sizes? I am looking now as I type for a set of tires and the forum is aiding in this process. Your input and that of others are greatly appreciated.

Front: Michelin Commander 2;

Rear: Michelin Pilot Road 2;

Check Six
Front: Michelin Commander 2 130/60-19 61H bias
Rear: Michelin Pilot Road 4 GT 180/55-17 73W radial. Be sure to get the GT version.
Ian B
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front mich commander 2 :
130/60 r19
rear mich pilot road 2
180/55 ZR 17

I asked about the pilot 4 but my tire guy recommended against it. He said more people are happier with the pilot 2 and it costs less.

Compared to the dunlops, these tires feel much more stable, especially in rain or riding over tar snakes. We have a lot of tar snakes in GA and the dunlops would get squirrely over 'em. It would always feel like my back end was about to slide out under me. I will absolutely not go back to oem, but might try another tire if I don't get enough miles out of these.
I might look up those Commander 2's in the next few months.
After riding on damp roads this weekend on the original Dunlop tyres, I think I'll do the same as you, Shrubbo. Mich PR4 Trail front, Mich PR4 GT rear. 10Mm on a front is sufficient for me. I'll just replace them in pairs when the rear wears out.
Interesting that the front PR4 Trail has load/speed rating 60V compared to the Dunlop D254F's 61H. If the PR4 is rated for 240km/h vs Dunlop 210km/h, it doesn't compute that the load rating is 250kg instead of 257. Looking at 120/70-19 tyres of different brands and construction, all are load rated 60. All the 130/60-19 are 61. Looks to me that the load rating is based on the tyre profile, and diameter, nothing else (like an actual test to destruction). I think the extra grip of the PR4 trail far outweighs the lower load rating.
The Valk with ABS weighs 343kg, 50/50 front/rear. If we add 170kg load, also 50/50, then the front tyre carries 257kg, and the 61 load rating is right. But much more of the payload is borne by the rear wheel than the front (except when braking), so I'm comfortable with the 60V load/speed rating. I want to be able to keep up with my riding buddies using Mich PR4.
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Where do you have your tires replaced?
I'm not sure who you're asking, but if it's me, I get mine done at Ken's Motorcycle tires in woodstock. They have an fb page too.

Make an appt and they usually have you in and out in about 30 min. Reasonable rates, good service. Only used them once so far but I'll go back. They won't do darkside though, if you need that.
A question about the Pilot Road 4 GT: If it is intended for heavier bikes, why is the load rating the same as the non-GT in the same size? For example, PR4 180/55-R17 is 73W for both GT and non-GT versions. If the GT really is stronger, why not rate it as 75W, same as 180/60 or 190/55? That would give you a really good reason to choose the GT for a heavy bike like the Valk. Or isn't it really stronger, just stiffer?

It seems that a tyre's load rating is universally tied to the tyre profile/diameter, regardless of tyre construction or make (Shinko might be an exception). For example, every 180/55-17 tyre of any make is 73, as far as I can determine. There must be some range of ultimate load bearing capacity between tyres of the same size and nominal load capacity, across all the manufacturers and types. So the PR GT might actually be capable of higher load than the non-GT (they are differently constructed), but has the same load rating because both are 180/55-17, or whatever.
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