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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Went for a ride with the bloke a couple of blocks away who owns a black 2014 Valkyrie (he bought it new back in 2014). Was great swapping notes and just getting the chance to see a Valk on the road, close up and from all angles. Caused a bit of a stir when we parked them side by side at the cafe too ;) Because I'm due to change my OEM tyres (coming up to 15,000km - still plenty of tread on them but just showing first signs of perishing due to age) I was interested in what he had on. Michelin Pilot front and back, although the front was only 120 not 130. His verdict was that overall the tyres were much better - especially in the wet. He liked that they track better in the dry too. He said the only effect of the 120 was that the steering was a bit quicker which he didn't mind (not sure I'll be so thrilled with that however). His overall verdict was that he was still very happy with the Valk after 5 years. He had owned various sports bikes before and said he is much more content just riding easy these days and loves the way the Valk is virtually always in it's power band. I'm setting about finding more owners here in Perth and hope to have a small group of us riding soon. Now THAT will get some attention - not that we care what anyone else thinks (cough).
 

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I have a 120 Avon on the front. I never really noticed much of a difference. I run a Dunlop Roadsmart 2 on the back. Good tire, so I bought another, so one when the first one wears out, I will have it on hand to change it.
 

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Running these atm and quite happy with them. Ride all conditions and road surfaces and I like to lean the bike over.

Michelin Commander II 200/55 17
Michelin Commander II 120/70 ZR19 60W

I was running Metzeller ME 888 Marathon Ultra's because at the time I couldn't get Commanders again but they were by far the worst tires I have ever had. In the tires defense I think I damaged the guts of the front tire doing some emergency stops which resulted in an odd vibration under braking and the front tire stepping out more often then I have ever... ever had. In the tires prosecution the exact same statement. Also I felt there wet weather performance was on par with OEM... which I am not a fan of. IE I could brake the rear end loose under power in the wet without many issues which is fun. The front... not so fun. They were so bad I changed them out with a lot of good tread left on the front but I am sure I was all out of warnings to change them ;)

The Pilot PR4's were really good in the wet but they didn't do so well for me in the mileage department. I murdered them. The skinny look also did not win me.

The longest milage I ever had on the front was with the Dunlop D408F 130/60B19 M/C 61H by a long way. The only problem was they had "Harley Davidson" on them and if you let the bars go there was a vibration to be seen there.Wet weather was also a bit meh.

In short at this point in time I am happy with all aspects of the Commander II's and to top it off the 200 made the back end of the Valkyrie look right for me.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/qjRer2zLj9P5nGDp7
https://photos.app.goo.gl/132DNvRO0RSIGGLt1
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
G'day Shrubbo

I just got the following price to install the Michelins you specified (price includes fitting and balancing):

Front $275
Rear $380

How does that sound?
 

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I think that was ball park mate if I remember rightly.



They didn't give any dramas about fitting the 200? I had one guy telling me you can't fit a 200 blah blah, it wont fit anyway blah blah, it will rub I know this for a fact we have tried it blah blah blah. I got around that by just taking in the rim and getting the tire fitted to that and putting the wheel back on my bike myself. Note not all will give dramas but there is always one "expert" who absolutely know everything, just ask them.



Note: The 200 required me to pull 3 bolts (2 minutes) on the left muffler to get the thing in because I couldn't lift the bike high enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think that was ball park mate if I remember rightly.



They didn't give any dramas about fitting the 200? I had one guy telling me you can't fit a 200 blah blah, it wont fit anyway blah blah, it will rub I know this for a fact we have tried it blah blah blah. I got around that by just taking in the rim and getting the tire fitted to that and putting the wheel back on my bike myself. Note not all will give dramas but there is always one "expert" who absolutely know everything, just ask them.



Note: The 200 required me to pull 3 bolts (2 minutes) on the left muffler to get the thing in because I couldn't lift the bike high enough.

They didn't give any dramas coz I'm sure they've never one one before ;). Thanks for this info...appreciated.
 

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Thanks for the recommendations and road tests Shrubbo.

I just replaced my OEM tires at 6500 miles. Wet weather performance was not acceptable and they were showing wear to the point of the wear bars on front and rear.


Tire choice:
Michelin Commander II 200/55 R17 78V (vs OEM Dunlop 180/55 R17 73V)
Michelin Commander II 130/60 B19 61H (vs OEM Dunlop 130/60 R19 61H)

I did go with the bias ply front tire for sizing as I did not want to go narrower.

So far at 500 miles, I am very pleased. Overall, I feel as if I made the correct choice. On the roads I have ridden, I note that the handling is perceptibly better with the Michelin's. They track better over grooved pavement and handle tar snakes and road cuts with less shimmy. The OEM Dunlop's had a tendency to slip when cornering on damp roads. The Michelin's hold their line and inspire more confidence.

And another plus for the 200 on the rea. No questions were asked when I had it mounted. It looks like the tire that should have been on the bike from beginning.

It seems I am hard on tires as I only had 6500 miles on the original set before trading them out. I'll give another update when I have a few more miles on the Michelin's.

For now, I'm all smiles.

Enjoy!
Bill
 

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Thanks for the recommendations and road tests Shrubbo.

I just replaced my OEM tires at 6500 miles. Wet weather performance was not acceptable and they were showing wear to the point of the wear bars on front and rear.


Tire choice:
Michelin Commander II 200/55 R17 78V (vs OEM Dunlop 180/55 R17 73V)
Michelin Commander II 130/60 B19 61H (vs OEM Dunlop 130/60 R19 61H)

I did go with the bias ply front tire for sizing as I did not want to go narrower.

So far at 500 miles, I am very pleased. Overall, I feel as if I made the correct choice. On the roads I have ridden, I note that the handling is perceptibly better with the Michelin's. They track better over grooved pavement and handle tar snakes and road cuts with less shimmy. The OEM Dunlop's had a tendency to slip when cornering on damp roads. The Michelin's hold their line and inspire more confidence.

And another plus for the 200 on the rea. No questions were asked when I had it mounted. It looks like the tire that should have been on the bike from beginning.

It seems I am hard on tires as I only had 6500 miles on the original set before trading them out. I'll give another update when I have a few more miles on the Michelin's.

For now, I'm all smiles.

Enjoy!
Bill
I'm curious about total price for tires and mounting here in the states. I understand it will be different depending on the state and store.

My tires still look pretty good at around 5000 miles but I'm already preparing.
 

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Rode in on bike. New Michelin Commander II tires mounted and I was out the door in about an hour.

Total bill: $510.85

For comparison, I was quoted >$700 by the dealer for OEM Dunlop tires.

Enjoy!
Bill
 

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Thanks for the recommendations and road tests Shrubbo.
Tire choice:
Michelin Commander II 200/55 R17 78V (vs OEM Dunlop 180/55 R17 73V)
Michelin Commander II 130/60 B19 61H (vs OEM Dunlop 130/60 R19 61H)

...

It seems I am hard on tires as I only had 6500 miles on the original set before trading them out. I'll give another update when I have a few more miles on the Michelin's.

Enjoy!
Bill
I had mentioned I was going to give an update on the Michelin tires once I had a few more miles. Unfortunately, at about 1600 miles on the tires, my bike was totaled. SUV pulled out in front of me with little time to react and no time to evade. I walked away, but the bike was not going anywhere - cracked engine casing, bent frame, bent forks. Up to that point I was still very pleased. I have just found and purchased my replacement Valkyrie this past weekend and will be switching to the same Michelin Commander II tire combination when I replace the stock Dunlop tires.

Enjoy!
Bill
 

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I had mentioned I was going to give an update on the Michelin tires once I had a few more miles. Unfortunately, at about 1600 miles on the tires, my bike was totaled. SUV pulled out in front of me with little time to react and no time to evade. I walked away, but the bike was not going anywhere - cracked engine casing, bent frame, bent forks. Up to that point I was still very pleased. I have just found and purchased my replacement Valkyrie this past weekend and will be switching to the same Michelin Commander II tire combination when I replace the stock Dunlop tires.

Enjoy!
Bill
Bill: that's NO excuse for not giving us another tire report as you'd promised! We expect more from you.

Seriously, so glad you weren't hurt and almost as happy that you felt good enough about the Valkyrie to do it again. That says more about the bike than most rider/owner reports I've ever read. Good on you! Have to say I'd have done the same. After this much time on it, I can't think of anything else I'd rather have as an only bike. And yes, some of us cannot justify having more than one. I'm not being told what I can or cannot do, I know better all by myself.

Now, back to that tire report... :D
 
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