curtis73 UltraDork
9/5/13 11:31 p.m.

This is my first big cruiser/bagger (99 Nomad 1500) In the past I've had a teeny stripped down Shadow 600, a crotch rocket R6, and various CBs. The R6 I just kept really sticky round rubber on it, and the Shadow I used to ride like the R6 so I did the same.

Now I'm looking to buy for the Nomad and I'm kinda clueless on what to get. My first thought was the same as above; rounded to help progressive cornering and sticky so the shiny side stays up. I can deal with the fast wear.

But, I also know that I can't use the full width of the tread because I'm dragging foot boards and still missing the outside 1/2" of the tread. I do a pretty even mix of puddle-jumping/commuting and interstate cruising. Light rain always a possibility (I'm not sweet enough to melt, so I ride in the rain sometimes). I also ride in pretty cold temps. I have no problem riding in the high 40s. I'm also looking for confidence. The tires that are currently on it pretty easily scoot in a turn when I hit a hot-patched seam or if the concrete ribs change direction. Me no likey.

Options and opinions on what I should look into?

Grtechguy UltimaDork
9/6/13 5:51 a.m.

What's on it now? I've run Dunlap D404s? before. They run like iron and do OK in the wet.

Mental Mod Squad
9/6/13 6:43 a.m.

It has been a while since I rode a cruiser, but on my DR I have had good experience with Kendas. Think of them as bike Khumos. Reliable, predictable and while not the stickiest, cheap.

No idea what size you would need.

foxtrapper PowerDork
9/6/13 8:35 a.m.

Many of the heavy cruiser riders (Harley Touring, Gold Wing, etc) are very happy with the Michelin Commander II's.

Reports are that it's got very good rain traction, doesn't track rain groves, doesn't get flipped out my tar snakes on pavement (Dunlops are horrible for this), decent dirt road traffic (very popular with the Alaska touring folk).

I'll probably try a set myself in the Spring. Did the Dunlop OEM replacement rear on my RK, and overall regret it. Front tire is starting to crack, so it needs to go.

There is also the "dark side" (car tire on the rear). No experience myself. I'd consider it, but there is only one car tire that only might fit my RK (not clear), and it costs more than a good bike tire. Those that do dark side almost universally rave about it. Almost all of the "you're going to die" nay sayers have zero experience, but lots of loud opinions on the subject.

Grtechguy UltimaDork
9/6/13 8:54 a.m.

Minimac has done the darkside on his wing. send him a message for opinions

curtis73 UltraDork
9/6/13 12:41 p.m.

It currently has Metzeler ME880 Marathons on it. Both front and rear are identical at 150/80-16. Is that normal?

I can't judge this bike's handling since I bought it with these heavily worn tires and have only put about 2000 miles on it. It looks like the previous owner rode mostly upright since the centers are bald but the outsides are untouched. Of course, its an 800-lb full dress bike, and he was in his 70s, so I'm sure he didn't do much canyon carving.

Any word on Shinko? I heard a few good reports but don't really want to trust my life to an unproven tire.

curtis73 UltraDork
9/6/13 1:03 p.m.

Grrr... just checked. The Michelin Commanders don't come in 150/80 for the front.

foxtrapper PowerDork
9/6/13 1:11 p.m.

Yep, 150/80-16 front and rear. I see Michelin lists using the Commander II 130/90-16 on the front.

As for Metzler, the ME880's are a common touring tire. Well liked by many. No personal experience with that model, but I've run what Mezeler now calls the Lasertech on the front of other touring and cruising bikes. I've liked the handling I got with them up front, but they cupped badly.

Whew, I must need another nap! I'm getting way too confused. Three times re-editing it, trying to get it right.

curtis73 UltraDork
9/6/13 2:35 p.m.

These Metzelers are badly cupped and I read another review of the tire in which the owner said they cupped. Also read some bad reviews about the Shinkos

So, Metz are out, shinks are out... looks like Kenda or Michelin. Thanks for the input!

yamaha PowerDork
9/6/13 2:48 p.m.

My Shinko advance on the back of the 10 is E36 M3ty.....I wouldn't recommend them either. Michelins or Dunlops are in my future(granted for a superbike)

benzbaronDaryn Dork
9/6/13 4:46 p.m.

Also see about Avons, I just put an avon on the punky buellster and it is a nice tire.

bearmtnmartin HalfDork
9/7/13 1:18 a.m.

I wish we could get Avon auto tires over here. They have all the good sizes.

minimac SuperDork
9/7/13 7:49 a.m.

I've been running the Austone Taxi tire on my 'Wing. What attracted me was the long wear that others were getting. I got tired of spending over $200 for a "good" rear tire and barely making a season. The Austone ran $150, I have over 13K and it still looks excellent. The grip, especially in the wet, is amazing. It is a six ply radial, and will work well with a bias front as well as a radial. Another reason for me using it was the load rating. With the bike rated around 900#, the bags, trunk and luggage rack loaded, my big carcass and sometimes Mrs.Mini, I exceeded most bike tires ratings. It's not for everyone, but seems to work especially well on big, heavy cruisers. I can tell you that the tire will outperform the capabilities of the bike as far as handling-I scrape before having any tire slippage. It is only available in a 175-16 but is about a 80 series aspect. It is a little taller than a comparable bike tire. I'm not going to get into a "Darkside" debate. I'll just say that I tried this tire, it outperforms all of my expectations, and when it's time, I'll buy another.

Edit: For balancing, you may want to try Dyna Beads(or similar). Not only do they balance well, they really seems to help a lot if you have a cupping issue.BTW, I had a was OK for an inexpensive tire, but was loud and totally worn out < 10K.

foxtrapper PowerDork
9/7/13 9:35 a.m.

One can get away with light tires on a light bike. A heavy bike makes some serious demands of the tire carcass. I'd be very cautious about running cheap or light tires. Cheng-shin, Kendall, etc.

curtis73 UltraDork
9/7/13 10:56 a.m.

I don't mind spending good money if its a good tire. I just don't want to spend huge money where it is unwarranted. Kinda like with car tires... Michelins cost 60% more than Firestones, but they're not 60% better, so I buy the Firestones.

I'm looking for a bike tire that offers 90% of what the best tire can offer at 70% its cost. Know what I mean? Bang for buck is my way.

However in this case, the Michelins seem to be the way to go. I can spend a little more and just get the "best"

Also... thoughts on bias ply vs radial? Mix n' match? Good or bad?

foxtrapper PowerDork
9/7/13 6:31 p.m.

Michelin car tires are absurdly overpriced, I agree. But their bike tires don't seem to be out of line with the other makers.

Shop it around. eBay, Craig's list, bike bandit, etc. as a for example, I can get the set for $300. Another hundred for mount and spin balance. Having done the harley rear with irons, I'll pay the hundred to let someone else do it. Horrible job, just horrible.

I've never run radials on a bike, and instinctively shy away from mixing. But I listen to many who do mix and Match with abandon and good results.

curtis73 UltraDork
9/23/13 11:08 p.m.

Just bought the Michelin Commander II's. 150/80 rear and 130/90 front. Bike bandit was a few bucks more than superstore, but at least they had them in stock. Thank you all for the links. It showed me that buying the really good tires wasn't that much more than experimenting with questionable cheapies. The pair was under $250 shipped

Thanks folks.

Grtechguy MegaDork
3/14/18 7:28 p.m.

5 Year old canoe for sale

EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
3/14/18 8:47 p.m.

Zombie thread, canoe deleted.

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