Join Date: May 2010
Location: Middle Tennessee
Every tire has a recommended wheel width and a recommended range of wheel widths that it will fit on. Also, the swingarm, belt, etc determine how wide a tire you can fit without rubbing things.
That said, the wider a tire you put on the stock rim the rounder the profile of that tire becomes which affects the actual diameter of the mounted tire and the contact patch. if you stay in the range of rim widths recommended for the tire you can consider it safe to mount if no parts rub on the tire.
Personally I chose to go with the 160/80B16 Dunlop E3 tire. I am more concerned with performance and longevity than I am with whether my tire looks wider than yours. I got 16,000 miles out of the last Dunlop E3 I installed on my bike and could have gone more if all I do is local riding. That size tire on the 1700 actually corrects for the speedo error as well as providing a flatter profile which increases the contact patch all the way to the floorboards scraping.
Good luck with what you decide to do.
I will be watching the Commander II reports and might try that next fall when I need to replace this rear tire.
2010 Vulcan Voyager 1700 ABS, 2007 Vulcan Mean Streak 1600
2012 Concours 1400, 2011 Versys 650, 2012 KLX250S
see my garage for list of accessories