Radial tires for Vaquero - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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Radial tires for Vaquero

Hi people:
Since I bought my Vaquero 3 years ago I felt that handling and braking was not very good. I came from a Honda VTX1800 which had very good grip, it was also lighter. My Bridgestone OEM rear tire lasted 7500 miles, I changed for a Michelin Commander II because I read it has better grip, but things didn't change much. This tire has now 18K and I expect at least 2K more, so is excellent on durability. Now I'm thinking of changing for a radial one, because I heard they have better grip and handling.
Have you ever tried a radial tire on a VN1700?
Which brand do you recommend?
Doing a quick search, the only one in the same size I found is the Avon Cobra (170/70-R16).

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-22-2017, 09:54 PM
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You will find that the vast majority of these cruisers run bias tires....hence the reason they are original equipment. Radials only make a big difference on high performance bikes. Here's a link to an article that is kind of interesting. As with anything else there will be people who disagree. I've never actually run into anyone who runs radials on a motorcycle, and I am perfectly happy with the handling characteristics of my bias tires.


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 05:10 AM
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Radial tires for Vaquero

Nomad 1700- Have had the OEM & C II -the Bridgestones gave crap wear and the C II's picked up a nail on the rear & gave me a death wobble on the front. Am currently running Pirelli Night Dragons, not sure of the mileage I will get but it is sure a smooth ride and no wobble

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the answers. After I wrote this I did a little research. The idea from the article is that Bias are better for heavy MCs. I found out that Indian uses Bias Front and Radial Rear in the heaviest one (Roadmaster). This the configuration:

Front: Dunlop Elite 3 130/90B16 73H
Rear: Dunlop® Elite 3 Multi-Compound 180/60R16 80H

Avon also in his page recommends for VN1700 the same configuration:

Cobra Front MT90B16 74H
Cobra Rear 170/70R16 75H

I'm tempted to try a Radial. The thing I don't like, maybe it's me, but I feel like the tail sometimes sleeps. It was worse with the Bridgestone, got better with the Michelin, but still sometimes I feel like the rear tire sleeps, I always try to take the curves at slower speed. I didn't feel this with the VTX, but also it's a lighter bike.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-23-2017, 06:44 PM
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My last set of tires were Dunlop Elite 3's 130/90B16 and 180/70R-16

Pro's: taller rear tire brings speedo within 1-2 mph of actual speed, wider rear tire looks good, wear looked to double the OE tires*, handled great once I figured out to run the rear at 43PSI.

Cons: Even though they were going twice as far as the OE tires, 12K miles doesn't seem very good for Premium tires.

(*Had 9K miles on these when the rear received a large puncture. Going by tread used vs remaining tread would have = about 12K total miles)

The Elite 3's rode, handled and balanced nicely, but nothing jumped out enough to make me buy them again.

This time around I'm going with Elite 4's 130/90B-16 and 160/80B-16.
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