Tire Pressure for Heavyweights... - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-03-2017, 02:18 AM Thread Starter
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Tire Pressure for Heavyweights...

I put Michelin Commander II on the front and last year. I put the rear on first and did not notice a difference at all but after putting the Michelin on the front at the end of last year my bike doesn't seem to handle a well as it did on the stock front tire and I don't feel as confident on it now. I've been running 28/40 tire pressure and it just doesn't feel as smooth nor as responsive in the handling.

I immediately noticed it at slow speeds, for instance when I go to my sister's house I go to the end of the block and turn around to park in front of her house and when I am pulling the U turn at slow speeds it feels just short of wobbly and this is the same U turn I've made many times over previously with no issue. I checked the pressure last week and it was a little low so I pumped them up to 28/40 like the book says and it felt a little better but then I just rode it today for a short while and it is hard to put my finger on it but I just don't feel as confident on it as I did on the stock tires. I push the handle bars to counter steer and I just don't feel the response that I think I should and so I basically just putt along with very little lean. I just did a search and I see some people are running 36-40 in the front and I think I may try that and I suspect that this may be even more needed since I weigh over 300 lbs. What say you?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-03-2017, 09:22 AM
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I also have commander II tires front and back on my vaquero. I know the book states to run 28 lbs for air pressure but thats too low. when I had the front one installed at the dealer they set the air at 42 psi. while riding home it felt like the tire was too hard and I could feel every bump in the road so I pulled over and lowered it to 38psi. Ive kept it there since and the bike handles well. I run with 40 psi rear also. I weigh 235 and have 20 psi in the rear shocks as well.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-03-2017, 09:26 AM
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I am about 240 lbs and I run the Michelin's pretty close to the recommended pressure that's on the tire. I have never had an issue with them, they feel great. Those tires are good for quite a bit more weight as compared to the stock tires (in Canada they are Bridgestone Exedra's). The Michelin's have an 81H rating for the rear and 73H for the front. Here is a good site for speed and weight ratings according to the numbers on your tires: Motorcycle Tire Size Conversion, Speed Ratings, Load Ratings Chart - webBikeWorld

According to that, the Michelin rear tires are rated for 1019 lbs and the front is rated for 805 lbs which is a lot. The stock Bridgestone Exedra's rear are rated 75H (853 lbs) and front are 67H (677 lbs)

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-03-2017, 12:46 PM
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You are way under pressure on the front tire. First off, the "book" you are talking about is based on a single rider weighing 150 lbs. So all the settings are incorrect for your weight. I would first go to no lower than 38 psi in the front tire and pump the rear to 42 psi. Then I would get a air shock pump (if you don't already have one), and pump your rear shocks to 36 psi each side. Your ride performance and handling will greatly improve. You will enjoy riding much better.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-03-2017, 03:39 PM
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Agree w Retro,28 is way to,,squishy,,,run 32 and 38 w 20lb in shocks
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-03-2017, 10:18 PM
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I'm 275 lbs. I keep my tires at 32/38.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-04-2017, 02:35 PM
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Have a customer with a 2011 Vaq that called me bout his rear C2 chunking. I of course told him to bring the skoot in, and asked about tire pressures and how often he checked them. He quoted me the pressures and said he checked pressure often.

Skoot comes in and I examine the tire. BIG area where rubber is missing with a smaller area near, and I could see how some the edges looked melted. Next I noticed how cupped the outer edges were and immediately knew he was running inadequate pressure.

I again asked him how often he checked and then the truth came out. Only sometimes and some of those times he just kicked the tire. OMG!!! He weighs 250, wifey weighs 150+. Tire only had 20 psi in it but with so much rubber missing I don't know how much had escaped. Front tire was 8 psi low.

Kicked the tires...GEEZE!!!

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-04-2017, 05:10 PM
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I run 40/40. Anything less I can feel it's going to be a bad ride.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 03:32 PM
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I run 40 rear, 38 front. I'm over 300lbs and 6'6" tall. I also ride 2 up sometimes. I run my shock pressure at 40psi.

I'm going to tangent here for a bit.Might even start a new thread afterward. Has anyone changed fork springs on a Voyager? Progressive only offers a lowering kit. NOT what I'm looking for!!! I've thought about pulling the fork caps and adding a spacer to increase preload to reduce loaded sag. Also, since the rear shock has a max air capacity, is there either an aftermarket shock set (progressives are not adjustable except for preload) or has anyone modified the stock shocks? I'm debating the idea of taking off the shocks over the winter and removing the springs, machining a set of aluminum spacers to insert, and re-installing them.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-13-2017, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toodamtall View Post
I run 40 rear, 38 front. I'm over 300lbs and 6'6" tall. I also ride 2 up sometimes. I run my shock pressure at 40psi.

I'm going to tangent here for a bit.Might even start a new thread afterward. Has anyone changed fork springs on a Voyager? Progressive only offers a lowering kit. NOT what I'm looking for!!! I've thought about pulling the fork caps and adding a spacer to increase preload to reduce loaded sag. Also, since the rear shock has a max air capacity, is there either an aftermarket shock set (progressives are not adjustable except for preload) or has anyone modified the stock shocks? I'm debating the idea of taking off the shocks over the winter and removing the springs, machining a set of aluminum spacers to insert, and re-installing them.
Contact Works Performance or Race Tech for custom made to your needs shocks. I had Works shocks on my Vaq custom made, they worked well, and a few other 1700 owners have gone the same route. You can also get higher rate fork springs from Race Tech.

Preloading the stock springs will also be a step in the right direction along with changing the fork oil to 20 weight and raising the fork oil level 20 mm.

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