Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a recently purchased 2007 classic. The front tire was slated to be replaced next spring. Today I went to the cabin and the rear had a slow leak. Filled it enough to ride it back to town to the dealer. I think I may have wrecked the back as it was pretty low when I got there and was quite bumpy on the way.

I am not really sure what is on the bike right now but am looking for suggestions on size/brand tire both front and rear. I think I read somewhere to go larger with the rear?

I am absolute greenhorn here so please help!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
96 Posts
I am going to cheat a little and copy/paste some entries I made in other threads (updated with current information):

"New" tire prices will very from around $100 to $400+. It's all in what you want. I would recommend ensuring you check that it's a "touring" tire. I went to a shop once (and only once) who tried to sell me a sportbike tire for the rear for $300 because it was "the best handling tire for the money." Luckily I had a smart phone and could check the reviews. The handling was because of the softer rubber gripping the road in the corners. The tire had poor longevity ratings. I asked for a touring tire, they had none, never went back.

Personally I have been running the Michilen Commander II's. So far the handling has been better than the stocks. The wear life also is great. So far I have gotten over 15K on the front and there is still grooves left in the tread. The tread depth even passed a VA state inspection at 12K. Wet weather handling has been good as well. Rear was recently installed (5K miles now) and was $190, mounted ballanced and new tube.
Tire size: The first number is the width of the tire in millimeters. The second number is the height of the sidewall as a percentage of the width. the remaining information is the tire type (R=Radial) and rim size (15 inches.)

180/70R15 is 180mm wide with a 126mm sidwall.
170/80/R15 is 170mm wide with a 136mm sidewall.
200/70/R15 is 200mm wide with a 140mm sidewall.

Without taking actual tire thickness in the middle contact patch of the tire or contour, the stock tire would be the shortest tire of the three.

What I am no 100% sure of is where the speed sensor is located. I believe it is sensor on the output of the transmission. The electronics will send the signals to both the Odometer and Speedo circuits. These will then interprit the signals to give the desired reading. Since the Odometer is 100% digital, it will display more accurately than the speedo. The speedo must convert the digital input to an analog current to operate the needle. There is always a degree of loss in this process making indicated speed display slightly different than actual speed.

A taller tire results in slightly more distance travelled per rotation when compared to stock. This means that the actual speed will be higher when compared to the speedo versus stock. I personally noticed the difference when I changed from the stock tire to a 170/80R15. According to my GPS, when i held firm at 60mph indicated, the stock tire would read 54mph (a full 10% drop). when I changed to the taller tire my actuall speed increased to 57mph at 60mph indicated. Still low but much closer. I am sure that tire wear played a little factor on the stock tire reading so low. I checked here recently when i put on my lastest rear tire. My actual speeds did increase approx. 1mph (from 56mpg to 57mph) when the new tire was installed (same 170/80R15 was used).

During one IBA certification ride I put on 1183 miles according to the odometer. The GPS read 1174 for the trip. That is a variance of approx. 0.7% between the two.

I guess my point here is that both tire height and wear will impact both your indicated speed variance and the odometer reading. Your odometer reading will be more accurate.

I have no knowledge on how changing the pulley(s) would impact actual v. indicated speeds. This is not something I have done to my ride. However, if the speed is measured at the drive shaft rather that at the wheel hub I would expect the pulley to impact actual speed when compared to indicated speed.

There also is a lot of misinformation out there about speedometer readings and their legality. In the United Stated, the federal laws governing speedomteters only apply to commercial vehicles. These laws specify a 10% variance between actual and indicated (+ or -) when measured at 55mph. Commercial regulations are much tighter than non-commercial. There is no regulation on non-commercial vehicle (aka motorcycles) speedometers and their accuracy.

As always, this information is personal knowledge and experience. If anything I have said is false, please correct me so that I can learn, but please provide citable references.
For the tire selection, the hot touring tires on this site have been the Perelli Night Dragons, Metzeler ME880 and the Michelin Commander II's. I love my Michelin Commander II's. There is one corner that I too often find myself scraping the foot peg because they just handle so well. Wet weather traction has been good as well. Tire life has been the highest I have had. Front will get replaced before winter sets in, but so far 15K miles and still some life left.

Hope this helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,074 Posts
I just changed mine about 1000 miles ago from the stock Dunlops to Pirelli MT 66's. I did a ton of research on them and they were the best bang for the buck tire I could find. I went with stock size on the front but switched to a 170/80/15 on the back. I read the taller tire corrects the speedo issue but I can't verify that for sure.

On-line motorcycle superstore had the best prices around. I used their price to haggle with my dealer. He finally got with in $10 of them so I purchased from him.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,335 Posts
Just changed my rear tire a few months ago. Went with Metzler ME880 200/70/15. A bit wider look and helps with the final gear ratio (tire is a bit taller than the stock 180/70/15).

So far, it's a nice riding tire, handles very well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
I'm getting w/ Metzler 880's stock sizes front & rear, tomarrow! Shop a block from my house matches J & P Cycle prices. Can't wait to see the difference from the stock Dunlops.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
698 Posts
Metzler 880 with standard size front but 170/80 rears. You can't see that the tire is slightly narrower but it definately rides & handles better. The 200s were too hard to source for me plus the $ was way too much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
358 Posts
Michelin Commander II
stock size front and 170/80 rear.

I've gone through a couple of Metzeler 880's. It's a good radial tire.

The Michelin is a bias ply which seems a little more stable in corners.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Tried Pirelli and Dunlop.I am now running Bridgestone Exedra Maxx.They are by far the best tires I have used.Excellent grip.Wet or dry.

S.W. Virginia,Love riding tha twisties in tha Appalachian Mtns!!!!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
Michelin Commander11 170x80x15 on mine now as well, best tyre so far. I reckon this is the size tyre the bike was supposed to have from the factory.
Here is a link to my little story and pictures of the Dunlop, Pirelli and Michelin side by side to show size difference.

http://www.vulcanforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=67201
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
53 Posts
Update

I'm getting w/ Metzler 880's stock sizes front & rear, tomarrow! Shop a block from my house matches J & P Cycle prices. Can't wait to see the difference from the stock Dunlops.
After only a couple miles I was convinced. After a quick 40 mile trip I knew that even if Dunlops were FREE, I would never have them on a bike again. I had to take another ride (because I was 'home alone') 75 miles this time because it's like a different bike. New & improved!:)
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top