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Discussion Starter #1
This is a general question, but probably applies to the VN900 Classic so I'll ask here. My son's Honda CBR 250 came with bias/ply tires. It needed new tires. Michelin and others make radial tires they say are designed "for small sport bikes, like the Honda CBR 250". Reading online I can find folks that say the Michelin Pilot Street radial is a great tire on that bike. I can also find a lot of folks that say if the bike came with bias/ply, only put on bias/ply because the suspension was designed for it. What a poor slob like me to do? Guess it would be safest to stick with bias/ply, but if the radials are "so much better", then maybe I go that route.

Regarding my VN900, same question. Are the stock dunlops bias/ply? Are the Michilen Commander IIs I want to put on radials? Hmmm.....
 

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The Commanders II have on my Voyager are bias, 130/90/16 front, 180/65/16 rear. I think some sizes may be radial, not sure. Think it depends on the bike, but have read on forums that radials don't wear as good as bias ply tires. This may not be true on all bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
have read on forums that radials don't wear as good as bias ply tires. This may not be true on all bikes.
I read just opposite that radials last longer. Maybe it depends on the specific bike and tire. Just seems like it should be much easier to figure this out.
 

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The stock Dunlops are the 900s are bias-ply. You can determine this from the tire size. For instance, the rear tire size is 180/70-15. You might also see 180/70B15 on other brands. The presence of the hyphen or "B" before the wheel size denotes it is bias ply. A radial would be 180/70R15.

In the automotive industry, radials handle and ride better and last significantly longer than bias ply tires. However, bias construction adds rigidity to the sidewall which makes them ideal for load-carrying applications (trailers, etc). Bias construction also lends itself toward very narrow section widths which are arched (like motorcycle tires).

My experience with motorcycle tires is pretty limited, but the radial Dunlop Elite IIIs on my XR lasted 15,000 miles...where the rear Dunlop D404 on my 900 lasted 7000 and the front was lookin a bit raggedy around 9k.
 
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