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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I have dry rot on my front tire of the Custom. Both in the tread and sidewall. They were new at 5000 miles and now I have about 12,000 miles. According to the tech the front wheel has tread but also the tire has a slight up and down wave to it. Apparently the back tire looks fine. It is a Dunlop.

I know I need to replace it but what would be the best option? I seem to hear that Michelin Commander II is a great tire. What is the best website to compare prices. My dealer will match online sites.
 

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Hi,

I have dry rot on my front tire of the Custom. Both in the tread and sidewall. They were new at 5000 miles and now I have about 12,000 miles. According to the tech the front wheel has tread but also the tire has a slight up and down wave to it. Apparently the back tire looks fine. It is a Dunlop.

I know I need to replace it but what would be the best option? I seem to hear that Michelin Commander II is a great tire. What is the best website to compare prices. My dealer will match online sites.
I'm running Pirelli Night Dragons on my 09 Custom, and I love them. Grip seems really good in both wet and dry conditions, and the slightly wider-than-stock front (90/90) feels more planted on rutted roads.

Have heard good things about Metzlers too.
 

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I have the Commander II on the rear of my 900.
So far it has been great. It has made the speedo very close to 100% now.
I did notice a very slight lift in the back end due to the larger size,But 20 minutes down the road,That was not noticed.
I will be buying a Commander II next time I need one if this one wears out.
 

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Michelin Commander II, front and rear. Should have matching tires to ensure best grip in wet conditions. The front and rear tire tread patterns run in opposite directions. The F&R tires are designed to work together in displacing water, that is why it is ALWAYS recomended to use tires of the same make and model for F&R.

If you go with the taller 170/80 your speedo will be bang on.

I used Revzilla, they will do price matching and in addition give you Revzilla Bucks towards other future purchases. Shipping was fast, tires were new inventory (less than 6months from production date). Some sellers have old inventory, you don't want a new tire that was made 5 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Michelin Commander II, front and rear. Should have matching tires to ensure best grip in wet conditions. The front and rear tire tread patterns run in opposite directions. The F&R tires are designed to work together in displacing water, that is why it is ALWAYS recomended to use tires of the same make and model for F&R.

If you go with the taller 170/80 your speedo will be bang on.

I used Revzilla, they will do price matching and in addition give you Revzilla Bucks towards other future purchases. Shipping was fast, tires were new inventory (less than 6months from production date). Some sellers have old inventory, you don't want a new tire that was made 5 years ago.
What are the exact tire sizes for the 900 custom, so I buy the correct tires.

Edit: Upon searching the Michelin site I found these sizes.


Michelin Commander II Rear Tires
Tire Size: 180/70B15 76H

Michelin Commander II Front Tires
Tire Size: 80/90-21 (MH90B21) 54H

Please just confirm for me that this is what you bought if you have the custom.

Thanks.
 

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Vulcan John,

I went with the 170/80B15 77H tire for the rear. It fits no problem with stock front pulley, will get your speedo bang on and is about $30 less than the 180 stock tire. Revs are down a little as well.

This tire is 170mm wide ( less that a 1/2" narrower than the 180) but it is taller. I did not notice any real difference after 1/2 hour on the bike. To me it looks about the same. You can lean the bike a little more before the sensor tech the road but not by much. Lot's of threads on the forum about using the 170/80 tire if you want more info.

I am very happy with these tires so far, less thn 500 miles
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Vulcan John,

I went with the 170/80B15 77H tire for the rear. It fits no problem with stock front pulley, will get your speedo bang on and is about $30 less than the 180 stock tire. Revs are down a little as well.

This tire is 170mm wide ( less that a 1/2" narrower than the 180) but it is taller. I did not notice any real difference after 1/2 hour on the bike. To me it looks about the same. You can lean the bike a little more before the sensor tech the road but not by much. Lot's of threads on the forum about using the 170/80 tire if you want more info.

I am very happy with these tires so far, less thn 500 miles
According to Michelin these tires last twice as long as other brands. How does that coincide with wear due to possible dry rot?

The front Dunlap I have has good tread but lots of cracks and cupping. The rear seems to not have much dry rot damage and has good tread. I realize after an internet search that it is best to replace both tires at the same time though I will incur the added cost of the rear.
 

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Vulcan John,

I think dry rot has more to do with tire age, exposure to UV and chemicals etc.. The Michelin claim of double milage refers to miles ridden not age of the tire.

You may want to check the manufacture date on your tires. Your front tire may have been old stock when installed, if so this would help explain the issue. Tires degrade overtime and the rubber hardens.

Insist that your new tire/s are new stock prefersbly within one year of manufacturing date.
 

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Discussion Starter #12

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It is generally recomended that tires should not be older than 6 years from date of manufacture. Also many tire dressings may make the tire look good but degrade the rubber faster than normal, use of soap and water only is recomended.

Since we only have 2 tires on our scooters it is BIG problem if one of them fails while riding.

I will not ride on a bike with tires older than 6 or 7 years. If you rent a ride it would be a good idea to check the age of the tires before hoping on.

If buying a used bike check the tires age. You should budget for new rubber if the tires are older than 6 years and use this as a negotiating point with the seller. Lots of bikes get little use so it is not uncommon for a bike to have low milage and lots of tread, however the tires may be 10 years old and really not all that safe.

I have seen several YouTube videos of guys just riding along and all of a sudden one of the tires blows, the outcome is NOT pretty. I suspect the problem was either tire pressure or age or both.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Well I just looked at the front tire again and it seems to have new cracks in the top of the tire. I was going to go for a ride today but now don't feel safe to do so.

According to the numbers the tire was manufactured in the 18th week of 2011. Guess they are nearly 4 years old and the dealer put them on on 10-1-11. I bought the bike on Dec. 29 of 2011. So the tires had been sitting for a while.

One question:

I checked the numbers on the tires and the front tire number on the bike is 80/90 21 48H

which is different from the Michelin website listing as

80/90 21 54H

Is the Michelin website off or does the 48 and 54 just different from manufacture calculations? Would this be the difference in metric to inches?

Edit: found the 48H and 54H are just the load/speed ratings. Guess the Michelin would take a higher load, correct? The bike manual says 48H.
 

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The Dunlop rear lasted me about for 11000 miles which was about 3000 miles too many. I really pushed the limits of that tire. After much deliberation between the Metzeler and Pirelli I choose the Metzeler ME880 200/70HB15 for the rear. It fits without any modification and corrects the spedo to almost match my GPS at any speed from 30 mph to - well lets just say way too fast. I don't ride 2up but I have put on enough luggage to equal that and there isn't any tire rub. With the bobbed rear fender that the Custom has the larger meat of the tire looks better in my opinion. I did relocate the license plate to the side so you can see even more of the tire. Again, my opinion, it looks better. I need to replace the front tire and I will match it with the Metzler ME880.
 

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Vulcan John

Speed rating is fine for either tire.

Your tires are not all that old to have dry rot. I have read in the past that exposure to hydro carbons or petroleum products can degrade rubber. May want to check where you store your bike, i.e. are there a lot of gasoline fumes is it near a furnace or water heater etc.. You may want to google this issue a little.

I suggest you check your brake lines and other rubber bike components to make sure they have not been impacted by whatever affected your front tire.

I am just a rider not a tire and rubber engineer. Perhaps others can comment about your dry rot issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Vulcan John

Speed rating is fine for either tire.

Your tires are not all that old to have dry rot. I have read in the past that exposure to hydro carbons or petroleum products can degrade rubber. May want to check where you store your bike, i.e. are there a lot of gasoline fumes is it near a furnace or water heater etc.. You may want to google this issue a little.

I suggest you check your brake lines and other rubber bike components to make sure they have not been impacted by whatever affected your front tire.

I am just a rider not a tire and rubber engineer. Perhaps others can comment about your dry rot issue.
I store it outside in a CycleShell. One winter I noticed a tiny spill of Sta-bil but that has been cleaned up. Googling the issue it seems the biggest cause of dry rot is lack of use or heat and the sun. I really don't ride the bike much outside of commuting to work and that is not a consistent basis due to weather or other factors. My car tires also have shone dry rot before end of life as I don't drive the car much either.

It also may be that the Dunlop is not a good tire as others have commented in other forum threads.
 

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front tire replaced by Dunlop

a few years ago, the dealer suggested the front tire needs to be replaced due to dry rot, cracking, etc.
they replaced the tire, new motorcycle, warranties, etc... I was latter told that Dunlop didn't reimburse them because the tire was actually fine.
I have noticed on other OEM tires the little cracks on the sides and in the grooves... so I guess it's just something that happens. as long as there are no punctures and the age of the tire is less than 5 years you are ok. consult a second tech just to be sure... Dunlop can be contacted also...

about the waves you were talking in your first post, it's the wear pattern due to under-inflation. my last dunlop was under-inflated most of its life(~30psi) and the wavey thing was very pronounced on a 5mm center line.



I currently use a Dunlop Elite 3 Bias Touring Tire, 90/90-21. looks very good on the rim and fender, and it's very durable. the only thing that may upset you w/ any 90/90-21 tire is the little rocks that get stuck on and scratch the fender on the inside with a "scary" sound.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
In case anyone is still following the thread, I went ahead and got a new front tire. Dunlop 404. The dealer just happened to have one in stock and had time to mount it today. As Durox stated the cupping/waving is due to tire pressure issues. I will be sure to check it every week. I also had them check the rear tire and it was fine. The concern was more about the dry rot on the sidewall near the rim and not the cracks between the grooves/tread.

I have learned quite a bit about tires in this process and thank people here for technical tips. The tech did say that matching tire brands/models is not as important when it comes to cruisers as we don't really push the bikes as hard as sport bikers will. He also stated that the Dunlops are fine as he has them on his Goldwing. I may go with Commander II when it is time to replace the rear.

Concerning dry rot. Is there a safe treatment to apply to ward off dry rot? I have never and will never put any tire shine products on the tire but was curious about other treatments.
 
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