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Discussion Starter #1
I am considering the Metzeler 888's to replace the stock Dunlop tires on my 2008 Vulcan 900 Classic, but the Metzeler 888's are not made in the same spec size as the rear (180/70 R15). The question I have, can I go with the Metzeler 888 size 170/80 r15 for the rear?

The Metzeler 880's are available in the correct spec sizes of my front and rear wheels, am I better off with the exact spec size? I appreciate any insight on the above and/or insight into the best replacement tires. Thanks.


2008 Kawasaki Vulcan Classic 900 Wheels & Tires SPECS:
Front Tire (Full Spec) 130/90 R16
Rear Tire (Full Spec) 180/70 R15
 

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I'm not qualified to give you an answer on this...but what needs to be considered is this:

The replacement size (170/80) will be 10mm "skinnier" (just over 3/8" skinnier) than the stock (180/70). This alone shouldn't make a difference, as long as the rim width of the tire matches the bike.

What I would take a 2nd look at, and consult with a knowledgeable brain on, is the side wall on the replacement will be taller than the stock
stock: 70% of 180 = 126mm
replacement: 80% of 170 = 136mm
difference: 10mm (again just over 3/8" taller).

So what you end up with is a skinnier and taller sidewall than the stock. This combination IMO would have a greater impact on riding and safety. Again, just my opinion. I would go in to a dealer or shop you trust and discuss with them.

I have Michelin Commander II's on my VN1700 and love them. Had to go with a 10mm wider tire, but I like the "beefier" look
 

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I loved having a 200 on the rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for the insight. The idea of the rear wheel being taller than what I have now concerns me. I have heard good things about Michelin Commander 2's and they come in the spec size for my bike so I may go with them.
 

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I love my MCII's. When I was in need for a new set of tires last fall I too looked between the Metzeler's and the Michelin's. Metzeler's were a little less expensive, but I liked the reviews I saw on the MCII's especially about longevity so I went with them. And it's a tad wider than stock and a Voyager needs a mean looking tire on it
 

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Living The Dream
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The 170/80-15 rear tire is basically equivalent to the rear overdrive pulley. Many do just that to correct the speedo, because it's a bit taller then the stock tire. And it saves the expense of the pulley since you need tires anyways. You would be fine running it. Your speedo may change slightly as the tread wears down, just something to keep in mind. And if you wanted to bring the rpm's down even more get a front overdrive pulley. Speedo is about dead on accurate then. The speedo issue may have been fixed on the last few models years tho, can't really confirm nor deny that.
 

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Since the classic has spoked rims, do you have to just buy a new inner tube for the mciis if that's what I end up getting?
 

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I have had the 888's on for over 10000 miles. Very nice riding. Probably have another 4000 to ride on them. Should have taken a little pressure out on them as they are wearing in the middle a bit more. Twisty turney roads here in VA by the blue ridge mountains.
 

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Just a slight mention. . . I did lose a couple miles to the overclock we tend to have on the speedometer on the 2006 900 range of bikes. Instead of 6 or seven miles difference, with the 888's there is only a 4 to 5 mile an hour difference. Everything else is same as dunlop. Just a better ride I think, with longer wear.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you everyone for posting your experience and thoughts on new tires for the Vulcan 900. I decided to go with the Michelan Commander 2's and planning to have them mounted and balanced asap (Wondering what the cost will be??). I will post back when I take the bike for a ride with the new tires. Ride on!
 
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