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Discussion Starter #1
When the time is right, I am considering changing from rear tire OEM size 140/90-16 77H to the slightly wider (~0.36") & shorter (~0.55") 150/80-16 77H on my '03 800 Classic. Main reason, a Michelin COMMANDER II 150/80-16 is slightly less expensive ($8.00) & I marginally prefer the look of a wider rear tire, but NOT at the expense of any real performance changes.

I am interested in information re: performance (not appearance)

Assuming published data is accurate, I do know:
1. The 150/80-16 WILL fit the 800 Classic (MANY had done it).
2. The 150/80-16 is not quite as tall (0.55", 2.07% shorter, new vs new), so speedo's current "reads too high" inaccuracy WILL be 2.07% more pronounced.

One has to hope there was some reason Kawasaki built this with 140/90-16 as stock, so I'm looking for actual performance related reasons why NOT to go with the 150/80-16.

SO - ALL things being equal (brand, psi, tubes, riding style, etc):
1. Will the wider 150/80-16 tire last more or less miles (& why)?
2. Will the bike ride differently on a 150/80-16 (if so, in what ways - and why)?
3. Does anyone KNOW any rational/technical reasons why Kawasaki mounts 140/90-16 as stock?

On one hand, I subcribe to "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". It ain't broke.
On the other hand, if I can get the plus features (lower cost & wider look), without giving up anything (performance or tire life), why not.

Obviously, I'm on the fence and wish to make an INFORMED decision.
 

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All other things being equal is nice in theory, but seldom is the real case.

But, in theory...

1. I think the tire will wear more quickly because it is smaller diameter. Smaller diameter = more revs per mile and it will tend to run hotter. Both are detrimental to tread life, all other things equal, but all other things arent equal.

2. I think turn in and countersteer effort will be negatively affected. Will it be a big deal? Doubt it.

3. Probably not, unless you happen to be privy to the insider design details. But, we pick tire sizes based on a couple factors, a prime one being load rating. Need enough to do the job with reasonable foresight of misuse, but at the same time not wanting costs to be higher than necessay due to grossly overspec'ed components.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
All other things being equal is nice in theory, but seldom is the real case.

But, in theory...

1. I think the tire will wear more quickly because it is smaller diameter. Smaller diameter = more revs per mile and it will tend to run hotter. Both are detrimental to tread life, all other things equal, but all other things arent equal.

2. I think turn in and countersteer effort will be negatively affected. Will it be a big deal? Doubt it.

3. Probably not, unless you happen to be privy to the insider design details. But, we pick tire sizes based on a couple factors, a prime one being load rating. Need enough to do the job with reasonable foresight of misuse, but at the same time not wanting costs to be higher than necessay due to grossly overspec'ed components.
whoru99,

Thank you for your excellent, well-reasoned reply. Of course, you are correct that "All things being equal" is theoretical at best. However, I know of no other way to rationally assess a contemplated change.

That being said, I had not thought of the increased heat factor and I also believe it would have at least some (perhaps significant) detrimental effect on the tire life. Since high miles is the primary reason I'll pay a premium for the COMMANDER II in the first palce, I do NOT want to mess that. Therefore, I think I'll just pay the extra $8.00, live without the look of the slightly wider tire and stick with the 140/90-16.

Again, thanks for your insights.
 

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I have run Dunlop MU85 402 tires on the back of my 800 until they went ay up in price. They are slightly shorter in hight, but I was getting double the mileage from them over the 404 tires. The tires are pretty much identical except for load ratings, and the 402 s are Harley tires. They have the Harley name on the sidewalls. At the time I used them, they were about $30 mire per tire, went from 8000-17000 miles on the rear and 18000-38000 average on the front.


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