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'08 Mean Streak 1600 Special Edition VN1600B
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need new tires for my, new to me, 2008 Mean Streak. According to quite a few people the D220s are not the greatest but it's difficult to find matching radials in these sizes:

130/70R17
170/60R17

Apparently installing a radial in the rear and a bias in the front is the thing to do now but seems odd. I'd like to get the Pirelly Night Dragons even though the front profile is 80 instead of 70 but it would be the before mentioned mix of radial/bias.

Any input based on experience would be appreciated.
 

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I can't help you with what tires are best for your bike, but I would not put radials on the rear of a heavy cruiser. Bias tires have stronger sidewalls to handle the lateral stresses that you get on a rear tire of a heavy bike. I would not put radials on the front, either, but there is not as much lateral stress on the front tire (the majority of the weight of bike, passenger, and cargo are on the rear tire) so a radial up front is probably OK.
 
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I have had great success with Metzler tires they make them in the sizes recommended for our bikes. The durability is much better than the Bridgestones that came stock. I would stay with the radials because that is what our bike is engineered for. I can not say much about riding two-up but I have used the bike for several day camping trips and never had a handling problem. I recently switched from 880s to 888s because I could not get the 880, if anything the triple eights are a handling improvement. Ride Safe.
 

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I would stay with the radials because that is what our bike is engineered for.
I was surprised to see that statement. But I checked for myself, and you are correct (which you know, of course), radials are the recommended replacements. Very unusual for a heavy cruiser.
 
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Thanks, I guess I don't know what is the definition of a heavy cruiser would be. The new HD Hartige Classic is 697 lbs compared to my Mean Streak 639 lbs.:)
 

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'08 Mean Streak 1600 Special Edition VN1600B
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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
So I just finally got to the bottom of this weird mix and match radials and bias. Apparently major manufacturers are shipping brand new bikes with rear radial and front bias. The thing is that the bike handling characteristics were specifically designed for this. Probably because once engineered cheaper tires on the front will increase profit margin.
Even Revzilla videos will tell you that rear radial and front bias are fine, but beware. It's not that simple.
This explains it very well: The Motorcycle Tire Question: Radial, Bias or Both?
That being said the Mean Streak is considered to be a performance cruiser with great cornering (for a cruiser) if there is such a thing. All I know that I can't take 30mph turns at 60 without scraping pegs.
The owner's manual call for radials
Front: 130/70R17 62H
Rear: 170/60R17 72H
The Metzeler ME880 Marathon tires match that requirement and, from what I gather, are superior to the D220s with better grip dry and wet. I don't pay much attention to the load numbers because riding, to me is a one person activity per motorcycle.
I hope the above link helps anyone wondering like me.
 

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Thanks, I guess I don't know what is the definition of a heavy cruiser would be. The new HD Hartige Classic is 697 lbs compared to my Mean Streak 639 lbs.:)
From what I've seen, any cruiser ~650 lbs or more wet weight is considered a heavy cruiser. I would have thought a Mean Streak would be over that with a 1600 engine.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
From what I've seen, any cruiser ~650 lbs or more wet weight is considered a heavy cruiser. I would have thought a Mean Streak would be over that with a 1600 engine.
Well at some point it all seems like semantics I guess...
 

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So I just finally got to the bottom of this weird mix and match radials and bias. Apparently major manufacturers are shipping brand new bikes with rear radial and front bias. The thing is that the bike handling characteristics were specifically designed for this. Probably because once engineered cheaper tires on the front will increase profit margin.
Even Revzilla videos will tell you that rear radial and front bias are fine, but beware. It's not that simple.
This explains it very well: The Motorcycle Tire Question: Radial, Bias or Both?
That being said the Mean Streak is considered to be a performance cruiser with great cornering (for a cruiser) if there is such a thing. All I know that I can't take 30mph turns at 60 without scraping pegs.
The owner's manual call for radials
Front: 130/70R17 62H
Rear: 170/60R17 72H
The Metzeler ME880 Marathon tires match that requirement and, from what I gather, are superior to the D220s with better grip dry and wet. I don't pay much attention to the load numbers because riding, to me is a one person activity per motorcycle.
I hope the above link helps anyone wondering like me.
Thanks for the informative article.
 

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From what I've seen, any cruiser ~650 lbs or more wet weight is considered a heavy cruiser. I would have thought a Mean Streak would be over that with a 1600 engine.
The figures I was quoting were dry weight, or as HD quotes "as shipped weight." If you add wet weight to the Meany it would be a bit over 650.
 

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'08 Mean Streak 1600 Special Edition VN1600B
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The figures I was quoting were dry weight, or as HD quotes "as shipped weight." If you add wet weight to the Meany it would be a bit over 650.
Yup, she's definitely a big girl. I am actually quite surprised how nimble this bike feels on twisties. I live in the CA foothills of the Sierra Nevada, 1.5 hr up the way from Yosemite, and all we pretty much have is windy mountain roads. The Mean Streak feels rock solid and not heavy at all once moving.
 

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Yup, she's definitely a big girl. I am actually quite surprised how nimble this bike feels on twisties. I live in the CA foothills of the Sierra Nevada, 1.5 hr up the way from Yosemite, and all we pretty much have is windy mountain roads. The Mean Streak feels rock solid and not heavy at all once moving.
I agree. I live in Michigan (Tip of the Mit) we have lots of twisty roads with very little traffic, no mountains but lots of hills. Then there is the whole UP (Upper Peninsula) With miles of open road and even a mountain of sorts. I can't imagine a better all-around bike.
Ride Safe
 
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