Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My wife rides a Vulcan 900LT and I was giving it the once over last night to make sure everything was in working order. I did a quick inspection of the rear tire and found that after 3,900 miles it was almost to the wear markers. Needless to say I was a little pissed with that kind of mileage on a rear tire. My wife is an easy rider. I called the dealer looking for a new rear tire. The bike comes with a 180-70-15 Dunlop and the dealer was surprised that is all the mileage I had gotten but was more than happy to sell me another one just like it. NOT!



I called the shop where I buy all my tires and talked with him about the tire life. He asked me if the tire was flat for 3" or more across the face and it is. He suggested to get more mileage I might try going down a size to a 170-70-15 so the tire is more rounded on the rim. I know this fly's in the face of what most people think but as my tag line says 'If everybody is thinking alike, then no one is thinking".


The nice thing about this is the smaller tire is it is 1/2 as much money. He suggested a Kenda Cruiser or Shinko for the replacement.



Has anyone tried running a smaller than stock tire on a bike and if so what have your results been?



I know,the speedometer might be off a bit more but that can be compensated for with a GPS.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
976 Posts
Uhhh, General Altimax 195/65-15 car tire. Break in at 36 psi and then drop it a couple pounds at a time till the steering loads become light and comfortable. Read more info on the Delphi Darkside site

Not interested in a Car Tire? I can respect that. Metzler makes a replacement tire in our size, buy one from American Motorcycle tire and put it on. Or get a Pirelli from the same and put that on. Run the Metzler at 40 psi, the Pirelli between 36-38 psi. You'll get between 7500-10,000 miles on these tires. Remember, engine braking is as bad on tires as hard acceleration and is more often used by riders. But you're brakes will last longer so it ain't all bad. Should get mid 20s on the Car Tire though and the last one I bought was 75 bucks.

There will be no speedo difference with the above tires. You could go to a larger rear tire, it can be used to correct some of the speedo error(10% high) but bigger costs more. Whatever you do, buy the tire from American Motorcycle Tire or other online source though I've only used AMT (they were the cheapest and the last Metz I bought from them was only 3 months old)

DO NOT BUY A SMALLER TIRE!!!! Your speedo and Odo already are off by 10%. You're already logging more miles then you actually put on the bike. They are both driven off a sensor in the transmission not off a front tire impeller like many other older bikes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
451 Posts
I just replaced the stock Dunlops with Pirelli MT66's. On the rear I went to a 170/80 instead of 180/70. I did this because it's 3% larger in diameter, so I'll get 3% correction of the speedo and odo error. Sits about a half inch taller, rides well.

Bonus--it cost 20% less at Motorcycle Superstore than the same tire in stock size.

I had 8K on the stock tires, and probably would have made 10K, but I'm going on a road trip Sunday, and wanted more rubber on the road.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,223 Posts
Sorry, lstayner, i can't agree with the dealer. That's just not logical unless the tire is also a harder compound. You should have gotten better mileage from your tire, but a smaller width is not the fix.

Motorcycle tires are routinely made in varying compounds... Touring, Sport, and Racing. Some are also made of different compounds in the same tire, with soft compound at the edges for cornering and harder through the middle for better life. Obviously, the softer the compound, the faster it will wear out.

In your wife's case, maybe she doesn't shift smoothly and uses the rear brake more than the front? That would cause faster wear on the rear.

Back to the smaller tire... All that this will get you is instead of a 3" flat spot, you'll get a 2". The flat spot is a normal wear pattern for motorcycles... you do ride in the "up" position much more than "leaning". And, as MrClean stated, it's a slightly smaller overall diameter; this will not only move your speedo farther off, but, logically, means your tire has more revolutions per mile than a bigger tire and will wear out quicker (given the same compound). But, since it was cheaper, maybe the cost advantage outweighs the disadvantages.

Next time around, i'd suggest getting at least the same size as the OEM but a quality tire that has a Touring (harder compound) rating. A lot of the guys like Metzler.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
941 Posts
When I bought my bike used, the factory rear was shot. It had about 11k miles on it. The dealer gave me a free tire. But the catch was that it was an off brand, IRC and it was the 170 size. It is an okay tire, but it was cheaper then buying a new one. Plus I didn't want to ride the 200 miles home in the rain with a bald tire. Since I didn't really ride the bike with the factory other then test drive I can't compare. But I do know that my speedo is dead on with this tire. I have checked it numerous times. GPS, speedtrap sign, and cops. I do know when the time comes to replace the front (which has 15k on it, not bad for a dunlop) I will prob do both with metzelers. I have had them on my last two bikes and the ride quality is sooo much better. Plus they don't track like the factory does with the lines in the road.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top