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Thread: tire width ???

  1. #1
    Grammarian no, Rider yes ISAMEMON's Avatar
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    tire width ???

    so
    Ive got metzler maratons....120/90-18

    my friend has dunlop 404 ? 120/90-18

    both mounted on BMW wheels, mine is spoke, his is snowflakes

    the question is............................

    how come his dunlop is nearly a 1/2 inch wider ?


    by the way, his dunlops handle like crap,
    would hate to try them in the rain

    Id like that extra half inch, it looks nice, but not if it is gonna sacrafice cornering and road feel

  2. #2
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isamemon View Post
    so
    Ive got metzler maratons....120/90-18

    my friend has dunlop 404 ? 120/90-18

    both mounted on BMW wheels, mine is spoke, his is snowflakes

    the question is............................

    how come his dunlop is nearly a 1/2 inch wider ?


    by the way, his dunlops handle like crap,
    would hate to try them in the rain

    Id like that extra half inch, it looks nice, but not if it is gonna sacrafice cornering and road feel

    after years of running the wider tires on my 78 R100 I went back to stock inch sizes and have to say that combined with the softer rubber of the compond (metz on rear and mich on front) I've found it to be a world better and can't say the extra width gets you anything but headaches taking the wheel off the bike. I posted a thread a while ago on tires sizes/types for airheads and have been meaning to update it with my thoughts after the first 1000 miles, if I get that done I'll put a pointer here to it.

    RM

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Isamemon View Post
    so
    Ive got metzler maratons....120/90-18

    my friend has dunlop 404 ? 120/90-18

    both mounted on BMW wheels, mine is spoke, his is snowflakes

    the question is............................

    how come his dunlop is nearly a 1/2 inch wider ?


    by the way, his dunlops handle like crap,
    would hate to try them in the rain

    Id like that extra half inch, it looks nice, but not if it is gonna sacrafice cornering and road feel
    I assume you're talking about the R80/7 listed in your profile?

    All tires are not made equal. My R80/7 (spoke) came with a Continental 120 series and it was a major PITA to try to remove that thing because it was so wide - different brands fit differently. In my case, I had to air down that Conti and pull like heck to remove it.

    On Airheads at least, wider does not equal better. I get fantastic handing from the 110 series on the back on my R80/7 - it handles GREAT in the rain and I can still drag side stands with the best of them. Personally I never liked how the 120 handled. I think the Airhead isn't really designed for the profile of a wider tire. My opinion of course, so take that for what it's worth.

  4. #4
    Grammarian no, Rider yes ISAMEMON's Avatar
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    sorry corection

    mine is a 78 R80 ( releuctantly for sale, job accident makes it hard to ride)
    friends is a 85 monolever with factory wheels

  5. #5
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Isamemon View Post
    sorry corection

    mine is a 78 R80 ( releuctantly for sale, job accident makes it hard to ride)
    friends is a 85 monolever with factory wheels
    two completely differant machines in so far as handling goes (among other things), I wouldn't bother trying to compare what works on one with the other.

    RM

  6. #6
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    Yes, the monolevers had different tire specs than the twin shocks.

    As far as the older twin shocks, I have had rubbing problems with the 120's. Especially if trying to use higher pressure. Bad implications if, say, I go to lower elevation, and ride in 100 degree heat - additional hot spot on sidewall, perhaps? Leading to sidewall cord separation, perhaps?! Not good, I think.

    The 110's work well as far as size clearance. Bike sits kinda low for Farley stand - rather upright on sidestand. Also, 110's exacerbate the inaccuracy of the Motometer speedometers.

    I have gone to 400's on twin shock rears as I replace. I see no downside whatsoever to reverting to these. And the bike feels better.

    Weren't those Dunlops mentioned in the beginning post originally marketed for cruiser bikes? If so, I would not expect all weather capability to have been a design criterium.

  7. #7
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by jforgo View Post
    Yes, the monolevers had different tire specs than the twin shocks.

    As far as the older twin shocks, I have had rubbing problems with the 120's. Especially if trying to use higher pressure. Bad implications if, say, I go to lower elevation, and ride in 100 degree heat - additional hot spot on sidewall, perhaps? Leading to sidewall cord separation, perhaps?! Not good, I think.

    The 110's work well as far as size clearance. Bike sits kinda low for Farley stand - rather upright on sidestand. Also, 110's exacerbate the inaccuracy of the Motometer speedometers.

    I have gone to 400's on twin shock rears as I replace. I see no downside whatsoever to reverting to these. And the bike feels better.

    Weren't those Dunlops mentioned in the beginning post originally marketed for cruiser bikes? If so, I would not expect all weather capability to have been a design criterium.
    And so are the ME's I run on the LT, book said "for V-Twin cruisers" Huh?
    they work great on the LT, go figure...

    RM

  8. #8

    Tire width

    Tire width does vary from brand to brand, but running a 120 on a wire wheel narrower rim will narrow the tire and change it's profile.

  9. #9
    Rally Rat
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    I'm not judging; I'm just curious. Why are you guys using cruiser style tires on your bikes?

    Robert

  10. #10

    Tire width

    The real question is why Dunlop refers to the D404 as a "cruiser" tire when it is nearly identical to the old D401, which was sold as a "Sport-Touring" tire.

  11. #11
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostboy View Post
    The real question is why Dunlop refers to the D404 as a "cruiser" tire when it is nearly identical to the old D401, which was sold as a "Sport-Touring" tire.
    yeah, I don't pay much attention to those, I can't see how an engine design can effect tire choice (as in V-twin specfically) now frame layout, loading etc might, but since my BMW dealer, who I trust seems to think they are well suited and everyone I know who runs them, the ME33's, it works for me, and the bike handles fine.

    Again, go figure.....

    RM

  12. #12
    shire2000
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    The engine design has nothing to do with tire size or width. The BMW Boxer is a V-Twin. Just happens that it a 180 degree V. I tell all my friends that when their current V-Twin matures, it's V will eventually get a little more laid back.

    As to tire types for Airheads, I find the stock size to be a perfect match to the style of riding that these bikes were designed for. I have tried the 120 and 110 size tires on R100s and R80s and find that they really don't help the handling or ride. The stock 400 size is a much better match to the way the bike is designed. At least it works well for me.


  13. #13
    Grammarian no, Rider yes ISAMEMON's Avatar
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    thanks for the input
    the metzlers on the bike were put on, as they were what was recomended to me by a local BMW shop.

  14. #14
    Registered User boxerkuh's Avatar
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    When I bought my Airhead several years back, it had the wrong tire size mounted on the front. I searched for correct tire size and have been mounting Michelin Mac's front and rear ever since. The bike handled very poorly with the wrong size, very good with the correct size. I have been mounting them ever since.
    Keep the rubber side down!!
    1986 R 80 RS
    1992 R 100 R
    BMW MOA Life member; Ironbutt Member; Airhead Member

  15. #15
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    Re: 401 vs 404 et al
    Two tires can appear to be identical. But a lot of what makes a tire work the way it does is materials, compounds, how cords are wound etc etc.

    Just because a tire looks the same doesn't mean it works the same. There are lots of Cheng Shin made Metzeler, Michelin etc look-alikes. I have not seen where anyone finds they are anywhere near the original.

    As to the concept of "cruiser tires", at the risk of oversimplifying, the middle of the bell curve in that market wants: high load capacity (bikes are overloaded with 2 high BMI Americans), long tread life (cheaper), resistance to high temperatures (no rides below 70 F), aggro looking tire tread (cool form > function), low relative cost (average width is high), not the best traction (easier, more impressive burnouts) These criteria can be easily satisfied with harder, cheaper construction rubber. Which, of course work poorly in rain, slush, low temps, hard leans, heavy braking, etc.

    To be fair, this is not necessarily the case with every "cruiser" tire. And in fact I am increasingly seeing everyday, generally metric, cruisers who ride under varying conditions. The Metric cruiser may well be become the new "standard" bike. This will create ""cruiser" tire demand similar to what airheads want.

    Nonetheless, the middle of the bell curve is the largest number, and is going to be marketed to. Absent evidence to the contrary, I cannot see buying "cruiser" tires for anything I ride.

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