Jimmylee I think you just got a bad tire. Stuff happens. I would not write them all off as impossible to mount based on one example. Lots of tires are tough to mount, but if one can't be mounted, it is simply defective. Michelin has been good at this game for a very long time.
Latest news on my '78 Snowflake 4.00 x 18 rear wheel & the installation of a 4.00 x 18 period size Michelin Pilot Activ.
As you may remember I tried this combination last year - about June or July. I nor anyone could get the Pilot Active to "seat" on this wheel. Stirred up a lot of controversy.
I tried this all over again - this time purchasing the tire at my closest BMW dealer. Took wheel to them three weeks ago to install. After trying all day, they could not get either side to seat. So they gave up.
Being a machinist, and now having access to a large lathe, I decided to have them hold the tire and I would try some wheel modifications to make it work.
I took the wheel and tried to size it down enough to allow (hopefully) the Michelin to fit. I wanted to be careful NOT to remove any material down in the corner where the rim forms with the horizontal part of the wheel (both sides). As you may remember the original profile of this wheel starting at the rim and moving towards the center gets larger (diameter) as you move towards center until you get to that dip about 1" wide in the actual middle. What I did is to remove that larger diameter area and make that area either the same diameter as at the rim base and then have it slightly get smaller as it approached the center dip. Then I used a special aluminum polish and polished the heck out of both sides (except near the rim base) - everywhere I thought the Pilot Activ would have to "slide" out to eventually seat on the inside of the rim. Further, I thoroughly cleaned the interior surface, and then treated several times with a silicon spray. Wiping it off several times until the cloth showed no residue of aluminum discoloration. Then I sprayed again several times with silicon spray, let sit overnight, and lightly wiped off the next morning.
Next - return trip to dealer who then tried installing. First try, one side seated, the other did not. Second try w/extra rubber tire lube: both sides seated perfectly.
I rode the bike today for the first time with Pilot Activ's on both front and rear: AWESOME. Those modern treads on the older period tire sizes is perfect. Best and smoothest ride I have had to date!
Now, I have nothing but good things to say and would whole-heartedly recommend these tires. A friend of mine has them on his BMW, and after 9,000 miles the rear shows almost NO signs of wear!
"The difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't change every time congress meets." - Will Rogers
Rear Tire-1.jpg Rear Tire-2.jpg
At this point I'm still rebuilding my bike(1980 R100/T) so I haven't had a chance to go for a ride. The only thing I didn't like was the shinny steel weights he used, said he couldn't get the plastic coated silver weights any more. These steel weights are ugly.