Kenda Kruz 673 170/80/15 rear tire
I wanted to go to the oversized tires for stability/speed issues. The Kendas are amazing.
When I got the bike it had squared off dunlops on it. I had to drive it from purchase point to my place, so I took the only thing that was available locally - Dunlop 404s. They made a huge upgrade over the worn out dunlops that came on the bike.
However, they seem to wander all over the shaved roadways in Miami, making my rides far less comfortable than I'd like.
Additionally, I'm thinking about taking some longer trips, so anything that would give me more speed at less RPMs seemed worth looking into.
I ordered an oversized front and rear from Trax Motorsports. For some reason only the rear tire shipped, and I got it two days ago. I'm still in the process of getting the front sent to me.
Yesterday I pulled the rear wheel (which also let me relocate the R+R easier) and took the wheel and the new tire to a downscale motorcycle/scooter shop in Miami. $10 for the tire change, while I waited. Oh yes. I'm bringing those guys some pastries when I go back with the front wheel.
There were no difficulties in getting the wheel back in, and clearance is ample in all dimensions. I had the bike on the centerstand and used a tie down ($10 for 4 at Harbor Freight) to slightly (1 inch?) compress the front forks. The one other thing I did was mate the wheel and the final drive (and drum brake cover, of course) before putting them all under the fender. I didn't even have to take off the license plate. Oh, and I used my 2 foot length of pipe (breaker bar) under the tire as a lever to lift the re-attached wheel so I could more easily reinstall the shocks.
I set the pressure to 37psi, and took it out this morning. For anyone who is curious, I weigh 140 and have the rear shocks empty (no air pumped in for assist) and the dampers set to 1.
While the tire didn't look hugely different on the bike, the change totally amazing. (Granted, I'm only comparing it to new stock Dunlops.)
First off, the handling was **vastly improved**. The bike leaned more smoothly into highway corners, and seemed to grip the roadway better. It just stuck where I put it with no drifting. The bike also seemed to absorb all the road groves/lines much easier - there was little or no shimmy or wandering. In a weird way I felt slightly disconnected from the roadway, but then again I'm used to feeling most of the tiny road irregularities. I admit to being completely surprised at the difference in handling that only changing the rear tire has brought about. I had assumed that the tread pattern on the Front dunlop was making the bike track the shaved roadways. Now, I'm very curious to see what replacing the front tire (when it comes) will do.
The RPMs were down at highway speed, but not drastically so, maybe 500? The bike also seemed a hair slower on take off, but there's still plenty of zip to her. I suspect that I'll get some small benefit in gas mileage on long trips. The real difference though is the handling, which is phenomenal.
From what I read, I may have to replace this tire more often than the dunlops, but really don't care about that. The ride feel is so much better, it's worth not getting the extra X miles out of the tire IF it proves to wear quicker.
I'm getting some RideOn sent to me, and when I install it and the front tire, I'll note whatever changes that makes.
Thanks again everyone - I wouldn't even have known this option was out there if it weren't for people posting and sharing what they know.
MF Battery, Iridium Plugs, RR relocated, Voltmeter, 170/80/15 Kenda Kruz rear tire, DIY Samsonite hard bags, DIY shaved seat with Beaded seat pad ('cause that's how I roll) and the dreaded STATOR CHANGE.
Shining Black Bess '86 VN750, retired for parts after a fried stator and being knocked (kee-runch) in her parking spot.