Semi-offroad tires/tyres for VN750? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Semi-offroad tires/tyres for VN750?

Hi,

I am currently riding from the UK through Europe on my '93 VN750. So far my girlfriend and I have covered 1700 miles from the UK through Holland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia and finally Croatia.

My grirlfriend flies home in a week to start a new job. I on the other hand have a few months free to roam or to return to England.

I am seriously considering travelling East from Croatia through Eastern Europe into Russia, then Kazakstahn, China and finally Thailand.

This would be a further 9000-10000 miles. A couple of days spent on the internet have shown that VISA's and insurance should be relatively straight forward to acquire.

I am looking for info on modding the bike for the trip. Namely the tyres/tires. I currently require a new back tyre. The one on the bike has worn past the wear indicators and has suffered two punctures, the second running the tyre off the rim and making me loose confidence in the remaining strength left in the tyre. The front tyre is an Avon, stock size, white wall. It has plenty of life left in it but it doesn't feel great on the road, it seems to track anything it comes across, lines and cracks. It is also a "good road" tyre, not for any kind of gravel and not good in the wet.

Has anyone any advice on two new tyres. The roads I may be travelling on will be rough in places. I wont be planning any off roading but am expecting gravel on the road, cracks, pot holes and plenty of rain.

Should I go for some oversize tyres? Will these benefit me with handling, reduced RPMs, etc. Or should I stay with stock sizes.

Anyone know of a make with good grips that may suite some very occasional rough road use?

Is there any simple way to get a bit more ground clearance out of the bike? Even an inch may help.

Cheers,

Gabriel
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 10:55 AM
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IMHO, check into a set of Kenda Kruz. Hopefully they will be available in your area. They are an oversized tire that will fit the VN750. The stock size front tire does track a bit more. With the Kenda's, they are wider and taller. The width helps to improve stability and reduce tracking. The height does give a little more ground clearance, but its nothing noticeable.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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They certainly look like they have nice deep treads. But struggling to find them from a UK supplier.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 01:29 PM
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I will tell you this - as a Kenda Cruz owner - While they are good, inexpensive tires, they are noisy tires. I can hear the front 110/90 "singing" as I ride. Perhaps it's the close proximity to the fender, but it bugs me - even if only a little bit.

Michael
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 01:35 PM Thread Starter
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I can get the Metzler Marathons in the UK. Also Continental Milestones. Theres plenty of people recomending the Metzlers. Anyone recommend the Continentals?
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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OK.....I guess it shows my in-experience of bikes. After doing a little research I dont think I would find (or even really need) semi-off road tyres for a VN750.

I think only a very small percentage of the roads I might be going on will be rough tracks. But I guess they're the kind of places where locals ride along them on scooters with bald tyres all day long.

I'll just have to do my best to avoid those kind of roads or ride very slowly. Most bikes that do the trip are the big BMW GS's and the like.

I'm thinking the Metzlers at the moment. They aint cheap over here though, about 200 for the pair, but they've got an interesting journey ahead so hopefully the cost will inspire some confidence in me.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msh1156 View Post
I will tell you this - as a Kenda Cruz owner - While they are good, inexpensive tires, they are noisy tires. I can hear the front 110/90 "singing" as I ride. Perhaps it's the close proximity to the fender, but it bugs me - even if only a little bit.
LOL I have drag pipes I cant hear my tires sing. I do like the Kendas though
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msh1156 View Post
I will tell you this - as a Kenda Cruz owner - While they are good, inexpensive tires, they are noisy tires. I can hear the front 110/90 "singing" as I ride. Perhaps it's the close proximity to the fender, but it bugs me - even if only a little bit.
msh1156, I just put on Kenda Kruz tires on my bike, and i love them, you say they are noisy?? I don't have that problem at all. I'm not sure what noise you are hearing, or if its the proximity to ur fender like you said, i just wanted to tell you that I dont have that problem, mine are quiet, no singing, lol..
So you may, i repeat, may want to see if its something in your alignment, front axle, or brakes (pads).
Just trying to help man.

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 08:45 PM
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If you can get the Metzeler ME880 "Marathons" where you are, then those will be a great choice for you. They are a high-mileage tire (e.g., 15,000 miles or more) and should last you for the entire length of your trip.

The largest tire sizes that have a proven track record of fitting the VN750 are:

front: 110/90-19

rear: 170/80-15

If you can afford it at all, go ahead and put a new Metzeler ME880 on the front and the rear (especially for a trip of that length), and use these sizes given above (the larger sizes will give you more "bite", especially in adverse conditions). After you break them in, you will almost feel like you have a new and bigger bike! Be sure to use gradually harder lean angles for the first 100 miles or so, until the slippery factory stuff wears off the new tires.

Basically, the Vulcan 750 is designed as a "street" bike and is not really meant for "dirt" or "off-road" use. Given your short time window for more preparation, increasing the ground clearance is a tough act.

Be aware of the "phantom out of gas" syndrome if you are riding your bike thru warm climates on your trip. It is more prevalent in hot weather, and you may encounter it under those conditions:

https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14507

This sounds like a truly epic trip. Do have a safe ride, and be sure to share more pictures with us when you get back!....

'05 VN750



For other bike pix & mods, go to:
http://s1203.photobucket.com/albums/...k/VN750%20pix/
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2010, 09:13 PM
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Consider this for your front tire:
TOURANCE It's a radial but I do know guys that mix and match w/o problems.

and for the rear:
Shinko 170's

I ride interstate, county, and gravel roads. For your trip, you will need good tires. I'd put one of the many used products to seal and balance your tires asap. There's nothing worse than a flat in the middle of nowhere. The smaller front tire will take most of the beating so I suggested a dual purpose that's designed to take the abuse.

Have fun, wish I could do the trip with you...

DT

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Last edited by dirtrack650; 06-24-2010 at 09:16 PM.
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