Conventional Wisdom re; tire replacement - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Question Conventional Wisdom re; tire replacement

My 1993 VN750 still has (I am pretty sure) the original Dunlop Qualifiers both front and rear. At 7500 miles, the front is down to 1/32, the rear to 4/32. Very minor cracking on the front, none visible on the rear. Both hold air no problem. This begs several questions. Should I replace them with radial or bias ply? Obviously, like a car, you should do both, and not mix them? The front Dunlop is a ribbed tread pattern. The catalogs don't show much available in a rib. The rear looks a little more aggressive, but the new stuff all looks very treadless, with a few scores for rainwater runoff. So, what is the wisdom of the website? I am a casual rider who just likes to cruise around, not a USGP hot shoe, so I don't think I need the latest and greatest. For that matter, why shouldn't I just replace with exactly what came with the bike new, assuming they (or something close) are still available?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 05:01 PM
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You'll be fine with bias-ply on that bike, and regardless of remaining tread showing, they are way past the recommended age/time "limit" of how long they should be on the bike. Any new tire you install now will likely feel better, and no doubt be safer.

And yes, the best bet would also be a matching set.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pastmyprime View Post
My 1993 VN750 still has (I am pretty sure) the original Dunlop Qualifiers both front and rear. At 7500 miles, the front is down to 1/32, the rear to 4/32. Very minor cracking on the front, none visible on the rear. Both hold air no problem. This begs several questions. Should I replace them with radial or bias ply? Obviously, like a car, you should do both, and not mix them? The front Dunlop is a ribbed tread pattern. The catalogs don't show much available in a rib. The rear looks a little more aggressive, but the new stuff all looks very treadless, with a few scores for rainwater runoff. So, what is the wisdom of the website? I am a casual rider who just likes to cruise around, not a USGP hot shoe, so I don't think I need the latest and greatest. For that matter, why shouldn't I just replace with exactly what came with the bike new, assuming they (or something close) are still available?
Are radial tires available for the vulcan? I thought that I read just the other day, somewhere, that there was not enough demand for that size to get it manufactured in a radial casing. I hope to get enough miles in this summer so that I will need tires by summers end too.

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

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July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/11-vn750-general-discussion/9127-top-ten-items-you-would-suggest-new-owner-do-his-new-ride.html
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-10-2009, 08:47 PM
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Whats the difference betwen Bias and Radial?
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Chappy View Post
Whats the difference betwen Bias and Radial?
Basicly radial tires are stronger, due to having a casing reinforced with steel belts. Bias ply have some sort of fabric reinforcing in the case construction. Most auto tires now are radials. Radials also last longer, give less rolling resistance, better fuel economy and are less prone to being punctured. They are also more expensive to buy, but longer life balances that out in the long run.

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
Relocated R/R
MF-AGM battery
Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns
F&S luggage rack and engine guard
Kury Offset Hiway pegs
July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9127
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 03:11 PM
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I have a 1993 with similiar tire situation, tires looked great but I didn't trust them. I bought Metzler ME880's for front and rear from ronayers.com for about $220 including shipping. Get a 110 for the front instead of the stock 100 as it does help correct the speedometer problem. My first ride after putting these was like having a new bike. Don't wait...get them replaced. I just checked ronayers and the the front 110/90H/19 is $88.29 (about $12.00 to ship), the rear 150/90/15 is $132.00 (mine was shipped free). Here is the link http://www.ronayers.com/catalogs/tir...ecid=4&type=65

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-12-2009, 09:47 PM
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I have noticed a peculiar sound when I first start moving in the morning. The sound is like a break pad dragging and only lasts for a second or two and happens without any application of either brake. I also wonder if the front shocks could be the culprit as I take off and remove the weight off them for that first second. I stop and take off again and can not get it to repeat. This happens sporadically. Could the cold weather have a bearing. I park in the garage and this has happend between 50-70 degress F. I avoid water and clean the bike reguarly...no road buildup.
Any suggestions?
Thanks,
Wayne / San Antonio
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 01:49 PM
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There is nothing pulling the brake pads away from the rotor. A little slight rubbing is normal.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 01:54 PM
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I too have old tires that may appear fine but should be replaced. The date stamp is from 1999!!

Ron Ayers does appear to have the best deal today and my local shop will mount and balance them for $15 each. All I have to do is take the wheels and new tires to them.

Total cost $263.00 - worth every dime for the safety factor.

Michael
2002 Nomad 1500
VROC #29972

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-13-2009, 03:10 PM
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Riding on aged tires can be dicey. I've heard a variety of the "rule's of thumb" from 4 years to 7. Or if you don't know the age, then change them.

After time, alot of time, heating and cooling, baking in the sun, etc the original chemicals and properties and changed and/or faded away. Some pliability, for grip and lean angles, not to mention a very small contact patch and only two of them, common sense should be enough to let $200 out for new tires, though some folks need to dump it first....

I don't go past 4 years on my tires, even if they "look" great. And I've ridden on bike with older tires that had a habit of slipping and sliding around corners on dry pavement. The feel and confidence on tires that are good is worth the time and money.

And bias ply tires today are better than the bias ply tires some of us remember from several/many years ago. Sure a radial tire is better, but if you're in a pinch and light on money, slap on a new set of bias-plys and keep on riding. A new set of bias-ply's will be better by far than a set of tires 5 years old or more.....

(IMO of course)

Last edited by 750Doug; 02-13-2009 at 03:16 PM.
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