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178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The 140/90/15 is 140mm wide, has 126mm of sidewall (90% of 140) and is
mounted on a 15" rim for a rough over all diameter of 24.92".

The 150/90/15 is 150mm wide has a 135mm of sidewall (90% of 150) and
is mounted on a 15" rim for a approx. diaameter of 25.62".

The .7" difference in dia will cause the bike to have slightly quicker
acceleration, and slightly less overall top speed.

Shouldn't be a problem though.

I know some one had asked about sizes. The stock rear 150 is what most have gone for, a few mounted a 140. this would, as Joe said, give you a little more torque for standing start take offs, but would increase your rpms slightly at a given speed. Meaning if your bike is an around town cruiser, the 140's would be a good choice for stop light to stop light flights...but if you rack miles touring , the stock 150's will keep your engine speed down and thus your fuel consumption. Front tires are 100/19's and is what most replace with also. The option of going to the 110/19 is available and in my thinking, a good idea. The slightly wider tire will give you a better contact patch and extra rubber on the road is a good thing. Because the ratio remains the same, but the tire is slightly wider, this also means the profile will be a bit flatter and the tire circumference will be a tad shorter-meaning the speedometer error will be less. Have not heard what the differences in handling are comparing the two sizes however. but my experience with tire profiles suggests the straight line stability would be better with the 110's and the steering effort for turns would be slightly higher. of slower as they say. For this sized bike I do not think that would make a big difference as the steering is fairly slow to begin with. the added rubber on the road would make braking better. When it comes time...I have decided on the Metz 880, with the 150 in back and the "oversize" 110 in front. I have heard good things about the Avon tire, but am not aware of what model would be the best for the Vulcan. KM
You may want to check out Tiresunlimited.com. I was browsing through the different bike accessories groups and stumbled on this site. I checked it out and found they carry most brands of tires ( Metzler, Pirelli, Dunlop, Avon, Bridgestone, and etc.) Their prices are good. I purchased my new front tire from them and received it in about 5-6 working days. Check it out, can't hurt!! Just my nickel's worth!! Waynebo37
Http://www.mawonline.com/metzeler.htm#Tires street (70876) $107.95 Metzeler ME880 150/90HB15 Rear Tire #1041800 (70836) $74.95
Metzeler ME880 100/90H19 Front Tire #1040700

All ya need to look for is the 100/90-19 size in any brand ya want. The overwhelming favorite here is the Metzeler ME880. I put on a set last year and recommend them highly. One of the best places to deal with is www.ronayers.com - excellent prices and service. They sell the 100/90-19 Metz ME880 for $72.63 + $8 shipping for a delivered price of $80.63 with no other hidden charges

I'm sure that some of the other experienced members will be adding their advice on your question, but I think there is a strong feeling that it is a real good idea to have both front and rear from the same manufacturer. Then you are sure the characteristics and handling of the two tires will be compatible. I am planning to get new tires within a month or two, and my choice will be the Metzler ME880's with 100/90-19 on the front and 150/90-15 on the rear.

Tire recommendation - If your cruiser tires are more than 8 yrs old then the grip is basically gone so that would be a good time to replace them regardless of remaining tread depth. On sport bikes it's not advisable to go past 4 yrs and if it's a sport bike used for the occasional track day then 2 yrs is the max.

Had my tire changed in October and my bike is still leaking grease when it gets hot. They over packed it when they changed the tire. Spray a little DW40 on it and it will come right off. I am sure the dealer will tell you its normal. There was a post several months back and many riders encountered the same problem. Tracy in Orlando

Metzler or Dunlaps or Bridgestones or Pirellis
"Starman": Been using Dunlop K-491's for 20 years. Can anyone convince me to switch to Metzlers ? I need new tires and must make a choice
Re: Metzlers or Dunlop ? It's really difficult to make a really objective comparison, because I switched from a worn 491 to a brand new Metz 880 on the rear. Only got the Metz because ya couldn't get the Dunlops anywhere at that time (out of stock ... two month wait). I am convinced in my own little mind, though, that the Metz handles more to my liking. Maybe it's the rounder profile, but it seems to lean easier at slow speeds. At high speeds, IMHO, it's at least equal to the Dunlop. BTW, this may answer an earlier question: I kept the Dunlop on the front (beaucoup wear remaining) and handling is just fine (see above). Dunno what's on the new bike (delivery next week), but I figure I'll be in the market myself for at least a rear --- front, too, if it's the stock flintstone --- and I'll prolly go Metzler. grambo

Bridgestonesshould be considered also... Say what you will (and people do) about Bridgstones, I swear by them.. The last set I changed out had 21,000 miles on them, and that is damn good for a bike tire (considering the way I ride).. They were bald, and they howled, but they still outlasted the Dunlops I had on the other bike.. Other tires may handle a little better, but I'm cheap, and go for the durability.. I'm now running them on my 1500 also... Raz
Bridgestone S11'swere my choice. Their sticky in the dry and handle rain well. Not too noisy either. They are a sport touring tire and are slightly peaked in the middle. Makes them turn in a little aggressively...I don't mind, but it's something you might consider. John Morley
I had the Bridgestone S11's before the Metzlers and found them to be very good tires. I enjoyed them and got my moneys worth from them. The Metzlers are superior, but that is not a slam on the S11 Spitfires. They were a definite improvement from the OEM Dunlop's that the S11's replaced on my bike. Out of a 10 point scale with 10 being the highest, I rate the Bridgestone Spitfire S11's a solid 6 for handling, a 9 for price and a 7 for overall satisfaction. Evan Breyn ~ The Bulldog

I went thru this same analysis 2yrs ago when I replaced the 'Stones @12k mi. I went with the Metzeler880s for 3 reasons...they have a higher load rating than the 491s, according to the manufacture's spec materials I got @ the IMS in 02. For me, this means stiffer wall construction etc which translates to better handling characteristics...or it may just be me BS'ing myself. :) Second, the tread depth on the Metz were greater by abt a mm, if I remember correctly. Bc of reason #3, the grippier compound used by the Metz and the acknowledged(?) greater miles afforded by the 491s, I'll bet one cancels out the other. Bottom line...for me, I'm looking for performance first and mileage second. Not the the Dunlops are not worthy...I've never tried them. But the Metzelers are a very, very good, confidence-inspiring tire. Also, I have 13000 miles on mine, and they look good for another 5- 6000mi at least on the front, even more on the rear. Hope this helps... jm
I get at least 15k out of my Metzlers but whats more important is they feel much better leaned over in a turn. Peter
I'm on my third set of tires, bike is at 26,600. I started out with the OEM Dunlop's until they needed replacing. Moved to Bridgestone Spitfire S11's and am now riding a set of Metzler 880's. I can say that the difference between each tire is different and surprising. The OEM Dunlop's were difficult tires. Slow speeds were a little of a bear and the bike handled like a stock bike. I was not impressed. The Bridgestone Spitfires were a sport touring tire and I can say that for what I paid for them, I got my moneys worth. I really liked them and felt that they were an improvement over the Dunlop's. That was until I replaced them with the Metzlers. The Metzlers are the best tire I have used so far. I was on the fence between the Dunlop Cruisemax, Avon Venom and the Met's. The Cruisemax was out of stock at the time and the Avon's were harder to get, so I took this groups advise and put my trust (and my wallet) in the Metzlers. Since then, I have logged over 6,000 on them and LOVE them!!! The difference was noticeable almost immediately. The bike preformed better then it ever had. Curves that I would be suspect to take are now child's play. If you want to get the most out of your VN750; the Metzler 880 is a wise choice and the higher price tag will come out in the wash with the increased handling ability. Just my opinion, but one I stand behind... Ride safe... Evan Breyn ~ The Bulldog
My ME-880's had about 19,000 miles on them when the rear tire was down to the wear bars. Front still looks like is has another 5-6000 left on it. After replacing the rear tire (ME-880 again) I noticed the handling was much crisper, the annoying hum when making left turns was gone, and overall traction was better. Also the slight tendency to drift to the left with hands off was gone. I will most likely replace the front sooner than I anticipated. Probaly before King's Cove but after Mayberry. By the way, the rear ME-880 from Ron Ayers was $117 and change including shipping and got here in less than a week. The bike shop that changed the tire for said that's less than he pays from his distributor. If you are anticipating replacing your tires soon, I would recommend that you not wait until they are down to the wear bars. Dennis in Maryland
I have Pirelli's MT66 and Love them! I have had them on my 750 and my previous Suzuki GS650GLD
I have enough miles on my Pirelli's now, Woo Hoo, to say I think they are in the same league as my Metz 880's. A very similar ride. grambo
Metz ME880!I have and love 'em. Now I put them on right after I got my bike so I can't compare them to the old Bridgestone Exedra's that I took off. I do have a sportbike so am familiar with great handling/braking and have to say that for a cruiser it does well. ronayers.com has excellent prices and only $8.00 shipping/tire and no handling charges. -Bruce Detroit

178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I just replaced my stock front tire with a Metzeler 880. The first thing I noticed is that the bike feels 100 lbs lighter with the new tire-- it is much easier to turn. The second thing is that before, I had to countersteer around corners, whereas the new tire is actually pointed in the direction the bike is headed: it's cross section is rounder. What a !%@$#^@ to get the new tire on the rim! I wouldn't say that it doesn't vibrate, but it is much better than stock-- it's not so much a vibration as a faint sound like knobbies on your bicycle. The stock front tire howled like a spitfire that's been shot down. Kelly
Kelly...The 880s are a great tire. They do seem to improve handling noticeably. Sounds like you mounted it yourself. I'm seriously thinking of buying a tire mounting apparatus. My dealer charged me $125 to mount /balance my Metzelers last year. I'm not doing that anymore! Any hints? I'm slowly but surely adding to my mech skills, with a bunch of help from this group, I must say. After I finish this stator change I'm in the middle of, I feel I will be ready for ANYTHING...short of splitting engine cases. :) jm

I've never heard of it! For piece of mind and performance I'd recommend one of the following brands: Avon, Bridgestone, Dunlop, Metzeler, Michelin or Pirelli. If ya can afford to spend a little more than go with Avon or Metz. Best bang for the buck would be the Dunlop D404 at $106.00 for the pair + shipping from: This tire is basically the Dunlop D402 which Harley puts on the Fat Boy but the compound is the same as the Dunlop CruiseMax tire (which Victory puts on the front of their Vegas model) - a tad softer so it has a more grip. If price isn't a concern then move up to the Metz ME880.
Bruce Detroit

Good gosh, how can ya go wrong? These are much better than the stock rubber that Kaw puts on our VN750. My buddy just put a set on his Yam V-Star 1100 and loves 'em. For the price ($106 for the PAIR!!! + shipping) I probably would have bought 'em if they were available last year.

Dunlop Cruisemax- good luck finding them. Last year they were out of stock. Maxxis Classic - I know nothing about them. Bridgestone Spitfire S11 - Great tire. If I could not afford or find my Metzlers, I would mount a set again. Michelin commander - I know nothing about them. So, based on my knowledge, I have had a set of Bridgestone Spitfire S11's and would recommend them. The price is right and the performance IMHO is excellent for what they cost

I understand that the Metzlers are suppose to be superior rain tires. Mileage wise they don't last as long as the Dunlops, but they are made of a softer compound and that is suppose to equal better traction in general. I've seen a lot of personal testimony on tires here and other places, and it seems like the ME880s get a lot more praise than any other brand/tire model. Based on this totally unscientific analysis, that's good enough for me. ME880's it is. Regarding Dunlops, Motorcycle consumer news supposedly compared the ME880s to the Dunlop D250's. The comparison appears to be tread wear type of comparison. Bottom line there was the the Dunlops were less expensive and gave ~30% more tread life (hence a lot cheaper over all). I'm still going to take the ME880's, I only have two wheels, so I want the extra traction. If I was running a touring rig, with a side car or trike setup, I'd probably go for the harder compounds for longer tread life.

For the money the Bridgestone S11 is probably your best bet although the 150/90-15 (rear tire) is only available with raised white letters. As Bulldog said the CruiseMax is hard to find due to limited production. I had a set on backorder for 4 months before finally giving up and getting the Metzeler ME 880s.

I too am looking for tires. Here is what I've discovered, in somewhat descending order.

Metzler M880 - Best performance, highest load rating, you basic top of the line tire, with top of the line cost. (A good internet price would be around $175 + shipping)

Bridgestone S11, Dunlop 491 Elite II - Moderately priced tire ($150 + shipping), factory load rating... The S11 is actually a sport touring tire so it's treadlife is a little lower than the Dunlop, but performance is also better.

Dunlop Cruisemax - Moderate price tire, factory load rating. Your basic middle of the road tire. Does well under all road conditions but excels in no particular area.

Kenda, Maxxis, and other "discount" tires (<$100)- Lower priced tires, factory load rating... you basic average tire for an average rider.
If you drive the speed limit, commute, and generally put no demands on your tires, any of these will serve adequately. I had difficulty finding any information on any brands, to tell the truth. Well, other than the Metzler, which everyone raves about. But what I did find leads me to believe, for all the talk about "tires are the most important thing", ANY tire thats on the market will fill the needs of 80% of the riders out there. (Stewart’s comments on this last part of the above - I think the writer is going to find a fair amount of disagreement about his last statement - as can been seen by the previous posts, a lot of riders have tested these tires themselves over the years)

What a co-winky-dink - I had a 920 Virago as well and my last set of tires were Dunlop Sport Elites. Nice tires IMHO. Worked great in the rain and on highways with the rain grooves there was none of that annoying swaying you get with stock tires. Phil 'Stargazer'
That's a decent tire summation. As for the S11, it only comes with raised white letters in 150/90-15. The Dunlop 491 Elite II is a high milage tire without the grip I'd like. The CruiseMax is a good tire at a great price and is standard equipment on the '03 and '04 Victory Vegas, so it has to be pretty decent. The problem is very limited production and it's almost impossible to find in the sizes for our VN750. Forget the $100 off brand tires, why risk it? As for the Metz ME880 - most will feel more confident in the corners, at speed and in the rain for what amounts to an extra $20.00/yr, so go for it. It's like insurance - it's nice to know it's there. I'm glad I have a set. Another plus is that if your on a road trip and cut one down the likelyhood of finding a new one is good due to it's extreme popularity.

Re: Dunlap 491 Elite II I am on my third set of these great tyres (Scots for "tire"---Scot named Dunlap invented the inflatable tire) I have replaced them between 11 and 12 thousand miles. They had tread left, but I am on the conservative side. This tire is made of a special compound for wear. The tread design is great for wet roads, grooves, and bridge grating. It has the same tread design as the Harley MOE tires. I believe it to be the same tire with their name on it. This is the same tire that a lot of Goldwings use. It has very heavy sidewalls to carry the load. I have ridden the 'Dragon' (Deals Gap) three times on these babies, once in the rain (not smart) without a slip or slide. I was in the company of sport tourers and kept up just fine. Make sure they are mounted properly, and balanced. While I'm on the soapbox, I have noticed what I believe to be tire dressing shine on some of our bike photos. This useage is definitely dangerous. I have read this several time in articals from Motorcycle Consumer and from folks like Keith Code and others. If you tink about it, the side wall of the tyre is exposed to the road surface during hard leaning turns. Do you realy want a slick surface on the road at this point? I dont think so!!!!!!!! Off box now See you in Ky (Seems all my TN grandfathers married KY women. Must be the water.) Joseph Haley

Wear and tear is not the only consideration. Your tires are getting old too (11 years). The compounds deteriorate naturally over time. I had good results with the OEM Bridgestones, so I can't recommend against them. They are affordable too. I switched to the Dunlop D404s and they are fine so far. Also beaucoup less expensive than the Metzlers, which are the favorite here it seems. Get matching tires front and back to ensure that the handling characteristics are compatible. Get them balanced for sure. You might want to consider switching the rear valve stem with a 90-degree stem to allow easier access for checking and filing that rear tire. The stock stem is tough to get some air nozzles on. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

I've decided to replace both tires. However, I will not be buying Metzlers. As someone pointed out, Murphy is alive and well. No sooner will I spend $140 on a tire than I'll get a nail in it. My budget for new tires is $150 before installation costs. So, I am looking at some of the less expensive tires. So far my list looks like this, but isn't complete, opinions and suggestions welcome.

Dunlop Cruisemax
Maxxis Classic
Bridgestone S11
Michelin Commander

Any of these tires would seem to suit my riding style and environment. By the way, what's it cost to get motorcycle tires mounted and balanced? I would presume its more than auto tires, but a ballpark figure would be helpful.

Some places won't charge anything if you get the tires from them.

At the time we had no Kaw shop here so I took the wheels off, and took them to an independent shop. He charged me $30.00 per wheel (mounting and balancing). It was $70.00 per wheel if I had taken the whole bike in.

Mounting and balancing off the bike usually runs anywhere from $20- $50 per wheel. The average here in Metro Detroit seems to be about $42 + tax (per wheel), Ouch!

If you did it yourself you would probably need to invest over $50 for tire irons, a bead breaker assembly, tire weights, and a balancer assembly.

178 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Anyone know where the best tire prices are? I'm looking for the Metzler ME880's. I found good prices at http://www.mawonline.com/ but was wondering if anyone knows anywhere where the prices are better? Oh, and local mounting prices: seem to recall someone asked about this recently. Off bike, if you bring in the rims $15 per tire, includes mounting tire and balancing On bike, $33 per tire for mounting and balancing.
Try www.motorcycletireplanet.com. I ordered a tire from them, good customer service and good product. Prices are decent also. Do not do the electronic check though, they hold shipment for 10 days regardless of when the check clears.

Check www.ronayers.com.

Or denniskirk.com, they'll beat other's prices by a dollar. But I would recommend ronayers.com, because they don't **** around - a great price up front and great service! -Bruce

Try www.casporttouring.com <http://www.casporttouring.com/> The cheapest I have found and excellent customer service.

Since we have been talking about tires here is an article about motorcycle tires. There are other related articles at the bottom also.
As for radials in our size - don't hold your breath. They are not made because there is no market for them. A few powercruisers (e.g. Kaw Meanstreak, HD V-Rod) have 'em but their not traditional cruiser sizes. Today's premium name brand bias-ply tires are pretty damn good offering great traction and tread life. The typical cruiser weighs too much and had insufficient ground clearence to take advantage of a modern sticky radial. Add to that the typical cruiser rider has no desire to lean over that far. Have ya ever scraped your pegs? Have ya ever desired to scrape your pegs on a regular basis? -Bruce Detroit
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