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Classic, Vintage & Veteran For Coventry and Meriden Models. Anything pre-Hinckley goes.

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Old 01-25-2010, 07:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Tires for a Bonneville

My recently purchased 72 Bonneville 650 has Cheng Shin tires of unknown vintage, plenty of tread, but look to have some age on them. I plan to replace them and my question is, with what? The current tires are in the following sizes: 3.25-3.60/18 front, and 4.50/19 rear. Is this the correct size? Is it possible, or advisable to fit larger tires? What are the best handling tires out there, Dunlop, Mezeler, Avon?

I also have a new set of Cheng Shins that came with the bike, in roughly the same sizes, 3.25/85/19 front and 4.25-4.60/18 rear. Are these tires any good? I suspect you get what you pay for, and I am willing to pay good money for tires that will handle. Those little tire patches are all that keeps gravel out of my butt....

Thanks in advance for your help here.

Mike
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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look at the palm of your hand.

That's the contact area that you have with tarmac.

I think that Chins are used by quite a few non agressive classic bike peopple, I wouldn't use them

Tyres on a classic can age before they wear out. The spares that you have are HOW old?



I run Avon Roadriders on my T140
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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A number of tires will work. The traditional Dunlop K70 and K81 are available and cheap. Ive been running the K70's but they dont last long on the rear and they wear flat. 3.25 front, 4.0 rear

check out -

http://www.americanmototire.com/cata...ath=33_120_592
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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other things to remember on tires

if you are considering a modern profile (kinda like a k81) on a 72 remember the bike was designed to use a k70 profile..the lower profile will not fill the fenders the same...especially the front...plus it will change the gearing slightly....there will be over an inch of clearance between the fender and the tire...looks kinda weird..I put a set on my 71 t120 several years ago...I had long ago replaced the flimsy wire mount that broken due to vibration with a solid U shaped piece under the fender like a fork brace...so I just shortened to fit closer to the tire....it will also lower your seat height a bit depending your inseam this is sometime a plus on the taller OIF 71-72's....attached pic is before I shortend bracket
Attached Thumbnails
Tires for a Bonneville-sd537268.jpg   Tires for a Bonneville-sd537264.jpg  

Last edited by bill_rbca; 01-26-2010 at 10:39 PM. Reason: add pics
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_rbca View Post
if you are considering a modern profile (kinda like a k81) on a 72 remember the bike was designed to use a k70 profile..the lower profile will not fill the fenders the same...especially the front...plus it will change the gearing slightly....there will be over an inch of clearance between the fender and the tire...looks kinda weird..I put a set on my 71 t120 several years ago...I had long ago replaced the flimsy wire mount that broken due to vibration with a solid U shaped piece under the fender like a fork brace...so I just shortened to fit closer to the tire....it will also lower your seat height a bit depending your inseam this is sometime a plus on the taller OIF 71-72's....attached pic is before I shortend bracket
Nothing wrong with that gap Bill !! Bike looks great.

Tyres are a bit like underwear, we all have our personal preferences, well to some extent anyway. Let's face it, people will buy a tyre just because they like the look of the tread pattern.

You are not going to get a definitive answer to "what's the best out there". We all think the brand we have on our bike is the best. OK?

What you need to determine is what you want from a tyre. longevity or grip, the two are not mutually inclusive.

Hard compunds wear well, but will not grip, softer compounds, along with low profile are going to grip, but not last.

Fact is, apart from the brand names, you'll not get a lot to choose from for those old rim sizes . Avoid tread patterns that have a single groove in the centre of the tyre, as these can sometimes want to follow irregularities in the road surface, cracks and ridges and the like. Both my front Michelin and rear Metzeler have these, and whilst I am happy with the grip, I remain wary. I am no Casey Stoner wannabe either.

I'd steer clear of the old tread patterns for classic bikes, they simply will not adhere like a new tread pattern. Unless you just want to puddle along.

Whilst Bill does not like the K81 for an asthetic reason, I'm tipping he'll be happy with the grip. He's right about speedo gearing, and so in the final choice you have to think all these things through.

Like Dave M, I like the look of the Avon Roadrunners. Avon have a been a great brand since the days of Noah (he was a founding director), and I'd think they probably still are among the best. RR
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Last edited by RetroRod; 01-27-2010 at 05:01 AM.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Tyres are a bit like underwear, we all have our personal preferences, well to some extent anyway.
er....

made of rubber??!!
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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er....

made of rubber??!!
Metaphorically speaking Dave!! RR
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I've worn out two sets of avon roadriders and will probably use them again next time. I think they handle great. Fairly inexpensive for Avons.
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