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Just wore out my stock rear on my 2014 mag wheel Bonnie after 20,000 km and replaced it with a Kenda Challenger 130/90-17. So far, it rides and feels great! Still using the stock front.
 

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I thought it might be interesting to show a side by side of the two front tire sizes, other than stock, being used. Both of these are BT45's. If someone wants to add the stock size, that would be helpfull as well.



Both of these tire sizes have the same (desired) affect of giving a higher profile, but I'm curious which is better. The 120/70 gets the affect by pinching the tire, whereas the 110/80 just increases the aspect ratio. I did research on this very thread before making my purchase and it seemed the 120/70 was more common, though admittedly the 110/80 (i.e. staying with a stock width) seems the more logical approach.

I've got about 2k miles on mine (the 120/70 on the right) and have been very happy with the performance and wear, but I'm curious: Are one of the options "better" than the other in terms of performance and wear? They both are pretty similar in terms of looks, but one of thes has to be technically better. Honestly, I made my choice based entirely on my desire to have a higher profile front in order to give more balance to the look of the bike.

thoughts?
I'd really be interested in hearing if anyone can give the technical answer to MajorDilemma's 2012 statement.
 

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"Major Dilemma's" opinion that one tire "has to be technically better" than the other, doesn't seem to be shared by anyone who has stumbled upon this thread in the past 5 years. He's over thinking things.

My take on his post seems that he is more concerned about appearance.
If that is indeed the case, there is no "technical" difference betwixt the tires.

There is no need to over think tires......buy the best quality that you can afford, in sizes that are reasonably close to OEM and keep them properly inflated.


Rex
 

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agree with Bjorn. Technically I expect stock 110/70 to be best.

apart from that for appearance here are the relative (theoretical) tire heights :

110/70 ... 77
120/70 ... 84
110/80 ... 88

I don't think the pinching effect is significant with this deviation from stock. 120/70 is closer in height to stock so IMO a better choice than 110/80, but I stick with stock front anyway. The argument for 150/70 on the rear is more cogent but that's a different thing altogether ...
 

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there are a lot of options + generally one size variation works. you can run bigger bias tyres correctly aka a 120-70-17 avon roadrider is listed as correct, + a 150-70-17 bias is also correct at the minimal rim width, radials of that size are INCORRECT fitments. i put the afore mentioned roadriders due to a sidecar to be installed. they ride harder + do not handle as good as the pirelli diablo rosso II's i took off, 110-70-17 front 140-70-70 rear were my choices. i have a new set i was going to install before i decided to "hack it" shipping can be $$ but anyone close to zip 17866 in Pa i will give a good deal.
 

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Weave is Worse

I ride with a huge windshield; 22" Parabellum Sport. I have always had a high-speed weave with this on. It is most noticeable on curves, and where the road is uneven. I posted in one of the steering damper threads as well, thinking a damper would help.

I recently switched from Road Attach 2 to Roadrider tires. I IMMEDIATELY noticed the front end was way more sensitive to input. I figured I could get used to that. Well, no. It is scary dangerous. So I added a damper. (That's a different story!) It helped with straight-line stability up to 90mph, but did not help deep in the corners. I was suspecting that my body may be making inputs, so I paid attention to that. But it seems that the weave comes first, then my body sometimes makes it worse.

I blamed the windshield initially, but now I blame the RoadRiders for making it worse. With a 27 degree rake, maybe there is nothing to be done?? Is the front-end light? Lower the back a little?

When I ride without the windshield, the pressure on my body and head make me a human sail. It does seem more stable, but then again, I can't ride much over 60mph due to the strain on my body.

I'm thinking of dumping the RoadRiders and going back to Road Attach 2.
 

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I ride with a huge windshield; 22" Parabellum Sport. I have always had a high-speed weave with this on. It is most noticeable on curves, and where the road is uneven. I posted in one of the steering damper threads as well, thinking a damper would help.

I recently switched from Road Attach 2 to Roadrider tires. I IMMEDIATELY noticed the front end was way more sensitive to input. I figured I could get used to that. Well, no. It is scary dangerous. So I added a damper. (That's a different story!) It helped with straight-line stability up to 90mph, but did not help deep in the corners. I was suspecting that my body may be making inputs, so I paid attention to that. But it seems that the weave comes first, then my body sometimes makes it worse.

I blamed the windshield initially, but now I blame the RoadRiders for making it worse. With a 27 degree rake, maybe there is nothing to be done?? Is the front-end light? Lower the back a little?

When I ride without the windshield, the pressure on my body and head make me a human sail. It does seem more stable, but then again, I can't ride much over 60mph due to the strain on my body.

I'm thinking of dumping the RoadRiders and going back to Road Attach 2.
I have a similar setup on my bike. MRA vario screen (its big also) and have michelin pilot road 2 120/70 front and metzeler 150/70 tourance next rear.

I have also experienced a minor weave and in my opinion, it could be because of the tail bags that you have.
Saying this because my bike has a hepko becker universal top case 40 litres and triumph leather saddle bags.
 

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i put roadriders on my 2012 maggie for future sidecar use, one i had to add a tube as it leaked from brand new!!! they do not even come close to the pirelli diablo rossos i had on previously!!!!!
 

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I have also experienced a minor weave and in my opinion, it could be because of the tail bags that you have.
When i ride with my saddlebags on, I get a bit of instability at about 90 mph and above. Without bags, I can do 100 mph no problem. Pretty sure it's from weight imbalance and/or aerodynamics. Also, I've been running a 120/70R17 on the front for about 7000 km now with no issues.
 

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I have a similar setup on my bike. MRA vario screen (its big also) and have michelin pilot road 2 120/70 front and metzeler 150/70 tourance next rear.

I have also experienced a minor weave and in my opinion, it could be because of the tail bags that you have.
Saying this because my bike has a hepko becker universal top case 40 litres and triumph leather saddle bags.

After having the bike thoroughly checked out, including steering head bearing adjustment, I've decided to take off the AVONs and go back to the Road Attack tires. I can't see trying to just wear out the AVONs to get my money's worth...considering the instability they exhibit. I tried a steering damper, but I didn't really help. Since the issue was greatly exaggerated by the AVONs, I think I need to go back to what worked before.

It seems that even Metzeler does not make matching radials for this bike anymore.


In the mean time, I just bought a used Honda CTX1300D. The Bonneville feels like a toy by comparison, but a nice one!
 

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FWIW, the Conti Road Attack 3 are available in OEM sizing from americanmototire.com.
$223 shipped for both.

In reading through this thread, I'm a bit confused as to why some want to mount any bias-ply tire on our mag-wheel bikes (looks?). It seems like a giant backward step, like putting old-school bias tires on a modern car. I'm old enough to remember when radials appeared, both on cars and bikes. The differences were amazing (especially regarding cars). I had a mildly rodded '69 Chevy Malibu at the time and it was transformed!

I mess about with old Honda sport bikes (VFR, pre-radials) and our tire choices are very limited with the classic 16" front wheel. My go-to tire choice is the Bridgestone BT-45; a very good bias tire, but if I could correctly fit radials, I sure would.

One of my major buying decisions when I was shopping for my Bonneville was the 17" radials. I first rode the T100 and, while I like and appreciate the retro look, I didn't care for the old-school road feel. Different strokes — looks trump function for some, and just the opposite for others.

JOE in IL
V4 Dreams (dot com)
 

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In reading through this thread, I'm a bit confused as to why some want to mount any bias-ply tire on our mag-wheel bikes (looks?). It seems like a giant backward step, like putting old-school bias tires on a modern car.

JOE in IL
V4 Dreams (dot com)
When I bought new tires for my mag wheeled bonne I couldnt find radials, or at least a matching set. I bought bias ply and they seam fine, I'd prefer radials but I needed tires yesterday so there was no waiting for someone to get them in. Looks had nothing to do with it, tires with tread had everything to do with it.
 

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There is nothing wrong with Bias Ply tires on bikes... Yes radials have several advantages however 2 advantages Bias ply still hold over Radials is load capacity which is why you still see them standard on some larger cruisers and the other is of course price. On performance bikes yes BP tires may be a step backwards from radials but its not going to make much of a difference on our Bonnevilles. It certinly is not going to turn your bike (or any bike for that matter) into some mishandeling heap that will make you crash like some on the internet claim. Many riders simply wouldnt be able to tell bias ply form radial if they were not told the difference. Rubber compound and tread pattern will have much more impact on tire performace than radial vs bias ply... Geesh

Psy

Sent from my LG-H873 using Tapatalk
 

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Looks like this thread petered out.
I didn't like the original Metzelers. I replaced those with Road Attack 2. Very nice, but only lasted 6k miles. Front and rear wore out at the same time.

I tried RoadRiders, but took those off after 3k miles. Couldn't stand them. Went with Road Attack 3. Different result now. Front worn faster than the rear, and worn "scalloped" from cornering. I had the forks serviced with new fluid and seals (one just started to leak.) It feels the same to me. .

SO, I'm thinking about up-sizing the tires, in order to perhaps gain some handling improvement due to very large windshield and some small side luggage. I was told that the back of the bike "looks too low." The suspension is not adjustable and it would cost thousands of dollars to make the front and rear adjustable.

The issue is we are basically stuck with wheel/tire sizes for a 300cc sport bike! Something that weighs over 100lbs less than the Bonneville.

Compared to stock sizes;

120/70 front tire is 2.4% larger in diameter. 120/60 is 1.7% smaller in diameter.

140/80 rear tire is 2.5% larger in diameter. 140/70 is 1.9% smaller in diameter.

While these are not the "recommended" sizes for out rims, our rims seem to be listed as "acceptable."

My front tire is shot again. I was thinking of trying the Dunlop GPR-300 series tires.

Please advise.
 

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I put these on my 2014 in 2018.

Avon AM26 Roadrider Rear Tire 150/70-17
Avon AM26 Roadrider Front Tire 120/70-17

I like them, but the Bonnie is my first bike after over 20 years without. I can't really give you a comparison, but I read a lot on this forum to arrive at this size choice. IMG_20180720_181159.jpg IMG_20180720_181208.jpg IMG_20180720_181228.jpg IMG_20180720_181234.jpg MVIMG_20180720_181507.jpg IMG_20180720_181159.jpg
 

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I just remembered that I had a non-repairable flat on the rear tire and replaced it 4k miles ago, so the front tire has more miles than I thought. Yes, about 9k miles!

I do need a new front tire at least. It seems that 120/70 is a popular "up-size" but about 0.3" higher radius that stock. This would transfer more weight to the rear, which I was told "looked too low" using stock height Works Performance Shocks. Perhaps more weight on the front would help with the weaving problem?

120/60 is an option that would lower the front about 0.25" therefore transfering some weight to the front.
 

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Just wanted to say, if you’re scared or nervous about going to 120 and 150, don’t worry about it. They fit fine and, in my experience, changed the ride entirely. Less jarring on bumps, probably due to the side-wall flexing, tracks better, won’t follow lines in the road, and feels way more stable. It’s like a new bike. I don’t ride aggressively, but I’m not exactly riding like I’m on a big fat cruiser either, so I put on the Avon Trailriders. Might go back to Sport Demons or a 100% street tire when these are done, but so far, I’m really really pleased. My 2 cents.
 

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going to 120 and 150 when switching to the same type of tire (brand/model same or similar) can have a really noticeable difference in feel due to the tires having a rounder profile. It will feel more twitchy or even unstable, with a more pronounced eagerness to turn or change direction. I think this feel difference an be exaggerated or negated depending on exactly which tires you are switching to and from. On one of my bikes I went from the same Bonneville 130/110 to 150/120 and also went to a tire that's known to have an exaggerated "fall into corners" kind of feel and it was borderline unstable feeling and very nerve wracking to ride. I found a way to make it at least not frightening to ride by getting the tire pressure dialed in perfectly, but it has no tolerance for tire pressure adjustments. Just saying there is a potential real marked change. OTOH I think if you had the "fall into corners" type tires (in my case, Shinko 705s) and switched to a more stable tire (say, Sport Demons) while upsizing you might find it to actually get more stable. So it really depends a lot on the tire.

I accidentally wound up in a mismatch tire combination that I think is near perfect on my own Bonneville, rear is 140/70 Michelin Pilot Street Radial and front 110/70 Pirelli Sport Demon. I know it goes against all recommendations on sizing, mismatching radial/bias and mismatching brand of tire but it just flat out works so well that I am inclined to stick with it for my next set. Since my wreck I might wind up having to replace that front tire, and I'm 99% sure I'll go with another Sport Demon because it just works so well. Bike has telepathic handling and amazing secure road feel with these tires. I was coming from the much heralded Avon RoadRiders and my Michelin/Pirelli combo is in another league.
 
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