"I pulled you over for Speeding. Do you have any idea how fast you were going?"

Regardless of what you ride, even if you don't ride at all, EVERYONE is welcome here.

Mr. Motorcycle

I am

My photo
I live at 1 Frozen place in, Minnesota, United States
My real name is Mark. For many years now my wife has called me Mr. Motorcycle. When I started my Blog I was looking for a catchy blog name, so I went with it. I'm happily married and I'm also a father of 6 children. I have two human offspring, one dog, two cats and one custom Harley. I believe that makes 6 children. When I'm not doing my real full time job, or going for a ride, I like to do art, custom paint jobs, and of course BLOG. If you would like to contact me, my e-mail address is phonetically spelled for avoiding spammers. (I actually do use the number 1 in the beginning.) 1mrmotorcycleATgmailDOTcom

*****This is my Bliss*****

*****This is my Bliss*****
Depending on your settings, Click, or Double Click on the image for full size photo.
The photo above is my ride :
"Kenny" started life as a stock '97, 883 Sportster. It's been a work in progress since the day I bought it many years ago. Its mostly custom with a built, "slightly juiced up" 1200 motor.
The Metal Fabrication, bodywork and custom paint was done by me.

How the Hell did I come up with a name like Kenny for my bike you ask?...... Most people who name their rides, go with chick names. I of course had to be different. I think bikes look tough, cool and masculine; not feminine. Plus, my father "Ken" has helped make me who I am today. Therefore with a little twist on the name, my bike was named "Kenny".


Come check out my custom paint! Click on the logo above to go to my custom paint blog.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Tires, those round rubber things that suck the money right out from underneath of ya.

Regarding tires, I have some background for you on my choices, and a question for you.

I use the Dunlop Harley factory tires. I'm sick of putting on new rubber so often. I'm switching to Metzler this time to try it out, based on a recommendation by a fellow rider, who swears that they aren't quite as soft, and they get more life out of them than the Dunlops.

I've recently had another one of my friends tell me they thought the Metzlers were even softer than the Dunlops, and won't last as long. He said I'm going to be disappointed. Since I already paid for them, and had the shop special order them in for me, I can only hope he's wrong.

Anyone know who's right? Or does anyone else have any other suggestions?
I'm willing to try darn near anything at this point. I don't let my back end loose and do burnouts deliberately, but the rear end does let loose from time to time on wet pavement, or over those wide painted white squares at intersections, etc. Noting this, I would not expect to have to replace tires as often as I do, and It's beginning to suck, and piss me off.

Any comments or suggestions from the peanut gallery would be most appreciated.


teleman001 said...

I had the same experience on the Deuce. I was getting 5K out of a back tire and about 10K out of the front so I went to a Metzler on the back. It was noticably harder and less stable in the turns. I took it off after about a thousand miles and never ran anything but the factory specified Dunlops which are specifically designed for each bikes handling characteristics.

On the Glide,(as well as all 09's I think) they have a harder compound in the center areas of the tires to address the wear issue. I have 2750 miles on it and the wear is barely noticable. Not noticable at all on the front yet. Maybe they fixed this problem.....

Webster World said...

The factory (soft) Dunlap's are for safety. The do ware fast. I at one time only ran a Continental as they lasted most of the summer. I was very hard on them when I was younger very hard. Over 15,000 miles on hole shots and such. But as teleman said a hard rubber is less stable. I now use the Dunlap and I bitch about it at the same time. But it is safer.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

I know the softer factory Dunlop's are for safety, but it's the center that's wearing out. I'm not wearing out the sides all that fast. I like Teleman001 am burning my rear in the center at 5-10K. This is not acceptable in my book.

Specifically, what do you mean by "not as stable in turns"? are you getting wobble, or slide, or what?

Dean "D-Day" said...

I'm getting 13-15k out of the Harley Dunlop tires. Been happy with them so I've never checked into anything else.

"Joker" said...

I also run the Dun's. When I got my Sporty, it had 2300 on it with the original rear and a new front. I had to change the rear just before I went to Milwaukee, at around 13K. Now at just over 16K, the front is just about ready.

That sort of wear doesn't seem unreasonable to me, so I'm good with the Dun's for now. I'll have to ask my wrencher...see what he says.

Chessie (Chesshirecat) said...

I hate Dunlops. From my personal experience, I've found that Continental work best on my dresser, and for my sporty...I love the Metzlers. (Actually, Avon is my fav...but not the price!)

On my Sporty I run Metz all the way around. Better stability in corners, better grip on wet roads, less of the uneven wear that I seem to experience on the Dun's on ANY bike I have ever put them on. The Metz tires also last a hell of a lot longer on my bikes than the Dunlops. On my Sporty, my Dunlop rear got 5k miles. Now that sucks. I don't do burn outs...I don't ride with under inflated tires...but the Dunlops on my rear never lasted for as long as my Metz. tires...I just replaced my rear Metz tire...it had about 10k on it. Front tires...last about 18 K...depends on the bike I put it on.
I love the Metzler...and if Avon were cheaper...I'd run Avon...it aint...so I run the Metz...and I love the way the bike handles.

fasthair said...

Mr. M: I’ve run Metzlers since 1993 in my Softials so I can’t really say how the new Dunlops stack up in this day and age. The thing I liked most about them was the way they handled rain grooves in the pavement, that wandering wiggling feeling just disappeared completely. For me they handle well in the dry but can be a bit slick in the wet when it’s cold but all tires are in that condition.

I get over 15,000 miles out of a set of tires which last me a season for the most part. I even had one set go over 20k years ago. I set the pressure at the max (42psi f&r) which does add to the life of the tire. I’ve only had one friend who tried them that didn’t like them, but he is hard on tires anyway.

The way I look at it is when a company only makes one thing they have a tendency to make it very well. Metzler only makes motorcycles tires, plus they make tires for certain makes of motorcycles to boot.

Just my two cents worth because, well you asked.


Lady R (Di) said...

Harley and I both ride on Dunlaps, but I get more miles out of mine, than he does his. I got 7K out of my last back tire and 11K out of the front. Harley has to replace his more frequently because our riding styles are different. We joked that we left our last set of tires on the road when we tamed the Dragon last summer on vacation. Woo Hoo! We went through some rubber that day.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

I really appreciate all of the information on this subject. I guess, I'm going to at least try what I've already purchased, and hope for the best. Looks like quite a variety of preferences, and opinions here.

"Joker" said...

Ok, I just got back from Chaos (the bike shop) and here's what the owner had to say.

In his experience, he thinks on the average the Dunlops last the longest. But, that depends on what bike they're on, the style of the rider (aggressive/passive), and what the roads are like where the bike's most often ridden. He said the Metzlers are an excellent tire too, but are considerably softer rubber than the Duns, and he thinks wear faster because of that.

For the record, his bike is a Dyna and he uses Avons because he likes how they ride, AND how long they last. He said he once had a customer with a Fatboy who got 24,000 out of a set of Avons. When he ordered the replacements, he mentioned this and the Avon people asked him to send them the old tires, and they paid for the shipping.

Again, this is his opinion, not mine. I've never used anything but the Duns so I don't know shit about this.

Webster World said...

The longest lasting tire I've ever had was a Continental. They are a hard rubber tire. More unstable than a soft tire. They do not grip like a soft on turns and such. You can brake them lose on the pavement easier than soft. But they last longer.

Anonymous said...

One mans breeze is another man's gale!Clearly different tires have different characteristics, and every rider has different expectations - but wear is most commonly due (be it excessively short or exceptionally long) on the care and riding habits of the owner/rider/driver(cage). Generally speaking if you are happy with other characteristics of a tire (wet/dry traction, cornering, braking) keep riding them and accept the wear. Tires are the only thing between you and the road - don't worry about whether you could have gotten another 2 or 3 or 5k out of them. All that said, I put tires on the 'Wing at the end of last year and was really ticked off to find a nail just off center in the, rear, tread two weeks (less than a 1K)later. But off it came, into the dumpster and on went another new one, OUCH!

Anonymous said...

It really burns my tail feathers how everyone doesn't mind spending big bucks on high performance modifications like exhaust pipes, power commanders and other sexy upgrades. Not to mention paint, chrome and other cosmetic expenses that do nothing for saftey or performance. But when it comes to the boring rubber that connects you to the road you want to get cheap and complain about how many extra miles you can drag out of those tires. I would rather keep my bike 100% stock and change the tires before they even need to be replaced. I'm going Metzler this year!

Big Daddy said...

I kind of have to agree with 'Rubber Road Captain'
When it comes to my Bike...
It's only the best and damn the cost.
Top grade synthectic its only four quarts 3 and the tranny.
Saving a couple bucks here is nuts.
the best damn brake shoes money can buy and a change of dot 5 every 2 years.
and for the rubber that meets the road and keeps my ass upright?

AVON's only.

Mr. Motorcycle said...

It isn't just the money I'm squaking about. If you've seen my bike, you know I'm not ashamed to put a few bucks into it. Almost every dime of any disposable income "I" have, goes right into it, in either, fuel, maintenance, insurance, bling, etc.

Spending the money does suck, but it's part of the game. Maybe I mislabeled my post. I guess the biggest gripe I really have is that 5k is not enough miles for me in my book to have to turn around and put on some new rubber. It is quite a major pain in the ass.

Maybe I'll look into the Avons next time.

Anonymous said...

5000! You guys must be doing something wrong! That's insane! Check your tire pressure often and make sure you're following the recommended pressure in your owners manual and not the maximum pressure on the sidewall. I run 40psi in the rear and 35psi up front. Shouldn't you be getting 10,000 on the rear and 20,000 on the front?

Mr. Motorcycle said...

Road Rubber Captain,
I could religiously run 40 psi at the rear and be pretty low on tread in the center by 5k. Must just be what they figure for Sporty's.

Anonymous said...

I had to change my Dunlaps out at 10k, they were almost completely wore out.
I put on a set of Metzlers and all of a sudden the ride was at least 3 times better. I no longer had problems with the bike wanting to follow grooves, I was more comfortable leaning the bike more, and it would actually lean easier. I have about 5000 miles on them now and they are not showing any signs of wear. If I get more than 10k out of them I will be a very happy man.

Just a quick note, if you are using your rear tire up faster than the front that may mean a.) you are doing burnouts a lot or b.) using too much rear brake or depending on it too much.
Both tires should wear out close to the same time and you should be replacing them at about the same time.