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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys. Name is Nathan. I've owned a CX500 for about 48 hours now. I'm loving the bike, but it has some old rubber on it that will need to be replaced soon. I am blessed to have a commute that most guys would kill for. 8 miles of highway canyon riding (~55mph speed limit) & 2 miles of tight canyon riding (~30mph speed limit). If you're familiar with the Denver area, it's Hwy 285 & North Turkey Creek. Obviously this bike will be spending a lot of time on the edges of the tires. I know this thing isn't a modern sport bike, but I'd like to set it up to handle as well as possible. I'm willing to sacrifice durability for better grip. Dual-compound would be nice, but I'm told there's none available. So my question is two-fold. What metric sizes should I be looking for to get the proper shape of tire on the rim? And what rubber would you recommend in that size? I should also note, the tires have to be able to handle some rain. The weather can change quickly around here. Thanks so much for taking the time to read/respond.



-Nathan
 

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Welcome in Nathan, you will find this to be THE authoritative site for your bike.



There have been many posts about tires, on just about every bike forum I've seen, and along with oil, it's probably near the top question asked.



Many here have different positions on it, and you will get some clear concepts soon. Most of the time, it has to do with personal choices.



Many here use the Bridgestone Spitfires, and I have had several sets of Dunlop 404's. All have good all around reports of satisfaction in almost all areas of performance, including inclement weather.



I've always liked the Dunlops for tread design and durability, They seem to draw a nice balance for wet riding and dry. Nice tread for cornering, and always have felt solid. When new, they are quite sticky, but that does fade some over a few years. I've only had to have two sets for my now gone CX500 during the nine years I had her.



Joel in the Couve
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Joel. Thanks for the reply. I have definitely been browsing this forum for tire info. I just keep coming up a little short on the performance-side of things. I have seen many references to the Spitfire. I have also seen that it is available in quite a few sizes that would seem to be correct for these bikes. I 'think' I'm looking for something along the lines of a Sport Demon or a BT-45 Battleax. I guess the more pressing question is what size I should be looking for. I'm unable to pin that down, and as such, don't even know what's really available to me.



Right now, the bike is equipped as follows...

F-110/90-19

R-110/90-18



A local Honda dealer parts dept. quoted me...

F-110/90-19

R-120/90-18



I don't have a lot of faith that either are correct. And from my understanding, it is very important to make sure that the front & rear profiles match to ensure stability. I'd love to get some feedback on proper sizing. Thanks again!



-Nathan
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The more I research, the more confused I become. I'm finding width of the wheels as F-1.85 & R-2.15. Supposedly, a 1.85 rim can accept an 80 or 90 width tire. And, supposedly, Honda spec'd a 100 width tire. Can somebody clarify if I have one (or all) of my numbers wrong?
 

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100/90-19 front and 110/90-18 rear if I recall correctly. I went stock sizes for the CX500 and bought the Bridgestone Battlax BT45s V rated front if I recall correctly and H rated rear (size dictated that mix)



I don't have a lot of miles on them yet but they are sticky except when it just starts raining and hasn't in a while and no tire is going to be great on an oily road with that condition. I went with the BT45 because of their superior stick in dry and wet and figure my life's worth the extra coin.



I'll check mine tomorrow to see what sizes exactly I'm running. The rims aren't real wide so fitting stock sizes makes sense rather than having too much tire on the rim.





David
 

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I put on new Bridgestone Battlax BT 45's on front and back when I got the bike. I'm no expert on tires, but I can tell you I've never had either of them let go on me. They're nice looking as well. The side tread would serve you well on the twistys.
 

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RAFsters got the stock size right

Tyre choice is a subject rife with personal opinions

Bridgestone, Dunlop, Shinko, Maxxsi Pirelli etc, so many choices.

Ronsters got a setup he likes so it all rather comes down to what makes you happy



I have some inherited Shinkos on my old thing and it doesnt bother me

as I dont ask much of them and have no complaints about them

but I do have BT45s on my beemer.

If I went out tommorow and found someone had snuck in and fitted a pair of BT45s

to my old bike I'd be a very happy bunny



I've heard guys say nice things about Avon Roadriders

and others probably say nice things about other tyres

you pays yer money and all that



I would say avoid tubes though

the tyres are ok, its tubes I dont like and have seen them fitted

when a good seal wasnt made so as the rims were designed for tubeless

tyres, dont let a tyre shop take shortcuts
 

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No
 

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Are the tire sizes the same between a GL and a CX?


My initial guess was yes, but after checking what Larry put on G-Loria in the restoration, they are as follows.



IRC DuroTour RS 310F 100/90-19 on front

IRC DuroTour RS 310R 130/90-16 on rear



I hadn't heard of the IRC brand until just now, I had thought they were Dunlops when I got the bike, as the tread looks quite similar. I'm going to look into the brand further for edification.



Joel in the Couve
 

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Looks like they have some good reputation, and decent pricing, as shown HERE
 

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Just some words of warning.Don't be tempted to fit fatter rear tyres.Stick to the Manual/Bike maker's recommendations.Fatter tyres will not give you better handling,that has been determined by Honda and will almost definitely decrease your MPG.

Although this is not covered in these motor cycle manuals,as I assume Honda and most other bike makers think no one will ever fit anything but the recommended sizes,it is covered in many Car manuals where alternate sizes may have been used.A case in point was my old Ford Mondeo/Taurus.Fatter tyres reduced the MPG.



I also have proof of this with my two CX500s.One of them has a 4.00(100/110x18) Stock size and can return close to 60 Mpg UK if ridden softly(55 ish most times) whereas my other Cx500 which only differs in the rear tyre size of 120(4.50x18" loses anything up to 5 miles per gallon.I am retro fitting a 400x18(100/110x18") to it to reduce fuel costs.



Between the two bikes the narrower and correct tyre size handles better than the wider one.



My 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all of the replies. I've been hunting for available tires & reviews in these sizes...



100/90-19 - F

110/90-18 - R



I've narrowed it down to BT-45H, Pilot Activ, or Sport Demon. I fall in line w/ the BT-45H better than the others. Problem is that the front tire is listed as a TT (tubed tire). Reg (or anybody else), can you clarify what effect this will have on a tubless wheel? Does the tire necessitate a tube? If so, it's definitely off the list. Would the tire be, in some way, degraded in order to get this TT designation?
 

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My original CX500 came with an Avon Tube type front tyre.I did around 10,000 miles with it.I still have it on a rim as spare.It performed exactly like any other tyre tubed or not.

You will always get some people who will post,"Tubed tyres can blow out and deflate faster than Tubeless" however I have never actually met a biker in all the years I've been riding etc that has ever had it happen to them.I'm not saying they can't,just I have no proof they are any more susceptible to blow outs than tubeless or any better at handling this.





As an aside I've not had a bike tyre puncture in the past 7 years but I run on,"Slime",



http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/SLIM...014776QQptZMotorsQ5fATVQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories
 

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If I remember right, the rims themselves state what type of tire is designed for it. I don't know about other variants, but both my now gone 82 CX500C and my 82 GL rims state clearly that tubeless tires are to be used. I wouldn't ever go against the designed type.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Another period of discovery... I went to look at the bike to see whether the rims were designated as tubless. I noticed a threaded valve stem on the front (rubber stem on the back). Even better, the rim says "Tubeless Tire Applicable". I will take that vagueness to mean that either style works. This goes against my thinking because I was under the impression that the beads were a different shape.



Regardless, I think a set of tubeless Michelin Pilot Activ's will suit my needs (and the bike) well. Thank you all so much for the help. I've learned quite a bit about motorcycle tires/wheels in the last 24 hours. (I've owned the bike for 72 hours now. :) )
 

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The vagueness you mention was a pretty strong recommendation that type tire is best. I'm sure a tube tire "could" work, but I wouldn't try it myself.



Good decision on your part though. And you are likely going to be quite satisfied.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I just wanted to post an update to this thread. When searching for a 110/90-18 size, the Michelin Pilot Activ came up. But, they don't actually make that size. What they DO make is a 3.25x19 & a 4.0x18. I know that 4.0 is bigger that the Honda-recommended size. However, the Michelin minimum rim widths for both sizes (3.25x19 -- 1.85in & 4.0x18 -- 2.15in) convinced me that they would have the same profile when mounted. So I took a chance. I got them mounted yesterday and have already had a chance to ride them in the rain & to do some canyon carving. Even without a full break-in, the bike feels quite improved. I am not a very experienced rider, so take what you will... I feel the bike initiates turns much more easily. Once initiated, it holds an arc very well. I felt like I had to coerce it a little on the old set of tires. I am getting used to the fact that small (accidental) inputs will cause the bike to initiate a turn. Previously, those inputs had almost no effect. Rain has been a non-issue on both old & new tires. I think that's a credit to the bike. I've also noticed that the engine feels just a touch peppier. I'm sure that's due to the lower "final drive ratio" of the smaller rear tire. I just got back from a canyon run on some very hot Colorado pavement. I felt no lack of grip what-so-ever. In fact, I thought I was taking it easy, but when I looked at the tires I had ridden them to within 1/3 inch of the edge. See images below for new-old comparison. I think it will be apparent that the original tires were quite oversized, at least the front...













Hover mode...



 

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Good for you, I was looking at the Michelin Activ tires when I chose the Continental Conti GO model. Now, have you serviced the forks yet? That also can make a huge difference. Most guys also convert the head set (bicycle talk) from loose balls to a Tapered Roller bearing. 10mm from the edge first time out very good! That doesn't sound to me as if you're all that inexperienced? What tire pressured did you use? BTW I was hoping you'd choose the Sport Demon? One other forum member has them and indicates they are very nice tire.

Cheers, 50gary
 
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