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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 1980 CX500 Deluxe which is for all intensive purposes fully stock. I'm having trouble sorting through multiple other threads about what size tires will or will not fit on these bikes without modifications. I'm thinking about getting a set of Michelin Commander II's for it because they seem fairly economical and reviews confirm good wet weather grip which is what I need in Oregon. I'm thinking these sizes are equivalent to stock:

front: 100/90 - 19 Bias Ply
rear: 130/90 - 16 Bias Ply

First, are these the stock sizes and if so how much wider can I go without having to modify anything?
Second, are these good tires or do you recommend a different set?
Third, is bias ply acceptable or is radial really that much better?

Thank you in advance!
 

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*Chuckles* Sir, you have asked a motorcycle question that's very much like "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" or "If a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound?" I have an 81 CX500C and like you I went all over the forum, read a few posts, made some notes, went to a few tire resellers,,,and was totally confused. Finally went to my mechanic and said "Look Vince, I'm not a racer- I travel long distance in all weather. I need a set of reliable tires- I don't care who made them as long as they're a reliable company- I don't want to purchase some tires from some company that just tooled up last week. YOU chose the tires". He slaps some Pirelli's -think it cost me about,,,,$230 with them mounted and balanced and I've been happy the past 2 years.

Now Runaway1956 he like's "Shrinko's" or something like that (Shino's?) and he paid like,,,$120ish, mounted and spun balance them himself. I think he considered doing serious deathly mayhem to his youngest Son when he took OFF tires that he KNEW were bad, and the youngest Son put them on another bike. Daddy Runaway was NOT HAPPY so he changed his SOP that once tires are removed he'll destroy them to prevent reuse. Now I think about it, thats really not a bad idea.

As far as radial vs. bias ply, you HAVE downloaded the free Factory Service Manual and read what it says right? (Thats your cue to nod "Yes" right here)

Theres no such thing as a dumb question- especially something on safety such as tires. On the other hand, we reserve the right to give silly answers.
 

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These rims are made for bias-ply tires. A few members have mounted radials, and often report good results, but the consensus is to stick with bias-ply.

Others will correct me if I'm mistaken, but I think 130/90-16 is the largest tire you can fit in the swing arm. Stock on my Standard is 120/90-18. Not sure about the later 16"ers.


R
 

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Others will correct me if I'm mistaken, but I think 130/90-16 is the largest tire you can fit in the swing arm. Stock on my Standard is 120/90-18. Not sure about the later 16"ers.
R
130 is the widest I could get on mine, but many will tell you the 120 is the way to go. The sizes you listed are what I have on my '78 and '81.
 

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Eugene is my birth home. I have never been disappointed with Dunlops 404.

There as so many opinions nary one bucket could be filled.

Joel in the Couve
 

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Eugene is my birth home. I have never been disappointed with Dunlops 404. There as so many opinions nary one bucket could be filled. Joel in the Couve
Q: how many miles do you get on those Dunlops? It seems Runaway was talking,,,,7500ish miles before he had to replace his and he was NOT happy. I think I've got about,,,,2500 on these Pirelli's and the tread is almost perfect. I don't know how many miles I'll get on them. Runaway got me thinking- I figured I had just enough tire tread to make it from Seattle, Washington to Duluth, MN and back before they'd need replacing. But since the wife and I are moving that no longer applies.

OH AND BEFORE I FORGET- DO NOT USE THAT RUBBER TIRE CLEANER STUFF ON YOUR MOTORCYCLE TIRES, RUNNING! That stuff is slick and will cause you to spill the bike (I read that in "motorcycling for Dummies") and it seemed like if he's asking about tires that should be pointed out from a safety point of view. You know the stuff I'm talking about right? You spray it on and it make's your old weathered tires look factory fresh black? Don't use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the replies and advice! I'm glad you pointed out that bias ply is the best bet for these rims because from what I read online I was leaning towards radials. Downloaded the Service Manual a couple weeks ago. No tire cleaner…check. Loving this forum already.
 

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Sorry about resurrecting this ol' thread.

But I'm on a set of Michy Commander IIs. A little more expensive, but 3rd party tests confirm the 2X mileage claims. Regarding traction.....no issues with wet, cold, hot, RR tracks, tar snakes, road grooves, frequent draggin' of foot pegs......all good. Tires were true enough that they did not require balance weights. Says something for the construction process. I'm not real sure how many miles I have on them, but the bike is a daily rider and the rubber has been on for 2 years and shows little wear.
 

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I have Pirellis on mine. 10,000 miles in just under two years and the tread looks great. No problems in wet or dry, hot (105°f) or cold (14°f) but they do seem to maybe catch grooves in the road and track with them a little more than I would like. That may just be the age of the bike though. A fork brace helped. I use dyna beads for balance and it rides great up to about 75 mph cruising along the freeway.
 

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Changing to a wider tire may look better but there are no real advantages. Narrower tires are easier to lean over so the handling will always be sharper with narrower tires.

On top of that, putting a wider tire on a narrower rim than it was designed for can result in a smaller contact patch than the correct tire size would have. If you don't believe me watch what happens to the profile of a tire as you pull the beads closer together.
 
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