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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long time no see y'all. I've spent most of the last years "spare time" building up The Wife's Bike, a CB350. Now that it's done, I went to ride my CX500 and well...I got the fear.

Looking at my tires, they have a considerable amount of sidewall cracking. This is really surprising, I think they are 4 years old, barely worn at all, BUT the front is leaking air at the bead, and both front and back have sidewall cracking. My limited tire knowledge says this is "bad" not "good" and I have parked the bike until I find tires. Which brings me to here.. what tires.

I don't do a ton of riding anymore. Now that I work from home, my riding is restricted to weekends, and even then...only some weekends. I'd like something with a bit of traction as my current tires felt a little squirrely on dirt/gravel roads. I read somewhere here about shinko 705's, but alas, they don't come in my size it seems. I like the look of them...

Suggestions from the audience? Because I'm not riding a ton, I'm hoping to keep the cost manageable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hmm, these actually look interesting... can I run a 4.1 rear? or is that too narrow?
 

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Whats the date code on the "cracked tires"? (4 digits on sidewall)-fitted 4 years ago or 4yo from the code?

I wont chip in for a "dirt tyre"....the ones I'd recommend are tubed, and thats too much hassle if you get a flat.....
 

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Well....these are not the lowest cost tire.....

I'd suggest a set of Michelin Commander II or Commander III.

You are making a wise choice to park the bike until the tires are replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Manufacture Date (or stamp date) is 08/16, they were put on late 2017. Man, I hadn't looked at them in a couple of weeks, they are looking even worse. Sidewalls are just a mess
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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0816 means 8th week of 2016 so they are actually 6 years old (they start aging when made, not when installed) so they really should have been replaced last year.
But I've seen tires much older than that that didn't have any cracks. What kind are they?

If you are looking for dual sport tires these are what I run for snow tires on the sidecar outfit and they work well for me on gravel too. I haven't personally used them on 2 wheels but I've heard good about them.

I know what you mean about using the bike less when no longer commuting. I used to wear out a rear tire every year and a front every 2 on each bike but since I retired I will be replacing them based on age instead.
Tires (especially on 2 wheeled bikes) should be replaced at 5 years old because they become too hard to grip (especially i cool or wet); I have always said that it makes more sense to buy tires that will be close to worn out by then so you won't be tempted to use them for one more year.
 

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Manufacture Date (or stamp date) is 08/16, they were put on late 2017. Man, I hadn't looked at them in a couple of weeks, they are looking even worse. Sidewalls are just a mess
Just for personal knowledge, what brand are they? Just so I don't buy the same.

I have 2013 Kendas on my bike that still look perfect, no cracking at all. They will get changed soon to be safe but I'm not overly worried they'll fail anytime soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They are Shinko 230 Tour Masters. At the time they were highly recommended. They were definitely a step up from the decades old tires that were on the bike when I bought it! I am only disappointed by the cracking.
 

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Interesting. I've had those in the past but they never lasted more than a year or 2.
I did have a couple of bad ones years ago but with a completely different problem. I mounted one on the back if the GoldWing and within a week (under 200 Km) it shifted and started rubbing the swingarm. The dealer got me a replacement and it did the same in less than 20 Km; This time the dealer had me bring it back on the wheel so they could verify that it wasn't the wheel or anything I did (it wasn't) and we concluded it was a bad batch so they gave me a different brand (it was OK).
But I haven't heard of any problems since.

FWIW, I have been running a Shinko 240 tires on the rear of the GW since '13. The first one was 7 years old when I replaced it (I'm not used to them not wearing out before they age out) and other than most of the tread being worn away it looked like new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Man, trying to shop for a "pair" of tires is a total time killer. Any time I seem to find a front...I can't find a matching rear...or vice versa. Also, trying to find the correct sizes...nightmare fuel.
 

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The K270 comes in 3.50-18 and 4.00-18, which should be close enough. The 3.50 is listed as a rear but I've been using them on the front of Eccles for a few years with no problems (someone please comment if they think this may be an issue on 2 wheels).
The other issue is that they are tube type so you would need to use inner tubes. I do that by adding a washer that fits inside the space in the rim for the valve stem, a slice of appropriately sized plastic tubing to keep the tube's stem centred in the hole and another washer on the outside.

BTW: If you decide to get tubeless tires make sure you replace the valve stems at the same time (old rubber again).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Bob, I appreciate the suggestion, I think the K270 may be a bit tooo aggressive. But then I don't know. I know up in your area, with your year round riding, they are probably just aggressive enough! Out my way (Pickering) I'm more 90% on road, 10-15% off.
 

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I spent most of my time on roads that are either paved or "groomed" (they don't scrape the gravel roads clean in winter and the packed snow fills in the potholes). I've always said that even though most of my driving is on pavement I need the more aggressive tread to get to the pavement; I didn't see any point to clearing the whole driveway before leaving for work if more was going to fall during the day so I just cleared enough to push the outfit out of the garage and plowed through to the road ;-)

But even if the K270s are too aggressive for your needs take them as an example of what is available that might be.
 

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A local tire shop told me a few years back that all the tire companies were going to a tire compound that doesn’t hold up as well to UV rays. He was really noticing it with trailer tires. Trailers typically don’t travel everyday and are left outside. All with cracked sidewalls. Is your bike stored indoors or out? I still think the Shinko’s are your best bet considering the great grip they have and that you don’t put many miles on in a year.
 

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I have been using a Bridgestone BT45 rear, size 120 90 18 on my EC but when looking for a replacement considered the newer Bridgestone BT46 until I found the excellent Metzeler Roadtec01 in the OE size 120 80 18 was now available.
Metzeler ordered and waiting for delivery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Welp, I decided to go with the Shinko's again. Maybe this pair won't be stinko's (see what I did there). Fact is, while they were good, they were good. And price wise, hard to beat. Seeing the longevity issues people are having with the 777's, and frankly not having the wallet for a good pair of dual purpose tires, I'm going to give the Shinko's another shot. Also, I used to have to store the bike outside (covered) for the winter, as I had a car in the garage. Now the old car goes to storage so the bikes can be in the garage..so maybe that will help.

Thank you for all of the input. I wish there was more info on those Conti Escape's as they *looked the part of what I was looking for... but looking the part vs rolling the part are two different things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I am moderately optimistic, the new tires arrived and GASP they are soft and pliable with a birth date of June 2022. Fingers crossed I can use these up before they crack!
 
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