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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry in advance if this ends up being long winded.

I've done a lot of searching and ended up more confused than when I started.

I've got a 1971 CL350 that I need tires, tubes, and rim strips for. The bike will get road use only, mostly low speed city streets, occasional highway or country road.

Currently the bike has 3.60 by 18 rear and 3.25/3.60 by 19 front

I also have a parts bike with 4.00 18 rear and 3.00 by 19 front

I'm not sure which if any of these are the stock (or correct) size.

I do like the 4.00 on the rear of the parts bike better, as far as looks go. Much beefier looking. The 3.60 looks rather wimpy in comparison.

But that's besides the point. I'm looking for safe, inexpensive (as reasonably possible...hopefully very inexpensive) tires tubes and strips for this bike and am totally open to suggestions.

I'd really like to know the suggested sizes and their metric equivalents.

Thanks for any help.

I'm so excited this project is nearly ready to ride
 

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The most important place to spend money is the tires.
They are your ONLY contact to the road ... all of your stopping power, and leaning/turning/swerving abilities come from the RUBBER.

It is THE weak link of the bike. Please please do not cheap out on tires.


That said ... I also have a cl350... wider rear tires are important when the bike has enough power to spin out ... yours does not... so going wider than 3.5 is pure aesthetic and not functional...
... in the front narrower is again better as it's far less sprung weight but more importantly easier to turn.


Stock rims are 1.6" rim with 3 inch rubber front and 1.85 inch rim with 3.5 inch rubber rear.


Please pay attention to this chart showing the standard and safe widths of rubber to rim. A super wide rubber on a thin rim is asking for death by pothole...


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Lost_Cause beat me by 6 minutes, must have been halfway through his reply when I began!
Good on ya for coming up with the chart.


Are those sizes the current tires on the bikes?
You'll want to have a look at your rims, rim width will dictate which sizes of tires you can safely mount. Mounting too narrow or too wide of a tire on any particular rim will change the cross sectional profile of the tire and it won't work the way it was designed to. I'm always referring to this chart, you can do a Google image search for "tire to rim size chart" or for narrower rims add the word "narrow" to your search for a chart with more sizes listed at the top end of the chart.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm pretty sure the rims are stock. Sorry, but I'm really not quite sure what I'm looking at with that chart. It looks like there is no standard size for a 1.6 inch wide rim? Is the shaded part the safe size?

So I could go from 2.25 to 3.60 on front or back?

But only a 80/90 would be safe metric?
 

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I'm pretty sure the rims are stock. Sorry, but I'm really not quite sure what I'm looking at with that chart. It looks like there is no standard size for a 1.6 inch wide rim? Is the shaded part the safe size?

So I could go from 2.25 to 3.60 on front or back?

But only a 80/90 would be safe metric?
Yes ... 1.6 is not endorsed by the DOT since the 80's. Thinner is better performance wise but stopping power is diminished when the front wheel has that small of a contact patch.

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Your front is a 1.6 ... your rear is a 1.85 (assuming stock)

The shaded areas are considered safe. People on here say one or two outside safe is also okay. I disagree but I ride to the limit.

I have 2.15 inch rims on my front and rear. I have found 4.5 actual rear and 2.75 actual front is the best handling. My bike is highly modified though... way more power


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Discussion Starter #9
Nice bike Lost Cause. That's a great look!

Would you agree with longdistance rider that my best bet is 3.00 19 front 3.50 18 rear?

Or should I be measuring my rims?

Are there common metric equivalents?
 

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Nice bike Lost Cause. That's a great look!

Would you agree with longdistance rider that my best bet is 3.00 19 front 3.50 18 rear?

Or should I be measuring my rims?

Are there common metric equivalents?
3.00 * 19 front and 3.5 * 18 rear is the stock setup for a reason... it's great for geometry and handling etc...

But none of the good makers are making quality rubber in those sizes ... ultimately that's why I went to 2.15" rims.

In metric you want to shoot for 80/90 front and 90/90 or 100/90 rear. Good luck finding a good set in those sizes though

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Discussion Starter #12
Ugg. Basically not finding much of anything in those sizes. I'm guessing 100/90 X 19 isn't going to work? I'm barely finding 90/90.

So what are most people doing? Spending about $100 on one or two choices? Going outside of spec to some common size? and if so what? Switching rims? And if so to what?

I hate buying tires. I get the same brand in the same size for my Jeep and have been doing that for 20 years.
 

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Changing rims one size wider can be done, you're talking about a new rim plus spokes then relacing the wheel. Not a cheap solution.
The thing about wider tires, other than the rim width safety factor, is that the bead is still the same width when installed so now the tire is bending inward further which has the effect of decreasing the rubber contact patch to the road.
$60 isn't a bad price, I don't know anything about Duro tires. I view tires as the most important thing on the bike. If you suddenly get a flat things get really ugly really fast, not like a car. So for me I'll gladly pay for the highest quality tire I can find.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I can get wanting the best. For me this bike is likely to get really occasional light use.
 

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Nothing wrong with duro tires in general, I'm not affiliated nor do I have them personally, but googling "duro motorcycle tire reviews" gets some reviews to read both positive and negative.

It looks like the 317 front pairs with the 314 rear for a vintage look, but probably vintage performance too...
 

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https://www.shinkotireusa.com/product/sr241-series/211922
There is also the Shinko Series 244. You would have to go to a 2.75 x19 front.

You would get better selection by lacing an 18 inch rear rim onto the front hub but you would need 18" front spokes as mentioned. The CL fender also looks a little strange with an 18" rim. I use a 3.00 x 18 on my CL with the rear rim on the front hub.

I prefer the Shinkos over the Duro but either one will be fine for what you want. Also it won't hurt to go to a 2.75 front tire on your CL with a 3.50 rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
https://www.shinkotireusa.com/product/sr241-series/211922
There is also the Shinko Series 244. You would have to go to a 2.75 x19 front.

You would get better selection by lacing an 18 inch rear rim onto the front hub but you would need 18" front spokes as mentioned. The CL fender also looks a little strange with an 18" rim. I use a 3.00 x 18 on my CL with the rear rim on the front hub.

I prefer the Shinkos over the Duro but either one will be fine for what you want. Also it won't hurt to go to a 2.75 front tire on your CL with a 3.50 rear.
That's an interesting idea, I do have a decent rear rim on my parts bike. Any specifics I should know about what spokes to use? or can I use the spokes from the rear I already have?

That Shinko 244 seems to be a dual sport, does it handle well on the streets?
 

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You cannot use rear spokes on the front ... the rear hub is a difference size than the front hub

I had custom stainless spokes turned by a guy in thailand. Cost 120 for the pair. Then put TUSK impact 2.15*18 rims om bith yhe front and back. Cost 100$ a rim.

The 120$ for custom spokes is a great deal of you can get it. Mine fit perfectly. Buchannons is more than twice that.

I have no complaints about the TUSK impact rims they are a steal at 100$ ... my wife crashed the bike into a tree ... many parts needed replaced... the rim was perfect still though.

If you go to 2.15 ... you can get any rubber you want. All in you are looking at about 350$ before rubber to do so though.

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I have a pair of Duro tires on my CL350. They have 3000 miles on them so far and I'm happy with them. They handle well, perform fine in the rain, and seem to be wearing well, too. I bought the 2 tires, 2 tubes, and 2 rim strips from Dennis Kirk a few years ago and the whole order was less than $120. The tires I bought were a 3.25-19 front (HF317) and a 3.50-18 rear (HF314). The stock front tire should be a 3.00-19, but the Duro 3.25 I bought is on the narrow side of that size tire.

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