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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

Starting to think about replacing my tires soon, they're getting a little old (I think they're both from 2011). They still have tread in them, not to the wear indicator yet, I've got some good margin, but I read that they get harder with age so it's a good idea not to keep them as long as mine are. Bike is Honda Nighthawk CB250. I plan on replacing the front first, then the rear (easier on the budget since I still need to get some boots :-D). I'd like to splurge a little and not go for the budget ones though, I want something safe, good and that'll last a long time. Although from what I'm reading the ones I have on the rear are budget ones but are supposed to be very good. I have some ideas (see below), but maybe they're stupid, let me know, I don't know what I'm doing. :p I plan on having those installed by a shop so I'll probably buy through the shop and hopefully they'll have some suggestions as well.

Right now I have a Dunlop Gold Seal F11 3.00-18 on the front and a Kenda Challenger K657 120/90-16 at the back. Manual says 90/100-18M/C 54S at the front (not sure what the M/C 54S is for) and 120/90-16M/C 63S at the rear. I'm not quite sure what to get so I was hoping people could make some recommendations. I found this site that has good info. But it's a little dated and some of them don't seem to be available anymore...

For the front it looks like the Pirelli MT75 he recommends is not available in the size I'd need, they don't do 18" according to their website, so I was thinking of going with Avon as he suggests, except I can't find the Roadrunner (looks like the Roadriders replaced the Roadrunners); but I found the Roadrider AM26 90/90-18, which seems to have good reviews.

For the rear I found a Pirelli MT75 size that might work: 16" (120/80). Alternatively the Avon Roadrider AM26 is also available in size 120/80-16 that'd work in the rear (I think).

So I guess it'd seem to make sense to go with the Avons on both front and rear really... apparently from what I'm reading they're pretty good for the money.

Alternatively how are Michelin tires? Looks like the pilot street would work on the front at 90/90-18, but not for the rear. Are they any good? Or the Pilot Activ? Works at the rear at 120/80-16 and it looks like it works at the front with 90/90-18... These have excellent reviews on Revzilla. I guess they are definitely more expensive but if they're quality and will last a long time then hell yeah... but it looks like the narrower one (which I guess would go in the front) has a rain groove down the middle. Doesn't that create handling issues if there are grooves on the road or on steel-grated bridges? Seems like the Pilot Street would be ideal in the front (and not really expensive it seems like, but they're radial and radials are a no-no on spoke wheels?).
 

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Even though the document you reference is nearly 20 years old, the general observations are still valid. It's just that at least some of the tires he references are NLA.

There are lots of discussions here about tires but none will be about you, your riding habits, and your bike. If you have a shop which you use regularly and have confidence in I would tell them how you intend to ride in addition to maybe a readers digest version of what you posted here. Then follow their advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah I feel like it's a good starting point. Does the center rain groove (if it's there) make a really big difference in terms of handling? I haven't ridden for a long time so I'm not sure...
 

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I'm a fan of the shinko tourmasters, I think they are available in your sizes but you would have to check.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Probably a stupid question but... when I look into my local store's inventory, I find a Michelin Pilot Street in the size I want for the front but it says it's for the rear. Does it matter? Looks like it's a bias construction too so it might work if they can order it (and the price is pretty decent I think).

Incidentally they're the ones who have the NH CB250 I was looking at at some point but decided against because it was too expensive, and, well, it's still on their lot. Although now it's got a rear hardcase. :-D
 

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I've read plenty of instances where a rear tire was used on the front, or a front was used on the rear. The trick is a rear tire, when mounted for front use must be mounted to rotate in the opposite direction. Same goes for a front tire mounted to a rear rim. Tires are constructed differently for front and rear applications as rear tires put down power, and front tires put down braking force.

I haven't read any complete accounts of how handling, stability and tread life were affected. Mostly when someone asks this question then actually goes ahead and does this, its a short term solution on a needed daily rider, or its for a custom bike that hardly gets ridden.

I wouldn't seriously recommend it for a commuter.
 

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I have a couple Avon's on my CB450 and they can be mounted in the front or rear but as said above they get mounted the opposite direction depending on where you mount it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks. Do you like the Avon's? Which ones are they?
 

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Thanks. Do you like the Avon's? Which ones are they?
I have the Avon Roadriders on my 450's, I like them but have only put about 500 mi on them so far, I'm on my second set of Shinko's on my CX and I'm very happy with them.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Looks like both Michelin and Avon have tires geared towards smaller, commuter, lower-powered engines like mine (Pilot Street for Michelin and Streetrunner for Avon). Probably a good direction to go to. The Avon looks cheaper at the store I'll be going to, I'll talk to them and see what's available in the sizes I need... and I'll ask about Shinkos as well. Looks like I have plenty of options, and I'm better informed now than I was yesterday, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
And you're supposed to replace the tube every time you change the tire, right? Do some tubes have bent valves to ease tire inflating? And take the same size as the tire, right? Anyone ever used denniskirk.com to buy tires? They have the Avon Roadrider AM26 at like $73 right, which is a pretty good deal from what I can tell...
 

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I always use new tubes, they're cheap. There are straight and bent valve versions, the latter being difficult to find at times
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So I went to my local motorcycle dealership just now (~a mile from my house). They quoted $50 to change a tire if I bring in the wheel, $85 if I bring in the bike. Per wheel. Somehow that seems a little steep?!
 

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I pay $30 for a mount & balance on tubeless tires if I bring the wheel in. I changed the tires and tubes on my 350 myself, though. All it takes is a couple tire irons, a bicycle pump, and some know how.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Is a stand required too? Any suggestions for tire irons? Something like this maybe? I like that there are rim protectors with it...

I'm guessing rear wheel removal must be quite a bit more of a pain than the front, right?

Oh BTW my tire size is 90/100-18 which is a little hard to come by. I can install 90/90-18 tires, but will it mess with my speedometer and odometer since the wheel outer diameter will effectively be smaller?
 

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Changing tires is doable but a total pain in the butt. I live on an island and there isn't a shop here that changes cycle tires, I would gladly pay $50 for a shop to do it. Seems like shops charge $25-$50 if you bring the wheel in. Rear wheel isn't that much harder to remove plus you don't have to jack up the rear, just use center stand.
 
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Changing your own tires is a good skill to have, plus you can patch your own out on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Good point but question: do people typically carry tire spoons on their bikes? I don't think I'd have the room... I'm even struggling to pick tubes and rim strips right now, I suck. :oops: Really wish I could get some tubes with a 90 degree valve stem, that'd make inflating them so much easier... are they the same size as the straight ones? I can't tell.

I'm torn between the Avon Roadrider and Streetrunner. It's not a big price difference so at this point it's more about not being able to find many reviews (or any really) about the Streetrunners. They are apparently designed for small bikes like mine and come in the size I need so it seems like they'd work well, but whereas I can find many reviews about how the Roadriders seem to be great tires which will probably last me a long time and provide great traction, I can't find much about the Streetrunners, so I may go with a proven solution...
 

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I wouldn't bother carrying tire spoons, then would need an air compressor and tools to jack up and remove wheels.
 
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