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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just wondering if anyone has deviated from the factory spec rear tire size? You know gone from a 180/55 to say a 190/55 or even a 200 series tire?

It appears to me that a whole lot more tire could be fitted in the wheel well of the RT, particularly a tire with a slightly taller profile.

Here is my thinking. We have all been looking for that elusive long distance tire but one which grips. Obviously finding the grippy part is easy but the longevity is not so great on the rear. Michelin makes the Commander II radial tire with a V rating (up to 149mph) in a couple 17" sizes:
200/55 which would be approximately 1/2" taller and 3/4" wider.
160/70 which would be approximately 1/2" taller and 3/4" narrower.

Now michelin and the reports claim these tires get approximately 20k miles, AND they stick like glue even in the wet due to the silicates used throughout the tire compound. This is also what gives the tire its longevity.
So since I can get 12k or better out of a PR3 front, but only 8k out of the rear, I'm thinking this combination might even up the replacement interval.

Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I run 42psi all the time, have on every bike I've ever owned. Under inflation causes most wear issues, but I'm not having wear issues I'm just plain wearing out tires ;)
 

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Tire wear is caused by the distortion of the tread as it passes over the contact patch with the pavement. Your best bet for long mileage is to find a tire which is reinforced like the 880 for the rear of the LTs. If the reinforced 880 would fit under the RT, it would certainly get you a whole lot more miles as it is "C" rated where the 880 for the RT is "B" rated. Let me know if you try it.
 

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The RT is a wonderful reasonably performance orientated touring bike. Actually rated as the best in the world by rider magazine. If you want to put goldwing tires on it :confused: what the heck, go for it. Will they stay on the rims when you get a flat? The larger the rear tire the slower the handling will be. Some engineer spent a few hours figuring out the tire size for the bike. Traction, unsprung weight, bead to rim fit, ABS computer reactions,....I know I don't know as much as he does. Bike riding is not cheap, at least not as cheap as some of the riders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
beech, Really??? Yep I just started riding yesterday so I'll buy the ole engineers R&R'd, pffft... They actually went with the industry NORM, nothing new or special there. Obviously the RT doesn't have enough swingarm clearance for a 190 or 200, so narrower and taller would be the option.
The GS runs a 150/70-17 and ain't none of them flying off the road out of control, so obviously a 160/70 would work just fine on the RT. So my question was has anyone gone this route, not whether you approve?
Oh and nice little implied insult there at the end, cheap eh? Actually I'm far MORE practical than that. I RIDE, my bike doesn't sit. So where you might change a set of tires a year, I go through at least 4 sets. So lets set the record straight, it isn't being cheap as you suggest. It is a matter of practicality not needing to replace tires on the road constantly where you can't guarantee you'll find the tire you prefer to run. Yes I know some of the fellas here schedule and order in tires ahead at some dealer along their rout. I don't follow a rout, I RIDE.
Good thing I didn't mention the car tire conversion or I might have blown up on the spot :rolleyes:
 

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I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend which I did and apologize for. I do know the issues with 4 sets of tires a year on my K bike. Because of that I have a tire machine in the garage. I just think going to sizes not intended for the bike may cause issues, handling, ABS wheel speed comparison and such. Managing tire wear on a long trip takes planning. I just changed tires in mid life for a longer trip to the SW which would have killed the life in the tires I took off and plan on using for a shorter trip to California next week. I go between various compounds for long life and performance for tires. My cheap reference is towards people who change out one tire at a time, rear worn out, front cupped but still "okay" and other interesting combinations. The end up riding some of the time on one tire that is way past its prime. The enjoyment of a new set of tires never happens. The thought of a 190 or a 200 tire on an RT just for miles is difficult for me to accept. Going with the suggestion of the 880 marathon would seem more reasonable to me. Yes, I know of Goldwing riders who use car tires. Now that is cheap and dangerous. I change tires for folks who's tires are 8 or 10 years old. I point this out and related tire life. There are many riders out there that just don't connect with the need for a reasonable quality tire and it being in good condition; not patched, not over 4 or 5 years old and not ready to show cord. buena suerte (and there are cheap BMW riders out there! One guy I changed tires for, his center stand is bent from a wreck. You to to take it down and it lunges to the right. 250 bucks and you could replace it, good enough he says as he goes around checking on his 15 rental homes, I asked him not to come back until it is replaced or straightened out because I did not want to take the chance of dropping his bike)
 

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I dont believe that you can get 20,000 miles out of a rear tyre that sticks like whatever.
You get one or the other if you ride enthusiastically. My KGT needed rears at around 6000 miles, my RT seems to be doing a little better.
Im old an cynical though. Ive also just got back from the pub :bmw:
 
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