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Discussion Starter #1
I am sure that I am bringing up a worn out topic but the search brings up too much.
I have a 2013 XCT and I need a good handling, touring tire. I have been waiting for three weeks for a set of Michelin's to come in with no luck.
What would you suggest for my bike. I am not impressed with the Dunlops that came on the bike. I am willing to spend what it takes to get a good set of tires. I should note that the bike does a lot of travel with two up and all our gear.
So let me hear your suggestions.
Mikey
 

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I am not impressed with the E3's either. I had great results with the Bridgestone G704 and G709 on my GoldWing 1800 and I have a set of them now on my XCT. They take the exact same size.

Apparently they have a reduced weight rating, but I really like the way they feel as compared to the E3's - especially on wet roads.

Of course, I may try a darkside tire when this one finally goes away
:pepper: wac :ride:
 

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Michelin doesn't make a tire for the XCT. E3, Avon Cobra, and (gasp) Metzlers 888. These are the tires in radial form that carry the equivalent load rating of the XCT.

The Stones that Broggy mentioned are fine tires and will make it feel more sporty, but be aware you lose about 160 pounds of rear tire load rating. Bridgestone has an envigor or some sort of tire out as well now. Not sure about those other than they are an 827 pound load rate as well.

Sorry to say MC tires leave a lot to be desired in many ways. If you don't go much over 400 ish pounds on a load, the 704-709 are really hard to beat IMHO.

Happy hunting
 

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The E3s seem to be really squirrley on roads with tar snakes. Worse than any other bike I've had or other tires I've used. That said, I did go with the E3 set again after the stock tires were worn out because I've heard good things about the MT mileage. I hate replacing tires at 8-10K.

Since putting the new E3 set on my bike seems to have a strange wiggle to it while accelerating in the 15-30mph range now. Thinking it is a tire fault.

Metzeler tires have been great on my VTX. But tread life is 8-10K.

Rob
 

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<snip> and (gasp) Metzlers 888. These are the tires in radial form <snip more>
Are the ME-888's for the XCT radials for BOTH wheels? I shopped for tires this past spring intending to buy them when I return to my bike in Florida this fall and it seemed that the 888's were radial in the size needed for one of the XCT wheels and bias ply in the size needed for the other wheel. Or, I could be nuts (would be at least the 7th time today). What say you?

G'day,

Vinish
 

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I like my E3's and the way they feel. I've always used Michelin Commander II's and loved them. I'll probably end up going with another E3 when it's time.


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I put a set of Michelin Commander II's on this season. They are okay but...I know this will be a big surprise :rolleyes: they don't live up to the hype. I'd rate them good to average. Going for a 60 to a 65 rear corrected my speedo(to match GPS) but totally screwed up my gas gauge(good thing I don't rely on it).
I'll probably go with a set of Metz 888's for the next change.
 

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I really like the E3's for a touring tire. I hated them on the Goldwing but on the xct I've been very happy. I get 19 to 21 thousand miles on a rear and well beyond that on the front. As far as tar snakes, Ive yet to find a tire that didn't squirrel away on hot tar. I've ridden in several rain storms hundreds of miles and One blizzard I really hadn't counted on. My backup if no E3's would be the bridge stones but they don't last more than 10 or 11 thousand miles.
 

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My E3's loved to ride the grooves in the road and the tar snakes.

I replaced them with the Metzler 880's. I have about 2k miles on them so far and absolutely love them. Good sticky tire. I don't feel any grooves in the road and they are great in the heavy FL downpours.

Next tire change i'm thinking really hard about going with a CT in the rear.
 

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Metz 880's here after the stockers wore down. I had the same E3 complaints as others with really liking the groves and extra squirmy on tar. Had them come loose in the rain unexpected a few times as well. I did not take them all the way down before replacement as I was gearing up for back to back week + trips and didn't want to chance running short on tire in the middle.

I'm considering darkside for the next rear as well.
 

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Tires are completely subjective. Often times people replace a completely worn out set of tires from Brand Y with a new set of Brand X tires and boast about how much better Brand X tires handle than Brand Y without considering they are comparing old worn out tires to brand new tires.

I've ran the factory Elite 3's for 20,000 miles, Avon Cobra's for 10,000 miles, and now I'm on a set of the new Metzler ME888's but am only about 3,000 miles into them. From my research, you won't find another motorcycle tire in our size that has the load rating of the Elite 3's. I'm ok with that because I'm a one up rider but I do think the additional load capacity contributes to the fact that Elite 3's seem to last longer.

The best handling tires were easily the Avon Cobra's. They are great in all weather conditions but I just can't accept half the tread life of the E3's. At 10,000 miles I was into the cords of the rear tire and the front tire wears really weird on the Cobra's. My theory is that the Avon Cobras aren't really equipped to handle the size and weight of our bikes.

I'm currently running the ME888's. I typically hate Metzlers but since this was a new tire designed for improved tire life I decided to give them a try. I'm too early into them to comment on tire life, but it's my opinion that they handle a little worse than the Elite 3's in dry conditions but are better in wet weather. If I don't get great mileage out of these tires I'm either going to go back to the E3's or try the Bridgestones. My brother is currently running the Bridgestones on his Vision and loves the handling of the tires but I'm pretty sure they are going to be 10,000 mile tires like the Cobra's were.
 
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I've ran the factory Elite 3's for 20,000 miles,
It's weird how some people can get so many more miles out of the same tires than other people. My OEM E3s were getting pretty well worn out by 12,000. I could have perhaps gotten another 1000 out of them, but I had a 4000 mile trip coming up so I changed them. But they would have in no way approached 20,000 miles. I don't drive particularly aggressively or have a heavy load most of the time. I also kept them very close to factory air pressure all the time. Wonder what it is that contributes to the differences?

Rob
 

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People who pack a passenger or weigh enough to be a passenger and a rider generally get more mileage. MC tires slip 10-15% just to grip.
More weight means less slip.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wow, thanks

Not coming from a motorcycle background, I never thought about such things a load rating. At 6'7" and heavy, I equal two riders or close to it and then add my wife and our gear, we are right at the max weight for the XCT.

So it sounds like the Dunlop Elite 3 would be the better choice. So why don't the shops tell you things like that? I will look into the load rating of any tire that I am interested in.

So I am guessing that load rating would be total weight of bike, rider and gear? If that is so, I am looking at close to 1500 pounds when touring.
Mikey
 

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My Commander II's definitely live up to the hype. 17K miles and have plenty of tread left front and rear. cheers
 

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So I am guessing that load rating would be total weight of bike, rider and gear? If that is so, I am looking at close to 1500 pounds when touring.
Mikey
Not that easy. The bike doesn't divide the weight equally between it's wheels. So gear up. Bring the wife and her gear along.
Load some things that weigh approximately the same as what you would carry in each pack into the saddlebags and tour pak. Try and simulate what you would carry weight wise and divide it up like you would if you were actually on the road. Stuff in the tour pak weighs more at the tire than the same stuff in the bags because of the location of the tour pak. That's why you want to proportion it accordingly. Then head to a public scale and bring some money to cover the cost of being weighed unless your state provides free scales.

Pull just the front wheel on the scale and record the weight .
Try to put as much of your weight on the seat when you do it as you can without falling over of course.
Pull to the other end of the scale and leave just your rear wheel on and again try to get as much weight on the seat as you can. You'll then know how much weight is on each wheel which is what you need to know to select a tire with the correct weight carrying capacity for that tire. You'll also know how many pounds of gear you can put in the packs without putting your lives in danger .
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I should have known

Things are never that easy. I looked at my manual and at the tires and they show a 63H on the front and the rear shows an 80H. Do these numbers reflect weight capaciity? Tire sizes are 130/70R 18 and 180/60R 16.
Looking on the net, I found a set of Avon tires with the same numbers as the Dunlop Elites. Does this mean that they would be of the same load rating as the Dunlops?
Sorry to be such a noob. I will get caught up quickly.
Mikey
 
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