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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have any experience with Kenda tires? I have been running Chen Shing Marquis tires. I got them because they were on the rack and the shop didn't have Dunlops and they were the right price. I have been fairly satisfied with them, approx. 18,000 on the front and 2 rears. Mileage has been good but I am not fond of the front tread pattern as it tends to follow rain grooves. I was at a local aftermarket shop to look at Metzlers but while I was there I was shown some Kenda's, they had a tread patterm similar to the Metzlers. The price is right (my middle name is cheep) and the Chen Shings got as much milage as a friends OEM Harlery tires so at this point I am leaning to the Kendas.
 

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I have used Kenda and Cheng Shin tires, but only on small bikes. Had good service from them.
One time, I left Kansas in an ice storm and hauled my Honda XR250L to the Texas Hill Country; bought new Cheng Shin tires on the way. The front tire would not balance because there was Slime in the tube, but the back tire balanced with very little weight. The new tires were extremely slick for the first 100 miles.

http://www.kendausa.com/motorcycle/motorcycle.html

http://www.tiresunlimited.com/ALL TIRES/Cheng Shin/cheng_shin_tires.htm
 

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My Kenda's for my old Yamaha 750 lasted only 5,000 miles. I switched to Dunlops and they handled much better and really did stick to the road even in a torrential rain storm.

I have had Metzler Marathon 880 tires on my '97 1100 Spirit for over a year now and I really like them.
 

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I put a Kenda Kruz on my VLX at 10k. That's how far the stock Dunlop lasted. It has 14k+ on it now and barely shows any wear. By the way, Kenda makes Avon.
 

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From others and reading all that I could find...Kenda is getting into the bigger bike tire business. THAT said....their idea of BIG is about 600-700cc bikes. As mentioned above the VLX seems to work fine with these tires. As for the 750's and above...not sure at this time. :roll:

I haven't had a chance to take a look at these tires for a comparison of sidewall construction (2 ply or 4 ply) or the number of "plies" in the tread area. Let alone the compound hardness/softness. These factors do a lot to determine the "mileage/handling factors" in tires for motorcycles.

Not sure IF "sizes" are available for the 1100's and above. Gotta go back to check some more I suppose. But at this point I'd only use them on the "smaller bikes". Probably a "fair price/deal".

Bullzeyet
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys. Anyone else out there can chime in at any time with their experience or opinion. Shiney I wasn't aware that Kenda made Avon. The model that they have is the 657 Sport Challenger. It is 6 ply rated, the 673 Kruz is listed as 3 over 2 plys but 6 ply rated. In my experience in the tire business a long time ago (in the 1960's) a 6 ply rated tire had 3 plys but they were the same thickness as 6 plys. Bullzeyt my bike is an '85 700 Shadow and they have sizes to fit. On Kenda USA's web site they list some larger sizes they may be large enough to fit an 1100. I know that they have some that would fit an 883 Sportster but because they don't have Harley Davidson on them most Harley riders wouldn't buy them. It's just that with my budget I have a hard time spending the cost of a rear tire when I can get a front and a rear for the same price.
 

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vt700c,

I've had some experience with car/motorcycle tires over the years. Worked in a "garage" for awhile changing enough of them. But when the tire makers had went this "2ply=4ply"(cars) stuff...man, did the tires suffer. But NOT as badly as the cycle tires.

I had many a Honda 750 inline-4 and used a couple different tires makers tires. Goodyear, Dunlop, Bridgestone, Chen's, Continenal, etc. were the tires available at the time. Most all were built the same in sidewall/tread plies(6-ply sidewalls, 6-ply tread) EXCEPT the Conti's. These puppies were what we called "flexi's". The sidewall was so "soft" (2-ply=4-ply) and really caused problems on these early 750's and later on the Wings. We called it the "dancing hippo syndrome". With the bikes getting "heavier, longer, more HP/torque the tires were just not capable of handling all these factors AT the time. SO, one had to go back to the "stiffies" so you wouldn't run into the "weeds". :shock:

The tire makers saw these problems and came out with a "sturdier" built tires (6-ply sidewall/4-ply tread) but with newer compounds AND better wear. The "dancing hippo" thing went away!! BUT as they like to do on a "new" product in the market...improving the product was done again.

Example: Dunlop, came out with the "Elite" series tires and was this tire good priced, good quality, good handling tire!!! Made for the newer, heavier, higher HP/torque bikes and all it's "demands". But after 2-3 years they improved this tire with the "Elite II's". They went the route of the 6-ply rated but only 4-ply thickness on the sidewalls and the 2-ply equals 4 in the treads. Funny thing......they starting getting "tire problems" like "tread splitting, tread separation, low mileage. Seems the "load requirements" of the newer bikes were "overcoming" this new/improved tire. SO, back they go to the "old" ply ratings and things got back to normal.

Us owners were not happy for a couple years with Dunlop and Metz/Conti's took over for a while. But now that they got their "stuff" together and I haven't seen many problems with these newer generations of tires. Say alot about their learnin' experiences.

I'm just saying the "smaller cc/HP/weight" bikes will probably do great with these tires. But bigger bikes that weights over 500 lbs. in weight (no rider) and then YOU push the limits of the bike/rider, these tires and "ratings" may not be enough.

Bullzeyet
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Bullzeyet in the 60's I worked for an Oldsmobile dealer punching tires. I have to say that the tires that are made now are far superior to what we had back then. I remember getting 3000 miles on a motor cycle tire and being happy. The guy that owned the dealership also owned anothe Olds dealership under a different name, we shared parts and supplies. One day the car jockey from the other dealership deliveret some toilet paper and on the box it said 2 ply so he wrote on it after the 2 ply -4 ply rated. The Dayton tires were really like toilet paper. The Uniroyals were absolute junk. They were so bad that they bought a tire truing machine to make them round. You wouldn't think that cutting rubber off your tire would increase the milage but it does. After truing they would ballance better and got way better milage.

I went to the Kenda USA site and got some info on their tires to compair them to the Chen Shing Marquis I have been running. I found the the Kenda's are 6 ply the Marquis are 4 ply and the Kendas have a higher load rating. It is not that I am that disisfied with the Chen's. I think that the milage I have gotten is good 18000 on 1 front and 2 rears. That is as good as what I got from a pair of Conti's I had on a Kawasaki 750 twin in the 80's. Some guys arround here have been running the Marquis rears because the compairable Dunlop has been unavailable. What I find that I dislike is the tread pattern on the front. It tends to follow the rain groves and the mill marks on milled concrete pavment. Arround here we are going to have more milled pavement on the Interstate. I have a friend who is Deputy District Administrator for Federal Highway Administration in Michigan and he said that you are going to see morre milled pavment. It makes the roads smother, last longer, and reduces the need for rain groves. They are great in a car but on a motorcycle it depends on the kind of day the guy that is running the milling machine is having. I have ridden some that are a dream to ride but there are some that are like riding on marbles. The Kendas and the Metzs have tread patterns that don't have groves that run arround the circumference of the tires. I think tha that would make a difference.
 

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Your experiences with the "tires" of those times was like mine. Glad they got better tires now!!!

And "yes", the tread patterns have a lot of effect on the bike's feel for the road irregularities....man-made or not. If you notice many of the "newer tread designs are "V-shaped" with the length somewhat short. And many more "sipes" on the tires for better wet weather traction.

You comments about the "milling", I was wondering IF he meant that the "current road surface material" (concrete or asphalt) is to be the milled?? I would think that he's NOT talking about "new" road surfaces. Although, I've seen sections "milled" but they were more like a "patch" section (didn't meet specs for flatness) rather than a long road section. Maybe you can clear this up for me. :?

Bullzeyet
 

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Bullzeyet, yea he does mean new construction. We have a section of I-96 east of me that was widened to 3 lanes and it was milled from the get go. Man it is smooth. It may have been a demonstration project but it was well done. Some of the worst I have ridden is in the city of Lansing. My home town, to my embarsement. It seems that the city never heard of a penalty clause because all their projects are late, over budget, and poorly done. I think that the City Council thinks that a penalty is when the taxpayers have to pay more for sub standard work. By the way they don't mill asphalt. The problem with asphalt is that it really is a liquid and with enough heat it returns to a liquid state. My friend says that is what causes the pavement to wallow creating low spots for water to collect. It is really apparent at stoplights. He said European asphalt is better but the contractors don't use because it is more expensive and they make less profit.

As to the tread designs, I have noticed the V shaped tread patterns and deeper groves. It would appear that it is to channel water from under the tire. Nice theory but does it work in the real world? I think it does work better than the block designs. Chen makes a tire that has a lot of v shaped groves, it would appear to be able to move more water but it has a grove running arround the circunference of the tire. I would think that the center grove would act like the pin of a slot car of my youth and drop into the groves in the pavement.

Another featur of tread design is contact patch. In this aspect cars have it over motorcycles by virture of 2 extra tires. The baggers and retro models have it over the sport bike/chopper models with their fatter front tires. It would appear that they would thave better traction and ride better than the skinney tires. I don't know how much effect it has.
 
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