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2007 VT1100C2
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Discussion Starter #1
I need new tires and I'm looking at a couple brands.

I only have experience with the tires that came on the bike. They happened to be metzeler marathon 880. I have no idea how many miles were already on them, but they were well used. I got 5,000 more and they're almost toast. But they wore unevenly, I have cupping and a front end wobble at 45mph. I don't have a problem with handling but I have not tried any other tire. I'm unimpressed with the front end wobble though and I don't want to pay the high price for these tires even if I could. Which I can't.

On my budget I've narrowed it to 3 tires. IRC wild flare, which is my first choice based on style. Dunlop 404s which apparently everyone hates. And Kenda kruz for ultimate savings.

How do they compare with regards to longevity, and which one is my best bet for not falling over in a corner?
 

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1999 Shadow 750 ACE VT750CD3 Modified
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BikeBandit is having a sale right now with free shipping on a bunch of tires, now I understand shipping is pretty hit and miss right now due to COVID-19 and that is probably something you should check out with anybody you buy from. Maybe closer is better.

I'd go with Shinko 777 with the HD on the rear. Myself I find they grip well, are predictable and for me on my 750 ACE seem to be wearing decently.
I woudn't put Dunlop 404s on any bike and if I was buying a bike with them I'd factor replacing them into the equation.
I don't know about the IRC tires, the Kenda Kruz I seem to see on a lot of older Japanese cruisers locally, but I have never tried them and none of the bikes with them seem to be ridden aggressively.
 

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2007 VT1100C2
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Discussion Starter #3
BikeBandit is having a sale right now with free shipping on a bunch of tires, now I understand shipping is pretty hit and miss right now due to COVID-19 and that is probably something you should check out with anybody you buy from. Maybe closer is better.

I'd go with Shinko 777 with the HD on the rear. Myself I find they grip well, are predictable and for me on my 750 ACE seem to be wearing decently.
I woudn't put Dunlop 404s on any bike and if I was buying a bike with them I'd factor replacing them into the equation.
I don't know about the IRC tires, the Kenda Kruz I seem to see on a lot of older Japanese cruisers locally, but I have never tried them and none of the bikes with them seem to be ridden aggressively.
The Shinko 777s don't seem to come in the sizes for my bike, and I checked a couple sites. But the Kenda Kruze is even cheaper on chaparral Moto than bike bandit. $57 for the front, $81 for the rear. That same site has the wild flares for $108 rear $81 front.

I actually had a mechanic at a new shop I was thinking about trying tell me just today that Dunlop was a better brand than IRC. But he also said Dunlop is the best tire brand in cruisers in the whole industry. He was trying to sell me Dunlops. What do I make of that?
 

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2007 VT1100C2
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113 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Also what's a fair price for a mount and balance when taking in the whole bike? I got quoted $69 per tire at one place, $80 at another, and $130 each at yet another place. The last place also said they would need the bike for at least 5 days. I asked why so expensive and he said it takes 1.7 hours to do the rear tire and 1.5 for the front. That sounded excessively long to me.
 

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1999 Shadow 750 ACE VT750CD3 Modified
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The Shinko 777 front tire comes in 120/90-18 which I think is your OEM size, and in stock size in the local warehouse here and the rear is the same as on my bike 170/80-15.

Tire installation seems to vary quite a bit by location and whether you purchased the tire from them or not.
When I changed my tires using hand tools and a compressor in the sweltering heat of my shed and then balanced them with counterbalance beads it took a total of 4 hours from start to finish, that included several drink breaks and a burger run.

If a well equipped mechanic couldn't knock the whole thing off in an hour or so I'd be shocked.
I don't know what the hourly shop rate is around you, but that might be a bit of a guide of what it should cost without you buying tires.
 

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2007 VT1100C2
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Discussion Starter #6
I will probably just take it to the Dunlop guy.

But I'll have to check those Shinkos again because I looked on bike bandit and 2 other sites and they didn't have my sizes. I must have developed dyslexia suddenly.
 

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Just had both tires replaced during a cross country trip. One shop charged an hour of labor. The other charged $65 if you took your own wheel off, but if they did it, then that labor was on top of the $65. It took 5 minutes for them to remove the wheel and 12 to put it back on. I paid $100 at one shop and $115 at the other. Dunlop’s are factory so there not the worse, but definitely not the best. For the same price as Dunlop you could get Pirelli Route 66 tires. For the budget Shinko seems the way to go.
 

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2007 VT1100C2
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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks. So the Shinko, there's a 777, and a 777 Heavy Duty. Bike bandit only lists my front tire size in the regular, and my back tire size only in heavy duty. But that one is backordered.

If we can't find anyone else with experience with the IRC wild flares I might just go ahead and be the guinea pig here. The flame tread will go perfectly with my bike and the existing reviews are mostly positive. Somebody said they didn't last long enough, and someone said something about it being a hard tire. That was a positive review, but I don't know what the significance of the tire being hard is.
 

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Thanks. So the Shinko, there's a 777, and a 777 Heavy Duty. Bike bandit only lists my front tire size in the regular, and my back tire size only in heavy duty. But that one is backordered.

If we can't find anyone else with experience with the IRC wild flares I might just go ahead and be the guinea pig here. The flame tread will go perfectly with my bike and the existing reviews are mostly positive. Somebody said they didn't last long enough, and someone said something about it being a hard tire. That was a positive review, but I don't know what the significance of the tire being hard is.
A hard tire will last more miles. It’s also going to make you feel the road more. If you have the power it is more likely to spin that launch. Softer tires typically have a smoother ride and better grip, but don’t last as long
 

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1999 Shadow 750 ACE VT750CD3 Modified
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IIRC Shinko 777 were having rear tires with tread cracks on the rear of heavy cruisers so just about all the rear specific tires are now HD with a greater weight rating and the fronts are regular.

A hard tire is generally longer lasting at the expense of traction, which may work out as planned depending on how you ride.
This would likely initially bother me, but as long as it is predictable and you know about its limitations it is not really that big of a deal.
 

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I've bought from these guys before, no problems:


Might check with a local dealer for tires 1st. They might have what you need in stock and possibly get a break on mounting and/or tires if you buy from them. can't hurt to ask...

Also, some dealers won't install tires they didn't sell.

Check Craigslist for motorcycle tire installation, found a local guy (kinda, 40 miles away) Has a nice modern changer and spin balancer, will mount and balance for $20/tire if you bring in the wheels.
 

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2002, Shadow Spirit 1100
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I have been running Shinko Tourmaster V-rated tires on my 2002 Spirit 1100. The tires have never slipped on me and seem to be wearing well. They are reasonable on price also. I mount and balance my own tires. I also run these tires on another bike just a different size.
Bike Bandit looks like they are having a sale right now as well.
 

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You have to take tire reviews with a grain of salt. Tires can be VERY subjective, with MANY different variables contributing to someone’s experience. Dunlop is made by Goodyear, for instance, but if the 404s don’t work on the Shadow, then they don’t. A difference in rim size or bike weight could totally change that tire’s behaviour.

For example, we had a Pontiac Vibe that came with a set of Continentals on the steel wheels. The car handled like a pig, wallowing and rocking back and forth. TONS of complaints about ‘the tires’. I bought a set of new alloy wheels that were half an inch or so wider, and remounted the same tires. (Winters for the stock steelies.) The tires now handled beautifully. It felt like a totally different car.
 

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2002 Shadow VLX
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Why is there so much hate on the Dunlop 404? Shadow comes with one from Factory doesn't it? Just driveablity or there any safety issues? I was planning for looking and D404 was on my list as well due to Factory tires.
 

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I don’t like my D404’s because they dont have a stable feel to me. They catch every groove and have unstable feel in turns at lower speeds. But that is my personal feel.
 

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1999 Shadow 750 ACE VT750CD3 Modified
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This is my personal take on them.

Even when new tar snakes grab them, milled asphalt takes control of them, they don't grip very well if you want to hurry, they don't wear great and they are usually not that cheap to buy.
If you want an OEM Shadow tire go with the Bridgestones listed in the manual.

Most people who take worn 404s off their bike and replace them with anything else go wow what an improvement.
Now some of that can be attributed to just a new versus worn tire, but.....
I find people who replace D404s with D404s tend to tell you how great they are, having never tried anything else.

Dunlop does make some good tires IMO the D404 isn't one of them.
 

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06' VT1100C99' GL1500C Valkyrie
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This particular size is limited. Shinko or IRC should be good replacement. The Kenda has a Dunlop tread appearance to me but to say they're good, never heard anything bad about them.
 

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Why is there so much hate on the Dunlop 404? Shadow comes with one from Factory doesn't it? Just driveability or there any safety issues? I was planning for looking and D404 was on my list as well due to Factory tires.
They didn't handle well on my VT1100C but did last 12,000 mi. Just too inconsistent in the handling department. Dunlop is a major leader in providing OEM tires for most manufactures so cost to the manufacturers has to be cost effective. Much better tires to be had for the money.
 
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2007 VT1100C2
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Discussion Starter #20
Hmm I wonder if aftermarket Dunlop 404s are any better than the stock ones.

I have ordered the IRC wild flare tires. Couldn't really find anything too negative about them online. And truth is, I was probably always going with the flame tires unless multiple people were to strongly warn against them. Found them for $79 front $105 rear on eBay. What a steal.

I'll post some pics when I get them on my bike. And I'll update on performance compared to the metzeler 880s. They should get to me by Friday. And I actually found a hidden shop right down the road from me that will mount and balance for $45 each! Seems like a legit professional little shop too with good reviews.
 
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