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Brand and tire life on the R18

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Gilles

Well-known member
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Jan 14, 2021
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436
Bike
BMW R18
I have just done the annual maintenance of my R18 and surprise, the dealer showed me that my front tire is at the limit of wear on the left side.

The tires are the BATTLECRUISE H50 BRIDGESTONE, fitted as standard, and have less than 8000km.

Seems to me a bit fast as wear...

What is your experience and which tire brand
 
Usually rear tires wear faster than fronts by a 2 to 1 ratio. 8000km is less mileage than I get on the front knobbies on my GS and knobbies wear much faster than road tires. The BattleCruise are a long wearing tire that should do at minimum 2-3x what you experienced and likely much more.

Premature tire wear is most often caused by incorrect tire pressure. I check and adjust pressure on all my bikes at least weekly. Winter especially can be an issue as temperatures in a garage vs outside can cause pressure changes.

I’ve not yet accumulated enough miles on the R18 to need to change tires. But comparing the miles on my R18 vs similar mileage on the knobbies of my GS, the wear on the R18 is < 1/4 that of my GS. Assuming that rate stays consistent I should expect at least 20,000 miles (32,000 km) on the front BattleCruise tire on my R18 Classic.
 
Do you recommend them ?
I have these Michelins on mine as well. I've only ridden a little over 2,000 miles on them over the winter, but they show zero wear and have handled well on our twisty, Smoky Mountain roads as well as on 100 MPH runs down the highway with excellent feedback on new and worn road surfaces, temperatures from 25-75*(f), both in rain and dry conditions. My suspension is set up for my weight and I have touched down both foot pegs with never a loss of confidence as to the tires doing their job.

This all said, I've run a bunch of different bikes on all types of tires and while I have my favorites (Michelin being one), they all are likely much better than what I ask of them. I am guessing the cause of your early replacement is due to tire pressure and/or you may have had a tire that while obviously doing it's job hadn't cured properly when manufactured and was "too soft". Our modern tires options are incredible and any of the Brands you can choose from should serve you well. There are tire pressure monitors I and others have installed on the valve stem that I would highly recommend. Search the forum and online for FOBO Bike 2.

Good luck.
 
Michelin makes excellent tires. The Commander 3 is a cruising standard of excellence...It's been around awhile, and imo, is better then the other cruising standard, Metzler ME 880.

However, when C3s are worn..I'm going on a quest to convert my Classic's wheels to fit tubless tires, and look for a radial *GT* tire. Radials are far superior to bias ply tires. Modern *GT* radial tires are of a dual compound technology that gives you both sport bike like handling but with the good longevity of a bias ply tire.

If you've not experienced riding a bike with radial tires, I highly recommend them, truly a night and day difference.
 
Michelin makes excellent tires. The Commander 3 is a cruising standard of excellence...It's been around awhile, and imo, is better then the other cruising standard, Metzler ME 880.

However, when C3s are worn..I'm going on a quest to convert my Classic's wheels to fit tubless tires, and look for a radial *GT* tire. Radials are far superior to bias ply tires. Modern *GT* radial tires are of a dual compound technology that gives you both sport bike like handling but with the good longevity of a bias ply tire.

If you've not experienced riding a bike with radial tires, I highly recommend them, truly a night and day difference.
Radial tires definitely are more speed and handling performance oriented, especially as the sidewalls and tread areas can have different flex. This is why all modern sport bikes use radials. Dual compound tires aim to improve the mileage and handling balance, but it's not going to triple mileage, maybe increase 20%. On my S1000R, I've had cords showing at 5000 miles even with dual compound tires.

Where radials don't do as well is with heavy weight bikes. Bias-ply tires due to their stiffer sidewall have better load carrying, often a more cushioned ride from the multiple layers and better long mileage performance. So while radial tires are better for a large portion of motorcycles, they aren't necessarily better in heavy weight bikes.

A good example of this is another model in BMW's range, the K1600. That bike is more on the sport-touring range and so it comes with radial tires. But one common complaint is the tire life is miserable with many getting 4-6K miles due to both the high power, but also the relatively high weight of the K16. While that mileage would be fine in a sport bike like my S1000R, where most riders would take a few years to put on that much mileage, it wouldn't necessarily be a good case for touring riders who might need to change tires a few times a year at that rate.
 
Radial tires definitely are more speed and handling performance oriented, especially as the sidewalls and tread areas can have different flex. This is why all modern sport bikes use radials. Dual compound tires aim to improve the mileage and handling balance, but it's not going to triple mileage, maybe increase 20%. On my S1000R, I've had cords showing at 5000 miles even with dual compound tires.

Where radials don't do as well is with heavy weight bikes. Bias-ply tires due to their stiffer sidewall have better load carrying, often a more cushioned ride from the multiple layers and better long mileage performance. So while radial tires are better for a large portion of motorcycles, they aren't necessarily better in heavy weight bikes.

A good example of this is another model in BMW's range, the K1600. That bike is more on the sport-touring range and so it comes with radial tires. But one common complaint is the tire life is miserable with many getting 4-6K miles due to both the high power, but also the relatively high weight of the K16. While that mileage would be fine in a sport bike like my S1000R, where most riders would take a few years to put on that much mileage, it wouldn't necessarily be a good case for touring riders who might need to change tires a few times a year at that rate.
This is why you want a radial with the *GT* designation. GT tires are designed for heavy bikes like the R18. Michelin makes them. They're called Pilot 4&5 GTs... superb tires. Pirelli makes a *GT* radial as well called their Angel series. Excellent tires as well. I've all 3 of these tires on my heavy weight, 1800cc Honda Valkyrie with outstanding success.
 
i picked up my 2021 FE in Oct 2020, it came with the Michelin Commander III Touring tire, at about 4500 miles I have not observed inordinate wear and performance has been exceptional. My 2022 TC came equipped with the Bridgestone Battlecruise H50, not enough miles yet to evaluate longevity, but they do perform well so far. Always have had Metzler ME 880 on the R12C.
 
I've got Pirelli Angel GT A Spec tires on my C-14 Concours and absolutely love them. The A Specs are made for the heavier sport touring bikes. I have another set of them on hand I will be installing at the end of the upcoming riding season when the current ones will be getting thin.
 
This is why you want a radial with the *GT* designation. GT tires are designed for heavy bikes like the R18. Michelin makes them. They're called Pilot 4&5 GTs... superb tires. Pirelli makes a *GT* radial as well called their Angel series. Excellent tires as well. I've all 3 of these tires on my heavy weight, 1800cc Honda Valkyrie with outstanding success.
The GT is still made for lighter bikes like a R1200RT. The Pilot 4GT rear is available in a maximum of 73 or 75 load index rating while the front is 58. The Pirelli Angel GT fronts have load ratings of 58-59, while the rear is 70-75 depending on size. My stock Battlecruise on the R18 are 81 on the rear and 73 on the front.

So what do those numbers mean? These describe the maximum load the tire can support. If we look at the GT tires with 58 front and 75 rear, the combined maximum weight is 1325lbs, while the stock R18 tires have 1824 lbs max load rating. The gross vehicle weight on my R18 Classic is 1235lbs, meaning the max weight of the bike, passengers and cargo. At 1325 with a GT tire set, you have minimal margin at max gross, while the stock tires still have a 50% margin. As tires approach max load the chances of a blowout increase, so you usually don't want to be anywhere near that especially if you are trying to use them in a more performance oriented manner which adds stress to the tires.
 
Michelin makes excellent tires. The Commander 3 is a cruising standard of excellence...It's been around awhile, and imo, is better then the other cruising standard, Metzler ME 880.

However, when C3s are worn..I'm going on a quest to convert my Classic's wheels to fit tubless tires, and look for a radial *GT* tire. Radials are far superior to bias ply tires. Modern *GT* radial tires are of a dual compound technology that gives you both sport bike like handling but with the good longevity of a bias ply tire.

If you've not experienced riding a bike with radial tires, I highly recommend them, truly a night and day difference.
When you’ve completed your quest to convert the stock wheels to tubeless please share the results. I’m on the same quest.
 
I have 13,000 miles on the OEM Michelin tires on my R18C with at least 1/2 tire life remaining.I have been using the Michelin's the past 5 years.

That being said,I have been getting in excess of 20,000 and actually over 25,000 on my fully dressed Indian.I even overload the bike when touring,thanks to my wife's little extras,LOL!
Also,Keeping an eye on your tire pressure will increased the life for sure.

I purchased a new set of the Metzler CruseTec's because I could not find any Michelin tires(Covid) and the dealer gave me a discount with free mounting.So,why not?This tire comes on the New Indian Challenger and My Indian has the same 19 front and 16 rear.
I refuse to keep a mind set on anything and like to learn.Funny,I learned a long time ago to keep a open mind as there isn't anything in there anywayLOL!
I read and get feedback from other riders as to their expierences with all products not just tires.
Anyway,the Cruisetec operate very well in the rain.Indian recommends using a 180/60x16 radial on the rear.I have used both 180/65x16 biased and the 180/60x16R on my Indian Motorcycle.
The 60s seem to maybe ride a little,I said maybe a little smoother but not enough to make it a deal breaker.Mileage seems about the same with the edge going to the bias tire.
I will say the Indian for long distance the taller 65 lowers the 6th gear rpms slightly.Seems to help with mileage.I will stay with the bias tires on my R18c since I have a heavier payload with the sidecar.Plus 130/90x16 front and the 180/65x16 rear are the same diameter.
Last thing to make us crazy.A friend of mine tried a set of Shinko tires on his Honda ST1300.He loved them,go figure.
 
I have 13,000 miles on the OEM Michelin tires with about 1/2 tire life and have been using the Michelin's the past 4 years.
That being said.Keeping an eye on your tire pressure will increased the life for sure.
I have been getting in excess of 20,000 and actually over 25,000 on my fully dressed Indian.I even overload the bike when touring,thanks to my wife's little extras,LOL!
I purchased a new set of the Metzler CruseTec's because I could not find any Michelin tires and the dealer gave me a discount with free mounting.
I refuse to keep a mind set on anything rather than refusing to learn.I read and get feedback from other riders as to their expierences with all products not just tires.
Anyway,the Cruisetec operate very well in the rain.Indian recommends using a 180/60x16 radial in the rear.I have used both 180/65x16 biased and 180/60x16 on both my Indian Motorcycles.
The 60s seem to maybe ride a little,I mean a little smoother but not enough to make it a deal breaker.Mileage seems about the same with the edge going to the bias tire.
I will say for long distance the taller 65 lowers the rpms slightly.
Last thing to make us crazy.A friend of mine tried a set of
When you’ve completed your quest to convert the stock wheels to tubeless please share the results. I’m on the same quest.
 
I have 13,000 miles on the OEM Michelin tires with about 1/2 tire life and have been using the Michelin's the past 4 years.
That being said.Keeping an eye on your tire pressure will increased the life for sure.
I have been getting in excess of 20,000 and actually over 25,000 on my fully dressed Indian.I even overload the bike when touring,thanks to my wife's little extras,LOL!
I purchased a new set of the Metzler CruseTec's because I could not find any Michelin tires and the dealer gave me a discount with free mounting.
I refuse to keep a mind set on anything rather than refusing to learn.I read and get feedback from other riders as to their expierences with all products not just tires.
Anyway,the Cruisetec operate very well in the rain.Indian recommends using a 180/60x16 radial in the rear.I have used both 180/65x16 biased and 180/60x16 on both my Indian Motorcycles.
The 60s seem to maybe ride a little,I mean a little smoother but not enough to make it a deal breaker.Mileage seems about the same with the edge going to the bias tire.
I will say for long distance the taller 65 lowers the rpms slightly.
Last thing to make us crazy.A friend of mine tried a set of

Yes, thanks aware of the outex option. Was hoping to hear of a successful execution on our wheels. I aspire to be retired and ride every day like R18c so I can put enough damn miles on the tires to replace the tires.
 
Yes, thanks aware of the outex option. Was hoping to hear of a successful execution on our wheels. I aspire to be retired and ride every day like R18c so I can put enough damn miles on the tires to replace the tires.
Funny,the problem with retirement is not remembering whom I told what to,LOL!
Also you can look forward to dry dreams and wet farts on your retirement:ROFLMAO:
 
I always tell people that when you're retired, everyday is a weekend! All my life I was a compulsive workaholic and never thought I would enjoy retiring as much as I have... I should have retired years ago!

If reincarnation truly exists, I'll retire much earlier next time...
 
I always tell people that when you're retired, everyday is a weekend! All my life I was a compulsive workaholic and never thought I would enjoy retiring as much as I have... I should have retired years ago!

If reincarnation truly exists, I'll retire much earlier next time...
Yeah,I don't know how I held a job and found time to work.LOL!
ENJOY!
 
I always tell people that when you're retired, everyday is a weekend! All my life I was a compulsive workaholic and never thought I would enjoy retiring as much as I have... I should have retired years ago!

If reincarnation truly exists, I'll retire much earlier next time...
As a newly retired rider, (retired on 4/1 - my boss thought it was an April Fools joke) I love the idea of just taking off in the morning for a 45 minute mental reset. Unfortunately here in Texas, summers are flipping brutal. Saturday was 104, yesterday 106 and a summery 102 today. As I ride in full gear, that ain't happening. I too was that "company guy" putting in the extra hours and looked up to realize there is way more to life than work. But back to tires. I'm a big fan of the MC3s that came stock on the Classic more so than previous units on my Road Glide, usually Pirellis or Metzlers. Two things Ive learned though. Don't go cheap on tires and checking tire pressure before a ride might save your life. Takes all of 3 minutes with a digital gauge.
 
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