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Brand and tire life on the R18

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And so it goes... shopping for tires for my '22 TC. Looking for succinct experience on your tire preference for the Transcontinental. I've scoured the forum & the interweb & came up with 4 options. I'm open to comments from those experienced with the TC.

• Metzler Cruisetec
The shop said they'd had returns on these due to front end wobble.. first I heard of that for these tires, though other tires brands are reported to do this.

• Michelin ME888

• Michelin Commander III Touring

• Bridgesone Battlecruise H50 (the stock tires, see below)

The stock Bridgestone Battlecruise H50 tires performed well in all weather conditions, multiple road surfaces, and handling, even some unintentional but unavoidable dirt lanes and rough road construction. However, I got less than 6,000 miles out them before needing replaced: the tires will not pass state inspection. While this may be okay for a tire that otherwise performs well, it seems a bit underwhelming to me. But while I can cettainly accept 'good enough' for certain situations, seems as this should have better solution.

Thanks for any insight!
 
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I too was frustrated by the short life (for a cruiser) on the Battlecruise tires on my R18 Classic. All my bikes tend to get at most 6K miles (for the rear), so I assume when I do a 6K service, I replace the tire as well. What was more surprising with the R18 is the front was also nearly done at 6K, so I swapped it at the same time. Most of my bikes is a 2-1 ratio of front to rear. Even my sport bike is about 3K in the rear, but 6K in the front.

If you are riding a lot of straight line highways, it may make sense to prioritize longevity over handling and look at a different tire. But, I tend to ride aggressively in twisties and the grip the Bridgestones provide for that riding style is outstanding, so I replaced with the same when they were done at 6K.
 
I too was frustrated by the short life (for a cruiser) on the Battlecruise tires on my R18 Classic. All my bikes tend to get at most 6K miles (for the rear), so I assume when I do a 6K service, I replace the tire as well. What was more surprising with the R18 is the front was also nearly done at 6K, so I swapped it at the same time. Most of my bikes is a 2-1 ratio of front to rear. Even my sport bike is about 3K in the rear, but 6K in the front.

If you are riding a lot of straight line highways, it may make sense to prioritize longevity over handling and look at a different tire. But, I tend to ride aggressively in twisties and the grip the Bridgestones provide for that riding style is outstanding, so I replaced with the same when they were done at 6K.
Thanks, neislm, this is the direction I'm leaning toward as well.
I would really appreciate better mileage longevity than what the Battlecruise tires provide but will not sacrifice good (e.i. safe) handling to achieve it.
It's always a compromise of the tire wear versus tire handling performance. Perhaps the Battlecruise tires are the best compromise currently available.
Again, appreciate yout input.
 
I too was frustrated by the short life (for a cruiser) on the Battlecruise tires on my R18 Classic. All my bikes tend to get at most 6K miles (for the rear), so I assume when I do a 6K service, I replace the tire as well. What was more surprising with the R18 is the front was also nearly done at 6K, so I swapped it at the same time. Most of my bikes is a 2-1 ratio of front to rear. Even my sport bike is about 3K in the rear, but 6K in the front.

If you are riding a lot of straight line highways, it may make sense to prioritize longevity over handling and look at a different tire. But, I tend to ride aggressively in twisties and the grip the Bridgestones provide for that riding style is outstanding, so I replaced with the same when they were done at 6K.
Interesting. I do mainly, here in FL, long straight riding and less twisty. What tire would you recommend to avoid the middle wear that's happening on the Michelins? 3k miles.
 
Interesting. I do mainly, here in FL, long straight riding and less twisty. What tire would you recommend to avoid the middle wear that's happening on the Michelins? 3k miles.
I have ridden many cross country trips on various cruiser, sport touring and adventure bikes and all their tires and I don't believe any "like" tire will wear much differently if a vast majority of your miles are as described. I'd buy what is on sale and then plan a few trips to the Appalachian Mountains where you can enjoy riding some curves where it would help balance the wear pattern ;) 🍺 🍺
 
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.
Any manufacture(s) of gt radial tires in particular that come to mind? Any specific model?
 
You may want to contact your local Michelin representative. Send Michelin an email or give them a call. I have the Commander from factory on my Transcontinental. While I was at the BMW MOA National Rally I spoke with the rep at the Michelin booth about a howling front tire that appears to be cupping (9,000 miles). Tire has howled going in a straight line since day one. He said they have redesigned the Commander tread pattern slightly. I have been otherwise happy with the performance of the Commanders on my TC. I am searching in advance to see IF there is a better tire out there. If there isn’t a clear “winner” I will likely replace them with the “updated” version of the Commanders. For the abuse I have put these tires through I am thoroughly impressed; especially considering this is the heaviest $(&@ing motorcycle I have had the pleasure of putting some decent miles on.
 
Is it not strange that riders use a Michelin Commander III Touring on their cruiser. I personal think it is the wrong tire choice. The Commander is for touring bike's and not for cruisers. So better use a tire which says okay for cruisers to. Like the Michelin Commander III Cruiser.
 
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Is it not strange that riders use a Michelin Commander III Touring on their cruiser. I personal think it is the wrong tire choice. The Commander is for touring bike's and not for cruisers. So better use a tire which says okay for cruisers to. Like the Michelin Commander III Cruiser.
Don't get hung up on the "cruiser" label for bike nor tire. The R18 is a heavy, heavy bike and the OEM specs the tire requirements and then in this case Michelin recommends the "Touring" version of the Commander III rather the "Cruiser" carcass.

This is much like the Michelin "Road 6 v. Road 6GT" where one could likely have no issues with either offering on a bike like the K1600 or even R12XXRT models that spec the GT carcass when at less than maximum demands (temps, load weight, sustained speeds, etc.), but unless I had no choice the very few dollars difference in price would not be any real savings and I trust the engineers at both BMW and Michelin calculated all these factors when determining their recommended tire. BTW the "Road" series of tires were part of the "Pilot Road" series for ever until the 6s came along and they dropped the "Pilot" from it's labeling and we see name changes in all the Brands more for marketing than contributing to the performance per se.

YRMV
🍻
 
I will have about 9,000 miles on my stock H50s when they get replaced tomorrow. Granted, the front is well past recommended spec, with barely any center line left. Rear is in better shape, but close enough to just swap both since it's 2 hours to my nearest dealer. I'd say they were fine, and they handled the wet well to the end. Dealer has a set of Michelin Commanders on the shelf, and I always liked the Pilot/Road version of that tire, so give them a shot.

Don't know the exact mix, but I know there were 3,000 miles of interstate for a couple of IBA rides on them, and likely another 1,000+ of other interstate riding. The rest would mostly be Ozark twisties, and a decent bit of gravel/dirt. This being my first "cruiser" and bike over 500 pounds, I'm still learning new habits on the best way to handle it. Used to a lot of engine braking and 90% front braking from other bikes, which I've been told is how you toast a front tire on an 850+ pound bike sooner than normal. As such, trying to actually use the rear brake pedal, and downshift into some engine braking more. We shall see.
 
The dealer wanted to sell me a new front tyre yesterday (4,000 miles on front tyre.... mostly fast hills riding... bike is a 3/21 so probally "old noisey tread design")..... so tyre hunting for me soon. I have the stock mitchies.... but have not been keen with front wheel noise.
 
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The dealer wanted to sell me a new front tyre yesterday (4,000 miles on front tyre.... mostly fast hills riding... bike is a 3/21 so probally "old noisey tread design")..... so tyre hunting for me soon. I have the stock mitchies.... but have not been keen with front wheel noise.
Not sure if the front wheel noise is tire specific. The H50 on mine was also pretty noisy.
 
I had a look at my front tyre yesterday and I think it has a 1,000* miles more tread.... and whilst at it I dragged out a new front tire I have that was taken off my r ninet scrambler when I bought it and it turns out to be the same size and load/speed rating... has been stored in a cool dark place and was made in 21..... so looks like it is worth trying at some stage....

*1,000 miles is an old man rating, if 30yo and paying a mortgage and kids schooling then it would have 2,500 miles left with careful riding on rainey days.
 
I had a look at my front tyre yesterday and I think it has a 1,000* miles more tread.... and whilst at it I dragged out a new front tire I have that was taken off my r ninet scrambler when I bought it and it turns out to be the same size and load/speed rating... has been stored in a cool dark place and was made in 21..... so looks like it is worth trying at some stage....

*1,000 miles is an old man rating, if 30yo and paying a mortgage and kids schooling then it would have 2,500 miles left with careful riding on rainey days.
+1 on Old Man v. #30 yo....

The carcass may be the same size, but ratings are different as I recall when I was thinking about better gravel road options the "adventure" tires offer (yes I've done a bunch of gravel standing on the pegs for the most part the big girl does better than I thought possible). Anyway, Likely be "OK" using "Old Man" risk factors, but still it's a calculated risk as to the already much heavier bike's demands with potentially heavier loads carried and with the riding induced stresses on the lighter carcass over time. Not saying I haven't done similar in a jam, but I'd keep a close eye on things.

🍻
 
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