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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey folks,

new CTX 1300 owner here. Thanks for having me on this forum :)

I've just bought a CTX 1300 here in Germany with 15.000 km's on the odo and it looks like the bike still has the original stock Dunlop tires on it. On my first 700 km ride where I brought the bike from the previous owners place to mine I noticed that the cornering wasn't very smooth at all. Very 'wobbly' with lots of adjustment needed mid-corner. It could be that I'm out of practice but I'm going to go with worn tires, for now ;) So I'm on the hunt for new tires.

I've read through many of the threads on this forum and read that many people get lots of km's/miles on the Dunlops but aren't excited about the performance, which matches my first impression, although, mine are worn so that's not the fairest of first impressions.

I've further read that some people are using Metzeler 888 and 880, however, my previous experience with Metzler tires on an enduro bike (Yamaha XT600 and/or KTM 640 Adventure, can't remember) weren't the best in terms of longevity. So I don't remember what bike I had them on but I do remember that I wasn't happy with the durability. So they're out of the race.

Apart from these two and the Bridgestone stock and Excedra Max, which seem to give reasonable mileage and good performance, I've read that some people are excited about the Avon tires in terms of them being a good balance between performance, price and mileage, however, I think I read that someone had a blown rear tire, so that's not comforting at all.

I then saw that many people seem to be happy with the Michelin Commander 2 with some getting up to 40.000 km's! out of them while still getting very good performance. I then looked them up and saw that Michelin has just released the Commander 3, which is supposed to match the mileage of the MC 2 while further improving performance (especially in wet conditions).

So naturally, I am wondering if anyone has already given these tires a go and has some real-life experience that they are able to share?

I hope all is well with all of you in these crazy times and look forward to your thoughts :)

Cheers,

Eric
 

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Hi Eric,

Same experience with the tires here (also in Germany). As I had good experiences with Michelin on other motorbikes, I gave the Commander a try in 2017.

Since that time I am very happy with the choice. Solid grip, good traction when turning and a decent mileage compared to Bridgestone or Dunlop.

Cheers.

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Discussion Starter #3
Great. Thanks for weighing in, mikenovember :)

I've just had a look on this page for the Cruiser version and it looks like the Commander 3 front tires are not compatible with our bike. So I've currently got the following as the best combo:

17” Rear Commander 3 Cruiser | 200/55 R17 78V | Radial | 425 kg, 240 km/h

18” Front Commander 2 | 150/70 B18 76H | Bias | 400kg, 209 km/h

Just for completeness, this is the page for the Touring version.
 

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Welcome @efassbender .

I am one who did have an issue with my OEM Dunlop tires. They did last a lot of miles, but gave very bad performance and slipped all over. Riding with these on tar snakes was a really scary thing, even just going straight over those. Shinko tires were very sticky and good performing but didn't last long. My favorite are the Avon tires I put on. I had Avon tires on my ST1100, bias ply instead of radials. I did have a blow out on the rear Avon at near 16,000 miles (24,140+ km's) but at that time the Avon tires were becoming known for that and I knew many friends on the ST1100 with Avons who had the same happen to them. Usually it was belts in the bias ply version that would split and cause the blowout. More currently, Avon changed their tires and had/have a 15,000 mile guarantee so I decided to try them again. They were great for both performance and wear. I sold my CTX before I had 9000 miles on them but they were already lasting a lot longer than anything but the OEM Dunlops were, and looking about the same as those Dunlop tires for the miles. I know a few riders, here and on other bikes, who have considered MC3 tires but don't know their impressions yet. Many here have MC2 tires and like them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, everyone for your thoughts. It looks like the Touring version of the Commander 3 is also an option, however, I am not certain about the weight rating (63 = 272kg/600 lb). The fueled-up weight of the CTX is about 338 kg (745 lb) and the allowed additional weight of 192 kg (423 lb) for rider and luggage brings the total weight of a fully manned and fueled-up CTX to 530 kg (1,168 lb). Of course, this weight is mostly beared by the rear tire, however, I am still not sure how the tire weight rating is calculated towards the total weight of the bike. Below are the tire specs again. Would it be legal to use this front tire on the CTX?

18” Front Commander 3 Touring | Bias | 130/70 B18 63H | 272 kg (600 lb) | 209 km/h (130 mph)

If it is legal then I am still not sure if the Commander 3 Touring is a good choice or if the Commander 2 front is the better option because the Commander 2 front tire has a higher weight rating (speed rating is the same) and is 20 mm's wider (150 instead of 130). Here are the specs of the Commander 2 front tire again.

18” Front Commander 2 | Bias | 150/70 B18 76H | 400 kg (881 lb) | 209 km/h (130 mph)

Would you get the Commander 2 which is wider and has a higher weight rating or would you go for the newer Commander 3, that is slimmer and supposedly has better grip in the wet (still considering that it's weight rating is legal)?

Lastly, is it ok to have a radial tire on the rear and a bias tire on the front and/or would you recommend a different radial tire on the front (e.g. Avon AV71 Cobra or something else)?

Thanks again for your help,

Eric
 

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I would compare with the OEM tire load rating and stay close to that at least.

When I replaced the tires on my current ride I actually only replaced the rear tire. OEM were radials but what I bought to put on (Shinko) are bias ply so I did a little searching on this question about mixing bias and radial tires. I didn't replace the front tire since there is still several thousand miles, even now after over 2000 miles since I put the rear tire on. I currently have radial in front and bias in the rear. I found that I have it backwards. Sometimes racing bikes will have bias on front and radial in back and this helps with the handling on the race track... depending on the tire. But it is unsafe to have it the other way around like I currently have. I found that radial front/bias rear can cause the bike to be unstable in curves since the radial has more flexible sidewalls and this can affect steering if the rear is much stiffer, like with a bias tire. Both the same is best, but if you choose to mix go with bias front/radial rear as you were asking. I ride very conservatively and have been able to maintain control, but there have been a few times when I notice a bit of unstable behavior in a fast tight curve or turn but not too much for me since I've been keeping it a bit slower during the colder weather.
 

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Interesting but also somewhat frustrating topic to me. I don't know how you guys achieve this high mileage with any brand/type mc tire. My oem Dunlops had to be replaced after 5400 miles, front and rear showing severe cupping. so i switched to Exedra Max and yesterday , after only 4600 miles i had a new rear tire mounted. Not showing the cupping but no grooves left till the (small) left side chicken stripes. But the front tire looks ok for now, hopping it will last till the rear needs replacement again. By then i will most likely switch brands, so any info on different tires is greatly appreciated. Ps, i almost exclusively ride the smoky mountains curviest roads, in a somewhat sporty style without really pushing me or the bike to its limit.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks, Bob and everyone else. So if I wanted to go radial ply on both tires, does anyone have a recommendation for a radial front?
 

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You either have a LOT of chip and seal roads that you ride, and ride hard on those. OR you just ride really hard and fast. But I have to ask... what psi do you keep your tires inflated to and how often do you check?
I found the front tire, at least, would wear really fast and would develop a bad case of cupping if I maintained the factory recommended psi. If I kept the front at 40 psi and rear at 42 psi, and check often to maintain that, the tires would last a lot longer and I would never see any cupping at all. I never noticed any "significant" difference in the ride being harder and never had any issues with the higher front psi. PSI, and road surface, and road surface temps, and riding style all play a part in what kind of wear you'll get.

Most roads in my state are concrete with some asphalt on county roads so I am mostly riding on concrete. This type of pavement is much nicer on tires. I've had the exact same results on the tires on all my bikes since my Gold Wing in 2003. I've also known many riders in other states, mainly with the ST-Owners group, who don't get more miles than you do on some of the same tires I've used including Dunlop, Bridgestone, Michelin, and others. I know of at least one rider who only regularly gets maybe 3600 miles, or less, on a set of tires for his ST1300 (now rides a FJR), but he is know for and boasts about riding his bike really hard everywhere he goes. He has tried Michelin, Metzeler, Continental, and others. Some of these guys now just buy Shinko since they were getting the same miles but the tires cost half what the other brands cost. And he's from Minnesota. When he sees those recommended speed signs (the yellow ones) for how fast to take a curve he always doubles that number, or more! Really, he does.
 

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Thanks, Bob and everyone else. So if I wanted to go radial ply on both tires, does anyone have a recommendation for a radial front?
I did like the Avon AV71 Cobra tire I had on the front. I had a Avon 3D Storm on the rear at the time. That combo worked really well.
 

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thanks Bob for making clear that you and a few others are the exemption with your high miles tires. I almost never ride on concrete roads and i use a TMPS to check on tire pressure at factory set (37/42)psi. With this devise it is interesting to watch the rear temp. and psi start rising quickly while the front needs curves to do the same. I will try raising the psi in the front a little- worth a try.
 

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I have similar issues as Jorge with roads eating tires. Guess it’s a Carolina thing or something with the chip and seal. I wonder if @HansenCTX notices on either of his bikes. Currently getting close to the bars on my front which is an elite 4. I matched that up with a Michelin as I prefer to run two radials and not mix.
I invested in a FOBO 2 TPMS as well and it’s definitely one of the smarter items I’ve added.


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Discussion Starter #14
... Currently getting close to the bars on my front which is an elite 4. I matched that up with a Michelin as I prefer to run two radials and not mix ...
So were you happy with the handling and grip of that combo? How many miles did you get from those tires?
 

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I have a set of CommanderII tires on my ‘94 Magna and love them! This is the second set. I get about 15,000 miles on a set. They really stick well in the wet and excellent on dry pavement. Excellent braking also. I used to lock up the rear if to aggressive with Dunlop tires, but it takes a lot to lock up the rear now. I’m guessing the threes will be even better. I hope they make them in radials along with bias types. My Magna calls for bias type tires.
 
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So were you happy with the handling and grip of that combo? How many miles did you get from those tires?
I had a MC II with the Elite 4 up until I picked up a nail in the rear which of course I found just as I was heading out of town for the "East Coast Meetup" last year. Unable to find a 200 series tire in time I put a 190 Michelin on. I highly recommend you don't ever do that unless you are really stuck.

https://www.ctx1300forum.com/forum/events-gatherings/35285-2019-east-coast-meet-up-july-25-28-2019-a-22.html#post377023
post 220 explains my dilemma

If memory serves, the combination of the MC II and the Elite was the best combination I've had so far but please keep in mind I haven't really had that many different tires since I got my CTX. Like Bob, I had real trouble with the original Dunlop and lines on the road, tar snakes and corners in general. Not a good combination for riding a bike! Since I picked up a nail in the MC II I couldn't really tell you what mileage I got, however I would expect maybe 6-8000 or so. I do not get good mileage on any tire I've had, I believe due to road surfaces here in NC, which is mostly where I ride and a typically far to strong right hand which seems to have a built in twist...

So for me, if the MC III offers anything like the II in grip and handling but adds mileage, I'm ready for it!
 

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I had the less expensive Shinko tires on a Suzuki 2004 Intruder VL1500. They handled great, soft tire though I put them on at 12.5 k on the bike and sold the bike with 16.5 k on it, the back tire was half-worn, the front look new. The best tires I had my Harley 2012 Street Glide were the Michelin Commander II. They were like night and day in handle compared to the OEM Harley Dunlop tires. The dealer put brand new Continentals tires on my used CTX when I bought it. They seem to handle very nice, let's see how long they last. I think Michelin makes great tires for motorcycle and automobiles.

The weather is going to start warming up, Please, Please Virus go away and don't come back anymore

Stay safe
 

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My CTX1300 came with Bridgestone Excedra Max tires. I got 5000 miles out of the rear and 6000 out of the front. I went on a trip down the Blue Ridge Parkway last July with original front. Based on tread remaining I figured I had about 2000 miles of wear left. After about 300 miles of travel on the rough chip seal on the Parkway the front was slick. I have MCII on the rear and Bridgestone Excedra G851 on front. Both show little wear at 8100 miles on the bike now.
 

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So if I wanted to go radial ply on both tires, does anyone have a recommendation for a radial front?
My last radial front was a Metzler ME888, lasted a little over 10,000 miles. Probably could have gone longer if I pushed it. Current front tire is the Avon Cobra Chrome (radial). I've only put 120 miles on it from last November for a toy run. Haven't ridden the CTX1300 since due to knee replacement surgery in December.
 

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Being one of those odd ducks that has migrated to the darkside, dont forget this as an option for the wide rear tires these bikes have. There are multiple posts upon this forum about it and i wont bore you with the why or the hows. I have a korean car tire on the back of mine and honestly do not have any issues in the twisties. Is it a different ride when u first put them on, of course. Will I be changing the tire in 8k miles, 16k, 24k... 32k ya probably. You mentioned load rating for the tires during your post. The tire I have on is H rated for speed, which works for me as 85-90 mph is most i cruise at, sorry if i wasnt as nice to convert. The load rating for the tire is 1430 lbs. This takes considerable strain off of both tires as far as bearing weight. If i recall it is roughly 70 percent rear, 30 percent front. This would put my total load bearing ability fairly close to a ton. Prior to this the oems were dunlop 2 and I am not sure if the previous owner was a fat ass or not but I was looking at replacing them at 8k. I am not a small person but I only put 2k of that on there. If you are going with MC tires, I have always been a Metzler fan. Yall have a good day
 
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