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Part of Wiggle's signature is......
"Opinions are like toothbrushes. Everybody has one."

Well boy, have I learned that about GL1800 tires.

I've spent about 4-5 frigging hours now reading thread after thread after thread about what is the best tire (in this case a rear one) for an 1800. I currently have 14,000+ miles on my E3 Dunlop rear tire and although it still has a fair amount of tread left, it's been cupped very badly for perhaps 5-6,000 miles, despite religiously keeping it inflated to 41 psi. My previous tire died an early death due to my not keeping it properly inflated and was told that was what caused the cupping. Not so.

I have a friend who said he worked with his dealer's service manager and that they talked to a Dunlop engineer on a conference call about cupping. He said the engineer told him to run BOTH front AND rear tires at 10 psi OVER their recommended inflation. He told me he has since new, that he now has 13,000 miles on both of them, with lots of tread left and NO cupping!!! I've seen the tires and take his word about the mileage. Another friend who I ride with regularly traded his Ultra Classic in on an '08 Wing and since I had told him about my cupping issue (my last tire only made 8,000 miles before the cupping was dangerous), he asked about the issue when he picked up his bike. This dealership also advised him to inflate the tires to 10 pounds over recommended pressures. I went to my dealer, asked about it; they called Dunlop and whoever the young kid at the dealer talked to told him to NEVER, EVER exceed the recommended pressure.

I've kept my front E3 inflated to 41# vs. the recommended 36; it has 9,000 miles and looks perfect. Based on the foregoing, if I get another E3 for the rear, I'm not going to go 25% over recommended inflation but may well go 5-6#.

I need to replace my tire so I did the reading today, trying to determine what is the best brand of tire. What I found out was the best brand is......drum roll, please: Bridgestone, Dunlop, Metzler, Avon and Michelin – not necessarily in that order. As usual, some people said Stones were the best, Dunlops were horrible. Another would write Dunlops are the best, Stones were horrible. Of course these people were wrong and the only way to go was with Metzlers. Everyone agreed Avon's sung a horrible tune – as do the Dunlops as soon as they vary one-half of one degree from vertical.

At least I did learn that a series 70 tire will help me get my 1800 on the center stand easier.

I suddenly realized this is turning into a rant. Despite the greatness of these forums sometimes they just don't help that much. This is a case in point.

I think I'm gonna order another Dunlop. Hmmm, wait a minute, perhaps the Bridgestone. But then again a Bridgestone doesn't wear as well so I guess maybe I should go with a Metzler. But wait – the Metzler isn't as good on wet roads as a Stone.

Aaaarrrrggghhh!
 

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Monkey with a Football
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You can take the Michelin off the list. They don't make a tire for the 1800 as of my last checking. And only the Pilot GT for the 1500.
 

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I like the Bridgestones on the 1800, they seem to work better than the Dunlops, for me anyways.
 

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Hey Pete, I've researched all the tires myself & took the Metzlers off my list due to safety issues from various sites.

Myself, I will not mix tire brands/models, ever. I'll just replace them both if a brand change is in order...also, when wheels come off, new brake pads go on, no excuses.

On a bike, tires & brakes are absolute first priorities.

I've found E3s with 44 psi[in both]work best for my usually overloaded bike [2 up & packed]. 70 psi in suspension & 10 psi in front Progressives. I never hear noise from tires...wouldn't care anyway.

I just expect: grip [wet/dry],mileage & safety.

However, my 2nd option would be Bridgestones or Avons, both good choices from the credible sources I've checked....don't know the best pressures for those, but probably different from what is recommended.
 

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POPEYE, in over a quarter of a million miles or riding I've often mixed brands between front and rear, as I may well do now. I've never noticed any difference between doing that and having matched sets of tires.

But, as the old saying goes, your (and my) mileage may vary.
 

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I wonder since the experience varies so radically from individual to individual, if we aren't seeing a quality control issue instead? I ran with E3's on my 1500 and didn't have any complaints. Even back then (early 90's) we ran overpressure to try to combat the cupping on the front tire. Never saw it on the rear. It never worked and the front tire always ended up cupped. I understood that cupping was exacerbated by use of the front brake.

I'd run with dunlop E3's and probably will when my 1800 needs tires. I'll also go with the 70 series replacement. it corrects the speedo error too.

Good Luck

Daveo
 

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The reason it seem that there are three or four different factories producing the same tire , but with different quality standards, had me confused for awhile too. How could you take an E3 for example and have one guy only get 7000 miles out of it and another will get 14,000 plus? These are experienced riders, they do check the air pressure, they do keep an eye on the tires. So it had to be something else.

It is quite simply the road surface. And or and also where you live. We have some roads in South Carolina that have a slight brown/red tint to the road surface, do not know what it is made of, but you can feel it eating up a tire as you run down it. Just as soon as you get back to the grey normal road, the friction on the tires eases off.

Some areas use one material to pave a road. Some use cement, some use asphalt, some use recycled tires, and I have even seen crushed sea shells used.

If you ride a lot of scenic roads with lots of curves, such as in Arkansas, your tires will wear much quicker. If you run straight roads and live in Kansas a tire will last for 20,000 miles.

That is why you have so many opinions on tires. It is the road surface they are run on. Those vary as do the locations of the riders who report on their tires. So it will always be a great variable.

Kit

Oh all MC tires cup to a certain degree, there is no cure for it. You can reduce it by keeping correct air pressure in the tires, and by using ride/on or dyna beads in a tire to keep it balanced for the life of the tire, but it will still cup or feather to a small degree. Especially the front one.

As for adding to the extreme side, extra air in a tire, for one thing it makes a bike ride like a lumber wagon, and on the safety side, it reduces braking and traction, especially in wet road conditions.

Kit
 

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E3's 42psi, majority of riding is double up hauling a trailer. 23,000miles
 

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Any tire thread can only be opinions, so here's mine:cheeky1:

I wasn't impressed with the D250's that came on the bike as new, then I switched to Bridgestone.

Wow, what a beautiful tire, I just loved the ride. Then I lost the rear to a nail at 2000km and had to put on an Elite III.

There is certainly no problem with the mix, I feel the EIII is a little harsher but it's OK and is wearing fine. The 'stone on the front howls a little on the curves, the cupping is noticeable now after 18000 km, but there is still plenty of tread depth.

I will still replace with 'stones when the time comes.

I agree with Kit about road surface, I used to ride 2 1/2 mi of gravel every day to get to the highway, I had one Pirelli which lasted barely 3000 km, this was on a CB750.

For an opinion on Metzelers pm miles.from.nowhere, I don't think he likes them very much.
 

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Peter Stewart wrote:
I have a GL1800 trike, and ate the front tire off after 3500 miles. Replaced it with the Dunlop E-3 but deliberatly had it mounted "backward" per a rumer I had heard about. It Worked! 15,000 miles this summer and very little sign of cupping.
Part of Wiggle's signature is......
"Opinions are like toothbrushes. Everybody has one."

Well boy, have I learned that about GL1800 tires.
 

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Kyle, the photo you posted shows tires and mileage like I have been used to.... on both our 1500s, as is yours. Mine is an 1800 and something about the tires and the bike combine to have much lower mileage in terms of cupping. My current rear tire with almost 15,000 miles on it has quite a bit of tread left, but EXTREMELY cupped.

Guess I'll go to my grave and never really get any answers.
 

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OK, here comes my experience. I had no issues with the original D250s except the short life, I replaced them at 8350 miles, the front would have lasted longer but was cupped pretty bad. I bought Bridgestones and hated them from the first mile but ran them until worn out,8420 miles on the rear, 10,000 aprox. on the front, it's still on there but a new E3 was shipped today, fingers crossed it will be OK. I could not stand 41PSI in the front(bridgestone). It would have rattled the whole bike apart so I ran it at 38 and it never cupped, just wore out evenly. I have been running a car tire on the rear for about 1500 miles now and absolutely love it.
 

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Just passing through.
Stones with 16000 miles.
Frt. 41 PSI RR. 46 PSI.
RR is not cupped. Frt hums on turns when leaning.
No shakes/wobbles that I can tell.
The wear points are not reached yet.
The rr has a plug repair that has 6000 miles on it.
I will replace with same.
Longboater
 

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Davogd430 - is that a gremlin bell you got hanging from the rear fender? I can't tell.

Daveo
 

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Yep, that's a gremlin bell. It's like the deer alerts, I don't know if it works but don't know it doesn't either.
Guess I should shine it a little once in a while.
 
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