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Discussion Starter #1
It's probably just me and no one else does this, but sometimes I have a bad habit of reading something I think is a good idea and then doing it.... Only to find out that if I had done a bit more research I would have found out that the "Good idea" wasn't for me.

Case in Point:

I had read on here about switching the rear tire to a size up, so from 180/60-16 to 180/70-16. I thought it would provide more comfort and a bit more longevity, which at least as far as the comfort goes, it does seem to do that. I only have about 500 miles on the new tire, so the longevity part cannot be confirmed and the comfort part may be just because I had run my other tire long and it had started to cup pretty bad. But for now I will say it does seem more comfortable a ride and butter smooth in handling... BUT here is what I would have learned had I done a bit more research or just used my pea brain to think about simple physics for a couple seconds:

1. Your fuel mileage will suffer...
2. Your power will suffer...
3. Your bike will sit higher...(This is important for those of us that are Vertically challenged)
4. If you have a Chieftain (possibly the others too, but certainly on a '14 Chieftain) you will have to trim a plastic shroud in order for it to fit without rubbing... Or you can not know that and just ride it until it wears the plastic off enough to stop rubbing, which takes about a 100 miles.... LOL Oh and it stinks like burnt plastic does when you park it, which causes you to look and realize what happened...….. Yup I'm that guy.
5. Because of all these changes, you pretty much have to relearn how to ride the bike... Shift points change, what gear you cruise in changes....

Anyway, just wanted to share a testimonial about how dumb we can be if we don't do proper research prior to making serious changes to our Machines...

On a positive note, she still is a badass ***** that is nothing but smiles to ride and will get the original size tire back on eventually... We shall see how long I'll leave the bigger tire on, how much am I willing to pay$$$ for my laziness is the question.
 

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Don't forget what could potentially be the most significant change of all, at least as far as your bank account is concerned. The larger diameter tire will cause your speedometer to read a lower than it used to at a given actual speed. This means if you run the same speed you've been accustomed to getting away with according to the speedo, you'll actually be moving faster than before and might end up getting a ticket for a "speed" that you thought was safe. ;)
 

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I was thinking of going up to 180/65/16 Michelin Commander III Touring on my 2016 Chieftain, nor sure if I will encounter issues or not ?

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The rear tire on my 2018 SDH was [past tense],a 180/60R/16 Dunlop,meaning it was a radial.On the last bike I owned,a 2010 Triumph Thunderbird, [ the first bike I ever owned that used radial tires] came thru from the factory with em on both ends, and neither tire lasted worth a sh**!! I went thru 33 tires over a 7 year period and 125,000 miles traveled,not to mention the cost of those radial tires verses the cost of a bias tire, [do the math],plus I change and balance my own tires,[so they're done CORRECTLY] not a bike shop or dealership! But the really bad news was,NO ONE made a bias tire in the size [or even close to that size] to fit that machine.And believe it or not,that Triumph was also an excellent machine except the tires were putting me on the poor farm.Hence the reason,and the only reason, I traded it for another bike which just happened to be the Indian SDH.
Well,come to find out,the Indian also used a radial tire,but only on the back.So due to the shit mileage I was getting out of it,just like with my Triumph,I went hunting and found a bias tire [a 180/65B/16 and also a Dunlop] put it on and have not looked back since.The major differences between the radial and the bias tires are, I'm getting better mileage out of the bias tire,verses that radial,the speedometer ,due to the 65 verses the 60 side wall height,is now right on the money,and there is NO NOTICABLE DIFFERENCE in the handling of the machine. So!! I am,once again,a happy camper.
But each to his own,meaning,if you feel the radial is better,then by all means,stick with it. Dummy Dave!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@Davetac1 hadn't thought much about the Radial vs Bias to be honest. I'm sure I will get used to the new tire and even though right now I can't see me putting another one on, only time and miles will really answer that question. Thanks for sharing the info about the Bias vs the Radial. You're very fortunate to have the knowledge, skills and tools to change your own tires, I struggle to change my underwear.... lol
 

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You'd be surprised at the knowledge,skills,and tools/equipment [big bucks] I've acquired over the last 65 years of my life,not to mention, there ain't much that I have NOT worked on.lol But then again,I'm not too bright!! And if ya don't believe me,just ask my wife!! :eek: :unsure::confused::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO: Dummy Dave!!!:rolleyes:
 

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I went with Michelin Commander tires on the 2015 Chieftain and found the rear one corrected the speedometer error. Aside from that they rode better and were much better on wet pavement than the Dunlops were.
 

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Don't forget what could potentially be the most significant change of all, at least as far as your bank account is concerned. The larger diameter tire will cause your speedometer to read a lower than it used to at a given actual speed. This means if you run the same speed you've been accustomed to getting away with according to the speedo, you'll actually be moving faster than before and might end up getting a ticket for a "speed" that you thought was safe. ;)

So you are actually saying the Indian speedo will be accurate and pick up that 3-4 mile an hour under the speedo reads from the fatory, :cool:
 

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The difference is slight like maybe one or two percent in the circumference of the Michelin but it's just enough bigger to make the speedometer much more accurate to what you're really going. The slightly taller tire is much smoother riding, maybe because of the bias ply who knows? The biggest difference is both in how the Michelins just ignore tar snakes and hold the road better in the rain.
 

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The bigger or taller a tires' circumference is,the better the ride is,no matter what kind of a vehicle it is that you're driving or riding !!
 

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My experience has been this..... I had a set of Commander 2s on my RM. Handling wasn't as good as a radial rear tire. The rear lasted just over 10K when it started to delaminate. I had them replaced with a 70 series Dunlop E4 rear and a Dunlop American Elite front. The 70 series rear has a little higher weight rating. We are not small people and pull a trailer once in a while. Do I get less fuel mileage? Some. I went from 45ish to just over 42mpg. Less power? Not that I've noticed. The RM does sit higher. I think the 70 tire is 3/8" taller. Davetac1 correct me if I'm wrong about that. There's no rubbing because of the taller tire. Nothing else has changed. Well, except that the ride and handling are much better. I will stick with this set up for the foreseeable future.
 

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You are correct sir.The only way the tire might rub is if ya put on a tire that is too wide.A taller or shorter [lower] tire,will usually just change your speedometer and odometer readings.Try alittle experiment by driving by one of those signs or trailers which shows your speed,paying attention to both,your speedometer and what's showing on the sign or trailer.That's how I discovered it a looooooooooooooooooooooooooong time ago.lol lol
 

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The only time a taller rear tire would rub is if the suspension has been lowered. There have been instances where the wiring to the tail light & rear turn signals have been rubbed through.
 

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Maybe its worth noting that 180/65B 16 is/was the factory size for Chief Classic and still is for the Chief Vintage! (All spoked wheel models)
Bias ... and more accurate speedo (still slightly happy ...) ... better wear and handling and NO rubbing whatsoever!

I am pretty sure it will fit without any issues all the cast/machined wheel Chief* models!

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Maybe its worth noting that 180/65B 16 is/was the factory size for Chief Classic and still is for the Chief Vintage! (All spoked wheel models)
Bias ... and more accurate speedo (still slightly happy ...) ... better wear and handling and NO rubbing whatsoever!

I am pretty sure it will fit without any issues all the cast/machined wheel Chief* models!

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That's what I was hoping to confirm for my 2016 Chieftain, thank you

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That's what I was hoping to confirm for my 2016 Chieftain, thank you

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If you want to have the same tech/handling rear and Front:
Front: 130/90b 16 is the standard size on 16" spoked rims ... Harley naming MT90...

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Maybe its worth noting that 180/65B 16 is/was the factory size for Chief Classic and still is for the Chief Vintage! (All spoked wheel models)
Bias ... and more accurate speedo (still slightly happy ...) ... better wear and handling and NO rubbing whatsoever!

I am pretty sure it will fit without any issues all the cast/machined wheel Chief* models!

Sent from my SM-N976Q using Tapatalk
They will. I replaced the spoke wheels on my Classic with factory cast wheels. Running same size tires a original with no issues at all.
 

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All I can tell you guys is,I replaced the original rear radial tire at the 15,000 mile mark cause it was done,replacing it with the 180/65B/16 [bias] tire, then traveled another 18,000 miles.But because I didn't have quite enough air in it, it prematurely wore on the sides.So when I put the next 180/65B/16 bias tire on at the 33,000 mile mark,I increased the pressure by two pounds and she's now wearing nice and even,meaning it should go a lot farther mileage wise.At the moment she has 41,000 miles on it which is 8000 miles traveled on the second replacement rear tire and it still looks like new, wearing nice and even [this time] accross the tread.So we shall see how far this one goes.And,BTW,I had to also increase the pressure in the front tire too as it was also wearing on the outside edges.Hence I'm now running 44 rear and 39 front for one up riding,increasing only the rear pressure by two lbs.[to 46psi] if ,and ,or when I should carry a passenger which rarely happens.Dave!!!
 

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In my opinion, going from 180/60 to 180/65 (Michelin Commander) is a slight improvement of these factors:
*makes speedo more accurate
*lowers rpm
*makes geometry more responsive
*raises rear cornering clearance

(I know people that similarly, on Triumph Rockets, went up on rear aspect AND down on front tire aspect to REALLY affect handling geometry. But just the rear you probably won't even notice unless you're a pretty aggressive rider.)
 
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