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View Full Version : Radial tires on an XL...?


Ralphthe3rd
18th July 2007, 17:06
Sorry if this topic has come up before, and has been beaten to death...
But here goes:
Has anyone thought about, or even tried, the Radial front tire size- designed for the V-Rod ? It's a Size 120/70VR-19...I noticed there are quite a few tire manufacturers carrying this size now, and maybe I could find a comparable Rear Radial to match it as well ? It's just something I've been thinking about. As I really don't like the skinny 100/90 OEM front tire size, it really howls when cornering or braking hard.

Any thoughts or actual experiences ?

~Ralph

88inchsporty
18th July 2007, 21:26
Pretty sure the radial won't work. Different rim configuration I should think. Radials can be put on a sporty (I've done it), its just way not that easy.

ZenBiker
18th July 2007, 21:44
I am pretty sure you can fit a 110/90-19" front tire without modification. I hope so anyway, since it's what I'm doing in a few months.

aka_Matt
19th July 2007, 02:18
radial tires need wider rims, which stock HD's don't have... exceptions being the 17" rears... a 120/70 front tire needs a 3" at least, 3.5" preferred rim...

Ralphthe3rd
19th July 2007, 06:15
I've fitted wider tires to narrow rims before, even on my Flattrack race bikes... no problems. I've also fitted Radials to bikes that came OEM with Bias Plies- no problem.
I guess what I should have asked was, has anyone fitted this specific size tire before, not "is it possible", as I know it's physically possible. I was just comparing the tires mounted- side by side, when I was parked next to a V-Rod, and they really don't look much dif, just the profile and sidewalls, but the overall diameter looks very close, and only looks about 1/2-3/4 wider. But what I like, is the sport compound rubber ,and the tread curvature allowing greater lean angle.

radial tires need wider rims, which stock HD's don't have... exceptions being the 17" rears... a 120/70 front tire needs a 3" at least, 3.5" preferred rim...

Moved On / My Own Choice
19th July 2007, 17:02
what I like, is the sport compound rubber ,and the tread curvature allowing greater lean angle.

Thing is, I SUSPECT even with the 883R, you're gonna run out of lean angle before that makes a difference. At least, unless you make some additional modifications (taller suspension, rearsets, high pipe etc).

Personally I've always changed my Harleys over to Meztler Marathons for some simple tire compound/shape hanlding improvements. They seem to turn in a little quicker with the Metzs, and stick great.

Never really had a raidal that I felt as comfortable with... don't know why. Probably just psychological (familiarity and all).

Ralphthe3rd
19th July 2007, 20:25
Yes Kev, when I eventually get around to it, i DO plan to do those very mods to suspension, pegs and pipes. The hardest thing, will be the pipes for an '07 with the O2 Bungs, that has enough ground clearance. I was leaning toward the 2 into 1 Bub/Reinhart, but I now fear thats waaay too low a pipe for me to even consider :-( I sure wish Supertrapp would come out with their Dual High Pipes for my '07 with the 02 bungs ? Although I'm not gonna hold my breath waiting- LOL.

Thing is, I SUSPECT even with the 883R, you're gonna run out of lean angle before that makes a difference. At least, unless you make some additional modifications (taller suspension, rearsets, high pipe etc).

Personally I've always changed my Harleys over to Meztler Marathons for some simple tire compound/shape hanlding improvements. They seem to turn in a little quicker with the Metzs, and stick great.

Never really had a raidal that I felt as comfortable with... don't know why. Probably just psychological (familiarity and all).

Moved On / My Own Choice
19th July 2007, 21:06
If you can cull the right pieces, should be interesting.

If I was going with that big a change, I think I'd look into the feasability of larger forks too...

Dakin Engineering
20th July 2007, 00:24
This is gonna upset some folks so... you've been warned.

I HAD TO HAVE z-rated rubber for Bonneville. They didn't make
19" z-rated at that time ('02). I bought PM 18" wheels for some ZR Dunlops.
Bent the front wheel somehow and had to have another 18" rim.
My indy, a wheelwright, put together a 2000 narrow glide hub, Buchanon heavy duty SS spokes and a '70's vintage 18" Sportster rim.
I sealed the spoke nuts with blue RTV.
Mounted the ZR and passed tech.
It will hold 60 psi for a month.

I wish I had a pair of OEM cast 19"s now....
Sam

Joe Dirt
20th July 2007, 01:36
No doubt you could fit it on the rim, but I wonder if the 120 fitted to the narrow rim would cause it to loose any advantage by deforming the profile?

FWIW, I considered running a radial on the rear when I went to an 18", and what I found was that it's OK to run a radial rear and bias front, but not recommended the other way around. And since I have spoke wheels, to use a inner tube designed for use with a radial tire, because of the increased flex and heat.

rodhotter
20th July 2007, 01:51
i was looking at the avon azaro radials 110 -19 -front, 150 -16rear, our rims are sized correctly,and load ratings are good, just dont go overboard on the rear, its rating is less than the bias, but normally enough,i have laced wheels and see ducati runs radials with tubes on theirs. end of story i talked to a tire rep, that said unoffically the radials would work, also the new gt501 bias dunlops with a radial tread pattern have a higher speed rating, and a similar rear load rating as avon azaros, check their web sites for this info

Ralphthe3rd
20th July 2007, 06:06
Of course I've considered it might deform the profile somewhat, but it would probably mainly pinch the profile to make the upright contact patch smaller, but in return would give me more Lean angle contact patch, a fair trade if you ask me. And eventually, the center tread will wear faster and bring the upright contact patch back to norm, although it would shorten it's lifespan.
Anyway...it's all just a thought at present, I like to toss out ideas and get as much feedback as possible- Befiore I actually dive right into an experiment.
So please keep your thoughts/experiences coming :)

No doubt you could fit it on the rim, but I wonder if the 120 fitted to the narrow rim would cause it to loose any advantage by deforming the profile?

FWIW, I considered running a radial on the rear when I went to an 18", and what I found was that it's OK to run a radial rear and bias front, but not recommended the other way around. And since I have spoke wheels, to use a inner tube designed for use with a radial tire, because of the increased flex and heat.

Gone
20th July 2007, 06:27
The radial you wish will work best on a wider rim. They are designed for a wider footprint which is how sportbikes can get up to 52 degrees of lean angle and not fall down. As you have already surmised, you need a lot of chassis mods to make use of the extra 10-15 degrees of lean angle you might see with a Sportster.