Running bias plys on the 1800


Information and questions on GL1800 Goldwings (2001-2017)
Post Reply
User avatar
Mountain rider
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 9:03 pm
Location: Rigby, Idaho
Motorcycle: 2003 Goldwing 1800

Running bias plys on the 1800

Post by Mountain rider »



I've ask this elsewhere, but I'll ask here as well, what the heck. I understand not mixing bias and radials, I also understand running a bias on the front while running a CT on the rear works, but would running a bias on both the front and rear, so a matched set, be that bad? I've read a number of reviews from distributors touting the positives of bias tires as they work well on big heavy bikes. Good traction, good handling, and comfortable ride, all things we look for. And, we do ride big, heavy bikes. So, would a quality set of bias ply tires work well on the Goldwing? Honda obviously recommends the radial tire, but is that just because they want the newest, latest, greatest, more modern, on the bike, or because the radial is what they tested and it really makes that big a difference?

I'm just curious. My younger brother runs Dunlop American Elites on his 14 Ultra Limited, and is getting about 19-20,000 miles on a set. Absolutely swears by them, wet or dry, very comfortable ride. I guess another question would be, why would I not want that kind of performance for my bike?


SFC, U.S. Army Artillery, Retired
Now, fully retired

User avatar
Viking
Posts: 3666
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:59 pm
Location: North Bay, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 2009 GL1800 AD
1987 Harley Softail Custom
1974 Harley FLH (sold)
1965 Harley FLHE (sold)
1957 Harley Chopper (sold)

Re: Running bias plys on the 1800

Post by Viking »

I ran bias on all my Harleys up till about 1988, when I put a set of Michelin Radial Tires on my 1974 FLH. The difference in handling was like getting a brand new motorcycle. You can run either radial or bias on your motorcycle, but keep in mind, with bias ply tires, your handling and ride may suffer. With newer bias technology, this could also just be my ancient experience, and yours may differ. If you like it like that, go for it. You will get better mileage out of the bias plies.
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

Image

User avatar
Mountain rider
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 9:03 pm
Location: Rigby, Idaho
Motorcycle: 2003 Goldwing 1800

Re: Running bias plys on the 1800

Post by Mountain rider »

Yeah, I figured I could, but wondered if someone had done it. As I said, my brother runs the American Elites on his Harley, and refuses to run anything else. I followed him through some winding roads last Summer and he walked away from me, so at least on a Harley they handle very well. On the other hand, I was running a CT on the rear and an Avon Roadrider on the front, so maybe returning to a Bridgestone 704/709 on my bike will make it handle like what I'm looking for. Searching for that pot of gold I guess.
SFC, U.S. Army Artillery, Retired
Now, fully retired

User avatar
Viking
Posts: 3666
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 6:59 pm
Location: North Bay, Ontario, Canada
Motorcycle: 2009 GL1800 AD
1987 Harley Softail Custom
1974 Harley FLH (sold)
1965 Harley FLHE (sold)
1957 Harley Chopper (sold)

Re: Running bias plys on the 1800

Post by Viking »

I have not had a Bridgestone on my GL1800 yet, but I have run three different series of Dunlop, the D250s several times (have not tried the Elite 4 yet), and Avon. Loved the Avons but the back tire came apart in under 5K miles. All of the Dunlops, especially the D250 version performed well. Have not found a full dressed Harley that can do the twisties with me, but Sportsters and Dynas can keep up. The full dressed Harleys scrape too much off their floorboards. If their owners are willing to do this, then they can keep up. I just feel that if I scrape too badly, I will replace the pegs. Most of the Harley models are not quick enough off the line to keep up with a GL1800 but they brought out the Breakout that has lots of snort. It corners badly tho, and is uncomfortable to ride.

Sorry, getting off topic, but I just love motorcycles... all makes all models. The subject is tires. I find radials grip better and handle nicer than bias plies. I have not yet tried the Dark Side either. I also put radials on all my cars and trucks.
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

Image

User avatar
Mountain rider
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 9:03 pm
Location: Rigby, Idaho
Motorcycle: 2003 Goldwing 1800

Re: Running bias plys on the 1800

Post by Mountain rider »

Ramble all you want, I'm a bike fan myself. Never owned a Harley, but almost. We test rode one and I really liked the way it handled, and being vertically challenged, it fit me very well. Unfortunately, I gotta keep Momma happy too, and she just didn't care for it. So, we stuck with the Goldwing. Not a bad choice at all. As I said, I've been thinking about tires because I have to replace the front anyway. Right now, Rocky Mountain ATV has a deal on the Bridgestone 704/709 front and rear combo that's too good to pass up, so I may throw a set on Black Beauty and check it out. This bike had a CT on it when I bought it, so that's what we stayed with. If the ride is way better with the Stones, great, no harm no foul. If it sucks, my Pirelli P1 can be reinstalled easily. I'm sure the new front wheel bearings won't hurt either. Thanks for your reply.
SFC, U.S. Army Artillery, Retired
Now, fully retired

User avatar
am3098
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:10 am
Location: Bazetta Twp. OH
Motorcycle: 2010 Candy Caliente Red GL1800

Re: Running bias plys on the 1800

Post by am3098 »

I recently asked this same question because the guy who works on my bike is a Goldwing guru; about 90% of the bikes he work on are 1800's. He also rides an 08 and swears by the Dunlop American Elite bias front and rear. He says they last longer and the 130/70/16 on the rear as opposed to the 130/60/16 which the bike calls for will actually eliminate the speedo error that the 1800 is supposed to have. The 70 series tire will also cause the bike to sit about a half inch higher, which for us 6' plus tall people helps out. I just upgraded to the 1800 last fall and the only thing I think I'm going to miss vs. the 1500 is that the 1800 is a small bike, and I think it sits lower.

I also brought up the bias ply question to the Honda reps at the Motorcycle Show in Cleveland, OH in January. They wouldn't come right out and recommend running bias, I'm sure for legal reasons, but they kind of eluded that it could be done. When I asked why Honda uses radials on the Wing, they didn't have a clear answer.
A.J. Musial
USAF Retired
Bazetta Twp., OH
94 1500SE
02 Bushtec

"A Veteran - is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to the U.S.A., in the amount of up to and including their life"

User avatar
Mountain rider
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 9:03 pm
Location: Rigby, Idaho
Motorcycle: 2003 Goldwing 1800

Re: Running bias plys on the 1800

Post by Mountain rider »

That's exactly what I've been looking for, someone who actually uses them front and rear. So no dreaded death wobble or squirrely handling going on? Thanks
SFC, U.S. Army Artillery, Retired
Now, fully retired

User avatar
am3098
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:10 am
Location: Bazetta Twp. OH
Motorcycle: 2010 Candy Caliente Red GL1800

Re: Running bias plys on the 1800

Post by am3098 »

He's a somewhat aggressive rider so I would think that if he had any of those issues, he wouldn't be running or promoting the bias American Elite's. He told me that a few of his customers have converted to them with no complaints.
A.J. Musial
USAF Retired
Bazetta Twp., OH
94 1500SE
02 Bushtec

"A Veteran - is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to the U.S.A., in the amount of up to and including their life"

User avatar
Mountain rider
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 9:03 pm
Location: Rigby, Idaho
Motorcycle: 2003 Goldwing 1800

Re: Running bias plys on the 1800

Post by Mountain rider »

Awesome, that's good to know. I was this close to buying a set, but wussed out. The income is a bit tight to take a chance right now, so I went ahead and ordered a Bridgestone 709. Since I'm running a CT on the rear, this will get me back on the road for now. Thanks much.
SFC, U.S. Army Artillery, Retired
Now, fully retired

User avatar
Gabriel
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:48 pm
Location: texas
Motorcycle: 2003 Goldwing

Re: Running bias plys on the 1800

Post by Gabriel »

Run whatever you want, where you want.
Some brand new motorcycles came from the factory with mixed bias and radial tires. The vmax and many Harley's did also...
I just bought another 1800 today and when needed I will go to a bias rear tire placed on the front.
first post here in 9 years, I'm back!



Post Reply