Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Which gets your trust/money?

Avon Cobra
9
33%
Dunlop Elite 4
17
63%
Something else
1
4%
 
Total votes: 27

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Sadanorakman
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Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by Sadanorakman » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:25 pm



Need some new boots for my 1500.
Very non-technical poll...
I appreciate tire choice can be a very personal thing, and each person will have their own priorities regarding: grip, wear, noise, price, reliability etc...

Please vote, and if you want to share your reasons, then please post as well.

I appreciate some like to dark-side, but in the UK, I firmly believe it would instantly invalidate your riding insurance policy, so please keep your answers to bike tires only. Many thanks.


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bluthundr31
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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by bluthundr31 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:39 pm

I put the Avon Cobra on the front of my '91 not too long ago along with Dyna-Beads. Its a very impressive handling tire on all surfaces.

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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by Sadanorakman » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:47 pm

Thank you bluthundr31. After I get to reading around a bit, I see the elite 4 is a dual-compound tire to give longevity compared to the cobra, but the cobra will give more grip and therefore a lot less miles.
I also see that the elite 4 is Nothing like the E3 that came before it, and I guess there's a lot of folk out there that have experienced the E3 but not the E4.
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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by offcenter » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:28 pm

My 1500 had Dunlop Elite 3s on it when I got it.
It handled like a truck and those tires howled like heck when leaned
over in a turn.
I went over to a Michelin Commander II on the front. That made a HUGE
difference in the handling. Then a short time later I replaced the rear
with a car tire.
Excellent handling all the way around and fantastic mileage from both.
I am just about to replace the front Commander II with a new Commander II.
The old one has about 18,000 miles on it and is just now approaching the
wear bars. That is fantastic mileage for a 900 pound bike that gets
ridden and cornered fairly hard.
The car tire in the rear hardly shows any wear after the same number
of miles.
Just my two cents.
George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"

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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by bellboy40 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:21 pm

I have been using Avon tires for many years. The ones I was using were the Avon Venoms, which are no longer in production. They sell the Avon Cobras now and I have a set on my bike but have only put about 5-6 thousand miles on them so I can't say if they will wear as long as the Venoms did. I really like the handling and low noise of the Avons.

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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by Snowmoer » Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:37 am

If you decide to put Avon Cobra's on, stay away from the radial rears. Your bike calls for bias ply anyway, but some people still put radials on a 1500.

Unless Avon has fixed the problems with the radial Cobra's, they are prone to tread seperation. There are many posts about this and I am one of them. My rear tire developed a bubble and blew out at 70 MPH. The tire only had about 8K miles on it and was only half worn. This was on my 1800.

I have not heard any problems with the Bias ply Cobras.

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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by DougEFresh1123 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:26 pm

I like the simple poll method and that I can see the results too. I'll be needing new treads as well and this will help me make an informed decision.
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- Doug

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Sadanorakman
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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by Sadanorakman » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:21 pm

DougEFresh1123 wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:26 pm
I like the simple poll method and that I can see the results too. I'll be needing new treads as well and this will help me make an informed decision.
I feel that Simple was good in this scenario, as I'm sure either of these models would give perfectly good service.

I might opt for the greater grip of the cobras if that is the consensus among folks here vs potentially higher mileage in the elites. I was concerned that there would be loads of owners that have experience of elite 3's piping-up, without experience of the 4's, and I understand they are very different tires.
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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by Sadanorakman » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:27 pm

Snowmoer wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:37 am
Unless Avon has fixed the problems with the radial Cobra's, they are prone to tread seperation. There are many posts about this and I am one of them. My rear tire developed a bubble and blew out at 70 MPH. The tire only had about 8K miles on it and was only half worn. This was on my 1800.
Now that's fascinating! I was considering trying Radials, as they produce less heat than bias-plies, and are more 21st century. Perhaps I should be forgetting all about that idea then! Does the Radial have an appropriate load rating for a GL1500? is it less than the bias-ply?
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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:06 pm

Sadanorakman wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:27 pm
Snowmoer wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:37 am
Unless Avon has fixed the problems with the radial Cobra's, they are prone to tread seperation. There are many posts about this and I am one of them. My rear tire developed a bubble and blew out at 70 MPH. The tire only had about 8K miles on it and was only half worn. This was on my 1800.
Now that's fascinating! I was considering trying Radials, as they produce less heat than bias-plies, and are more 21st century. Perhaps I should be forgetting all about that idea then! Does the Radial have an appropriate load rating for a GL1500? is it less than the bias-ply?
The Avon bias tires are designed for tourers, so the load rating is more than enough. The front is a 63, rated for 600 lbs, the rear is a 81, rated for 1019 lbs.

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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by RockportDave » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:29 pm

I just replace an Elite 3 bias on the rear with an Elite 4 bias, but only have about 1,000 miles on it. I’m real pleased with the way it handles.
Still have the Elite 3 bias on front with no problems.
Dave
1999 GL1500SE 5th Goldwing through the years

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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by GlimWas » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:20 am

I've been riding the E4's for just about 16000km (10000m) and am fairly happy with them. The handle great on the dry and wet, providing that the temps are not below 8 degrees celsius.(more or less) Below that temperature the tires begin to be more slippery, especially at the front when driving uphill with less pressure on them in wet conditions.
Gave me a bit higher heartrate a few times................ On the bright side; they last, and last, and last........ I need new caps on my pegs, they have a bit of wear on them........

The tires are , imho, better as the Bridgestones i had before, but this might be subjective of course.
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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by Sadanorakman » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:35 am

WingAdmin wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:06 pm
The Avon bias tires are designed for tourers, so the load rating is more than enough. The front is a 63, rated for 600 lbs, the rear is a 81, rated for 1019 lbs.
I appreciate that the cobra rear bias-ply is an '81' Wingadmin, which = 1019 lbs, but I was actually asking in my post if the radial version of this tire had an equivalent load rating, as I was only using my cell-phone last night, and couldn't find the answer for myself. I think the radial actually has a load rating of 992 lbs (Which is an 80), but I stand to be corrected.

Then Snowmoer scared us all with his story of a cobra radial blowout at 70mph, and the explanation that the radial version is prone to bubbling and tread-separation!

I just found this slide-deck regarding the Cobra Radials for the 1800. Some really interesting content, including statement that radial tire flex wears tires quicker. Also like the weight calculations and pressure advice on slide 12. Unfortunately it's not dated, and the original creator/source of the presentation is not stated.

https://slideplayer.com/slide/6031749/
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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by Sadanorakman » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:40 am

GlimWas wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:20 am
I've been riding the E4's for just about 16000km (10000m) and am fairly happy with them. The handle great on the dry and wet, providing that the temps are not below 8 degrees celsius.(more or less) Below that temperature the tires begin to be more slippery, especially at the front when driving uphill with less pressure on them in wet conditions.
Gave me a bit higher heartrate a few times................ On the bright side; they last, and last, and last........ I need new caps on my pegs, they have a bit of wear on them........

The tires are , imho, better as the Bridgestones i had before, but this might be subjective of course.
Very valid post thank you GlimWas. Being in the UK, we share your wonderful mix of Weather, so the '8 degrees Celsius and wet' feedback is really useful to me. I used to spend weeks at a time over in a town called Weesp in Holland teaching field-technicians that had mostly traveled in from Eastern Europe. Do you know the place?
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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by GlimWas » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:36 am

I know the place yes, not much good comes from Weesp :lol: (maybe some collegues watching)

I'm wondering if a Michelin Commander2 will fit on the rear? They are 180/65 18 81h. I know some of forum members use wider CT's on the rear ..... Iv'e seen 185 and 195 sizes come by and they all seem to fit, so why not a 180 MC. Does anyone have an answer to that question?
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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by bellboy40 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:09 am

WingAdmin wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:06 pm

The Avon bias tires are designed for tourers, so the load rating is more than enough. The front is a 63, rated for 600 lbs, the rear is a 81, rated for 1019 lbs.
Hey WingAdmin, from all the info I have seen, the Avon front tire is rated at 69 (716 lbs). Where did you get the info for the 63 rating?

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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by WingAdmin » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:13 pm

bellboy40 wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:09 am
WingAdmin wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:06 pm

The Avon bias tires are designed for tourers, so the load rating is more than enough. The front is a 63, rated for 600 lbs, the rear is a 81, rated for 1019 lbs.
Hey WingAdmin, from all the info I have seen, the Avon front tire is rated at 69 (716 lbs). Where did you get the info for the 63 rating?
From the Avon web site!

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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by Sadanorakman » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:45 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:13 pm
bellboy40 wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 11:09 am
WingAdmin wrote:
Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:06 pm

The Avon bias tires are designed for tourers, so the load rating is more than enough. The front is a 63, rated for 600 lbs, the rear is a 81, rated for 1019 lbs.
Hey WingAdmin, from all the info I have seen, the Avon front tire is rated at 69 (716 lbs). Where did you get the info for the 63 rating?
From the Avon web site!
I just looked them both up...
-The Cobra 130/70 x 18 Radial has a 63 load rating, and is available with either an H or V speed rating.
-The Cobra 130/70 x 18 Bias-Ply has a 69 load rating, and is available only with an H speed rating.
Last edited by Sadanorakman on Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by Sadanorakman » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:04 pm

GlimWas wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:36 am
I know the place yes, not much good comes from Weesp :lol: (maybe some collegues watching)

I'm wondering if a Michelin Commander2 will fit on the rear? They are 180/65 18 81h. I know some of forum members use wider CT's on the rear ..... Iv'e seen 185 and 195 sizes come by and they all seem to fit, so why not a 180 MC. Does anyone have an answer to that question?
There's not much room between the wall of the standard 160 rear tire and the swing arm in the first place, and the rear wheel's rim width I think is 5". I don't know if anyone has fitted a 180 bike tire on a GL1500, but I thought 180's are normally fitted to 5.5" to 6" wide rims. Fitting them to a narrower rim would change the tread contour of the tire a little, making the cross-section of the tread a little less rounded: a bit more 'pointy' in the middle!

Regardless of bike or car tire, the width stated on the sidewall is I believe referred to as the 'Nominal Width', which is the width between the widest parts of the tire walls (minus raised lettering) drawn as a straight line 'through' the tire. This is not the 'tread width' (which is another design-measurement in it's own right), nor measured 'curved' across the tread.

If a 195 car tire truly fits a GL1500, and it is not physically narrower than it's stated width, then a 190 wide bike tire should theoretically fit, as long as the overall diameter (as dictated by the profile percentage) allows. Who runs a 195 car tire?
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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by offcenter » Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:48 pm

I run a 195 65 Nokian car tire. I have almost 18,000 miles on it.
It definitely does NOT rub the swing arm. I still have enough
room to slide my pinky finger in there, just barely.
I'm guessing it misses the swing arm by about 1/4 of an inch.
George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"

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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by Sadanorakman » Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:03 am

offcenter wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:48 pm
I run a 195 65 Nokian car tire. I have almost 18,000 miles on it.
It definitely does NOT rub the swing arm. I still have enough
room to slide my pinky finger in there, just barely.
I'm guessing it misses the swing arm by about 1/4 of an inch.
Excellent feedback thank you off-centre. I just looked at a tire/rim-width calculator (suppose it was written regarding car wheels), that says a 5" rim should be fitted with narrowest tire 155, ideal fit 165 or 175, and widest fit 185.
Do your side walls look really pinched in by the rim? I wonder, because the rim will be almost 3" narrower than the widest part of the tyre, and a 65 profile 195 only has an overall tire height of 5" from edge of bead to surface of tread. Was it a battle to mount it?

Anyway, we're digressing in to car tires, and it's my own damned fault for doing so!!!!

I'm not lecturing below because I have no personal experience of running a CT on a bike, and hundreds of dark-siders have proven it to be safe. I'll simply explain why I personally cannot entertain a car tire:
A Latin term 'uberrima fides' means insurance is based on full disclosure between parties.
Tire manufactures have gone out of their way to state that their tires made for cars should never be used on a motorcycle, as serious injury or even death could result.
In the eyes of a UK insurance provider, that's a pretty black and white statement... Fitting a safety-critical part explicitly defined by its manufacturer as not to be suitable for this use would allow the insurer to simply walk away from any claim made in any moving accident!
Doesn't matter how many people are riding thousands of miles on CT's without them failing... The manufacturer will be regarded as the expert, and the rider fitting them will be regarded as negligent.

So... Elite or Cobra folks? The poll is already showing a 3:1 favourite!
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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by bellboy40 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:15 am

Sadanorakman wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:45 pm
I just looked them both up...
-The Cobra 130/70 x 18 Radial has a 63 load rating, and is available with either an H or V speed rating.
-The Cobra 130/70 x 18 Bias-Ply has a 69 load rating, and is available only with an H speed rating.
Ok, that was where the discrepancy came from. WingAdmin was referring to a radial and I was looking at the bias ply tire.

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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by offcenter » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:02 pm

Sadanorakman wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 2:03 am
offcenter wrote:
Fri Jan 04, 2019 6:48 pm
I run a 195 65 Nokian car tire. I have almost 18,000 miles on it.
It definitely does NOT rub the swing arm. I still have enough
room to slide my pinky finger in there, just barely.
I'm guessing it misses the swing arm by about 1/4 of an inch.
Excellent feedback thank you off-centre. I just looked at a tire/rim-width calculator (suppose it was written regarding car wheels), that says a 5" rim should be fitted with narrowest tire 155, ideal fit 165 or 175, and widest fit 185.
Do your side walls look really pinched in by the rim? I wonder, because the rim will be almost 3" narrower than the widest part of the tyre, and a 65 profile 195 only has an overall tire height of 5" from edge of bead to surface of tread. Was it a battle to mount it?
I mounted it with tire irons, the same way I'd mount a motorcycle tire.
It was a bit harder, but not as bad as I thought it would be.
And no, the sidewalls do not looked pinched in. As I said, 18,000 miles
on it so far and it feels and handles just fine.
George in Jersey.
99 Goldwing GL-1500 SE
76 Goldwing Gl-1000
77 Honda CT-90 "Trail 90"

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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by Sadanorakman » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:53 am

offcenter wrote:
Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:02 pm
I mounted it with tire irons, the same way I'd mount a motorcycle tire.
It was a bit harder, but not as bad as I thought it would be.
And no, the sidewalls do not looked pinched in. As I said, 18,000 miles
on it so far and it feels and handles just fine.
Thanks for the feedback offcenter.

I'd love to be able to run a car tire, but I just cannot justify it from an insurance risk perspective. What's not to like about 30,000 miles, better wet grip, and greater load rating... Oh well!
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Re: Avon Cobra, Dunlop Elite 4, other?

Post by Sadanorakman » Sun Jan 06, 2019 8:27 am

Looking at the tires currently fitted to my bike...

Rear: Dunlop Elite 2, manufactured in April 2004... Just 14 years, 9 months old!!!

Front: Bridgestone exedra G701, manufactured January 2008... A youngster at just 11 years old!

Good job I shipped it the 2000 miles back from Tenerife instead of riding it!

What is interesting, is the load ratings of these arcane tires are 63 front (600lbs), 75 rear (853lbs). I know that these numbers were pretty standard, and identical to the originally oem-specced Dunlop K177's, but a new set of elite 4's are rated at 67 front (677lbs), and 81 rear (1019lbs).

That's an increase in load capacity of 77lbs front (+12.8%) and 166lbs rear (+19.5%)
... A total combined increase of 243lbs, or 110 kg (that's a combined +16.7%, or a whole 1/6th!) That's got to make for a safer ride!!!


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