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Old 12-19-2012, 05:52 PM   #1
foxtrapper OP
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Road King Adventure Tire Recommendations

Bought a 2004 Road King recently, and it's going to be needing a new rear tire come spring.

I've got very little saddle time on this bike, but in general, I have a habit of going into places I shouldn't go.

So what sort of tire would you guys recommend for traveling down dirt and gravel roads, as well pavement. Interstate slogging isn't a big concern for me. I'll be riding slower, gawking at the world, as I tend to do. I want a tire that will handle dirt and gravel roads better than those Dunlops would. I'm used to those tires, and other Dunlops very similar, they dance and slither in dirt, though without actually losing it. I'd like better.

And if any of you have actually dark sided an earlier Road King, with the narrower rim, I'd love to hear it. There's a few rather vague listings on the darkside page, but I'm rather dubious of what is said with regards to the narrow rimmed Road King.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:46 AM   #2
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Tourances or Anakees if you can find the sizes you need.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:28 AM   #3
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BF Goodrich All Terrain. I don't think you'll find a tire with any sort of "adventure" design that will have the load rating your bike requires. Maybe you could cut a more aggressive tread in one of the recommended tires?
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:38 AM   #4
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Pack an air compressor & tire gauge, and just air down whatever you've been running when you're in the dirt.

You said you're in no hurry.
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Old 12-20-2012, 07:38 AM   #5
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i am guessing you have a 16" wheel so that limits what is available.
what i found are:
http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...Rear-Tire.aspx

http://www.motorcycle-superstore.com...Rear-Tire.aspx

the duro is a 130 where as the bridge stone is a 120.
there were a couple others but they were more knobby and under the weight of a road king you would probubly only get about 2k miles out of them.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:09 AM   #6
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I should have posted size. Stock is 130/90-16. That limits me. And I'm not looking to make the Road King into a dirt bike.

The Duro and Bridgestone were the only things I found as well. I even found a thread where some Sportster guys were building offroad versions of their bikes, and several were running the Bridgestones. They had to do some further engineering to deal with the high speed wobbles they were getting from the offroad type tires. That's not something I want to get into with the Road King.

Really, I'm looking for something roughly in between a generic street touring tire and something like the Duro and Bridgestone. Arguably, the oem type Dunlops might be the best I can find. I've used them before and they do work. Enough tread lip to work on a dirt road, they just aren't particularly good at it.

One other I found that I'm wondering about is the Conti Milestone. Tread looks like it might be able to dig in a little on a dirt or gravel road. Should also be good in the rain (hate having rain drama).
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:24 AM   #7
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Try a street tire on the rear and something a little "knobbier" on the front. Greatly improves handling on gravel.

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Old 12-20-2012, 01:03 PM   #8
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Show the King some respect would ya! run that 800+pound behemoth up shits creek a couple times and pull it out by yourself and you'll stop taking it where it has no business being.
They didn't name it Road King cause it's such a great gravel and fire roader.
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le'monjello Jackson View Post
Show the King some respect would ya! run that 800+pound behemoth up shits creek a couple times and pull it out by yourself and you'll stop taking it where it has no business being.
They didn't name it Road King cause it's such a great gravel and fire roader.
Mmm. To each, by their own abilities.



http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=603979

Not that I ever said I wanted to do that. Just that I wanted tires that work better than typical tires on dirt and gravel roads.
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxtrapper View Post
Mmm. To each, by their own abilities.



http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=603979

Not that I ever said I wanted to do that. Just that I wanted tires that work better than typical tires on dirt and gravel roads.
True enough home skillet.
I would never subject my RK to a river run, a gravel road if necessary, but not a river.
good luck in your tire search, post up a pic when you find the right tire
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le'monjello Jackson View Post
I would never subject my RK to a river run, a gravel road if necessary, but not a river.

... it's just a motor bike



OP , I went with Metzeler 880's . A 140/90 on the back as they have a higher load rating and last longer , it just cleared the wide belt used on my '02 glide. After I went chain there's plenty of clearance. Going wider would have meant changing out the rear guard too. The front I found that a 130/90 and sitting on the back of the tank to load the front works well. Let the back of the bike do what it wants on fast gravel ~ 60+ mph , it'll never completely step out on you.



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Old 12-21-2012, 04:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le'monjello Jackson View Post
Show the King some respect would ya! run that 800+pound behemoth up shits creek a couple times and pull it out by yourself and you'll stop taking it where it has no business being.
They didn't name it Road King cause it's such a great gravel and fire roader.

There's that ADV Rider SPIRIT !!!



To the op, just get that bike out and ride it!!. Even the stock tires will handle off road duty. Your only limiting factor is the rider.
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:25 AM   #13
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There's that ADV Rider SPIRIT !!!



To the op, just get that bike out and ride it!!. Even the stock tires will handle off road duty. Your only limiting factor is the rider.
Chuckle, been tobogganing it around the fields a bit already. Very docile, which is part of why I bought one. In some ways, it's easier to handle in grass than my XL500 with knobbies is.

You should have seen them at the dealership where I got seduced by the Road King. Playing with the various Harleys from an ADV rider perspective. Just standing up on the pegs/boards and such, making sure I could shift and brake that way. Made some eyes bug out. Especially out on the test ride, dancing the bike around while standing up.

Don't argue that the rider is the biggest limiting factor, as well the greatest advantage. Just sniffing around for the tire that has the best balance of pavement & dirt road riding, as opposed to just low noise or interstate highway mileage. Hard to find that info.

Looks like a toss-up between the Dunlop E3, Conti Milestone, Metzler 880, and Michelin Commander II. Just discovered those Michelins, and some of the things I've read make it seem like the dark horse unknown winner. Several very happy postings from guys who've ridden them up through Alaska for example.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foxtrapper View Post
Chuckle, been tobogganing it around the fields a bit already. Very docile, which is part of why I bought one. In some ways, it's easier to handle in grass than my XL500 with knobbies is.

You should have seen them at the dealership where I got seduced by the Road King. Playing with the various Harleys from an ADV rider perspective. Just standing up on the pegs/boards and such, making sure I could shift and brake that way. Made some eyes bug out. Especially out on the test ride, dancing the bike around while standing up.

Don't argue that the rider is the biggest limiting factor, as well the greatest advantage. Just sniffing around for the tire that has the best balance of pavement & dirt road riding, as opposed to just low noise or interstate highway mileage. Hard to find that info.

Looks like a toss-up between the Dunlop E3, Conti Milestone, Metzler 880, and Michelin Commander II. Just discovered those Michelins, and some of the things I've read make it seem like the dark horse unknown winner. Several very happy postings from guys who've ridden them up through Alaska for example.

I know what you mean about the looks at the Hd dealer! Should have seen the looks when asking about raising the bike a couple of inches and when I commented that I would love a light weight exhaust if someone had one that was as quiet as stock.

I also got some funny looks when my daughter and I rode 30 miles through a wildlife management area 2 up as well as when I was jumping it over a hill and doing sideways slides through corners on a dirt road in front of a buddies house.

I had the ME880s and they were great for the first 11k miles. One thing that was weird was that when they were nearing the end of their life they began to slip something fierce in the rain. I rode the Dunlops down to nothing and they never exhibited that characteristic. I am now riding the Commander IIs and so far so good. I have put about 6k on them and they look new. They seem to do fine on dirt/gravel (they seem to shed mud pretty well also) and are very nice on pavement. Zero complaints so far.

My dad lives in AK and has ridden the Dempster on a fully loaded Sporty with the stock Dunlops. He was 70 when he did that trip. I'm sure that with a little practice you would be fine.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le'monjello Jackson View Post
Show the King some respect would ya! run that 800+pound behemoth up shits creek a couple times and pull it out by yourself and you'll stop taking it where it has no business being.
They didn't name it Road King cause it's such a great gravel and fire roader.
Lol
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