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Old Today, 05:43 AM   #1
Tigre OP
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Joined: Dec 2014
Oddometer: 84
Your fav Bikes with 18" or 19" front wheel?

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Old Today, 06:58 AM   #2
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: High Desert, CA
Oddometer: 555
It's just so damn shiny...

In all seriousness though. The bike has an 18" front wheel and a 17" back wheel. My last bike had 16" front and back. The one before that had 19" front 17" back. And I've ridden plenty of bikes with 17" front and back. I think I can make a few observations about my experiences.

DISCLAIMER: Many other factors at work here besides tire height. Weight, suspension set up, tire width and aspect ratio, geometry, etc. all play a roll in how a bike will handle. Way more going on that just tire size. But I'll share my thoughts on how tire size can influence the riding experience.

Starting with the 19/17 bike. Extremely stable at all speeds. Very good over rough roads, the bumps would have to be very large to disrupt the line mid-corner. The bike had a tendency to require a bit more input to initiate the turn. I felt this combination favored comfort over sporty handling. For the record bike was 580 lbs with well sorted upgraded suspension.

The 16/16" bike. VERY nimble. Change direction with just a thought. Turn in was telepathically easy. Bumps however had a large effect on the line mid corner and would disrupt the chassis easily. However the steering was so responsive that I could adjust the line to avoid the rough stuff with ease. The bike could become twitchy at higher speeds, with a hint of headshake at times. This combination definitely favored sporty handling and let comfort be damned. The bike was 430 lbs with adjusted (for my weight and riding style) stock suspension.

Bringing us to the 18/17 bike. Honestly before I rode it I would have preferred the bike to have a 17" front wheel. It would open the door to the very sporty tires and give the most modern sport-bike-esque ride. Now that I have ridden the bike I no longer care that it has a 18" front wheel. Bike is still very nimble and steers with no effort. It is also very stable at speed. The front end handles bumps with no problem. I have yet to fully sort the rear suspension but once it's done I don't see rough roads upsetting the chassis at all. Bike is 410 lbs with stock suspension.

TLDR: The 18" front 17" back offers an excellent compromise between sporty handling and comfort over rough roads. Your results may vary.
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Old Today, 07:33 AM   #3
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Greensboro NC
Oddometer: 159
91 - 03 Honda Nighthawk 750
91 - 02 Honda ST1100
2001 Honda ST1100
2002 Honda Nighthawk 750 (sold)
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Old Today, 09:15 AM   #4
Joined: Jul 2014
Oddometer: 94
Sportster, without a doubt.

There are similar bikes out there but the Sportster is an utterly unique riding experience. It's raw, visceral, unrefined and completely satisfying. For me it's motorcycling distilled to 100 proof and served straight up.
Once the crappy 'low' suspension is dealt with they are also surprisingly capable, comfortable and are just a plain great motorcycle.
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Old Today, 10:32 AM   #5
Hegelian Scum
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Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Asheville NC
Oddometer: 4,928

a ridiculous bicycle of a motorcycle, but classic and beautiful.
So there I was walking into a biker bar in Chattanooga with liberty spikes on my head and a drag queen beside me... - bcurvin
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Old Today, 11:41 AM   #6
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Joined: Jan 2008
Location: texas
Oddometer: 522
1983 cb1100f
Supermoto bikes exist so that 40 year old men who know better can act like total assholes.
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Old Today, 11:52 AM   #7
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Shippensburg, PA
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Old Today, 01:44 PM   #8
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jan 2013
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Old Today, 03:05 PM   #9
Yella DR
Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Toronto
Oddometer: 58
The DR with the warp9 19" front is much more responsive than the 21" still rolls over semi rough stuff just fine. I'd love to put a 19" on the Bandit for the rough surface roads I ride...
Seemingly the trend was to copy the nimble "track race bikes" and the obstacle strewn conquering "dirt bikes" with the big 21" front so they would sell on Monday.
I don't know why I said all that but what really is the question being asked?
2006 Bandit 1200
2005 DR650
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Old Today, 03:39 PM   #10
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Aug 2001
Location: Clifton Mills, Almost Heaven.
Oddometer: 413
The R1200GSA has a 19" and my R100R I was just riding has an 18" front. I read an article by someone (maybe Kevin Cameron?) which described how for the most neutral motorcycle cornering you want both front and rear tires turning at the same speed. To achieve this, narrower front tires need to be on a larger diameter wheel or have a much taller profile.

14 R1200GSA, 15 Road King, 07 Honda 919, 06 DR650
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