Road King Adventure Tire Recommendations

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by foxtrapper, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Been here awhile

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    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.
    #1
  2. sturgeon

    sturgeon Been here awhile

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    Tourances or Anakees if you can find the sizes you need.
    #2
  3. Anorak

    Anorak Woolf Barnato

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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?
    #3
  4. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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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. :dunno
    #4
  5. motorat

    motorat TBD

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    #5
  6. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Been here awhile

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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).
    #6
  7. sturgeon

    sturgeon Been here awhile

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    Try a street tire on the rear and something a little "knobbier" on the front. Greatly improves handling on gravel.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
    #7
  8. Clint Taurus

    Clint Taurus Been here awhile

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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.
    #8
  9. sturgeon

    sturgeon Been here awhile

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    But very few squids will blow by ya on blind curves on gravel roads.
    #9
  10. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Been here awhile

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    Mmm. To each, by their own abilities.

    [​IMG]

    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.
    #10
  11. Clint Taurus

    Clint Taurus Been here awhile

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    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
    #11
  12. FR700

    FR700 Banned

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    :lol3 ... it's just a motor bike :deal



    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.



    .
    #12
  13. Ben99r1

    Ben99r1 Long timer

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    I have a 06 road king. I bought a dunlop 402 rear tire when I needed one. Ill tell you this I won't get another one ever again. It does not to be pushed hard in the corners. It very slippery under hard braking. Only thing it has going in it favor is it works good in the rain. I live in California so that doesn't matter much. I am trying the Metzeler 880 next.
    #13
  14. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo

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    I would just get road tires. I really don't think tires are going to hold you back more than the 800+ pounds and lack of suspension travel. Moreover, I don't notice a huge difference between tires on gravel. Just take it easy, which shouldn't be a problem on a cruiser.

    Now if you expect to encounter mud, maybe it's worth a more aggressive tire. But if you end up down a muddy road on a roadking, you will certainly find adventure.
    #14
  15. Murf2

    Murf2 Been here awhile

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    I run a lot of gravel roads on my RK. Dunlop Elite3's aired down to around 25 lbs will get you farther than you need to go.

    Have fun,
    Murf
    #15
  16. ka5ysy

    ka5ysy Doug

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    Somebody get creative and put some TKC's on one ! Hey Jessie... how about a dual sport RK? Somebody would pay good money for one of those ... Call it the "Dirt King" :lol3
    #16
  17. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard I have no soul

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    There's that ADV Rider SPIRIT !!! :rofl



    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. :freaky
    #17
  18. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Been here awhile

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    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.
    #18
  19. EricD10563

    EricD10563 Been here awhile

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    RoadHD as a lot of experince with this.
    #19
  20. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo

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    [​IMG]

    I'm really not a Harley fan, but this pic is just awesome. Very Indiana Jones-esque. I have lots of friends with Harleys - some might even have over 2000 miles on them :D. I think I'll print RoadHD's pics out and place them on their desks.
    #20