Tire selection for Kawasaki KE175

Discussion in '2 smokers' started by kapnk, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. kapnk

    kapnk Been here awhile

    Apr 15, 2012
    Reality(76 mi^2)Reality, WI
    I need new tires for my 1981 Kawasaki KE175. There are three options that I’m considering:

    Shinko 244 (2.75-21, 3.50-18)

    Shinko 705 (90/90-21, 4.10-18)

    Shinko 250 / Shinko 712 (MH90-21, 100/90-18)

    I’m struggling with two things: (1) type of tire I want, and (2) what sizes will fit. My goal in this post is to get help with #2.

    The factory tires are 2.75-21 and 3.50-18. The 244’s are right on as far as size, but realistically I should have something more street-oriented for the type of riding I’ll be doing. I say this thinking about grip and lifetime. I also have an appreciation for staying with the factory size, which is where the problem arises.


    I think the Shinko 705 would be ideal for me, but the front would be ~20mm wider and the rear would be ~15mm wider. For the Shinko 250/712, the front would be 10mm wider, and the rear would be 11mm wider. I think the 705 is my ideal tire, but I’m not comfortable going that much wider due to increased stress on the rim, and reduced contact area due to bowing of the tread. I’m not concerned about clearance because I currently have 3.00-12 and 4.10-18 non-DOT knobbies.

    My best guess at this point is that the rim widths are: front-1.85” rear-2.15” based on measuring the outside of the rim (2” and 2.31” F/R).

    So here are the questions: Are my concerns about going 15-20mm over the stock width justified? Would I be better off using the 250/712 combo that’s 10-11mm over?


    P.S. Here’s a few more helpful links to add to the confusion:
    http://www.hagon-shocks.co.uk/common/pdf/wheels2011.pdf <---rim width suggestions