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Discussion Starter #1
I haven't seen these addressed. If I missed them, please pardon me.

The Michelin Motorcycle tire web site doesn't list fitments for the GL1800 or if it does, I missed them. Could that be at least one reason the Michelin rep mentioned the rear Pilot Activ as a front tire for GL1800 trikes?

The Pilot Activ is a bias ply tire and every GL1800 trike that I have seen is equipped with radial rear tires. Tire manufacturers and vehicle manufacturers warn against mixing radials and bias ply tires on the same vehicle. Have you discussed this with any tire manufacturers or seen anything in writing from trike kit builders?

I realize that many have reported excellent results with this tire on the front of trikes but I do wonder...

I also wonder if there are other brand rear tires that have equal or better load capacity to the Pilot Activ, if anyone has tried them and what the results were.

Any information will be appreciated. I have enough opinions on my own. <big grin>
 

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Ben, like many, I have had great results with the MPA. However ran into a problem with supply last summer and was not able to get one when I needed it. Switched over to the Bridgstone, BT45, which is also a rear tire. To date, I have over 13K on it and I must say that I like it a great deal. NO CUPPING at all. I am running 41 PSI in it and it still looks new. I wish I had measured it before using it so as to track wear better, but did not. This tire also looks like a keeper. Plan to run a bunch of miles again this summer so I will let ya know what happens.

All the best to ya
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ben, like many, I have had great results with the MPA. However ran into a problem with supply last summer and was not able to get one when I needed it. Switched over to the Bridgstone, BT45, which is also a rear tire. To date, I have over 13K on it and I must say that I like it a great deal. NO CUPPING at all. I am running 41 PSI in it and it still looks new. I wish I had measured it before using it so as to track wear better, but did not. This tire also looks like a keeper. Plan to run a bunch of miles again this summer so I will let ya know what happens.

All the best to ya
Thanks Jim. You confirmed my suspicion.
 

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I don't know if you checked Ben.....I noticed
the Battlax BT45 and the Pilot Activ are both bias ply.
I've run about 10k on the MPA and it does not show much wear.
I think Jim mentioned (when he first put it on) that the BT45 makes the steering a little easier....and that has to be a good thing. :lol:

Don't know if that easier steering went away as it broke in though.

The tread pattern of the MPA can generate some light buzzing vibration
in the trike, when it's turning at certain low speeds on certain road surfaces.

I've felt that buzz quite a few times when nearing the 10k mark on the MPA.
Since the BT45 seems to be giving similar long mileage wear performance
, no buzzing and maybe a little easier steering..... I'll have it on the list
when I go shopping for a new one.
I'll also have a Metzler Lazertec on the list for comparing.
When in Texas last year a CSC shop told me of seeing a Lazertec with something like 40K on the front of a trike...and it didn't look worn at all.
It also was said to not have the buzzing like the MPA.
I think Geroge Lewis had it as the next tire he would put on his trike.
Haven't been checking if he did it yet.
The Lazertec is also a bias ply tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I don't know if you checked Ben.....I noticed
the Battlax BT45 and the Pilot Activ are both bias ply.
I've run about 10k on the MPA and it does not show much wear.
I think Jim mentioned (when he first put it on) that the BT45 makes the steering a little easier....and that has to be a good thing. :lol:

Don't know if that easier steering went away as it broke in though.

The tread pattern of the MPA can generate some light buzzing vibration
in the trike, when it's turning at certain low speeds on certain road surfaces.

I've felt that buzz quite a few times when nearing the 10k mark on the MPA.
Since the BT45 seems to be giving similar long mileage wear performance
, no buzzing and maybe a little easier steering..... I'll have it on the list
when I go shopping for a new one.
I'll also have a Metzler Lazertec on the list for comparing.
When in Texas last year a CSC shop told me of seeing a Lazertec with something like 40K on the front of a trike...and it didn't look worn at all.
It also was said to not have the buzzing like the MPA.
I think Geroge Lewis had it as the next tire he would put on his trike.
Haven't been checking if he did it yet.
The Lazertec is also a bias ply tire.
It is beginning to look like it is the tire type rather than the brand/model that is responsible for the long mileage on trike front ends. Since I couldn't find a Michelin tire specified for the GL1800 front, could it be that the company rep(s) was/were looking a little harder for ways to get some of the G-W trade? Does anyone know the load/speed ratings of the different rear bias body tires that fit the GL1800 front wheel?

Anyone have any information regarding using radial passenger tires on the rear axle and bias m/c tires on the front? I haven't personally noticed any suspicious handling characteristics...
 

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There's probably some truth to it being tire type that is the dominant factor.
Here are a few more of my personal observations concerning the subject....
Others may see things differently....

The Michelin folks are the only ones that I have heard of,
who actually recommended one of their tires for trike front end use.
I would doubt that Michelin made any intentional effort to steer trike folks to that tire since
it appears they may be taking it off the market.
It was made for older model bikes and unless they have restocked their inventories,
it was getting fairly hard to come by as of the last half of 08.
The Pilot Activ has been used by so many trikes, with good results,
that it has become the reference standard by which all others are measured.
( in longevity and somewhat in performance also ).
I can't speak for everyone, but everyone I have talked with, or read their posts,
agrees that the standard radial front tires made specifically for the Gold Wing
wear out in just a few thousand miles.
At $150 a pop, this can get expensive real fast.
Now with the Lazertec and Battlax starting to compete with the MPA, it's nice to have a choice.
I would be willing to bet that every GL1800 trike on the road has radial tires on the rear.
And since the dual tire rear is totally different than the single tire front configuration,
there is no way the rules of "don't mix tire types" could apply.
It may be that one combination of tire types would be better than another,
but any four wheel or two wheel tire rules couldn't be applied based on any official data......
These bias tires are made for the rear.... and have higher load ratings than
most front tires.
Being designed as a driven tire, they are more robust than tires made for front use.
They are definitely a bulkier and stiffer carcass.
It would be hard to exceed the load rating of any of these "rear" tires when used on the front wheel.
Since the small contact patch (relative to the rears) of the largest tire,
that will fit on the stock wheel, prevents the trike front end from ever being able to out-perform the rears....
getting good wear becomes of more concern than performance....
as significant tire life gains can be made with the best tire selection...
whereas even the best tire that can be fitted to the front wheel...
gives only a relatively small improvement in handling.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
There's probably some truth to it being tire type that is the dominant factor.
Here are a few more of my personal observations concerning the subject....
Others may see things differently....

The Michelin folks are the only ones that I have heard of,
who actually recommended one of their tires for trike front end use.
I would doubt that Michelin made any intentional effort to steer trike folks to that tire since
it appears they may be taking it off the market.
It was made for older model bikes and unless they have restocked their inventories,
it was getting fairly hard to come by as of the last half of 08.
The Pilot Activ has been used by so many trikes, with good results,
that it has become the reference standard by which all others are measured.
( in longevity and somewhat in performance also ).
I can't speak for everyone, but everyone I have talked with, or read their posts,
agrees that the standard radial front tires made specifically for the Gold Wing
wear out in just a few thousand miles.
At $150 a pop, this can get expensive real fast.
Now with the Lazertec and Battlax starting to compete with the MPA, it's nice to have a choice.
I would be willing to bet that every GL1800 trike on the road has radial tires on the rear.
And since the dual tire rear is totally different than the single tire front configuration,
there is no way the rules of "don't mix tire types" could apply.
It may be that one combination of tire types would be better than another,
but any four wheel or two wheel tire rules couldn't be applied based on any official data......
These bias tires are made for the rear.... and have higher load ratings than
most front tires.
Being designed as a driven tire, they are more robust than tires made for front use.
They are definitely a bulkier and stiffer carcass.
It would be hard to exceed the load rating of any of these "rear" tires when used on the front wheel.
Since the small contact patch (relative to the rears) of the largest tire,
that will fit on the stock wheel, prevents the trike front end from ever being able to out-perform the rears....
getting good wear becomes of more concern than performance....
as significant tire life gains can be made with the best tire selection...
whereas even the best tire that can be fitted to the front wheel...
gives only a relatively small improvement in handling.
I agree on all points. My curiosity with respect to mixing radials with bias body tires stems from automotive lore as well as experience with automobiles.

A point to ponder... If Michelin intends to or has stopped producing the MPA (rear) in the G-W front size, will others will follow suit with their equivalent tires... Oh well... <BBG>
 

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I would think there would be no problem at all with running a mix of bias ply tires and radials on a car as long as they were not mixed on the same end. I cannot see where putting bias tires on the front of a car and radials on the back (or vice-versa) would make any difference. I can see that putting bias tire on one side of a car and radials on the other could cause some problems.
By the way. My MPA now has 19,000 miles on it, running in reverse rotation, and looks like it could easily run 19,000 more.

-Dan
 
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