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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The choice is between a Dunlop D404 and Dunlop K70. Which would you buy? Most of my riding will be on county roads. No gravel, no Interstates, and not too much in the rain.
 

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Neither.
I'd buy a Michelin Commander II.
Wait...
I already DID buy them!
 

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The choice is between a Dunlop D404 and Dunlop K70. Which would you buy? Most of my riding will be on county roads. No gravel, no Interstates, and not too much in the rain.
I'd buy the ones with the softest rubber. They wear faster, but keep you on the road better.
 

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The choice is between a Dunlop D404 and Dunlop K70. Which would you buy? Most of my riding will be on county roads. No gravel, no Interstates, and not too much in the rain.
On what kind of bike? I've only used the 404 and it was fine for everything I rode on. But that included highways and gravel with everything in between. How aggressive do you want to ride should be considered as well. Do you absolutely have to have a Dunlop? I prefer them for their ability to run with zero air if you get a sudden air loss. They have one of the stiffest sidewalls on the market. I hated Dunlops until I was forced to ride one 12 miles once without air. That sold me on the brand and will run them from here on while riding on just two wheels. But there are many other good choices and better choices if you want to ride aggressively.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
On what kind of bike? I've only used the 404 and it was fine for everything I rode on. But that included highways and gravel with everything in between. How aggressive do you want to ride should be considered as well. Do you absolutely have to have a Dunlop? I prefer them for their ability to run with zero air if you get a sudden air loss. They have one of the stiffest sidewalls on the market. I hated Dunlops until I was forced to ride one 12 miles once without air. That sold me on the brand and will run them from here on while riding on just two wheels. But there are many other good choices and better choices if you want to ride aggressively.
Thanks Hogcowboy. I am not an aggressive rider (those days are gone:smile:), and my new tires don't have to be Dunlops, but back in the day they were always the gold standard. The most important thing to me is safety and correct fit. I'm restoring a '79 Honda Hawk CB400 T1, and my rim size is 1.85" both Front and Rear. My maximum speed would be 65-70mph, and once in a while I like a moderate lean a corner, but I'm not going to overdo it.
 

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Wow, didn't know they still made the K70s, but like hogcowboy said; what bike... Used to swear by Dunlops, but had a set of 404 (Harley) that both split the sidewall at different times; had a set of Dunlops on my car and three of the four failed as well... I know it sounds like faulty inflation, but I'm pretty fastidious about that and I have no idea what happened that year, but I was sure disappointed -- after that year I went to other brands -- mostly Metz, but occasionally B'stones... But given your choices, I'd probably go with the 404s on a heavy cruiser, and the K70s on a classic with the typical 18" rear and 19" front wheels or something like that..

- Larry
 

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There is a thread on here somewhere talking about those 1.85 inch rims. Don't know if that's your thread or not but if not I suggest you look for it. You might get some more info. But it really sounds like almost any brand tire in that size will work for you. Like I said, I'm sold on Dunlops. I've heard several brands have had certain years where they had trouble with their rubber compound. Seems Metzler was the latest I've heard. I've also had good luck with Michelin Commander II's mentioned above. So really, toss a coin.
 
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Hope I remember the numbers.
The 404 looks more like a street tyre. The K70 has more tread, which might be better for gravel roads, and rain.
The K81 is the modern version of the TT100. The TT100 is my favorite tyre from yesteryear. I would need to check my bikes to see what I have on them. Some are Dunlop.
Forgot to ask. What are you riding?

UK
 

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Neither.
I'd buy a Michelin Commander II.
That's what I have now on my M50. I wouldn't ride on anything else. I think the Commander is a cruiser-specific tire model, but I believe in Michelins in general. My M50 had some Metzelers when I bought it, and I never trusted them whatsoever in the rain. On the Commanders I can drive in the rain the same way I do in my truck. A little easy on the throttle and brakes and steering, but I don't have to be super cautious. When I first put them on it rained the next day. I rode over to a local park and tried hard to get them to skid. The only time they let go was when I braked really hard with only the front brake in a deep puddle, and it recovered immediately when I let off the brake.

I changed the tires on the CB600F I used to have to Michelins too. I don't remember the model of tire, but I loved them. I say whatever you're riding, get whatever Michelins fit it. Unless you're really going hard and need the exotic ones.
 

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I use the Shinko 230 Tourmaster tires. I used to live in western Loudoun County, VA. Lots of gravel roads. I never had any problems. Rode it up very steep driveways in the mountains. Large aggregate was not particularly nice, but no tire does well in gravel that tumbles and shifts a lot.
 

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Just checked. The 83 XS400, and the 79 XS1100 have 404. They work okay for me. Possibly better on the smaller bike, which is similar to yours. All bought new.
Just checked post 5 again. The XS400 does 92 on a good day, and gets a fair amount of tippy. Sometimes the 1100 does 95. It can go faster, but is not super stable past 95.

UK
 

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Thanks guys. UK - Forget about the bike - I'm nowhere near stable past 90
I am not so stable, and only 73. Who knows what I will be like at 90. Oh darn. Maybe you were talking about the bikes speed.

In my previous life, I owned a couple of the CB400 fours. Sold some as well. It is, was, one of my all time favorite around town bikes.

UK
 

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Lots of good info here on tires. To be honest, I really don't know much about these newer tires, compounds, treads, etc. Reading different opinions is rather educational for me.

I'll probably get slammed for this, but it is my opinion and I'll own it. I like Bias ply tires. I've been running Avon Speedmaster tires since the early 1970's on all my bikes. I just put a Speedmaster on my Suzuki a couple of months ago. The same tread pattern (ribbed) has been around since the 1920's. Different rubber compounds, yes, but the same tread pattern. A very solid tire for any kind of weather. Now if I could just find a solid Bias ply for the rear with a decent tread pattern.
 

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The older style tyres, were better on gravel roads, IMO. The radial tyres tend to roll over the gravel, rather than dig in. Noticed the same thing with cage tyres. If you plan on riding on miles of gravel, like Rollin, I would suggest a much more heavy or aggressive tread. The old TT100 tyres also felt better in the rain, again IMO. But I have not had any problems with modern tyres in the rain. They do however like to slide on tar snakes, and are useless in any amount of snow on the road. But then, snow crashes do not count.

UK
 

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The older style tyres, were better on gravel roads, IMO. The radial tyres tend to roll over the gravel, rather than dig in. Noticed the same thing with cage tyres. If you plan on riding on miles of gravel, like Rollin, I would suggest a much more heavy or aggressive tread. The old TT100 tyres also felt better in the rain, again IMO. But I have not had any problems with modern tyres in the rain. They do however like to slide on tar snakes, and are useless in any amount of snow on the road. But then, snow crashes do not count.

UK
Thanks UK. Actually I was going to send you a PM asking your opinion on what older style, Bias ply tire to buy. No need now. I really like the looks and tread pattern on the TT100. Like a lot of us uh, 'seasoned' riders, my go fast days are over. All I ask for these days is a tire that gives some feedback while riding. Probably just me, but I never could feel the road with Radials and the newer tread design. They just feel like they're numb to the road conditions, if that's the right phrase.
 

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I wore the sides of many sets of TT100s. Then gave them to a couple of street rider guys. Those type of tyres, were on a bike that lapped the IOM at a 100 mph average, back in the early seventies. That is what most used on the production bikes at the track. They worked fine on the street as well. We used more sticky type tyres on the race bikes.

By coincidence, I have a photo on my desk, of my 250 Suzuki, taken in NZ in the early eighties. It was riden on many gravel roads, has similar tyres to the TT100, but I think they are Avon. Which was a common tyre back then. They are the old style tyre, not the new radial.

UK
 

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I might be and probably am wrong but I think the new(er) tire patterns and compounds are really for heavier bikes and they do have fair rider feedback. Even so, I believe it's the rear tire(I haven't paid real close attention) is a bias tire. I think it was of load rating if I read it correctly and remember correctly. Good example of that myth that you can't mix radial and bias tires. The bike came stock just that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks everyone for all the Radial vs. Bias answers. I never gave it much thought. I will stick with the bias ply, because that's what came on the bike.
 
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