New tires.

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Jan 18, 2004
I'd like to purchase a new set of tires for my '72 Roadster. The bike has the original 19" rims and I know it can be difficult finding front and rear tires for rims this size. If possible, I would like to find a tire I could use that has a modern tread pattern, but would settle for a classic pattern if necessary. Also, could someone suggest a dealer in the US that is familiar with Commando rims and won't give me a hard time about "what I really need." If you know what I mean. Thanks!
Commando tires

There really isn't much that will fit properly. In the old thread pattern there is the Avon Roadrunner 4.10x19 and the Dunlop K81 in the same size. Fit these to both front and rear.

The modern tire is the Avon AM18 Super Venom in 100/90x19 for front and rear. The alternative for the front is the Avon AM20 new Roadrunner in 90/90x19. The smaller size gives quicker stearing. I have the AM20 90/90x19 on the front of my '72 Roadster and really don't like it. Next time I'll use AM18s front and back.

Many people put a WM3- 18 inch rim on the back and this gives many more options. I can't give any recommendations to this since I've always kept the original 19 inch.

Get a couple of tire irons and put the tires on yourself (get tubes also).
tire sizes

Irradiated, I just put a set of Dunlop K81 tires on my 72 Commando. I haven't ridden it yet, so I can't tell you how they perform. However, you can find a variety of opinions on them and Avon tires on Captain Norton's notes. I shopped the internet and found what I felt was a good deal at $78.95 each and shipping is free if you purchace two or more tires. I got them within a week. Each tire has mounting rotation arrows on both sidewalls, one for mounting on the front rim and the other for the back rim. These tires are made in Japan. I'm not sure if you can get them that are made in England any longer.
I have the Dunlop Roadhandler TT100's (K81) on my 1971. So far been very satisfied with them. It really comes down to personal desires. Do you want to retain the vintage look of your bike (Dunlop's)? Are you more interested in the best road handling (Avon's)? Are you a hard charger and very aggressive in your riding (Avon's)? Or are you a recreational rider with some aggressive riding (Dunlop's)? Make your choice the best way it fits you, fortunately you have a choice. As to the Dunlops being made in Japan, I believe all Dunlops tires (cars) are made in Japan. I have not problem with that, I don't doubt the quality at all. Now if they were made in some 3rd world country than that would be of concern. The reason I chose the Dunlops was that it had the vintage tread design and was made with modern rubber compound. And I believe the bikes originally came with these tires. Good luck.
Thanks everybody, I always appreciate good advice. David I'm glad you mentioned the Avon 100/90x19's. I spoke to a dealer who told me that these tires are too small (narrow.)for this bike. He insisted it had to be a 110/90x19. I mean this fella was really irate! These were the tires I had been considering, but I decided to see what other owners are using.
Thanks again!
New tires

I have spent considerable time researching tires, sizes and talking to people. Everyone has their favorites but the one thing that was always consistent was nobody ever bad mouthed the Avon, Super Venoms. Well I finally removed a few fish hooks from my pockets and sprung for a set AM18's 100/90 19 front and rear for my MARK III. Wow, what a difference.
I must also comment that I went deep when I did this and had the wheels tuned, trued and the offsets corrected.
FYI, my previous tires were mismatched, a Dunlop K81 on the front and a Bridgstone Spitfire 110/90 19 on the rear. I never liked this combo.
Now before everyone goes off on me and says it is not a fair comparison, let me tell you about my other two Nortons. My 72 has a Metzler Me33 100/90 18 on the front and a ME55A 120/90 18 on the rear. My 71 has matching Dunlop K-81's.
By far my preference are the Avons. It doesn't make the other ones bad, it just feels like the Avons are 'STUCK' to the road more and with good feel.
Commando Tyres

Greetings All...

Just read through the posts and thought I would add my two-bits worth.

Started out with the SuperVenom on my Commando. Put three SuperVenoms on the rear in two years. Good gripping tyre, but it sure doesn't wear long.

Since my riding style is not canyon crazy, I sought a better wearing tyre and settled on the Dunlop K70 front and K81 rear. Have been running this combo just under a year and have no complaints on dry, wet, grated, etc, they have served well, and more importantly are still serving.

I purchase my tyres from MAW (Motorcycle Accessory Wharehouse).

More on MAW. The set of Avon AM18/AM20 tires I have on my combat were ordered from these people. It took about 6 weeks for delivery and customer service kept telling me they were "in the mail". It doesn't mean I won't use them again, but a frustrating experience last time.

So far I think the AM18 Super Venom rear is lasting about as long on the previous Avon old style Roadrunner, not long. The Dunlop K81 does last longer, but is terrible on rain grooves.
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