Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Twin Cities north metro
18 Front / 16 Rear very poor handling
I just bought a 2008 Road Glide and have put 500 miles on the bike. The prior owner put an 18 inch 2012 Street Glide Rim and tire on the front and left the rear a 16 inch. Since buying the bike and riding it, the handling is difficult to say the least. The front wheel feels like it wants to flop at low speeds. When cornering around a typical 90 degree street corner, in a slower turn around 20 mph the bike feels like it wants to fall into the corner rather than ride thru it. When at 55 mph or up, trying to ride in any corner like a long sweeper what have you, the bike wants to stand up and not lay down into the corner. I have to push in the direction I want the bike to go like always but I also have to pull with the other hand to get it respond and not try to stand up thru the corner. Also, when in those corners, it feels very unstable like the tire is riding on edge and about to break free. It's just plain terrible. I've read other threads where guys are saying this combo handles great? Not a chance, at least not on this bike. I put the stock 16 back on it and it feels fine now, normal riding characteristics. My 2003 Road King I had prior to this bike rode great. I will say that this Road Glide does handle slightly different even with the 16's back on it compared to my Road King. I checked the tire balance at the shop, it's fine. Tire pressure is normal. Tread is good. I checked the rim, it's not damaged or bent. I checked the brake rotors, they are fine. The 18 inch tire looks great except for the handling. It's just not rideable with an 18 incher on the front.
Tires I'm running right now on 16" rims - Front Harley Dunlop Tire MU85B16 M/C 77H / Rear Dunlop Harley MT90B16 M/C 72H
The 18 inch front tire I took off: Dunlop American Elite 130 70B18 M/C 63H
Is there anything unusual going on with these tires? Aspect ratio, width, ply, etc? I understand tires but don't know what the deal is with this set-up to make it handle poorly. It's like the trail is way off like I'm riding a chopper. The 18 inch tire has a slightly lower profile side wall and overall is only 1 inch larger in diameter total compared to the 16 inch. The ride is just awful and unstable with the 18 on the front. Any ideas?