Wide Tire Rubbing? Run A Metzeler!
By Jason Van Wyhe
Let me preface the article by saying this: I have no problem with running an Avon or Dunlop motorcycle tire. I've run Dunlops on my Shovelhead for years, and have an Avon on the front of my wide tire chopper. Both are capable tires with unique characteristics.
But now the tricky part: What if you have a wide tire chopper, and you don't have much clearance around the fender and rear belt/chain? (which is the case with 50% of the wide tire bikes out there) Are you worried about rubbing?
You should be. The vast majority of motorcycles built professionally or in the average man's garage have an 1/8" or less clearance around the belt/chain or the edge of the fender. That's not much room to play with. As most brands of tires heat up from normal driving, they expand. It is possible for a tire to expand as much as 15mm (about 9/16") due to this thermal expansion. There goes all your clearance, and then some. And there goes your $300 tire and new paint job.
This is where Metzeler comes in. The ME 880 XXL series of motorcycle tires from Metzeler are dimensionally stable, meaning they won't expand (much) with heat and maintain their cold dimensions. This is a life saver if you have clearance issues.
In fact, Metzeler is so sure of this, they size their tires 10mm wider than other brands. They offer a 210mm, 240mm, and 260mm that will fit where a 200mm, 230mm, or 250mm from another brand will fit.
Just something to consider when building your next bike.
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