Why 19 inch wheels?

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by jamesearl, Jul 25, 2019.

  1. jamesearl

    jamesearl Well-Known Member

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    Had a FLTRX it has 19 in.front tire.Now have a bike with 17 in.frnt. tire.Quite a difference,much better corners with 17 in.The 19 I never really got used to,felt a little unsure on hard corners.Now with 17 feels much more well planted.Do they do the 19 just for looks? What advantage is there in what I would call a squirrely tire(the 19 in.)
     
  2. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Experienced Member

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    What is your current model that has the 19" tire? It could well be the bike model, and not the tire size that makes you more comfortable turning.
     
  3. jamesearl

    jamesearl Well-Known Member

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    Current model has 17in. last model had 19in.
     
  4. dolt

    dolt Senior Member

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    If one has confidence in tires and cornering skills, wheel/diameter shouldn't make any difference if front end geometry is stock. I took me a while to get used to the 21" front wheel /tire on my '05 FXSTD. It takes a bit more work than cornering on the 18" wheel/tire on the front of my '02 FLHT but I just had to learn the difference and make the adjustment. I still can't take corners in the rain on the Deuce as confidently as I can on the bagger though.:eek:
     
  5. jamesearl

    jamesearl Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if the same amount of contact patch is on the road for both.I guess I figured the bigger the wheel,the less contact?
     
  6. dolt

    dolt Senior Member

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    [QUOTE="jamesearl]I wonder if the same amount of contact patch is on the road for both.I guess I figured the bigger the wheel,the less contact?[/QUOTE]

    It would seem so but not necessarily. I could go into a long and boring dissertation on why but it would be more productive for you to Google "Motorcycle Tire Contact Patch"; it's more complicated that at first glance. Think about it; leaning into a corner, the tire is contacting the road surface at a lean angle where the width of the tire really doesn't come into play; the tire is in the "chcken strip" area of the tire.

    Most of us, I think, that ride a bit on the aggressive side, use trail braking as a cornering technique. Applying front brake as one enters a turn shifts weight forward "loading" the front tire which increases the contact patch in mitigates against slide out. Riders that do not use the front brake to trail brake and/or the back break, lighten the front end which can contribute to slide out. There are so many variables that are in play, like tire compound, tire pressure, road surface, sidewall stiffness and tire temperature which make the contact patch issue anything but straight forward as wide tire vs narrow tire.

    When I know I am going to be running the Three Sisters in the Texas hill country where there are many changes in elevation and many, many, corners marked from 30, 20 and 10mph, I run 4-6 pounds less pressure in the front 90/90-21 tire on the Deuce.
     
  7. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    I personally feel that the larger narrower tyre gives a quicker response going into a bend however only have the fatter tyre on the fxdwg and had narrower tyres on the two sportsters and the softail custom
    So on different frames so hard to tell what what is best
    whatever works for you and your riding conditions may not work for others and there riding conditions

    Brian
     
  8. NCBILL

    NCBILL Active Member

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    I swapped-out my 21" tire on my 06 Sporty for a 19" mag wheel and put on a 90/100 for a larger "footprint" than the stock 21" gave me, and it's MUCH more comfortable and responsive when leaning into a corner, to my opinion.