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Hork's Dunlop K491 FAQ's

According to the Dunlop fitment guide, these tires should run 36 PSI front and 40 PSI rear on a Goldwing where they were designed to be worn.
My K491's with Fenda Extenda installed

Concours Tires FAQ - Dunlop K491 Elite II
By Dale Horstman the.horkster@home.com


1) What's wrong with the stock Concours tires?

Nothing, really. The stock tires (Dunlop K105F 110/80VR18 front for Concours model years 86-93 and Dunlop K701F 120/70VR18 front for models 94 and up, and the Dunlop K700 150/80VR16 rear for all years) were a decent compromise of grip, longevity, and cost. The following is a list of the common problems/gripes about the stock tires.

a) Hard to find, dealer's don't stock them, most likely have to order them
b) The front tends to cup & wear unevenly, becomes noisy when leaned over
c) The front also tracks rain grooves and bridge grates like crazy
d) Fronts tend to last fairly well, can go about 15,000 miles until you hit the wear bars.
e) The rear is fine, but goes bald in the middle after about 10,000 miles.

 

2) What's so good about the Dunlop K491 Elite II tires?

They last a good long time. Fronts last 25,000 to 30,000 miles. Rears are usually good for 20,000 miles. They are reasonably priced if you get them via mail order. They are very common, since they are common Goldwing touring tires, so they are easy to find out on a trip. They wear evenly throughout their lifetime - no cupping, no feathering, no squaring off.

 

3) What don't you like about the K491 Elite II tires?

They are not sportbike-level grippy. They are very definitely a "touring" tire. Think
G*ldwing. :) They get a little bit slippery when leaned over on wet roads. You can spin the rear tire easily with a handful of throttle on corner exits on wet roads. Dry grip is adequate, but one should try to slow down a little more than usual in the wet, probably a good idea anyway. :)

 

4) But these tires are only H-rated. Don't I need V- or Z-rated tires?

In a word, no. Your Concours only has a top speed of 130 mph or so anyways. If you want to go faster, you are on the wrong bike.

 

5) But these K491 tires are bias-ply. Don't I need radials?

Not really. Some riders swear they can discern the handling differences between radials and bias-ply tires. And some princesses swear they can feel a pea under a stack of mattresses. :) Most riders probably can not tell any differences between radials and bias-ply tires from the saddle.

 

6) My dealer says not to mix radials and bias-ply tires.

You will hear this from lots of dealers. It might even be true. :) But your dealer is probably trying to sell you two tires instead of just one. Several Concours riders have reported no problems running a bias-ply 491 rear with a stock front (since the rear wears out so much quicker). We don't know if anyone has tried it the other way...

 

7) The K491 Elite II's do not come in Concours stock sizes. What do I do?

Generally, it's safe to go either one size wider or one size narrower than stock sizes on tires. The best sizes for the post '93 models are a 130/70HB18 front and a 160/80HB16 rear. The earlier Connies had a skinnier front rim, so a 100/90HB18 is your best bet.

 

8) I like to race with the sportbikes guys on the local twisties, I can keep my Connie out in front. Should I try out the K491 Elite II's?

If you are out-running sportbikes on your current tires, the 491's will probably not be the tire of choice. But then again, if you are out-running sportbikes, you are one heck of a better rider than most of us. We should be asking *you* the questions... :)

Seriously, if you like to corner fast, and depend on your tires for the utmost levels of traction when leaned seriously far over, keep looking for a better tire. The 491 works best going in straight lines for looooonnng distances. You have to trade off some traction for that kind of longevity.

 

9) That 130/70HB18 front tire looks really wide. Is it going to fit?

Yes, it'll fit. It might be a tight squeeze to get it past the front fender bolt heads, but it'll go.

 

10) Will the big front tire fit even with my Fenda Extenda?

It fits on mine. :)

 

11) What's a good price to pay for Dunlop K491 Elite II's?

The cheapest way is to mail order them. Motorcycle Accessory Warehouse typically sells them for $85 front and $110 rear. Shop around. If your dealer is charging you significantly more, he's gouging you. :)

 

12) But what if my dealer charges me more if I bring in tires from somewhere else?

The obvious choice is to get another dealer. :) Or do the math, you might still be ahead buying your own tires somewhere else and bringing them in. One distinct advantage of the 491s is less frequent tire changes! :)

 

Article By: Dale Horstman

August 2001 

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