26,000+ Kilometres on Dunlop Elite3 front tire – No Way!!

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Motorcyclists regularly bemoan the rapid rate at which tires wear out, but here’s some real world data.

I’ve just replaced the Dunlop Elite 3 tires on my 2007 Honda Gold Wing GL1800A.  The front 130/70R-18 Elite 3 was nearing its wear bars, but still had perhaps another thousand kilometres of life in it and had lasted 26,528 kilometres.  That’s impressive tire wear.

The 180/60R-16 Elite 3 rear tire had only 18, 477 kilometres of wear and was, perhaps, half worn but was jettisoned in favour of a Metzeler ME880 to match the front.  The previous rear tire, the OEM Dunlop D250 lasted a remarkable 28,111 kilometres, again, that’s impressive mileage.

It’s obvious that tires on a luxury tourer like a Gold Wing are made for mileage and both the OEM Dunlops and their replacement Elite 3s performed admirably.  My only criticism of the Elite 3s is that during the final stages of the front tire’s life, the tire cupped slightly (despite running at a slightly higher pressure than factory recommended, a ‘standard’ strategy known well by BMW RT owners to achieve more even front tire wear on almost all brands of tires) that caused  a slight ‘howl’ when banked into a corner as the tire neared the end of it’s life.

As for the new Metzeler Marathon ME880s now mounted on the big Honda, their new, fresh, rounded profile has transformed the Wing, making it turn in much more quickly than it did on the worn Dunlops and feel light on its feet.  It feels like an entirely new, lighter motorcycle.

We’ll provide an update on the Metzeler ME880 Marathons as we rack up the miles.

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