I'm so "Tired". VStar 950 Tire Questions - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 02:56 PM Thread Starter
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I'm so "Tired". VStar 950 Tire Questions

Guys have a 2009 V-Star 950. Previous Owner bought the Bike New in 2011 and sold it to me a year ago with 740 miles on her.

Also, I live in Texas and just ride bike on weekends, so it is NOT my main transportation. Bike now has 3,300 miles. I have a few Questions, Please


2009 V-Star 950 Stock Tire Specs:

Front Tire 130/70 R16 (Speed Rating H)

Rear Tire 170/70 R16 (Speed Rating H)


OK, my Bike only has 3,300, but the TIRE is still over 5 Years old. Sometimes the rear seems to slip a little when I put on rear brake. But, that may be just the slick road I was on.

This is my first Bike I've owned and was wondering how much of a difference the tires make in the performance, stability, traction, etc. etc.? If it makes a HUGE difference I want to get new tires, even if I don't need them.

Also, I heard that you have to buy tires at a dealer, or they won't put them on fot you, or charge you a surcharge, is this true?

Where is best place to buy and get tires mounted? I am in Dallas, so we have all kinds of places. Is the Stealer, I mean, DEALER a good place to go. I am usually cheap and shop around for the best deal on products, so I was planning on buying tire on-line, but not sure where?

Is it silly to get a new tire when the Bike only has 3,300 miles on it?

Also, is it smart to get BOTH tires if you are going to replace the Rear?


Based on my Stock Tire Size, what Tire SIZES can I get? I think a few tires I was researching didn't come in the EXACT size as my V-Star 950's stock tire sizes.
Tires I'm considering. PLEASE offer suggestions and opinions: So, can I still run them if they are close?

Michelin Commander 2

Dunlop Elite 3

Metzler ME880 Marathon Touring

Thanks Guys!

Bandit..............


P.S. I want the Michelin Commander II, BUT the closest size it comes in is: 180/65/16 MY 09 V-Star 950 stock tire size says it is 170/70/16

Can I still get this tire, or should I look elsewhere for one that is SAME size as stock?

If it matters, I am 6' tall and 195 lbs.

LA Choppers XXX Big Air Kit, Vance & Hines Big Radius Exhaust, Cobra Fi2000 POWRPRO, Cobra Freeway Bars, Ultimate Seat, D&M HID Headlight, Clevver Clutch Mod, Custom Dynamics LED Turn Signals & Brake Light, Triple Whammy Brake Flasher, Show Chrome Belt Guard, Oil Cap, Frame Covers, Chrome Engine Guard, Brake Reservoir, Chrome Fork Bullets, Chrome Analog Clock, Mustang Tank Bib, Kuryakyn ISO Grips with Chromed Spike Ends, Kuryakyn Chrome Floorboards, Shifter, Brake Cover, WOLO Bad Boy Air Horn

Last edited by 2009VStar950Bandit; 03-02-2014 at 03:00 PM.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 04:02 PM
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I'm absolutely positive that you're going to get as many opinions for what brand of tire to use as there are responses to your inquiry. I'm very satisfied with the OEM tires that came on my 950.

As to the question of whether to replace them, I'd say that after five years (regardless of mileage) they should be replaced. They probably have some dry rot on them by this time. Your traction, braking, cornering and performance all depend on the tires. Motorcycle tires especially must be able to grip the road. They are the only contact between you and said road. You don't want to be in the middle of a decreased radius turn and find out that the rear tire is not gripping the pavement.

There are several areas where I don't pinch pennies, and one of them is on tires.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 05:38 PM
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1)don't get tires replaced at a dealer if it costs more than local shops. any shop can replace a tire, and local places usually charge less
2)if there are no stress marks, punctures, defects, or unusual wear in the tread of the tires, and the rubber still feels soft, then it's probably OK. but after 5 years, it wouldn't be a bad idea to replace it.
3)you don't have to replace both the front and rear tires at the same time. the front tire typically lasts about twice as long as the rear before needing replacement.
4)i have Dunlop E3 on both my front and rear and can attest that it provides better handling than the stock Dunlop or Bridgestone tires Yamaha puts on.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Postmaster and Bevo. Long time no Talk Bevo! Got my headlight on. If you followed my last post with my oil pan being stripped by the STEALER, it is being repaired and getting my finaly mods installed.

Yeah, even though my bike was garaged and barely ridden, it is a 2009 Likely I will TRY to buy the tire online (probably the cheapest route) and get it installed somewhere, unless I can find a local place that can order it and install it, as long as it is at least competitive. Then they can get the sale and the install.

I wish we had Discount Tire for Motorcycle, just pull up and get it done. Motorcycles seem to be a bit more of a Pain in the neck when you need a tire.

If I got a new REAR, I would likely just get a matching front at the same time. I don't THINK my tire is cracked or rotted, but still a New tire would definitely RIDE BETTER, or at least that is my expectation. I HOPE the difference is HUGE, and not just barely noticeable.

Thanks again, and with the Commander II, it doesn't look like I can go wrong. So many strong reviews on every single site I have researched.

But I'm not married to it, whatever is going to be the best, I will buy.



Posting an add on Question in this reply:



Here are stock tires sizes on my 09 VStar 950:

Tires / Front 130/70-18M/C 63H

Tires / Rear 170/70-16 M/C 75H



I am looking at the Michelin Commander II.

I researched and it looks like for the REAR, I can use the Michelin Commander II 180/65/16 (In place of the stock size)

Looking for a FRONT Commander II, most sites don't have my size for the FRONT Michelin Commander II 130/70/18 (which is a stock V-Star 950's size). I found one site that had it, but not sure if it was a typo? Do they make a Commander II in the size 130/70/18 ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????????

LA Choppers XXX Big Air Kit, Vance & Hines Big Radius Exhaust, Cobra Fi2000 POWRPRO, Cobra Freeway Bars, Ultimate Seat, D&M HID Headlight, Clevver Clutch Mod, Custom Dynamics LED Turn Signals & Brake Light, Triple Whammy Brake Flasher, Show Chrome Belt Guard, Oil Cap, Frame Covers, Chrome Engine Guard, Brake Reservoir, Chrome Fork Bullets, Chrome Analog Clock, Mustang Tank Bib, Kuryakyn ISO Grips with Chromed Spike Ends, Kuryakyn Chrome Floorboards, Shifter, Brake Cover, WOLO Bad Boy Air Horn

Last edited by 2009VStar950Bandit; 03-02-2014 at 10:20 PM.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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I am going to order these tomorrow. if these look like the wrong size, let me know please.

From J&P Cycles.

(1) Michelin Commander II 180/65B16 Rear Tire #534-986 $188.99

(1) Michelin Commander II 130/70B18 Front Tire #693-194 $172.99

Product Total $361

Minus $20 Discount and FREE Shipping. So $341.00 Delivered for BOTH TIRES

LA Choppers XXX Big Air Kit, Vance & Hines Big Radius Exhaust, Cobra Fi2000 POWRPRO, Cobra Freeway Bars, Ultimate Seat, D&M HID Headlight, Clevver Clutch Mod, Custom Dynamics LED Turn Signals & Brake Light, Triple Whammy Brake Flasher, Show Chrome Belt Guard, Oil Cap, Frame Covers, Chrome Engine Guard, Brake Reservoir, Chrome Fork Bullets, Chrome Analog Clock, Mustang Tank Bib, Kuryakyn ISO Grips with Chromed Spike Ends, Kuryakyn Chrome Floorboards, Shifter, Brake Cover, WOLO Bad Boy Air Horn
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 01:48 AM
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Sounds like you've made up your mind but to throw my opinion in for what its worth as bevo said you don't have to replace the tires if they are good. There is no age limit. It all depends on environment and stress. If you are unsure take it to a trusted professional and get an honest opinion.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate you saving me some $$$, I do. I wasn't even wanting a New Tire, but I think it will be nice to KNOW my tires are both NEW, and more importantly, the bike will ride substantially BETER!

My bike does track the Texas cracks in the road and the tar streaks when I am riding on back country roads. Also, a few times my rear tire broke free when I was braking/ Maybe from too much rear brake, but it will be FUN to get new tires.

Unfortunately, it seems to be a slight pain in the ass the get them installed. Dealers charge you upcharges for not buying tore from them, etc. And, it does look liek it is a little work taking off the tire and mounting them, so I am definately going to let someone put them both On.

If the dealer does it at a fair price, they can do it. They are closed Monday (today), so I am not sure how long it will take to fix my bike's oil leak and add the mods I am getting done. Hopefully, my tires come in the next 3 days and I can drive them over there while the bike is there and have them install them.

Then I will have a bike with NO OIL LEAK, New Wolo Horn, Cusatom Dynamic Triple Play Brake Kit, and a New Set of Shoes. It will be liek riding a New Bike.

The last thing I need to add is my Mustang Studded Tank Bib with a pouch on it, and I also got some Chrome Flame shaped mirrors from EBay I need to add.





I bought the wirless SEMA blutooth Helmet Speaker/Microphone that you install in your helmet like 8 months ago. I need to put that darn thing in soon!

I also got a few RAM MOUNT clamps that go on my handle bars that hold a cell phone and another that I can mount a small digital camera in case I ever want to take a video of my rides.




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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 02:24 PM
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I love my Michelin Commander IIs and they made a HUGE difference in bike handling. So hopefully you will see that too even though we have different bikes. I also bought online, and found someone local to put them on. I found him through a local new england rider site. He had lots of reviews, was close, and a gem to work with. Will definitely go that route again.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-03-2014, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Got them Dennis Kirk, NO TAX and $10 shipping, cheaper than the other place above.

But still a fair chunk of change, especially after install, BUT, the is a LOT riding on your tires

LA Choppers XXX Big Air Kit, Vance & Hines Big Radius Exhaust, Cobra Fi2000 POWRPRO, Cobra Freeway Bars, Ultimate Seat, D&M HID Headlight, Clevver Clutch Mod, Custom Dynamics LED Turn Signals & Brake Light, Triple Whammy Brake Flasher, Show Chrome Belt Guard, Oil Cap, Frame Covers, Chrome Engine Guard, Brake Reservoir, Chrome Fork Bullets, Chrome Analog Clock, Mustang Tank Bib, Kuryakyn ISO Grips with Chromed Spike Ends, Kuryakyn Chrome Floorboards, Shifter, Brake Cover, WOLO Bad Boy Air Horn
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-04-2014, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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My bikes at the Local Yamaha Dealer as you know. My tires shipped today March 4th and will be here Thursday the 6th.

I haven't called to ask how much the Dealer charges to put on tires you purchased on-line?
However, I called an independent repair shop that's down the street from the Dealer.

I was pleasantly surprised and they said $40 a tire plus shop supplies. Approximately $85 for front and rear installed! That's great!!!!! Now I have a place that can do it.

I wi still check with the dealer as then I can just drop off the tires this week and they can do it for me all at one place.

LA Choppers XXX Big Air Kit, Vance & Hines Big Radius Exhaust, Cobra Fi2000 POWRPRO, Cobra Freeway Bars, Ultimate Seat, D&M HID Headlight, Clevver Clutch Mod, Custom Dynamics LED Turn Signals & Brake Light, Triple Whammy Brake Flasher, Show Chrome Belt Guard, Oil Cap, Frame Covers, Chrome Engine Guard, Brake Reservoir, Chrome Fork Bullets, Chrome Analog Clock, Mustang Tank Bib, Kuryakyn ISO Grips with Chromed Spike Ends, Kuryakyn Chrome Floorboards, Shifter, Brake Cover, WOLO Bad Boy Air Horn
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