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The information on these pages is accurate to the best of the author's knowledge. The author can assume no responsibility for the use or misuse of this information by the reader. The reader is expected to secure any other information needed from Service Manuals or other sources. It is up to the reader to determine his/her ability to make any modifications noted. If the reader does not feel qualified he/she should enlist professional help.

This tire was purchased last May when there was no other choice for a rear tire (see notes)
Modifications my be needed on Valkyrie and VTXr. Check for
clearance under the fender on ALL models at the fender mounts (
see below)
or when you make mods like bags and sissy bar.
Click here for contact patch comparisons.

Metzeler ME880 200/60 - 16
No mods necessary for the stock 1800 VTXc and it fills up the space under the fender nicely.
I noticed a small slow down in initial response (bike is a little harder
to lay over) with this big tire but the increased traction will
have you lifting the front wheel instead of spinning the back tire.
Increased cornering clearance plus more traction so you are less likely to
spin when accelerating out of turns. This tire is actually one half inch taller
than the stock tire making your speedo more accurate.
(see below about formulas on bike tires)

30 - 60 - 80 - 115
Click here for contact detials.


click pic for larger
Dunlop D256 180/70 - 16 Metz ME880 200/60 - 16 Avon Venom 180/70 - 16
3 1/4" - 82.5 mm 4" - 101.6 mm 2 7/8" - 73 mm


NOTE OF CAUTION! Metz says no to this tire on our rim.
(Necessary disclaimers and clarification of the debate)
Chet's side of the debate:

Metzeler released a set of tires for the Valkyrie a few years ago (ME880 series 150/80R17 Front (radial) -- ME880 series 180/70R16 Rear (radial)) and I purchased a set. I will not go into great detail on those tires, but they exhibited some severe handling problems at high speeds and some significant tracking problems at posted highway speed limits. I had a meeting with the Metz tire rep in Daytona. He handed me such a line of BS about it that I felt I needed a shower after the meeting. Many other members of the VRCC were likewise disappointed with these tires and some also met with this same tire rep and were likewise bufflaloed. The accuracy of the handling was so poor with these tires (these tires were discontinued by Metzeler so see note below) and I was so vociferous in my complaints about them and their danger to Valkyrie riders, that the tires were replaced with a set of Avon Venoms by the dealer from whom they were purchased (more info at this link). I was still out over $100 in shipping & mounting charges. Needless to say, I am no fan of Metz tires. I have never had a good set on any bike I have owned and each time I tried a set (four times on four bikes, shame on me) I removed them long before they ever wore out because they were such a rotten handling tire. I have sworn that another Metz tire would never stain my rims. However, on the word of rob of the VTXOA, I got this Metz 200 rear for my VTX 1800c last May because I was simply tired of the stock Dunny spinning out on me on both straights and especially turns (highsides can HURT!). At the time, there were no other alternatives except the D206 Dunlop (yuck!) and the Avon Venom180 rear (which should NEVER be mixed with another brand up front).

I have found the Metz ME880 200/60 -VR-16 to be an excellent tire and superior to the OEM Dunlop 180 tire in many ways for use on the rear of my 1800 VTXc model. It exhibits excellent grip, stability and wear (so far). I am a very aggressive rider and this tire has treated me very well indeed in conjunction with the OEM Dunlop up front (and rarely will I recommend mixing tire brands). I make the comparison of the Metz 200 to only the OEM Dunlop 180 and will likely not try the Metz 180 on the rear for the reasons stated above.

Metzeler also reports that the tread depth on the 200 tire is 6.5mm while I was able to measure variance from 4.8mm at the outer edge to the deepest which is 5.4mm. Here is a copy of the size comparison from the Metz web site courtesy of Blue Elf of the VTXOA.

Blue Elf's side of the debate:
Compiled from posts on the
VTXOA Boards and used with his permission (editorial additions in [square brackets])
(note, these clearly are his words and not mine - I make no claims as to their veracity but I have no cause to doubt them)

... I do have some additional info about this issue, since I have 2 uncles that work for Metzeler USA the subsidory for Metzeler Germany. (FACT 1) Both of the Metzeler '60' series in the 130 & 200 size ME880-R tires were made for other bikes, these tires have a V (Very High Speed rating over 130mph) they were not designed for the 1800 VTX even though many riders did use them and are still using them on their bikes. Note, even the 200 size was 'NOT DESIGNED' to fit the standard 1800 VTX-C Rim size [ 5 inches ]... I know that a lot of people use this larger tire and like it but their are liability issues when using it with our standard wheel on our C Model.

Here is some additional info copied directly from Metzeler's FAQ page about using oversized tire on standard rim size:
Question: Can I run oversize tires on my standard rims?
Answer: For standard motorcycles with radial and bias tires the anwer is no! Running bigger tires in this istance will narrrow the contact patch. The only examption is stage 1 oversize fitment for Harley Davidson. Just go and see the Tire Catalog Area and open up the Vtwin brochure.

[ Non OEM sizes ]
(Rear 1800 VTX r & c) 200/60R16 M/C 79V TL ME880 Marathon Radial
(Front VTX c) 130/60 R18 M/C 60V TL ME880 Marathon Front Steel Radial

(FACT 2) Okay, Metzeler finally did come out [ see note below ] with 2 new specific ME880-R (radials) that were designed to directly replace the OEM size VTX tires.... :
(Rear 1800 VTX r & c) 180/70R16 M/C 77H TL ME880 Marathon Steel Radial
[ see note below ]
(Front 1800 VTX c) 130/70 R18 M/C 63H TL ME880 Marathon Front Radial
[ (Front 1800 VTX r) 150/80 R17 M/C 72H TL ME880 Marathon Front Radial see note below ]

[H rated tires are rated for under 130 mph while V rated tires are rated for over 130mph]

You'll note that these [ OEM sized ] tires are both the 70 series profile [ except the 150/80 VTX r front ] and that they have the H rating (High Speed up to 130mph) these tires 'ARE NOT' rated VH or V even though many of the dealers who sell them 'misprint' those designations on their adds and tire descriptions.

Also the 200 size tread depth is only 6.5 mm in depth whereas the 180 OEM size has a 9 mm tread depth and is contacting the road surface with the proper cross-sectional profile since its the correct size for the stock rim. There has been a lot of debate about the Metz 880 in both sizes, I don't think you can go wrong using either one. But I do think the OEM size 180x70 will get much longer tread life and overall lower tire wear over the 200 size. Both sizes though should get better mileage than the stock OEM Dunlap 'Crap' regardless!!

I personally chose to use the ME880 in OEM size 180x70 rear and 130x70 front instead of the 200x60 rear for the reasons stated ... . The 35% increase in tread depth giving you longer tread life and overall better handling (especially on wet roads), larger contact patch and using a non-pinched rear tire on a rim that is not designed for the 200 series, and the more reactive handling characterists of the 180 rear size made my decision for me!! But everyone should read the [information provided here, elsewhere and on the Metz web site] and decide for themselves!!

Enough Said ... I hope to clear up some of the misconceptions here, I hope.

Additional comments:
CHET: you have any "tread weave" with both the Metz on front and back? How fast have you gone with these tires?? Do you get the, in my experience, "hinge" effect with these tires in a turn..??

BLUE ELF: I've only had my 1800 VTX up to about 110mph with the new Metz 180 on it and the bike seemed very stable. When you first put 2 new Metz's in OEM size on the front and back ... the bike does seem really sensitive and reactive for the first 50 or so miles. I just took off from the dealer right out into 4 lane traffic and got really surprised!! But I quickly got used to the new tires and how reactive they were ... I did put a full 100 miles on them before I got really aggressive with them and they now feel perfect. I don't get any weaving, hinging or instability on them at all up to the 110mph that I've ridden.

NOTE: One should be aware that the Metz specified tires for the rear of the VTXc and VTXr ( ME880 series 180/70R16 Rear ) and the VTXr front ( ME880 150/80R17 Front ) were once manufactured and subsequently discontinued in mid 2001 by Metzeler presumably because of the problems with the tires on the Valkyrie. Metzeler has re-issued the ME880 in these sizes and the "new" tires carry an "F" designation. If one chooses to purchase the OEM sizes of these tires for the VTX, one should get assurances from the dealer that the tires being purchased ARE NOT the OLD tires, but the NEW tires with the "F" designation. The manufacture date of the "new" tires is post 24th week of 2001. This would be shown on the sidewall as 2401 (24 week 01 year). Any date after that is the "new" tire. Wear bars on the Metz 200 rear are designated by a small "TWI" on the treadwall of the tire and the bar itself is located near the center of the tire.
More tire info can be found here:

NOTE ON TIRE SIZES - The standard formula may not work for bike tires....

(this text may be accessed as a single page at )

After installing a Metzeler 200/60-16 tire on the rear of my VTX I tried to set my Sigma digital speedometer on my VTX using this formula...

(tire width x .profile) x 2 then divide by 25.4 mm per inch plus wheel diameter = total height in inches
200 x .60 = 120 | 120 x 2 = 240 | 240 / 25.4 = 9.44 | 9.44 + 16 = 25.44 inches total height

Total height from formula above would be the diameter then x 3.14 for circumference. However, the sigma readings were way off when I rode her so I measured the tire with a tape. The formula for a Metzeler 200/60 - 16 yields 79.9 inches (2029mm) for circumference, but the measured circumference of the tire is actually 81.39 inches (2067mm). Using the measured 2067mm for the sigma gives dead on readings as checked by radar. Wazznt able to accurately measure the diameter since the tire is mounted but math reveals the formula should give 25.44 inches (646mm) as diameter and the actual measured circ would yield 25.92 inches (658mm) (81.39 / 3.14) as diameter.

I was finally able to measure a new mounted Avon 180/70 x 16 as 80.8 inches (2054mm) while the formula yields 25.92 inches as diameter and 81.39 (2067) as circumference. However, the Metz 200 is a little pinched on the five inch rim which causes the increased height. Measured width of the Metz 200 on this rim is 7.625 inches (193.67mm) while the Avon mounted measures 7.25 inches (184.15mm).

Metzeler 200/60-16 Diameter Cicumference Width
by formula 25.44in (646mm) 79.90in (2029mm) 7.87in (200mm)
as measured 25.92in (658.2mm) 81.39in (2067mm) 7.625in (193.67mm)
. . . .
Avon 180/70-16 Diameter Cicumference Width
by formula 25.92in (658.2mm) 81.39in (2067mm) 7.08in (180mm)
as measured 25.75in (654.1mm) 80.8 in (2054mm) 7.25 in (184.15mm)

Here's some links and each calculator will yield the incorrect results vs the measurments stated above

The Sigma 800 Digital Spedometer which I have one each mounted on all my bikes is detailed on this page

Questions? Contact Chet at Chet says 'Be sure to write!'

Chet's Valkyrie Pages Rattlebars Mfg. Chet's VTX Pages