Correct at 29th May 2011, for latest fitment and inflation pressures refer to the chosen manufacturer’s link below. I have used 3.50, 4.10, 100/90 & 110/90 size rear tyres successfully, some fitment guides list a 4.00 but do check tread width first as the clearance to the chain guard is limited. Modern front and rear tyres tend to require replacement at up to 10,000 miles, 6,000 miles average. Tyres that have worn to a flat section by more careful/motorway riders may need premature replacement due to their inability to grip in cornering.
Original Bridgestone tyres fitted by Honda – 3.00-S18 ribbed pattern front at 26psi, 3.50-S18 block pattern rear at 28psi.
DiD Wheel rims: 160-18 front and 185-18 rear.
recommend type Roadrider AM26 90/90V18 front at 26psi and 100/90V18 rear at 30psi. Highly recommended, I have a pair on my bike for 2011 and first impression is, good level of grip, life span at present unknown. These tyres have a modern tread pattern, disliked by purists. Worthy of note for the patriotic in Blighty – Made in England, now there’s something you rarely see today.
recommend are type BT45 rear, good modern compound and resistance to wearing to a flat section due to its dual compound technology, I used tubeless BT45’s (with a tube fitted) front 90/90H18 and rear 110/90H18. A 100/90H18 would be a better size but not available for rear fitment. Long lived on my bike at 9,000 miles and retained their profile throughout, as such they are my tyre preference from now on if the Avons don’t manage more than 7,500 miles (I hate tyre changing).
Also recommended, L303 front tyre is closest match available to OEM fitment and at a low price.
recommend TKV11 90/90 -18 51H -using 26psi and TKV12 110/90 -18 61H – using 31psi. These are a modern style replacement tyre for the older motorcycle. Wear rate 50% quicker than the Bridgestone but excellent grip.
recommend tube type K82 3.00S18 at 26psi and 3.50S18 at 28psi. These have the classic TT100 tread pattern of the 70’s.
ME11 classic style front tyre tread pattern. Recommend are tube type ME11 3.00S18 at 26psi and ME77 3.50S18 at 29psi. Excellent level of grip but short lived at around 4,000 miles.
no longer supply a suitable tyre for the CB400F.
list front tyres in the correct 90/90-18H size and the slightly oversize rear 110/90-18H. The cheapest brand name tyre in this list. They supplied some tyres at the Isle of Man TT in 2009 and are reputed to have long life, so can’t be a bad choice? I may give them a go one day.
recommend tubed type City Demon 3.00S18 at 26psi front and either 3.50S18 or 4.00S18 rear at 29psi. This is a great value for money choice, I used one on the front wheel giving a confident ride. I consider it slightly lightweight for the CB400F and lifespan was about 4,500 miles.
Choose only your favourite tyre manufacturers recommended fitment to avoid insurance complications should you ever claim in the event of an accident.
Inner tubes – Most manufacturers are happy with a tube fitted to a tubeless tyre unless stated otherwise. Unless you want to utter the words “Help me pump this up, garage forecourt attendant” I recommend using a quality butyl tube (usually Michelin or Continental in the UK). The uppermost inner tube nut is supplied as a fitting aid and should be screwed against the valve cap afterwards. The bottom nut remains where the manufacturer placed it.
WARNING – Blow outs have sometimes been caused by a twist in the inner tube near to the valve. When new tyres have been fitted – ALWAYS inflate, deflate (to remove any twists from the inner tube) and re-inflate. Manufacturers recommend that a new tube is fitted every time a tyre is replaced.
6 year shelf life – Rubber deteriorates with age whether used or not, inspect the DOT code printed on the sidewall of most tyres. From the year 2000 a tyre will have 4 digit codes in an oval box, 0410 = 4th week of 2010. Tyres are usually much less than one year old from suppliers, I have yet to buy any tyre that is more than 6 months old.
Tyre spots – Some tyres have a coloured spot on the sidewall, usually yellow to indicate the lightest or thinnest part of the tyre and should be aligned to the valve i.e. heaviest part of a wheel.
Fitting new tyres – washing up liquid as a lubricant is not recommended, these detergents contain salt and we all know the effect this has on steel. Racing tyres are fitted using only water but you could use tyre soap, car shampoo (without wax) or French chalk. A little air in the inner tube will help keep it out of the way of your tyre levers. I use three levers one of which needs to be longer than 12 inches (30cm) unless you are built like man mountain.
Keeping to the ‘S’ rated tyres (112MPH) originally specified by Honda will save you money. Problem is these days most manufacturers have stopped making them and you will end up with anything up to a ‘V’ rated 150MPH tyre.
Legal motorcycle tread depth for the UK is a minimum of 1mm across ¾ of the tyres width and the center tread must remain visible. Better to replace at 2mm for safe all weather performance and less likely to puncture.
Punctures – when removing screws from a punctured tyre always unscrew from the tread, pulling it out will only do further damage.
Tyre sealant – Most tyre manufacturers do not recommend this as a punctured tyre is best inspected for damage. From experience it does not work with inner tubes, I have still had 3 flat tyres, one of which was a blow out…frightening to say the least. Also worth noting the stuff gets everywhere and renders the bike not pushable as it lubricates the rim and tyre contact.
You cannot check your tyres too often. I ALWAYS seem to have glass or thorns to remove from mine and a flat tyre on a bike is your worst nightmare. While touring the Scottish highlands a friend had a 200 mile trip south to Glasgow to repair a slow puncture, stopping at every service station for air…so it is worth while checking every day in remote parts.