The 130/80-17 MEZ2 stock Metzeler rear tire I put on my 2008 Bonneville about a year and a half ago was showing signs of serious wear in the center. It had a very distinctive flat spot and I was noticing some slipping during turns.

Metzeler and Avon Roadrider compared

Metzeler MEZ2 rear tire (top) – Avon Roadrider (bottom)

I decided to give another brand a try. I had read good things about the Avon Roadrider. I purchased a 130/90-17 Avon AM26 Roadrider rear tire for $116.88 and a new Michelin inner tube for $22.85, with my Amazon Prime account.

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You can see the difference in size that the new Avon is compared the the stock size. However, I had read many Bonneville owners say that the size change either did not affect or improved handling and performance.

I began the tire change process by jacking my Bonneville up on my jack and putting a floor jack under the rear tire. I removed the left side Predator muffler so I could remove the axle shaft bolt.

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Once the wheel was free, I lowered it with the floor jack until I could easily remove the disc caliper on the left side, and the chain on the right side. I then wired the disc caliper up to the frame to take pressure off of the brake line.

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Next I removed the bushings and sprocket carrier from the wheel and set them aside. I used a bead breaker tool I had purchased at Harbor Freight Tools to break the tire bead from the rim.

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Once the beads were broken and the tire was free on the rim, I used a set of tire spoons to pry one side of the tire off of the rim.

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With one side off the rim, I then removed the inner tube.

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I pumped up the old inner tube to make sure that it was still good and would hold air. It was good, so I plan to keep it as a spare.

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Next I worked the other side of the tire off the rim using the same tire spoons.

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Success at last!

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Next I determined the direction of rotation as stamped on the tire sidewall and made sure it aligned with the wheel correctly.

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Again I used the spoons to work one side of the new tire onto the rim. Once on, I then get the new Michelin inner tube out and removed the cap, nuts and rings from the valve stem.

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This is important because if you don’t remove these items, the valve stem will tend to collect moisture at the base and eventually rust away and cause a flat tire due to valve stem failure. I know because I had this happen to me!

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Next I carefully aligned the valve stem inside the tire and rim until I could get it through the valve stem hole. I put one of the nuts back on to retain the valve while continuing the tire installation. I inserted the inner tube inside the tire and pumped it up half way to work out any kinks and twists.

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I used the spoons to leverage the final side of the tire onto the rim. I had to pump the tire up to about 50 lbs. until I heard the final “pop” sound caused by the tire fitting snugly in place all away around the rim. I then deflated it to 40 lbs.

Then I followed the static tire balancing process that I wrote and described in a former blog post.

Finally, I cleaned the wheel, tire and rear frame, put some fresh wheel grease on the bushings, bearings and shaft, before remounting the tire/wheel assembly back on the Bonneville.

Once I had checked everything over, to make sure I hadn’t missed something, I took the Bonneville for a test ride. I am happy to report that everything went well and the new Avon Roadrider rear tire is performing better than the original Metzeler!

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Finally, here is a promo photo supplied by Avon Motorcycle Tyres of North America showing the Avon Roadrider on a Triumph Thruxton.

Avon Roadrider Tires