question the most asked about issue posted in this Group is "What's the
best tire for my CH250?" and "Which tire gives you the best mileage
for the least amount of money?" And the answers usually are the same--that
depends. That depends on your driving habits, terrain traveled and your
Honda research and development determined that exact fitment of certain tires on
the CH250 provided superb handling stability, weight-carrying requirements and
optimum performance characteristics. Tires for the Honda CH250 are rated J60--J
for the speed rating of 62 mph and 60 for the 551 lb weight-carrying rating. The
original equipment manufacturer (OEM) tires on the Honda CH250 are the 4.00x10
tubeless Dunlop K627 rear and the Dunlop F11 front.
How do I find out when the tire was manufacturered? Every tire has a date code
stamped on the sidewall, which gives the date that the tire was manufactured.
They look something like this: DOT PDHH MLOR 3403. The date code can be on
either side of the tire, so you may have to crawl underneath the rig and look on
the inward facing side. The date code always starts with the letters DOT and
ends with a 3 or 4 digit number. That last number is the date code, which tells
you when the tire was manufactured. The first two numbers indicate the week (out
of 52) and the last one or two digits indicate the year. For instance, 3403
means the 34th week of 2003, or the last week in August 2003. Starting with the
year 2000, the date codes have two digits for the year, prior to that, only one.
A date code of 079 would indicate the seventh week of 1999, or the third week of
Tires deteriorate with age, even when sitting on a shelf, so always ask to see
the date code when you purchase new tires and insist on tires manufactured
within the last few months. The tire dealer may give you a funny look because
most consumers don't know about date codes.
Dunlop, which has manufactured racing tires for over 100 years, rates these
tires at either 3-ply or 4-ply nylon tread with 2-ply sidewall. Although the
manufacturer does not rate motorcycle tires for expected mileage, realistic
figures are from 4-6K miles and vary with use.
Bridgestone, also with a long racing heritage, provides excellent scooter tires
Molas (ML) series. The ML8 comes in a 2-ply or 4-ply block pattern delivering
superb handling performance for front or rear use. The ML16 is for rear use and
has uni-directional water channeling characteristics for superb wet weather
handling and is designed to work with the ML17 front which has similar design.
The ML35 is a all-position performance tire designed for the 1989-90 CH250.
While none of these tires has particularly aggressive tread pattern, all have
similar excellent water dispersion and wet pavement gripping characteristics of
the OEM Dunlop's. Prices vary from $45-65 retail and price per tire discounts
The equivalent metric tire to the 4.00x10 is the 110/90x10. Tires like the
Pirelli SL26, IRC MB510, and tires manufactured from Kenda and Cheng Shin offer
valued pricing at reduced tread life and marginal wet pavement traction. As with
anything, you get what you pay for. Years of experience has taught me that the
extra bit of safety that good quality tires provide, is definitely worth the
extra cost over cheaper tires.
Randy Pozzi (Rev. 06/2004)