Honda CB1000F (1994-95)

(updated September 99)

Rim Stock Size Original Tyre
Front 3.50 x 18 120/70R18 Dunlop D202F
Rear 5.50 x 18 170/60R18 Dunlop D202

Manufacturers' Recommendations

Manufacturer Front size Rear size
(no data)
Bridgestone BT54 120/70ZR18 BT54 170/60ZR18
Dunlop D202 120/70R18 D202 170/60R18
D205 Sportmax Touring 120/70ZR18 D205 Sportmax Touring 170/60ZR18
Metzeler ME-Z1 120/70ZR18 ME-Z2 170/60ZR18
(no data)
Pirelli MTR 03 120/70ZR18 MTR 04 170/60ZR18

Martyn's Opinion

General Comments

Tyres for the CB1000F are very limited.  In going for the retro-superbike look and feel, Honda chose 18" rims -- they're wide enough for modern rubber, but the most recent products are coming out in 17", not 18".

Still, the tyres that are available are good tyres.  There's not a lot to choose between the five matched pairs, and what you want is really going to be a matter for personal preference.  The Pirellis pretty much rule themselves out on the basis of cost, by being virtually identical to the cheaper Metzelers.  Of those remaining, both the Metzelers and the Dunlops are fine tyres that provide good traction and reasonable life; the ME-Z1/ME-Z2 combination (a true classic) combines a stickier front tyre with a more hard-wearing rear, which is very well-balanced in terms of traction and wear -- unless your riding style eats front tyres, there's not much reason to use an ME-Z2 on the front.

The Best Selection

Brand Model Size MAW
Front Metzeler ME-Z1 120/70ZR18 $103
Rear Metzeler ME-Z2 170/60ZR18 $126

I've selected the Metzelers over the Dunlops.  I've done so for two main reasons: wet performance, and profile characteristics.  While both are good wet tyres, the Metzelers have a well-deserved reputation for excelling in this area.  As for the profile, the Metzelers have a linear profile that produces consistent handling at all lean angles; the Dunlops have a non-linear profile where steering response varies with lean angle.  I prefer the neutral Metzeler feel, which is more confidence-inspiring and helps the rider get the best out of the machine.  If you've grown up riding on Dunlop sport-radials, you might prefer the D205's, but most riders tend to be more comfortable with a linear profile.

A Tight Budget

Brand Model Size MAW
Front Dunlop D205 Sport/Touring 120/70ZR18 $95
Rear Dunlop D205 Sport/Touring 170/60ZR18 $119

They're not much cheaper than the Metzelers, but they are cheaper -- and also a good a choice.  If you like the Dunlop sport-radial profile, you might even prefer them.

Martyn's Choice

Brand Model Size MAW
Front Metzeler ME-Z1 120/70ZR18 $103
Rear Metzeler ME-Z2 170/60ZR18 $126

There's no question in my mind that this classic Metzeler combination is the way to go.

The Full List

(from MAW and manufacturer web pages)

Exact matched pairs

Brand Front size MAW Rear size MAW
Bridgestone BT54 Sports Touring 120/70ZR18 $94 BT54 Sports Touring 170/60ZR18 $139
Dunlop D205 Sport/Touring 120/70ZR18 $95 D205 Sport/Touring 170/60ZR18 $119
Metzeler ME-Z1 120/70ZR18 $103 ME-Z2 170/60ZR18 $126
ME-Z2 120/70ZR18 $96 ME-Z2 170/60ZR18 $126
Pirelli Dragon GT MTR03 120/70ZR18 $104 Dragon GT MTR04 170/60ZR18 $136

Listing by Manufacturer


Front size MAW match Rear size MAW match
Elan II HL29 130/70HB18 $128 wide
ST23 170/60ZR18 $138 exact


Front size MAW match Rear size MAW match
BT54 Sports Touring 120/70ZR18 $94 exact BT54 Sports Touring 170/60ZR18 $139 exact
BT57 Sports Perform. 120/70ZR18 exact


Front size MAW match Rear size MAW match
D205 Sport/Touring 120/70ZR18 $95 exact D205 Sport/Touring 170/60ZR18 $119 exact
K177 Touring 130/70HB18 $115 wide
K491 Elite II Touring 130/70HB18 $85 wide


Front size MAW match Rear size MAW match
ME-880 Marathon 130/70HR18 wide
ME-Z1 120/70ZR18 $103 exact
ME-Z2 120/70ZR18 $96 exact ME-Z2 170/60ZR18 $126 exact
ME-Z4 120/70ZR18 exact
ML2 130/70HB18 $109 wide


Front size MAW match Rear size MAW match
Gold Standard 130/70-R18 $153 wide
Hi-Tour 79X 130/70-R18 $147 wide


Front size MAW match Rear size MAW match
Dragon GT MTR03 120/70ZR18 $104 exact Dragon GT MTR04 170/60ZR18 $136 exact
Dragon GTS MTR23 120/70ZR18 $105 exact
MT75 130/70H-18 wide
MT75 130/70T-18 wide


Exact Precisely matches original spec
Excellent Precisely matches a recommended alternate
Good An exact or alternate in a different sizing system
Short Exact or excellent width, lower profile.  Consider these both ends to lower the bike
Soft Similar diameter by using a taller profile and narrower width; used on the rear only
Tall Taller profile, stock width; similar in effect to "soft", but for the front only
Wide Same profile, wider tyre.  This MAY NOT FIT your rim.  BE CAREFUL!!!