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Display Mesage #101413


Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
Written by timdearborn on 3/18/2011 at 02:07 am

Purpose: I put a car tire on my back wheel 2 days ago. I hope to provide a
detailed post of the experience, good and bad, in order to provide as much
information as possible for those considering a similar move.

Disclaimer: Riding a motorcycle is dangerous. You can die. Putting a car tire
on the back of a motorcycle is dangerous. You can die. If you go down in a
blazing ball of fire, tell your next of kin not to blame me. You are
responsible for your own actions. Enough said.

Background: I am in my 40's and a relatively new motorcycle rider. While I
have 40,000 miles logged on a bicycle, I have only been riding the motorized
version for 1 1/2 years. 6K of my 10K miles experience is on my Pacific Coast.
I am a conservative rider. The only time I ever scraped anything on the
pavement was when I dropped my PC 15 minutes after buying it, but that's another
story. I live in Illinois. I spend 95% of my time with the bike straight up.
Our idea of twists here are entrance ramps. I was previously riding on Dunlops.

Removal of the Wheel: I purchased a BFGoodrich Radial TA P155/80R-15 tire from
http://www.discounttire.com/ through one of their many local stores in my area
for about $86. There is a great write-up on removing the rear tire at
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/ipcrc/message/12408 - except the rear axle
is a 27mm nut. I following these directions, removed my rear wheel without too
much difficulty.

Seating the Bead Round #1: A local no-name motorcycle shop said they would
remove the old tire and put the new one on for $40. After they worked on the
wheel for quite some time, they were unable to seat one side of the bead
completely - about 3 inches was not seated. They said they went up to 100 psi
and used lube. They dropped the charge to $30, but I had an unfinished wheel.
(Not going back there again). I left the tire at 60 psi overnight. No luck.

Seating the Bead Round #2: I took the wheel to Discount Tire, the store I bought
the tire from. They reapplied lube, put the tire in a cage, and went up to all
of 70 psi a number of times. No luck, but no charge.

Seating the Bead Round #3: I then took the tire to a no-name warehouse that
worked on truck tires. The guy there was about to apply the typical pasty black
lube, but then promptly stopped, went in the back to mix something, and came
back out with a liquid the consistency and color of water, but the smell of a
strong chemical (sorry I don't know what it was). He squirted this unknown
liquid all over the tire and rim liberally. Then (after unscrewing the valve
innards), he applied an air hose several times, letting the air go in and out,
watching the sides of the tire carefully. After a few minutes of this, the tire
seated. Yea! Charge - $5. I do not know what

Installation of the Wheel: Installation of the rear wheel was uneventful. I
greased the splines and axle while re-installing. I set the tire pressure of
the wheel to 32 psi, as recommended by other posts on this forum.

Riding First Impressions: Now the subjective part. I have been riding on the
new car tire for 2 days and about 50 miles. My first impression was how
"un-different" things were. The ride and handling was 90% the same as before.
I will go on to describe some differences in handling and feel, but keep in mind
that these are on the "subtle" scale, not the "oh my gosh - this is a different
bike" scale.

Riding straight: The bike feels more steady - well, actually, rock solid
steady. The bike "wants" to stay up straight. This is probably the biggest
difference in handling and applies to all of the below categories as well.

Starting a curve: No difference

Holding a curve: You must maintain a slight pressure on the inside handle bar
throughout the curve. To repeat the above, the bike "wants" to stay up
straight, where as before the bike would tend to stay in whatever position you
put it in. This is similar to how a car steering wheel wants to straighten out
when you are in the middle of a curve. Only a light pressure is needed to keep
the bike leaned into the curve, not any more than was needed to initiate the
turn to begin with.

In the midst of the turn, traction seemed to be every bit as much as when on the
motorcycle tire, if not more. It did not feel like I was riding on a "knife's
edge" (something I am sensitive to), but instead felt every bit as steady as the
previous tire. Keeping the tire down to 32 psi may be a factor here.

Finishing the curve: The bike will pop up a little faster than before - (the
bike "wants" to stay up straight).

Riding on uneven pavement at slow speed: I tend to feel the bumps and
unevenness of the very poor pavement in front of my house more. The bike
handles it well; it is not unsettling, but the tire does let you know that
things are not smooth beneath it.

Riding at high speed: Not much difference, other than the bike feels more
steady.

Riding at high speed with 25 mph crosswind: The bike seemed easier to handle in
a crosswind, and does not feel like an elephant on a rolling log like it felt
previously in a strong wind.

Riding on tar-snake cracks: I don't notice this as much as I did with the other
tires.

Riding on longitudinally grooved pavement: No experience yet.

Riding on grated bridges: No experience yet.

Riding on gravel/off road: Do you think this is a dirt bike??

I will update this post in another month or two, after I have more experience on
the C.T. Please add your own dark-side experiences to the thread, especially if
they are different or if they can add more detail.

Message Thread for message #101413

timdearborn
3/18/2011, 02:07 am
Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
Purpose: I put a car tire on my back wheel 2 days ago. I hope to provide a detailed post of the experience, good and bad, in order to provide as much information as possible for those considering a similar move. Disclaimer: Riding a motor

    pgboyd
    3/18/2011, 11:35 am
    Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
    I plan on changing tires this weekend on Obsession, although sticking with Dunlops. As part of my science experiment I will be trying to mount my tires myself using only my Cycle Pump from BestRest and their Bead Setter gizmo:

    eleveldb
    3/18/2011, 03:40 pm
    Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
    I was the one who made the "knife edge" analogy soon after putting on the same tire you did. Maybe I've just gotten used to it but I don't have that sensation any more. I have had a few instances of the bike slipping a skooch on rainy

      timdearborn
      3/18/2011, 05:31 pm
      Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
      Bart, Thanks for the report on the Battleax. I will be looking to replace my front tire toward the end of the season and was thinking about trying one. Also appreciate the notes on your experience on cornering. The biggest concern about da

    ramauder
    3/26/2011, 12:57 pm
    Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
    I had the BF Goodrich mounted last week, but I have not had a chance to try it out yet since my bike is still apart while doing other maintenance/modifications. I ordered the tire from Walmart using the free ship-to-store option. Total was $9

    shotcoy
    3/27/2011, 12:29 am
    Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
    Tim: Thanks for the detailed report and looking forward to ongoing reports. There is little I can add, but mount the tire in warm conditions(and/or warm the tire), clean/polish the rim prior to mounting, and carefully apply your chosen tire l

    daddy_fry
    3/27/2011, 03:09 am
    Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
    --- In ipcrc@yahoogroups.com, "TimD" <tim@...> wrote: > > Purpose: I put a car tire on my bac

      g4321m
      3/27/2011, 03:53 pm
      Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
      My first impression of mounting a car tire was "why", are they crazy? But it sounds like your reason is that it offers much higher mileage than motorcycle tire do. I have always felt that motorcycle tires wear out much too soon also,

        gibinmich
        3/27/2011, 04:03 pm
        Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
        Can you get tires with red lines. That would be sweet! --- In ipcrc@yahoogroups.com, "Glenn" <g4321m@...>

          daddy_fry
          3/30/2011, 01:31 am
          Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
          > > > > Any photos of the tire mounted? > > > > thanks, > > Glenn > > You missed the great photos by KILLBOY down at the Dragon? He captured our Ohio brother's leans thru the curves that

            literidr
            3/30/2011, 04:17 pm
            Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
            That photo in the Dragon is scariest of all. When you see how far over that bike had to lean to make that curve compared to all the other bikes, you'll realize that curves are not what those darkside tires are good at. John Handford,

              daviddockstader
              3/31/2011, 09:45 pm
              Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
              I have to disagree. The lean angle for a give bike and rider position is just a function of speed and radius of the turn. He was going fast! Anybody else going that fast would also lean that far. --- In

                jim.strtr
                4/1/2011, 12:40 am
                Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
                Ah contrare! I am a former (very old) road racer. To lean the bike over less, all you have to do is get your butt off the seat and slide it to the inside and put all your weight on the inside foot peg. Once you do that the bike will lift up a

                  jprelock
                  4/1/2011, 12:58 am
                  Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
                  Well, David did say for a given rider position, but I was sort of thinking the same thing, how do you know exactly who is hanging off how far if it's only subtle? And the technique you describe works as well if you put weight on the outside p

                    jim.strtr
                    4/1/2011, 02:50 am
                    Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
                    Call me old fashioned, but I can't even fathom pressing down hard on the outside peg. That just sounds totally wobbly to me. But then I never was a fantastic road racer. Once I fell down a couple of times I had a vision that told me "thi

                      jprelock
                      4/1/2011, 05:30 am
                      Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
                      It's kind of interesting actually. Pressing down hard on the inside peg allows the bike to turn in very quickly, almost wobbly, because all your inputs are going in the same direction. Pressing down on the outside peg creates an isometric mov

                literidr
                4/1/2011, 04:43 pm
                Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
                Sorry, The shape of the tire is a major factor in the ability of the tire to negotiate a turn. When you are turning, the inside radius of the tire in contact with the road is shorter than the outside radius of the tire, allowing your tire

                  daviddockstader
                  4/2/2011, 08:07 pm
                  Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
                  We are not talking about the same thing. My statement was only about lean, nothing else. I carefully specified that my statement applied to a given rider position. Once the rider position is determined the motorcycle and rider can be treated

            shotcoy
            3/30/2011, 11:47 pm
            Transitioning to the Dark Side - a Detailed Log
            Photos available... click on "photos" on this page. Then go to " PC800 Darksider"...several pics. Dave --- In