My buddies keep saying things like this:
“That isn’t a motorcycle tire. That’s a car tire. Motorcycle tires have to be rounded over on the shoulders so you have maximum contact patch when cornering. You won’t find a tire shop or motorcycle dealer that will be willing to mount that thing on your motorcycle wheel, no matter what you pay them.”
Okay, I’ll mount it myself if I have to.
Even if I have to buy my own tire changing machine.
A home shop tire changing machine will cost around $1,000.00. The 225/55ZR -16 BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW 2 I just purchased from TireRack.com is $160.00, shipped.
A new Metzeler rear tire for my bike costs around $320.00. Another $100.00 plus for mounting. And they wear out in less than six months.
A car tire will last about three years.
Do the math.
Now, as for the danger, I really can’t find any. It’ll get better traction on the straight roads, and the contact patch looks to be pretty much the same on the corners with this tire as it would be on the straight-aways with the Metzeler. But on the straight-aways with the car tire I’ll have about 300% more contact patch.
Here’s what I think: I think the motorcycle tire manufacturers and motorcycle tire shops have a sweet deal going by creating a psychological monopoly. Sticky, soft compound racing tires are great for racing, but they aren’t great for routine commuting. They wear out fast, causing folks to run on thinner tread more often. They may stick well in the curves on clean, dry pavement, just like racing slicks get better traction on the drag track, but they are far less worthy of traversing wet, dirty, or loose substrates than a car tire, whether the bad road conditions exist on straght-aways or curves.
I’ve read through hundreds of forum entries and articles, and the only people I see who are dead set against using a car tire on the rear of a Triumph Rocket III are the ones who have never tried it.
The ones who have tried it? I’ve seen about 200 so far, and only four of those have gone back to motorcycle tires…not because they think the car tire is dangerous, but because they preferred the feel of the traditional motorcycle tire.
And I can find no (zero, nil, nada) first hand reports of accidents attributed to running car tires or as a major contributing factor.
I may be 100% wrong, but I’m going to try it. Installation happens this Saturday with the help of my genius mechanically inclined and experienced younger brother. He’s one of the skeptics, but he’s also familiar enough with me to know I’m gonna do it anyway, so he may as well make sure it’s done as right as it can be considering we’re mating the worlds of motorcycle and car technology with live testing in the production environment of real world traffic and highways.
If I’m still posting articles next week you’ll know it didn’t kill me yet.
I’ll do my best to stay un-biased and tell the truth if it sucks. I don’t mind admitting when I’m wrong. Right now I just don’t see any down-side to this and can’t trust the nay-sayers who can’t come up with any mathmatical or legal reasons why this shouldn’t be done.
If it was so dangerous and risky why wouldn’t it be illegal, void my warranty, and be listed all over the place as something that would negate insurance coverage? And why wouldn’t there be actual news media and motorcycle magazine stories about the crashes and resulting casualties?
All I’ve seen are a few anecdotal horror stories in forums posted by some anonymously monikered member whose brother-in-law or best friend wrecked out on a car tire while doing five miles per hour in a school zone and subsequently hastened the apocalypse and started having naked babies.