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Was watching a You Tube video on using a car tire on the rear of a motorcycle and I was wondering what your opinion of doing same is? Give me some reasons for your choice.
Ed (Vic) Belanger - 1954-2015
Founder of

#1 04-26-2011, 07:03 PM,
It is a coincidence that you posted this today.

I order mine a couple of weeks ago, but first, they didn't had the Kunho tire (my first option) so that delayed it, then FedEx mis me on Saturday. Monday the whole FedEx ground Hub is closed, and this morning before going to work went by the hub, and finally got my tire, a Nexen 165/80R15 for the rear, of course.

Due to the tornado warnings, for the third day in a row, I didn't wrench on the bike this evening, but I'm itching to fiddle with it, I'm also waiting on a rebuilt kit for the clutch master cylinder, should be here tomorrow or a day after.

I did a lot of reading all over the web and it seems lke a good idea. I always do my own wrenching (no one touches my girls but me)

From what I read on the web my main concerns are:

a)Fitting a 165 in the well, swing arm, etc.
b)Setting the bead, I'll try Randakk's armor-all on the bead, if it doesn't seat, I'll leave the tire at 40 psi in the trunk of the cage, to soften the rubber, if that doesn't work, I'll bounce the tire while still hot/hit it with a hammer, if that doesn't work I'll try this:

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do it like a pro: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=""> ... re=related</a><!-- m -->
with enough practice I'll be able to do it with the tire wheel installed on the wing:

or I'll borrow one of these (once my eyebrows grow back):

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If none of that works I'll turn the wheel on a lathe, but that would be the last resource. The first step will be "presenting" the bear rubber once the wheel/tie come out to see how it fits in the well(fender) and how close it is to the swing arm.

I'll take a few pic and post for whoever is intersted.

You are supposed to gain a bunch of traction, specially wet and gain a bit of control on surfacces like gravel roads, dirt roads, etc. (I'm still planning a trip to the artic circle ridign my wing), tires are suposed to last over 20 K, etc. We'll see about all that. I'll report back with progress - or failure.
#2 04-26-2011, 07:54 PM,
A car tires very weakest point is the sidewall. The rubber is a softer rubber than a motor cycle tire. The first inch of tire from the sidewall is weak as well. This alone would give me the willies on a turn...
#3 04-26-2011, 07:59 PM,
I like to get leaned over in the curves - tickle a footpeg down once in a while - can't see a car tire profile working safely. I've also heard the profile of a bike tire works better in rain...

#4 04-26-2011, 08:16 PM,
A lot of folks with Valkeries and 1800 swear by their car tires. I was not aware of a car tire that will fit a 1200 or a 1500.

I know those that do run the car tires get incredible wear from them, 30k miles and more and I have not heard of any major problems. I got nearly 20k from my last set of Elite 3's and I hope to get the same from these new ones...that is enough wear for me not to worry about switching to a car tire.
Remember, No matter where you go...There you are!

Here is where I have ridden my 1984 GL1200I
I completed the lower 48 states in August 2009, riding the whole way with my Dad

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#5 04-26-2011, 09:47 PM,
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There is a whole bunch of comments on this you tube video and a buch of videos on this subject.

Yes, CT are softer on the walls, therefore more flexible, and allow the contact "patch" area to remain larger than a MC tire even while leaing it.

Me too, I like scraping pegs, that doesn't affect anything, the car tire will NOT run on the sidewall, not even if you lay it on the engine guards!

I'm not saying that this is for everybody, I'm not saying that you should do it. I'm jus sharing this with you guys. At this point I don't even know if the tire will even fit the bike. Whether it does or not, I'll report back to you. If the bike "goes down in flames" I'll report that too...

So far I haven't seen read reports on the web of darksiders going down in flames, 8-X But if that's the case, I'll let you know. That doesn't really concern me, if I'm able to fit it without major mods, my concern is not how it will take a 30, 50 or 100 mph curve, I know already it will outperform a MC tire. My concern is stuff like tight figure 8s and such, but if I drop the bike at 4 miles per hour or so (again) I know the only thing will hurt is my pride, and not even that.

I'll keep you guys posted.

I don't have a closed garage, if I did, I would know by now if the tire fits or not. It's still raining on and off here, so it will be this afternoon after work before I start disassembly.

I'll keep you guys posted. "May the force be with you"

#6 04-27-2011, 03:56 AM,
No, I would not.

I can buy a new E3 for just a few bucks more than a comparable car tire.

Tire mileage? Who is what it is. I am getting 2 seasons out of my E3's, barring any damage that would require an interruption on that interval. The way I see it every 24 months is the perfect time to grease the inner rear wheel, so that works for me. I am saving tons of cash by riding a 26 year old motorcycle and doing most of the work on it myself. If I need to resort to running a mismatch, misfit tire to save $$ then I need to quit riding.

Hope I didn't offend anybody, just the way I see it.
A rainy day off beats a sunny day at work any time..................
#7 04-27-2011, 04:07 AM,
It is odd that when searching for peoples responses on various things when your considering purchasing an article, all you read are negative comments (unless your reading the manufacturers selected customer responses) mostly people don't bother commenting when they are happy with the product.

On the other hand when reading about installing car tires on motorcycles one never hears anything bad, all you read are positive comments. I do find this very hard to believe. Is it that there is nothing to complain about or is it that after dumping their bike they don't want to have it pointed out that "hey you were riding with a car tire"

Me I will stick to my E3's

Heck I put winter tires on that cost $170 each. I did put on cheap all seasons on, heck I was scared to go out in the rain with them.
The only stupid questions are the one's that are not asked.

#8 04-27-2011, 05:32 AM,
Valkyries and 1800's are much better off with a C/T and there are at least three suitable C/T's for the 1500.

Right now no C/T has been found to fit the 1200 and older wings due to the width of the rim.

The modern C/T's are somewhat rounded on the tread patch anyway, plus running a run-flat tire you will never have to worry about a flat tire, or having one separate and blow out on you like so many riders have had happen with their rear M/T's. I am sure we all know of at least a couple of fellow Goldwingers who have died due to a rear tire failure on their Goldwing, yet there has never been one report of anyone getting hurt due to a failure from a run-flat C/T on a Goldwing/Valkyrie yet.

I would highly recommend a C/T over a M/T for the Goldwing since you will have three times the contact patch, much better braking on the rear, (almost impossible to lock it up, even when standing on the rear brake pedal) a softer more comfortable ride, a cooler running tire with a much much higher payload ability, thus far zero reports of any blowouts or tire separations, and the ability to use a run-flat tire.
Another big advantage is a C/T will run for 20,000-45,000 miles, where many M/T's only last 6-8,000 miles, plus the C/T costs about 1/2 of a M/T.

Lastly many 'Darksiders' (M/T users) also install a rear M/T on the front rim since it has twice the tread depth for twice the lifespan, plus a higher load rating, and increased tread width too. This has been a common practice with the trike riders for a long time. Only thing is you must install the directional arrow backwards due to the tread direction, and the forces of braking rather than accelerating on the front wheel.

With the Goldwing laying on it's crash bars the C/T still does not touch it's sidewall onto the ground, and although only 1/2 to 2/3rds. of it's tread is still in contact this still exceeds the contact patch of a M/T standing straight up. Obviously this option would not be advisable for a crotch rocket ect. that has the ability to lean much further than any Goldwing can.

I know many riders who will only use the C/T's and they can take the twisties much faster, and stop harder than I can, and I am a very aggressive rider. If I were to ride like they do, scraping the crash bars at that speed I would loose grip with my M/T and spin out, they have no fear at all as their C/T's continue to grip with all of that extra tread on the road even at full tilt. When stopping hard I apply both brakes and then increase the front brake, they are able to do the same but whilst standing on the pedal the whole time without the rear ever locking up.

Most common quote from a cager after killing a motorcyclist.

"I never saw him" instead of "I never looked for him".
#9 04-27-2011, 07:45 AM,
When I was 14 years old I was told by many that I couldn't do a gear section for my lambretta 150 kickstart. Hardest part was heat treating it without an oven, just a torch and a bucket of used motor oil. It worked, I kick that thing several times a day for years and it DID work.

When I was deciding between Mother Honda's original stator or the Poorboy conversion external alternator, I was told by parts guys and self proclaimed experts stuff like: "if you poke a hole on the timing belt covers you'll have an oil leak, and it would be near impossible to properly center an oil seal on it" guess they haven't seen the inside of a timing belt cover; chain wet, belt dry. Also:"The power of an automotive alternator will fry your electrical system" my electrical system was already fried, both the stator and the rectifier tested bad. Also"You'll snap the timing belts because of the stress/load the alternator will put on them" If mounting the pulley on the cams, yes, it would be an un equal load on the belts, but mounted on the crank, no problem. Don already did all the trial and error engineering for me and many others before me.

When installing self actuated lockers on my Jeep I was told by a bunch of Jeep experts that I wouldn't be able to drive on asphalt, that it would eat up my tires, that if I tried a 270 to get on the interstate, the jeep would loose control "and burst in flames" After 60 thousand miles, the tires still look with a bunch of depth, with a bunch of scars from rock crawling of course. I was able to pull 6000 punds strait with the lockers, without them, It would wobble like a snake. When there's ice on the road, the Jeeps keeps 100% traction, if it starts to drift, It only needs a quick tap on thegas and all the tires will spin at the same rate, instantly regaining control (like a little track mounted dozer)

My point is that if every time I was told no, you can't do or no it can't be done, I'd probably still be push starting an old lambretta.

Now if the tire doesn't fit, I'll let you guys know, if the bike "goes down in flames" or loses control, I'll let you guys know, I'm just doing what this forum is designed to do , share information about our bikes. I'm not saying it will work for everyone, just like bikes are NOT for everyone. Yes I'm obstinate, but on the other hand I'm humble and I can admit when I'm wrong or I mess something up.

NO! try not, do or do not... there is no try - Master Yoda

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#10 04-27-2011, 07:58 AM,
I'm with buffalowing. All my life I've been told, "You can't do this, you can't do that. Crash and burn, it'll sink, it won't fly." I suppose Edison, the Wright brothers, Bell and a lot of others heard the same thing. If they had listened we wouldn't have phones, planes, lights and a lot of other stuff.

And if Don had listened, none of us would be running alternators on 1200s.

Not for everyone, but after it's been done thousands of times and worked well, the old arguments don't hold much water anymore.

I don't know if I'll ever do it, but I sure might.
#11 04-27-2011, 08:19 AM,
I don't have enough information for me to try such an idea, or even to experiment.
Research/experimentation are the keys to the answer.
A closed mind will give a knee jerk response of 'No, it can't be done.' That just drives some of us to prove it differently.

At this point I have to say, I will not try it, but will not discourage those who want to try.

Just be careful.

-Ride On
enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
#12 04-27-2011, 11:35 AM,
I suppose if you were to do mostly to all highway driving an automotive tire might be a alternative. However, the design differences between a motorcycle tire and automotive tire is why I would not use an automotive tire. Cornering is the largest difference. Motorcycle tires by design have a rounded bottom extending the tread at an angle that allows the motorcycle to lean into corners. Automotive or radial tires use a flat tread that is designed to always have full contact with the road surface. The radial cords in the sidewall allow it to act like a spring, giving flexibility and ride comfort. That flexibility also lets the vehicle have side to side movement while cornering. I wonder if using an automotive tire on a motorcycle and doing some twisties, how much tread and what angle is that tread gripping the road surface?
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#13 04-27-2011, 11:37 AM,
We are a pretty smart group of people...........considering we are 'foolish to ride a motorcycle'. :d
enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
#14 04-27-2011, 11:41 AM,
Okay, I will post it first....

enjoying the view from the saddle....... due mainly to the people and information found within this site
#15 04-27-2011, 11:42 AM,

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