Car Tire on a Bike?
MPH Header Page MPH HomePage Copyright 1999-2016 MPH Forum Leisure Email Us Gallery Roll
I used to cringe when I would see a new oil thread. Tire threads are beginning to give me a similar feeling. About a year ago when I first heard about placing a car tire on a bike I thought that was the dumbest thing I had ever heard. After researching it for a few months and my new 1800 approaching 13k I decided to do it. I chose a Bridgestone 195/55-16. I don't think it really matters what tire brand you choose. All 195/55-16 tires will have a diameter of 24.5" and a width of 7.68". If you like the looks of a tire and it's available then use it. One big thing that sold me on the idea is that the Dunlop tire that came on the bike is rated at a maximum load of 827 lbs. My new Bridgestone tire is rated at 1259 lbs. That is a 50% increase. That should tell us something, it has to be a better tire.
The next picture is a close-up of the tire right after the bike came down off the lift.
Picture number 3 is of the right sidewall of the tire in the indented area of the swing arm. Notice the 5/16" wrench. The box end measures just under 1/2". The clearance here is just over 3/8" That's leaves some room for reserve. Maybe the 205/55-16 is a good choice too. Remove your wheel and measure from the center of the axle to the area where this wrench is touching the swing arm.
Picture number 4 is the front of the rear tire just behind the swing arm. The same 5/16" wrench is wedged in here. The clearance is just over 3/8". I hear some people are running a 205/55-16. A 205/55-16 is 25" in diameter. The clearance here with the 205 would only be about 1/8" to 3/16". I guess a miss is as good as a mile. If I ever wear this tire out I may try the 205.
The last picture is of the left sidewall. The clearance from the fender well is about 3/8". If you choose the 205 tire it is going to close this clearance down to about 1/8" The clearance on the right sidewall of the tire is similar.
I I have heard many reasons why you should not run a car tire on a bike but none of them makes any sense. Here's a few. The manufacturer don't recommend it. Could it be they want to sell you a $200 motorcycle tire? A car tire is not made to run on the sidewall. What moron thought this up? A motorcycle tire don't run on the sidewall either. The car tire rides up when you lean in a curve and has less rubber on the road. In fact the opposite is true. The car tire will always have more rubber on the road. I could go on but it would be pointless. If your concern is handling you need not be worried. You can't tell any difference except in cornering. It does feel some different. I immediately rode down to my favorite parking lot for some figure eight practice. As I said it does feel different but after about 5 minutes I was comfortable with it. I have rode a few hundred miles and I will never put another motorcycle tire on the back of my bike. One last thing the ride is fabulous. I run 32 lbs of air in it. You may need 35 lbs for two up, but it will give you a fabulous and comfortable ride. I'm a oddball DarkSider
Mick, 06 GL1800 13k miles