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I haven't visited the forum in a while, kind of forgotten how to get around. Just had my 20,000 mile service on my R3R, all is good but I've worn out another stinkin tire since my 10,000 mile service. My local shop is selling these wonderful things for 470 bucks. So I was looking for info on going to the dark side, a couple of quick questions for the ones brave enough. How do they handle on the twisties and in parking lots? Did you take your rim down to a tire shop and put a tire on it? What tire is the best? Thanks guys !
 

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I haven't visited the forum in a while, kind of forgotten how to get around. Just had my 20,000 mile service on my R3R, all is good but I've worn out another stinkin tire since my 10,000 mile service. My local shop is selling these wonderful things for 470 bucks. So I was looking for info on going to the dark side, a couple of quick questions for the ones brave enough. How do they handle on the twisties and in parking lots? Did you take your rim down to a tire shop and put a tire on it? What tire is the best? Thanks guys !
Have you tried a Bridgestone Exedra Max on the rear. There's a good reason motorcycles don't come with car tires.
 

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Dark Side

I own a Honda Valkyrie along with my rocket and have listened to many stories of putting car tires on them. They all said it takes some getting accustom to. Especially at low speeds and twisty roads. I stick with bike tires. The others don't feel comfortable.
 

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Been there done that, had no problems at all. car tyre feels a little "heavy" at times, can still drag the pegs around the corners, and get twice the mileage from a CT.
I think a lot of it is personal choice and how you ride. I always put on a CT when going on holiday towing the trailer, mainly because 240 tyres are a bit harder to find in the middle of Australia, and the CT will get me right around. The bike has done 85000km and I will have used a CT for at least 50000km of that.
Tyre I use is a Toyo 225x50, although I will try a 55 profile next time. A 245 wide will fit but is too tight, 225 is better.

Put a CT on and try it for yourself, there is no dramas with it. The only thing to be aware of is when you cross a verge or rut in the road as the tyre is so wide and flat you will feel the tyre push you to one side, no biggie at all.

Having said all that I have just run out a Bridgestone Excedra, good tyre, better ride than the Avon cobra, cheaper but with less mileage

Personal choice and no harm done if you don't like it
Nungers
 

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I just put Exedra Maxx's on my Thunderbird LT, Rockymountain ATV had way the best prices $290 for front and rear.

Reluctant as I am to get into the car tire debate I will just comment that when it comes to tires, I choose within reason those that will give me the best grip and handling so that I have the best safety margin in all circumstances. I've seen people with car tires on their Harleys and wondered why? I guess when the MotoGP boys start using them I'll give them a try, until then I'm a firm believer that I would be giving up something by having a flat tread surface something that went away along time ago in motorcycle tires.
 

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You would be uninsured in the UK if using a car tyre.Scary even thinking about running a bike of this weight and power on a squared off tyre around bends.I am still using Metzeler tyres which are good.My boy uses Avon Cobra and prefers them at a lower cost.Just waiting to see how many miles those Avons cover.Of course,we do run these bikes very fast and tyre wear is not a problem but grip is everything.Interesting to watch youtube videos of bikes with car tyres fitted.
 

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It seems to the riders that have gone to the "dark side," they do have quite a few supporters.

I've also talked to some who have gone "*double-dark*" They state no ill effects. They do mention shorter stopping distances (especially in the wet.)
Brake pad wear seems to be similar to motorcycle tires.

* Denotes a car tire on the rear, and a motorcycle rear tire on the front, mounted backwards.

I personally have never done it, but I did ask specifically about braking distances with CT's installed on the HDforums.

Like here, I got good experiences with those that actually have experience, and "don't do it" by those that wouldn't do it no matter what.

No, I don't plan on doing it on my motorcycles.
 

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Here's my vote for the Exedra Max.....lasts a good long time. If you HAVE to do darkside....go a little narrower than 240....the driveshaft tube interferes with some 240 DS tires.
 

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I've been watching the end of season testing in Valencia, Spain where the MotoGP teams are testing the 2018 motorcycles for next years races. I didn't see anyone choosing car tires or even testing tires that look like them, so I'll stick with motorcycle tires for the foreseeable future. While I don't doubt you can get higher mileage from a car tire, and obviously the bike is still rideable, or people wouldn't do it, as stated in my earlier post when it comes to tires I want the best grip and handling that I can reasonably obtain, there's too much at stake to be concerned about spending a few hundred dollars more on a tire once in a while. Even if you ignore the issue of the flat profile, you cannot have more grip from a harder compound tire. The only benefit to the car tire can be that it has a larger contact area when the bike is upright because the tire is flat and it's entire profile width is touching the road surface. This could offset the harder compound, but when you start leaning the bike the situation will be the opposite. IMO people get away with a car tire because even though we imagine we push our bikes hard the reality is we are well within the limits normally, that's the same safety factor that allows people to overload their pickup trucks, hook to an overloaded travel trailer, and drive down the freeway at 80 mph without it generally resulting in instant death. However once in while in the right conditions when things go wrong, it's better to have that 50% safety factor, or whatever it is, working in your favor, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
A lot of good input here. I've done a little research with different blogs and forums from folks that have gone to CT's and it seems they have had positive experiences and most have chose not to go back to MT's. I'm still on the fence, not because I don't think the CT will perform but it's the convience. Right now I'm commuting 206 miles a day five days a week on the freeway. So even from the testimonials from the guys who run the CT's claiming the CT's corner superbly, my runs on the twisties are limited. It's more about getting 20 to 30 thousand miles out of a tire compared to 8-12 thousand. One thing I've noticed is getting a tire shop to mount a CT on a motorcycle rim, the dark side group have a list of willing shops but not many in my area. once choice would for me to do it myself or keep looking for that one shop willing. So I'll continue my research and continue with my MT until I'm ready. If you folks have any other experiences or input, keep it coming. I would like to see some feedback from anybody who has gone dark side and had a bad experience.
 

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Here's my vote for the Exedra Max.....lasts a good long time. If you HAVE to do darkside....go a little narrower than 240....the driveshaft tube interferes with some 240 DS tires.
The Excedra Max are great tires at a great price. Good grip wet or dry.
 

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Valkyrie

I have been Darkside since 1998. On Valkyrie,192,000,Stratoliner,160,000,Vulcan 2000,70,000 miles.
It's not a big deal on huge motorcycles.
YMMV,consult your local expert.

JJ
 

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They used to make rear tires for motorcycles that were somewhat "car like" the Avon SM being fairly flat across the tread. Those had pretty much died out by the mid 70's replaced by something more akin to the modern tire in profile. Over the 40+ years that have passed since I first started riding the performance of motorcycle tires has improved beyond belief, even my old 70's bikes fitted with modern rubber are a revelation, which would have been unimaginable when they were new. When I ride I feel thankful for the extra grip and safety they provide, not having to apply the throttle with the most delicacy I can muster just to prevent the rear wheel spinning on wet roads, like the 70's when the rear of my Honda 500 would spin under acceleration in 5th gear on the UK's "slimey" roads. Each to their own, but nothing would convince me to use a car tire until I see motorcycle tires looking and having the profile of car tires. I'm sure they work, just as tires did in the 70's, black and round and they get you from A-B, I just don't want to give up the huge safety margin modern motorcycle tires provide for those of us riding and cornering at sensible speeds, where the limit is far beyond anything we will approach intentionally. It's also my belief that a flat profile car tire would affect the ability of the motorcycle to change direction quickly to avoid a mishap too.
 

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Both my wife and I run darkside on our two Valkyries. Zero issues in handling. Better stopping power, way better on wet road stopping than a bike tire and probably at least three times the usable miles out of a rear tire for considerably less than the price of a premium bike tire. She noticed a difference the first ride or two and it's a non-issue now.
The trick is that you have to have a good rounded profile at the tire's edge. By doing this you feel very little difference in the way the bike sets into a corner. The only limits in cornering are the same limits a cruiser sees with a bike tire....hard parts scrape.
Realistically the cruiser crowd has achieved many many millions of safe miles on darkside tires.
 

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Many things related to vehicles can be "abused" because of the safety margins built in at outset. I know people who tow way overweight with their diesel pickups because the vehicle can physically do it, because it's over designed, that doesn't mean it's a good idea, safe, or that they should, despite the fact they are all still alive. I have friends, and see others who regularly tow at 80 mph on the freeway for hundreds of miles, despite the fact trailer tires are only rated for 65 mph

Each to their own but there is absolutely no way you have the same level of grip when leaned over with a car tire, you may have well have more grip braking in a straight line because the tire gives you a bigger footprint, but then I've never noticed a lack of grip or braking power in a straight line or needed more rear grip for that. Like I've already said others can choose as they will, but I would never compromise my motorcycles ultimate abilities with a car tire and no one will ever convince me that a harder compound car tire with the wrong profile isn't doing so. As Scotty used to say in Star Trek "Ye canny change the laws of physics" it's as simple as that, you cannot have the best grip and the best tread life. If you are prepared to accept the compromise then it's up to you, but I take issue with any assertion that the compromise does not exist. If the compromise did not exist then motorcycle tire manufacturers would be using the same construction and rubber compounds in their products.
 

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Both my wife and I run darkside on our two Valkyries. Zero issues in handling. Better stopping power, way better on wet road stopping than a bike tire and probably at least three times the usable miles out of a rear tire for considerably less than the price of a premium bike tire. She noticed a difference the first ride or two and it's a non-issue now.
The trick is that you have to have a good rounded profile at the tire's edge. By doing this you feel very little difference in the way the bike sets into a corner. The only limits in cornering are the same limits a cruiser sees with a bike tire....hard parts scrape.
Realistically the cruiser crowd has achieved many many millions of safe miles on darkside tires.
I own a valkyrie & a rocket. One cannot compare the two. The tire that is good for one is not as good for the other. Sorry you cannot compare the two.
 

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Both my wife and I run darkside on our two Valkyries. Zero issues in handling. Better stopping power, way better on wet road stopping than a bike tire and probably at least three times the usable miles out of a rear tire for considerably less than the price of a premium bike tire. She noticed a difference the first ride or two and it's a non-issue now.
The trick is that you have to have a good rounded profile at the tire's edge. By doing this you feel very little difference in the way the bike sets into a corner. The only limits in cornering are the same limits a cruiser sees with a bike tire....hard parts scrape.
Realistically the cruiser crowd has achieved many many millions of safe miles on darkside tires.
Exactly. Those that spout a bunch of negatives about darkside are full of baloney. I wouldn't use one on a sport bike but a big and heavy cruiser is great with one. My first was on my Valkyrie in 1998.
I'm double darkside on both of my bikes.

JJ
 
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