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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Can someone tell me the reason most modern day bikes have fatter tires then my bonnie? Or point me in the right direction to learn about the science of tire size.
 

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Fashion and about twice the horsepower . The current trend seems to be for wider and wider tyres for no reason other than style . As the new bonny is styled along the lines of a 60's bonny , 180 or larger tyres would look out of place . Triumph were stretching it a bit by putting a 130 on the standard rim . The best handling bike I ever had ( and still own ) was a mk1 guzzi lemans which has a 100 section on the front and a 110 on the rear .
 

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With higher amounts of power, you want a larger surface area to avoid a loss of traction. This is why higher end sportbikes are now wearing 190 and 200 series tires. Cruisers are using wider tires, upwards of 300 series now, as a fashion statement as to help balance out the bulbous looks of the rest of the bike. Narrower tires will allow a bike to be more nimble and responsive. As long as the narrower tires can handle the power without breaking loose, then there's no advantage to going with a wider tire.
 

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Without trying to find where I read it, under hard use tyres heat up, a lot. A larger carcass gives more area to dissipate heat which helps tire longevity. Under the same conditions a narrow tire sticks just as good as a large one but because it will not dissipate heat as well it wears out quicker. When racing the larger tire has an advantage.
 

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Cruiser syndrome. Heavy bikes need big rubber. The Bonnie isn't so it doesn't.
 
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