Tuesday, May 11, 2010

50,000 Mile Tire?

It was a modest gathering of riders for our group's monthly bike night at a local eatery last night. But I saw something one of the senior riders had done to his to Vulcan 900 that I'd thought unwise, if not impossible.

Keith is in his 70's and has been riding all of his life. Two weeks ago he installed a car tire on his rear wheel. It's a General Tire 195/60/15 radial. He says he has about 500 miles on the new rubber and so far, is very pleased with the ride he has experienced.

It looks very strange to stand behind the bike and see a motorcycle tire with a straight-line contact patch of nearly 7 inches. Of course, the trade off is the contact patch is greatly reduced when cornering. Especially aggressive cornering.

Keith says that with the type of riding he does, the tire is working really well. He says, there is little or no wobble when on gravel and sand. And he expects to get between 40,000 and 50,000 miles out it. The tire cost him about $75 and will last 4 or 5 times longer.

Part of the increased mileage is due to the hardness of the rubber. The rubber of motorcycle tires is softer and stickier, something every rider appreciates when the road turns wet. But Keith maintains that his wet road riding felt just like the Metzler ME880 he took off.

Knowing Keith's cautious attitude to riding, I am sure his decision was made with careful thought and research. And I know if he feels unsafe the Metzler will go back on faster than it came off.

Has anyone else ever swapped out their standard MC tire with a car tire?

Ride Safe!


dave said...

I just hope that he gets to make the decision to go back to a proper tire without getting hurt.Really if all he wanted was cheap he should never have bought a bike-in reality they are anything but. There are good reasons why there are car tires and truck tires and motorcycle tires. Understanding that they are designed to do different things seems so obvious but some only see dollar signs. Wonder who mounted it and if they are ready to face the liability issue down the road?

Doug C said...

Dave - The same thought crossed my mind. I wouldn't want to be the test pilot in this type of experiment. I'll prob'ly see him again in a week or so, and get the latest feedback.