Actually dragging pegs on a Valkyrie is not as easy as you might imagine. I ride a Valk Interstate and it has much better peg clearance than most of the cruisers I rode before it. I'm not a "racer" by any means, but ride pretty aggressively for a big bike, and tend to catch up and pass many riders when going through the twisties. On two week-long trips in the mountains of WV, NC, and TN (including the Dragon), I only dragged pegs once and that was in an avoidance maneuver on a right-handed, decreasing radius hairpin to avoid a pickup cutting the apex into my lane.
Once again, Goldwing owners prove they should not have bikes in the first place. Reminds me of a letter sent to Cycle World, where a Goldwing rider argued that bald tyres were safer and better because they were exactly the same as racing slicks.
Man, is this old news. This comes from the sidecar folks! We eat up rear tires faster than a sport bike rider on burn out night! Ever try to get a back tire off a sidecar rig? Requres a jack, and lots of other stuff to get it up high enough, then you eventually have to put it back on! There are conversions for Harley Wheels too as well as BMW. Strongly suggest against this for a two wheeler. Ask anyone who remembers the old Goodyear Speedgrip! Square profile tires (like car tires) make for interesting handling in corners....
Do his miles override the knowledge and experience of motorcycle and tire designers?
Motorcycle handling is very susceptible to even minor changes in tire profile, tread, and compound. The guy from that web link above says that himself - he says that one of the problems with bike tires is that whenever he installed tires from a different brand, he would have to get used to dramatically different handling. So a slightly different tire has an unacceptably large difference in handling. But he puts a car tire on his bike and gets used to it in 1/4 mile? Anyone smell something weird here?
People who do this sort of crazy stuff seem to say that longer tire life is a big advantage of using car tires. Well, guess what? Car tires last longer because they use harder rubber and as a result have significantly less grip than motorcycle tires. With just 2 wheels keeping your butt off the asphalt, that doesn't seem like a smart tradeoff.
all those guys with valks fitted with car tires are dragging their pipes. those car tires have a lower profile so that the undercarraige is lower to the ground. so they're throwing sparks at extremely low speeds and shallow lean angles.
What a waist. Honda worked so hard to get the goldwing to handle when they changed the chassis. Are now some people will willingly just give it away - and for what? To brag that they have a car tire on their wing? A tire that their local Honda Dealer wont touch. Some have it - some don't. Some understand and some want car tires on their wings. What a waist.
If you really do a comparo.. include the Rocket III in on it as well.. Many owners are swapping to car tires because there is only one supplier for our tires. I'm not one of them.. I like the way my Rocket handles just fine... But I can see where they are coming from.. getting 20k+ miles out of a tire versus 6K+ miles... and car tires cost less too!
"Do his miles override the knowledge and experience of motorcycle and tire designers?"
No, of course not, but it does mean he put his money where his mouth is no?
"But he puts a car tire on his bike and gets used to it in 1/4 mile? Anyone smell something weird here?"
You are taking his statements out of context. He openly states that there are some handling anomalies but also states some improvements.
"Car tires last longer because they use harder rubber and as a result have significantly less grip than motorcycle tires."
Not really. They are harder but the additional contact area gives them the edge in grip.
If you look at some of the modern motorcycle tires, the angle at the edge of the tire is not more than 20-25 degrees from horizontal. This means that motorcycle tires rely on sidewall flexing to keep the contact patch on the road. Since car radial tires have a lot of sidewall flex, it does seem as though the contact area of a flat (car) tire will remain planted even when leaned over.
I would not think a car tire would be a good idea on a sport bike, but on a motorcycle that has a moderate lean angle, they may work well. In some respects, way better than a motorcycle tire.
Since the diameter of a motorcycle tire changes as you move away from the center towards the edges, said tire will always be subject to some level of squirm when leaned over. When leaned over, the inside part of the contact patch will try and slow the bike down and the outside part of the contact patch will try and make it run faster. This phenomenon will not be present with a car tire. Riders who use car tires all say that the bike seems way more planted during high speed sweepers.
Re: It works on the GW's thinner sister-The Valkyrie
"but if you lean the bike more than a few degrees you'll be riding on the sidewall"
No, not at all. Even when scraping foot pegs the sidewalls show no wear, meaning the sidewalls flex enough to keep the contact patch in touch with the road.
The average road tire only deviates from horizontal by about 25 degrees, yet allow bikes to lean over more than 50 degrees. How does that work? Easy, the sidewalls give way to allow the contact patch to remain in touch with the tarmac. A car tire will do (and by all accounts does) the same.
"This is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard."
Yep, folks said that about water cooling on motorcycles
Re: It works on the GW's thinner sister-The Valkyrie
The article mentions a few very strange handling characteristics at low speeds for example he indicates that making U turns being a problem and imperfect roads cause the back to wonder around. It also mentions that the motorcycle resists leaning into the corners and want to stand itself up the whole time.
Marketing a motorcycle with such handling characteristics will not float.
I think if you do a lot of long distance riding (read open road at 40mph and more) a car tire will work fine. If you commute through traffic and need the bike to be more nimble and light steering it would probably not work.
Besides, since when do Honda engineers try and save you money? They want to save Honda money yes, but you they want to take for as much as they can.
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