Calling all dark siders!

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by lifer, May 4, 2011.

  1. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    #21
  2. Black Sheep Radical

    Black Sheep Radical Fusionista

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    I've seen sidecar outfits that have been fitted with car tyres and that seems fair enough, I know from my own experience that the tyres wear square on outfits anyway. What I don't get, and I know this has probably all been said before, is why someone would want to put a square-section car tyre on a scooter that's designed to lean over. Surely it'll affect the handling?

    Are car tyres even safe to use in this way? I'm thinking about the strength of the side walls under even the angles of lean generated by an old bus like the Helix.
    #22
  3. hexnut

    hexnut Been here awhile

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    Yeah, I've thought the same thing. I wouldn't do it but that's just me...
    #23
  4. bbishoppcm

    bbishoppcm It ain't a moped.

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    A new scooter tire costs me $100 mounted... my life is worth much more than that.
    #24
  5. Woodsrat

    Woodsrat Gone ridin'

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    Agreed and I follow the logic. The thing is a shitload of people are doing this now and surviving and the reality is if you look in the piles of tires behind the shops most tires are worn out right down the middle--the sides are barely used.

    Yeah, lots of people do dangerous drugs and survive, too but this is a whole 'nuther thing. It certainly has my interest and if anyone hears of someone getting killed or maimed specifically as a result of using car tires please let us know.

    In the meanwhile you "darksiders" keep the feedback coming and ride safe...
    #25
  6. bbishoppcm

    bbishoppcm It ain't a moped.

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    I've never ridden a bike with a car tire in place of a bonafide bike tire... what I can say is this; on my old Honda Elite 150, the tire it had when I got it was a very good quality michelin tire with a nice rounded profile; the bike handled like a dream, and hugged the road even through the tightest corners. After picking up a nail, I replace the tire with a less expensive tire with a much "squarer" profile; the bike never handled right since, and I nearly crashed the damn thing in a corner (it would only lean so far before becoming unstable).
    #26
  7. lifer

    lifer Been here awhile

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    You sound like you have an agenda, or should I call it a crusade. What feed back, all I see is shouldn't, couldn't , wouldn't, what is it.
    #27
  8. PinkSteel

    PinkSteel Been here awhile

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  9. OtterChaos

    OtterChaos Guzzi Guzzi Guzzi

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    My Piaggio MP3 with mini-cooper 140/70-12 tire on it.

    [​IMG]

    Side view

    [​IMG]

    I have 4500 miles on the tire now and have had no issues at all. I do need to run tire pressure 1 psi below max as any less gave too much squirm on the freeway. I've ridden this tire in the rain with no problems. It took about 200 miles before I adjusted to the different feel of the tire and now I can't even remember what the differences were.

    Why go darkside? well the MP3 is a heavy scoot and with the small 12" tire I was getting around 2200-2500 miles per tire. I commute almost 200 miles/week so having to change tires every 3 months was a drag.
    #29
  10. lifer

    lifer Been here awhile

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    Did you use a tube in the tire or put a tubless tire core and go tubless?
    #30
  11. YamaGeek

    YamaGeek Ancient trailbike padwan

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    Most cast alloy scooter rims are tubeless, and I'd suspect he's running tubeless.
    #31
  12. lifer

    lifer Been here awhile

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    Thanks I'm from the dual sport, dirt bike world so I have little experience with cast bike wheels. I just got my scooter and have not changed a tire yet on it.
    #32
  13. OtterChaos

    OtterChaos Guzzi Guzzi Guzzi

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    Correct!
    #33
  14. Dabears

    Dabears --------------------

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    #34
  15. fullmetalscooter

    fullmetalscooter Let me take this duck off

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    I m supect that if your rear scooter tire is less 12 iches the only way to run a 10 inch car tire on a scooter is by custom making a whole new rear rim and center peace. If you look over in hacks one guy is doing just that for his BWM bike. You have to have equipment or use a CAD machine to make it. At least that way you can run a 145 10 inch mini tire safely. Just throwing this out there.
    #35
  16. bandito2

    bandito2 Been here awhile

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    I don't know how I missed this thread. I usually catch most of the darkside threads and very often jump right in. (but not always) I could probably tell you just about anything you would want to know about putting a car tire on the Reflex. That is because I am the person that started the whole car tire on a Reflex thing back in June of 2008. (I'm first in first hand knowledge as it relates to darksiding the Reflex) For those that might have an interest one way or the other, the following might be considered a worthwhile read..

    I have extensive experience with the 130/70-12 scooter tire (lets just say a lot) plus the 145/70R12 (35,000 miles) and 155/80R12 car tires. (12,000 miles+ and counting) They are all season tires. I do have a 145/80R12 winter tire that I will soon be installing for one of my Reflex scooters. Bought it from a guy in Florida that had bought a set, (to get a better deal) but only needed 1 of them for his Reflex. He seemed very happy with how it worked for him. BTW, the 145/70R12 tire I used had a slightly rounded shoulder which made it feel exactly like the "worn to square" Hoop it replaced. So no big deal at all.

    Firstly, for use on the rear only. While it may be possible, it would not be recommended for the front. It is easy enough to deal with the quirkiness of a rear tire that has more of a tendency to try to remain perpendicular to the road surface as it follows along than a standard tire would. The smooth entry into and out of turns provided by a leading round profile tire (bike tire) is desirable and predictable while a car tire up front would tend to make things far too busy trying to stand upright while you try to hold it into a turn. Having both as car tires may possibly make it too difficult to even want to consider. (read... dare I say it... dangerous)

    The Reflex rim uses tubeless tires, so NO tube is needed.

    I had one episode of head shake when using a Scooter rear tire up front, but the issue was resolved and was not the fault of that tire per se, but rather a ballance issue of that particular tire. I have not experienced trouble otherwise nor with the standard front tire while using a car tire on the rear. I can talk about the use of a scooter rear tire up front later so we'll just stick to the rear tire for now.

    Tire sizes that will fit the Honda Reflex NSS250 scooter rear rim:
    scooter tires - available from various manufacturers
    130/70-12 * (130/70-12 Bridgestone Hoop is the OEM standard rear tire for the Reflex)
    140/60-12
    140/70-12
    car tires - available in various styles (all season, summer, winter/snow tread) from various manufacturers. Not all sizes are available in every tread style. most, if not all are load and speed rated higher than Reflex weight and speed capability.
    145/70R12
    145/80R12
    155/80R12 * (Will fit on the bike, but only after a modification to the swing arm)

    And for your last question, the taller car tire will make it easier to get the bike up onto the center stand and off of it too so be sure to use the parking brake to prevent the bike from moving forward and off the center stand. I use a piece of plywood under the side stand as the bike will lean over further since the bike will be sitting a little higher.
    Turn the shocks pre-load setting up a notch or 2 to prevent the taller tire from rubbing the underside of the storage space beneath the seat.
    If you seem to be having difficulty getting the tire/wheel back onto the bike, try letting some air out of the tire before installing, then add air back in after.
    Tire pressure works best as recommended on the tire. More pressure will give more feedback from the road surface, less will soften the ride. But, be careful, going too low will make the bike feel squirmy, heats the tire more making it wear much faster, is noisier and drops fuel economy considerably.
    Acceleration from a stop is slightly less than a standard scooter tire (behaves as if it was going up a very slight incline) and even more so with the 155/80R12 if you ever had that one installed. But still, it is generally quicker off the line than cagers at traffic lights.
    You will notice slightly lower RPMs for given speeds than when using a standard scooter tire. This equates into a modest improvement in fuel economy and top speed.
    Like any new tire, it can be slippery until it wears off the mold release agent used on the tire during manufacture. You could try scrubbing it off or riding through sand/dirt (carefully) to help speed that process. And NEVER EVER use that tire shine stuff or Armorall protectant to try and make the tires look like shiny and new. It only make them slick and dangerous for a bike.
    Standard lead weights work for balance, but currently I use ceramic balancing beads which have worked fine so far. I do think I will try a product called "Ride-On" which is a foam/liquid/gel sort of thing that helps dynamically balance while also providing puncture sealing protection along the tread area.
    Also, like anything new or untried on a bike, gradually familiarize your self with the behavior of the tire as you build confidence in it. Practice slow turns, figure 8s S-turns, low speed skids, different road surfaces including gravel and sand, surfaces with differing camber and slope, etc. working your way up to higher speeds and panic stops and wet conditions. Snow and ice could be included, but generally those are avoided. At the very least prepare yourself mentally if going out on ice and snow. I have a few times, but rode like a granny around the block one new years day and did donuts in the driveway which was kind of hard to do actually with the car tire. It just did not want to break grip as easy as the scooter tire would which would let go at the merest hint of applied throttle. Still it was a hoot to do both ways.

    In a nutshell, let me tell you what it is like. Riding the car tire is very much like riding with a normal scooter tire that has worn to a bit of a squarish profile. There are those that are against putting a car tire on the rear but have not ridden with a car tire yet seem to be terrorized by this aspect and are sure that one would loose control and crash. They must think most folks do not have enough basic riding skills to keep them from crashing their bikes when the scooter tire eventually squares off from wear. Perhaps they themselves do not. I know of only one reported incident when using a car tire on the rear where the guy went down after going low speed over a speed bump of all things. Clearly failure to exercise and maintain control of his bike as he should have been easily able to do, nor mindful consideration and gradual familiarization before riding and so was not the complete fault of the car tire. Mostly not IMO.

    But, here is some more insight that you may or may not have seen or heard already.

    The contact patch argument:
    The contact patch is a function of tire pressure and the amount of weight bearing down on it no matter what kind of tire it is. For a hypothetical example, let's say the weight put onto a tire is 300 pounds and the tire is inflated to 30 PSI. There will be 10 square inches of contact patch of which each square inch is carrying 30 pounds of the distributed weight. So the size of the contact patch area in square inches is figured by dividing the weight put onto the tire (in pounds) by the pressure in the tires (in PSI) Again, no matter what kind of tire it is. That is just basic factual physics.

    Imagine 2 identical bikes, the same in every way except for the rear tires: one with a bike tire on the rear and the other with a car tire on the rear Both with the tires inflated to the same pressure. The total area of the contact patch will be exactly the same for both. A mostly fresh unworn bike tire with its roundish profile has a contact patch SHAPE which will differ from a car tire with its more squarish profile. In a deep leaning turn, the bike tire will take on a sort of half circle shape where a car tire will have a longer crescent shape; still, with each having same amount of contact patch area.

    This shape aspect is seldom discussed regarding darksiding and may actually be an area more deserving of discussion than the size. The detractors of darksiding virtually shout "danger, danger" and claim a razor thin edge of car tire in contact with the road in a turn. (it is more of a cresent shape actually, not a razor thin line) However, I am of the belief that the shape has less significance than the size of a tire contact patch because it is the contact SURFACE and coefficient of friction that determines "GRIP" And "GRIP" is what it all is about for control in turns, acceleration and deceleration/stopping.

    Bike tires often have multiple rubber compounds in their makeup. Harder along the center line for longer wear and softer compound toward the edges for grip in turns. But overall, bike tires have a harder compound in their makeup than car tires which actually have a softer rubber compound. This is often a misconception of those that dis the darkside and wrongly assume that bike tires have softer rubber (and therefore better grip and are safer so they claim) than car tires when in fact it is the other way around. In the beginning, even I was wrong about that. If anti-darksiders go by the standard that a softer compound has more grip and is safer than a harder tire compound, then car tires should have more grip and would therefore be safer.

    Durability:
    Car tires may very well last longer because the weight and wear is distributed across the full width of the tread area for most of the time while the center section of a bike tire carries the weight and gets most of the wear for most of the time leaving unused tread on the side. Generally speaking, Car tires are designed to carry higher weights and dynamic loads than can be developed at the rear of a bike.

    Sidewall strength:
    Truth is that in most high speed turns, the road is banked and the tire remains closer to being parallel to the road surface than one might initially imagine.
    A car will put tremendous loads on the sidewalls in turns. Car tires have to stay up and keep the tire from just folding under, peeling off and having the car fall onto the rims but still have the ability to flex. A bike can not even begin to approach those kind of forces experienced by car tires as when used on a car; especially when a bike can mostly only direct force DOWN to the tread and not across the width of the tire. Uneven road surfaces will often have more of one side of the tire carrying the weight of a car without failing. Even "curbing" a tire (running the sidewall up a curbside and scrubbing the side wall) on occasion will not always cause immediate tire failure. A bike in a steep turn rarely approaches the extreme limit of the tire tread edge. Except racing bikes maybe, but we're not talking racing or riding that extreme here. Riding extremely is for the track. Though one may find their self in an extreme situation, crashing or not has more to do with rider skill than what kind of tire they have on the rear. If a bike ever manages to get up onto the side wall of a car tire in a turn, it is probably because the bike has already broken grip free of the road and scrubs the sidewall but only as it goes down. BTW, an identical bike with a bike tire pressed into the same turn, exact same angle and speed would be going down as well. The sidewall and tread area does indeed flex on a car tire to allow the tread to remain in contact even when more of the weight is carried by one side of the tire, whereas the sidewall on a bike tire is much more rigid and grip depends on the tread area toward the edge of the bike tire and that tread area is much less flexible. Both tires basically do the same job, just in different ways from each other. These aspects whether intentional or not are a part of the design and function of the tires that allows each of them to work on bikes.

    Handling:
    Car tires handle just fine. It would seem that actually the feedback from the road one would get from using a car tire is a major point that upsets anti-darksiders. But they are wrong in their expectation that a car tire should feel/handle the same as a bike tire. IT IS DIFFERENT; if they can't adapt or refuse to accept something different and or feel that because it is different from what they are comfortable with that it is dangerous, then indeed they should stay away and not even try.

    Wet conditions:
    Motorbike tires and car tires appear to do equally well at evacuating water. There are those that claim better performance in wet conditions with car tires. (as I believe they do) But then again, different brands and tread patterns may have more of a tendency or less tendency to hydroplane depending and this would be applicable to both bike tires and car tires alike. This aspect seldom gets argument since it seems both sides of the darkside argument would appear to agree by default that both do nearly as well in this area. At least as far as water evacuation goes anyway.

    Go ahead and investigate as much information as you are willing to absorb that is presented by the "experts" on both sides of the subject, interpret them objectively and form you own view, then do as you will.
    #36
  17. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    Never seen a car tire on a scooter. Very common on Goldwings and some cruisers. They can almost be a necessity on a large heavy bike that eats rear tires, especially ones like the Goldwing where changing the tire is a major job. Since it has been proven to be possible, I don't understand why tire manufacturers don't make motorcycle tires that last longer, at least for everything but sport bikes that get ridden on the rims often.
    #37
  18. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    [​IMG]
    #38
  19. Cat0020

    Cat0020 El cheapo

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    They just want to make money from those who think motorcycles need to have special tires. When majority of rider never even come close to riding to the limits of their tires.

    That's more lean angle than CaseyJones will ever get on any of his 2 wheeled vehicle.:lol3 Oh no, that rider is going to crash any second, better snap a pic while he's still alive and riding...

    Fact is: there are those who have no clue about riding a 2 wheel vehicle with car tire mounted on the rear wheel, like CaseyJones. They seem to come up with all the negative possibilities out any actual experience with the subject and just have to express their ignorance by trolling through threads in related topic.
    #39
  20. CaseyJones

    CaseyJones Ridin' that train

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    Yes. Conspiracy theories are very useful...to validate the self-esteem of conspiracy theorists, who cannot understand other explanations. Claiming "inside/secret information" gives them a sense of superiority.

    Yes. Riding on the edge of a flat-tread tire...is a very clever thing.

    In the minds of people who cannot understand physics.

    Fools laugh at wisdom.
    #40