Back from the darkside - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Back from the darkside

After many heated discussions about CT vs MT, I come to the forum with my hat in my hands and my head held low. I decided to go back to a motorcycle tire after 10,000 miles on a car tire. I thought I would have gotten more miles out of my beloved General Altimax, but at 10k miles, I noticed I was geting close to the wear bars. I could have gotten a lot more miles out of it, but my stepson and I are going to Deals Gap at the end of the month,(1,000+ mile journey) and I didn't want to risk problems. So, I ordered and installed a Shinko 777 rear tire.

I can't say there is anything inherently wrong with a car tire on a motorcycle. I don't think anybody will crash and die in a ball of flames by using a car tire on their motorcycle. The only flames I saw came from the forums. As a matter of fact, I may try it again in the future, but with a different tire.

I absolutely LOVED the tire when I first had it installed. I feltl like I could take corners like never before. My wife even commented on how much faster I was going in the curve. I went with a 205 width because that is what everybody else was using. I think that is too wide. If I ever go darkside again, I will use a narrower tire. What I didn't like is, as it started to wear, it felt more difficult to navigate turns. It seemed to require more input to get it to lean into the curves. Granted, I kept the pressure at ~40-42psi, and I think a lot of people keep it a lot lower. I felt like it was too "squishy" at anything less than that, especially two up, but that may have led to the pre-mature wearing in the center of the tire. The tread on the outer edges still had a lot of life left, but the center was wearing too quickly for me.

Something else I noticed after I got the tire off, is that the left side of the car tire was wearing more than the right side. I haven't a clue what would cause this. Maybe I am doing something wrong??

Speaking of taking the tire off, HOLY CRAP!!! I finally cut the damn tire aout an inch away from the bead, all the way around the tire, just to get it off the rim withut damaging it. NOT fun!!!

After installing the Shinko, I was amazed at how easy it was to lay into a turn. Like I said, if my CT would have been narrower, it may have been easier to lay into the curve.

All in all, I can not say that a car tire is the way to go, nor can I say it is NOT the way to go. Each person has to evaluate their situation to see if it woud be a viable option. I guess that's the point.....you have options.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 03:45 AM
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Originally Posted by rmccutchan View Post
All in all, I can not say that a car tire is the way to go, nor can I say it is NOT the way to go. Each person has to evaluate their situation to see if it woud be a viable option. I guess that's the point.....you have options.
In the US, as far as the wear goes, turning left, because we drive on the right, wears motorcycle tires, especially the rear, more on the left side of the tire as a left hand turn is a longer distance then a right. The front doesn't wear like the rear because we are also applying throttle coming out of turns and this simply wears the rear more.

I read as much as I could find on 'darkside' and, at the end of the day, it simply made no sense to me. Somewhere in there, the design, the engineering, all of that, something made with four wheels and car rims and flat travel in mind seamlessly being better than something made for motorcycles, two wheels in line, riding on the sides, just doesn't make sense to me. Sure, for flat, straight, no turn travel, but, not for leaning.

In any event, hey, you tried it and are sharing your stories so, good for you!
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-18-2014, 06:30 AM
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Thanks for the honest feedback. It was never a thought for me, simply because I do not put on the large amount of miles like some people and I want to change out my tires every few years anyway and honestly I am just not the type to accept I need a tire made for another purpose. *L*

I have read feedback like yours in the past, dont get me wrong, it seems the vast majority like their dark side but there are more then a few who get "published" that switch back to a regular MC tire. This is the first I heard about premature wear but most who go back, miss the MC tire handling. Anyway, no reason to hold your head low! Your post helps others who are on the DS fence about taking the plunge.

I also think, its much less an issue with new tires coming out like the Commander II, which I just put on my rear last month. I am also someone to admit or let people know when something doesnt work for me. I was steadfast in trying out the Excedra MAX instead of the Commander II a couple years back, with Bridgestone saying how the MAX was made to last longer etc, etc, it was a GREAT handling tire but Bridgestone screwed me on the tire wear, lasted only 8k miles.

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Last edited by alarmguy; 07-18-2014 at 06:34 AM.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-19-2014, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Part of the reason I went dark side was cost. My stock rear tire was needing replaced at about 7,000 miles. At $200 or so to have one installed a couple times a year was nuts! The altimax was $110 plus $30 for mounting, and was supposed to last 20k miles. I now have learned to change my own tires and discovered Motorcycle superstore and Shinko tires, now I can do BOTH tires for $180. We will see how long they last now.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2014, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by rmccutchan View Post
Part of the reason I went dark side was cost. My stock rear tire was needing replaced at about 7,000 miles. At $200 or so to have one installed a couple times a year was nuts! The altimax was $110 plus $30 for mounting, and was supposed to last 20k miles. I now have learned to change my own tires and discovered Motorcycle superstore and Shinko tires, now I can do BOTH tires for $180. We will see how long they last now.

bought my dunlop elite 3 tires 2 summers ago for both front and rear at the same time. 15K+ miles later, i still have plenty of tread on both. though i do notice that i don't have quite the grip in the turns as i used to, so i'll probably be looking to replace the rear before too long. but 2 years and 15K miles with the rear tire is better than any other motorcycle tire i've read about from anybody online.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2014, 12:16 PM
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I kept the pressure at ~40-42psi, and I think a lot of people keep it a lot lower. I felt like it was too "squishy" at anything less than that, especially two up, but that may have led to the pre-mature wearing in the center of the tire.
doesn't under-inflation cause a tire to wear more than over-inflation?

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2014, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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I won't do dunlops any more. Had two split on me. I have a zero tolerance policy on things like that.

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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2014, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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doesn't under-inflation cause a tire to wear more than over-inflation?
Over inflation will cause the center tread to wear faster, at least on a car tire.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-20-2014, 03:54 PM
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Had two split on me. I have a zero tolerance policy on things like that.
sounds like you have a one tolerance policy



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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 07-21-2014, 04:44 PM
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I get 18k out of an Altimax 215/55 at 36psi or less.
You way overinflated your tire so your bike handled bad & your tire wore out too soon so instead of properly inflating it you start a controversial thread.
Back from the darkside.


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Last edited by bevo1981; 07-21-2014 at 06:07 PM.
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