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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Thought I'd post some thoughts while they are still fresh. I installed a Bridgestone 205/55/16 Run-Flat today. I am not new to the darkside, I have over 100k miles on the darkside but have been back on a MC tire since I bought the SVTC. My first thought today when I took a test ride was it is so much smoother! My second thought was Whoaa, it won't turn! I had gotten used to the MC tire. After 5 miles I no longer notice the extra input to turn. Speedo is dead on and I have the knowledge that a flat rear tire will not leave me on the side of the road. Nice to be back.
 

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I know you didn't mean it that way, but "it won't turn" of your words sometimes perpetuates the idea that there is a big difference. It's like when one poster said to me: "How do you manage to go around turns?" To which I replied: "No problem. I just stop at the beginning of the turn and push the bike around until the road is straight again. Then get back on."

Now I (we?) know you didn't mean that literally, and did also mention the "extra input." But I find that so many of the unwashed actually do, at least in the back of their minds, think they are going to have "problems" by using a car tire. I prefer to explain it that, yes, it is a little different, but not only is a new mt "different" from the worn one you just took off, every turn you make on the highway is a little different. It becomes so that just as you adjust to the different road conditions, you also adjust to the different feel of the ct.

Like you, I like having a tire that not only can I run with 28# in it, and is sooo much safer being a run flat, but is going to last me for probably 25,000 miles--likely twice what a mt would last. Even forget that the total cost was somewhere less than the mt, especially if you bought the OEM replacement from the dealer (the only place to get one) at like $350., tire only.

Did you get a Driveguard?

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I use my VS650 mostly for commuting. The rear tire tends to wear down so there is a 3" wide section in the middle that is mostly flat buy the time its ready for a new rear time.

can feel the difference between that and a new bridgestone MC tire

the best I can describe it, with the old tire that has worn flat in the center it takes more steering input to get it rolled to the lip, like it wants to go straight. With the new tire pressure on the grip is directly proportional to the lean on the bike, there is no discontinuity leaning the bike back and forth from side to side.

also with a new MC tire the bike does not go straight by itself as solidly, when I take my hands off the grips - its a subtle difference, but its there. Its not that the bike is going to fall over, motorcycles are self balancing, but they are not self-steering. The flatter the wear on the rear tire, the more the bike feels 'locked in' going straight.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Agreed! I have always described it as the same but different, like riding someone else's bike. After a few miles you are good.
I rode a few miles this morning on the new Driveguard and am already completely comfortable.
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you will be our new darkside mileage test then

the one thing that blindsided me when I started riding, I expected motorcycles to be a little less expensive to operate than a car. My Vs650 gets 58 to 60mpg the way I ride (its stock). The first time I had the tires changed, I got dunlops from the dealer and let them do the full job. I forget the exact cost, between $400 to $500 (and dunlop are the "cheap" tires at the dealer).

When I worked out the math, if I get 12k miles on the rear tire and 20k miles on the front, I am spending as much for tires per mile as I am for gasoline. So any money saved by getting 60mpg is lost on the expensive tires.

The next time I went full over and bought tires online (bikeBandit) and got bridgestone OEMs for less than the Dunlop 404s cost at the dealer, and I not only took the wheels off the bike myself, I changed the tires myself using sweat, Windex and shear willpower. The cost then was about half as handing the bike to the dealer, and I got better tires. Since then I have been buying the tires online and taking the wheels in to let the shop mount them - the happy medium.

Im sure you will get more than 12k miles on you rear tire now. If you can get the rear tire to wear out the same as the front, thats a 2X increase on my bike. Let us know how this goes.

The caveat: If you ever decide to quit this forum, you are obliged to find this thread and tell us you stopped posting (for whatever reason). Otherwise websites all over will be pointing to this thread for the next 20 years and saying "Bucfan went darkside and he was never heard from again.... :^O

Edit: I like the photos of your bike, esp with the wheel off and the only tool in sight is a pair of channel locks

we use to say you can swap out the engine in an air cooled VW beetle with a large flat blade screw driver, and a pair of Vice Grips

you have taken it to new levels :^)
 

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we use to say you can swap out the engine in an air cooled VW beetle with a large flat blade screw driver, and a pair of Vice Grips

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Why did you used to say that? Did you come into the house and your wife say, "Honey, do you have anything to say about swapping out the engine in an air cooled VW beetle?"

But seriously, you think what you outlined above is expensive, consider that your $30,000. bike, let's presume 5 years and 100,000 miles, is costing you $6,000. per year or $.30 per mile. That's right. Our gas, oil, tires, insurance, license, and repairs cost $.20 in addition. In addition! It ain't cheap!

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A motorcycle is expensive because having the shop put tires on my 550 lb VS650 cost about $450.

I paid $3300 for the bike with 9k miles on the odo, and expect to be able to ride it another 90,000 miles at least.

It gets 60mpg commuting, which is a good start, and full insurance is less than $100 / year.

My 4000 lb Ford Fusion gets tires every 35,000 miles, and it only cost $400 to have them replaced at a tire shop.

I paid $28,000 for the car new and expect to drive it 200k miles at least

The fact that 2 tires for a 550 lb vehicle cost MORE than 4 tires for a 4000 lb vehicle makes motorcycle tires very expensive.

Unless you get a great deal on a used motorcycle, and do all the work yourself, and are willing to ride on chinese tires that you mount yourself with a pair of tire irons, all the other aspects of owning a motorcycle cost about the same as a 5 passenger sedan.

Because the mechanic at the motorcycle shop and the mechanic at the Ford dealership both need to eat and live in a house, and send their kids to college.

The perception that a little 550lb motorcycle should be inexpensive to own and ride is an illusion.

If I could take my yamaha to walmart and have them put two car tires on the bike, for $200 out the door, and they would last for 40,000 miles, that would be something.
 

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In the words of the lion in Wizard of OZ, "Ain't that the truth?"

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I just got a new 205/55RF16 Bridgestone Driveguard on my Eluder. Fits just fine. No rubbing or bottoming out. My speedo seems to be right on now. My odometer reads about 1.7% over actual mileage. Measured with my gps.

I'm running 30# in it which seems to corner well and doesn't follow ridges in the road much at all. It does take more effort to make turns, but it's not a problem.

I also balanced it with 16oz. of Ride_On sealant/balancer. I do also use Hawkshead tpms which supposedly are pretty accurate. As to measuring, I talked to the manufacturer on accuracy. He said a number of folks have returned items they said were inaccurate, but when they tested them they were all spot on. He told me of the way they test. I mention this as my main gauge was compared to four different gauges from tire shops in town. All said theirs was totally accurate. Not only were they all different from mine, but some were as much as 3# difference. At some point you have to decide who to believe.

Along those lines, my tires heat up on a moderate day (75° today) about 4# when warm. So even if your bike is low a couple of # when you start out, you'll be over the cold normal pressure real soon. So maybe that cold pressure isn't as important as we like to think.

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Discussion Starter #10
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I just got a new 205/55RF16 Bridgestone Driveguard on my Eluder. Fits just fine. No rubbing or bottoming out. My speedo seems to be right on now. My odometer reads about 1.7% over actual mileage. Measured with my gps.

I'm running 30# in it which seems to corner well and doesn't follow ridges in the road much at all. It does take more effort to make turns, but it's not a problem.

I also balanced it with 16oz. of Ride_On sealant/balancer. I do also use Hawkshead tpms which supposedly are pretty accurate. As to measuring, I talked to the manufacturer on accuracy. He said a number of folks have returned items they said were inaccurate, but when they tested them they were all spot on. He told me of the way they test. I mention this as my main gauge was compared to four different gauges from tire shops in town. All said theirs was totally accurate. Not only were they all different from mine, but some were as much as 3# difference. At some point you have to decide who to believe.

Along those lines, my tires heat up on a moderate day (75° today) about 4# when warm. So even if your bike is low a couple of # when you start out, you'll be over the cold normal pressure real soon. So maybe that cold pressure isn't as important as we like to think.

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I have about 4000 miles on my driveguard now. It is not on of my favorite tires. I had a run flat on my Wing I loved but dont remember which one as I always try something different. I'll have to look up my purchase history and buy it again when the driveguard wears out.
 

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. but some were as much as 3# difference. ...

...tires heat up on a moderate day (75° today) about 4# when warm. So even if your bike is low a couple of # when you start out, you'll be over the cold normal pressure real soon. So maybe that cold pressure isn't as important as we like to think....
Being 3 psi off of 30 psi is 10% error, that is significant

the fact that tires pressure increases when hot is taken into consideration when they put the correct pressure on the sticker on your bike or car. The spec pressure is for morning cold tires. Otherwise they would have to give you a graph or table and your would need an optical temperature probe along with the tire gauge, to measure the temperature of the tire and then look up what the pressure should be..

if your gauge is 10% off when the tire is cold, the tire will be 10% off when the tire is hot. Tires heat up more when the pressure is low, and if the tire is really low it will get hot enough to damage the rubber, because it is flexing so much.

To make it more complicated, if you are on the highway and your tire monitor is saying your car tires are 38, 38, 38, and 22 on the highway, and you pull into a gas station, do you fill the low tire to the spec 32 psi? do you fill it to 38 because the tire is hot, or if you put cold compressor output air into a hot tire, what will it balance out to when you get back on the highway?
 

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Being 3 psi off of 30 psi is 10% error, that is significant

the fact that tires pressure increases when hot is taken into consideration when they put the correct pressure on the sticker on your bike or car. The spec pressure is for morning cold tires. Otherwise they would have to give you a graph or table and your would need an optical temperature probe along with the tire gauge, to measure the temperature of the tire and then look up what the pressure should be..

if your gauge is 10% off when the tire is cold, the tire will be 10% off when the tire is hot. Tires heat up more when the pressure is low, and if the tire is really low it will get hot enough to damage the rubber, because it is flexing so much.

To make it more complicated, if you are on the highway and your tire monitor is saying your car tires are 38, 38, 38, and 22 on the highway, and you pull into a gas station, do you fill the low tire to the spec 32 psi? do you fill it to 38 because the tire is hot, or if you put cold compressor output air into a hot tire, what will it balance out to when you get back on the highway?
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On your first comment, I agree that 10% could be considered significant, but on gauges it is common. I defy anyone to go to five tire dealers and get their using gauge's pressure compared to yours and just see what the real world opinions of correct is.

On your second comment, it would seem then that the ideal running pressure is actually 3-5° above cold pressure since that is probably what is the tire as being used. I say ideal based on the OEM and tire company. Those of us who use a tire not OEM in that position will have to just guess as to correct pressure based on feel, anecdotal experience of others, and speculation.

As to filling a tire that's low while on the highway, besides needing to get the leak fixed, I don't know that there is an exact answer. Probably closest to a good choice would be somewhere halfway between the hot temp and the cold temp since half the air is hot in the tire and the air you add will be cold. Although if you're going to be leaking some in the next few miles, you will probably fill it an extra five pounds or so to keep you on the road.

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Discussion Starter #13
Alright guys. I know how long this tire lasted...a little over 8,000 miles. I picked up an effin train spike on my 4,250 mile vacation. I ended up with 4 plugs and it still leaks, now that I am home, I'll replace it. I am thankful I had this on as we were two up pulling a loaded trailer at 65 mph when I ran over a 3/8 piece of steel. I lost all air pressure in seconds. I rode another 4 miles or so until I found a place to look at it. We went another 4000 miles with multiple plugs in it. Tire did its job. :)
 

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the one thing that could have made your trip less stressful, a center stand that would have allowed you to take the back wheel off the bike yourself, roll it into (any?) garage and have them pull the tire off the rim, and put a patch inside where the plug was.

when you only use a plug it is depending on the glue, and the force of the plug being wedged into the puncture to hold it in place. The pressure inside the tire is actively trying to push the air out past the seams between the plug and the tire, and its trying to push the plug out.

When you put a patch on the inside of the tire, the pressure is now your friend, pushing the patch harder against the inside surface of the tire, and sealing itself harder, instead of working against you.

I dont know if the tire changing machine used for car tires can be used for a motorcycle wheel?

I understand how you felt - I got a nail in the shoulder of a car tire a few months after it was new, and the garage would not plug/patch it because it was within 1" of the edge. I was in a spot and plugged it myself, and it held air just fine for 2 years... until I went on a 1500 mile vacation road trip to the outer banks, and it started leaking when I was literally 100 miles from the nearest tire store (out on the banks/islands).

I was going to stop at the first Walmart on the way home and get the tire replaced, but they did not have the right tire in stock - so.... 750 mile drive home and every 150 miles or so the Low Tire Pressure warning came on, stop for gas and pump tire up to 38psi... all the way home. Very stressful trip home knowing the plug could let loose anywhere. Would not be a big deal in a car with a spare tire (at the bottom of a fully packed trunk) but 10 times worse on a motorcycle.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Replaced the tire today...hurts to replace a new tire but it did its job. Tip for those changing rear tires in the future, the rear brake is a PAIN! Remove the caliper and brake pads and slide the holder all the way forward when installing the rear, then the bottom bolt on the caliper, top caliper bolt is next and finally reinstall the pads. You'll be tempted to do the entire assembly as it will look easier, it aint! Twice I have done this, twice I struggled until I took caliper and pads off.
 

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I have about 4000 miles on my driveguard now. It is not on of my favorite tires. I had a run flat on my Wing I loved but dont remember which one as I always try something different. I'll have to look up my purchase history and buy it again when the driveguard wears out.
Alright guys. I know how long this tire lasted...a little over 8,000 miles. I picked up an effin train spike on my 4,250 mile vacation. I ended up with 4 plugs and it still leaks, now that I am home, I'll replace it. I am thankful I had this on as we were two up pulling a loaded trailer at 65 mph when I ran over a 3/8 piece of steel. I lost all air pressure in seconds. I rode another 4 miles or so until I found a place to look at it. We went another 4000 miles with multiple plugs in it. Tire did its job. :)
Which tire did you go with the second time? At only 6500 miles my rear is about due, not thrilled with the low mileage from the stock tire. I ran Michelin Commander IIs on my Voyager and got 15K out of them, but they don't offer it in our size for the rear so I'm considering going over to the darkside. >:)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Which tire did you go with the second time? At only 6500 miles my rear is about due, not thrilled with the low mileage from the stock tire. I ran Michelin Commander IIs on my Voyager and got 15K out of them, but they don't offer it in our size for the rear so I'm considering going over to the darkside. >:)
I put the same tire back on. It works, had one local so I bought it.

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...this tire lasted...a little over 8,000 miles. I picked up an effin train spike on my 4,250 mile vacation....
the tire was ruined by the road hazard

did you measure how much tread was left when it was damaged and taken off the bike?

people skimming thru this thread are going to get the impression your dark-side tire only lasted 8k miles - if you know how much thread was left when it went flat, you could project it out for the expected life
 

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the tire was ruined by the road hazard

did you measure how much tread was left when it was damaged and taken off the bike?

people skimming thru this thread are going to get the impression your dark-side tire only lasted 8k miles - if you know how much thread was left when it went flat, you could project it out for the expected life
I did not measure but I can tell you it still looked brand new. I hated to have to replace it.

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