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  • Title Page- Car Tire on the Rear of a Valk
  • Original Author- JAWZ with RPM Comparison by AIRETIME

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Many things here will help you in the way of information.  These things are my results and mine alone.  Neither I nor the VRCC are recommending you run a car tire on your Valkyrie.  The information contained in the review is so you can obtain more information to make an informed decision if a car tire is for you.  Neither I nor the VRCC is responsible for any damage or bodily injury that may occur because you mounted and drove your motorcycle with a car tire on it.  This compilation of information is my experience, and I am not infallible, so none of this is gospel.

Well just put on the car tire today and as promised I said I would review my initial Impressions good or bad, here goes:
I am posting this on both boards because there are folks who only frequent one board or the other.
First the looks of the tire is awesome and it is large. It looks massive even against an Avon. Airetime measured the width and it seems it has a contact patch of around 5 ½ to 7 inches whereas the Avon has about 2 to 3 inches when standing straight up.
You can tell too. I can almost put the bike centered upright and the tire almost holds it up. It just freakin’ looks mean. It looks like it will rip your doors off standing still. The tread pattern I picked is a nice one as you can see from the picture posted. There are better tread patters out there, but you will pay more for them. Yokohama makes one of the coolest patterns, but the price is quite a bit higher.
Swingarm is tight, but has plenty of clearance.

This is not a task for the mechanically apparatus challenged. I was going to put it on by hand, but I found a local guy who said he would do it and balance it for twenty bucks.
Good thing too, the sidewalls are so stiff and the radii of the tire so tight I had to help him mount it with the automatic machine, it kept popping off on one side.
I believe it can be done by hand, but the chance of dinging you rim is much, much greater.

I am going to put this in two classes, slow and fast, because the tire handles much differently in each case.

When I first started out, I was reminded of a few posts on the board that said a car tire takes a little getting used to. That it does, it is not an Avon or a Dunlop or a Metz, hell it is not even a motorcycle tire. The tire is designed to flex in the sidewall whereas a motorcycle tire is not, well not much anyway. A motorcycle tire is designed to make contact with the road on the edge of the tire, hence it is rounded. A car tire is designed to flex in a corner, keeping as much of the entire tread on the road. This is what takes a little getting used to.

Slow speeds are where you really feel the difference in tires. During a slow maneuver, say making a hard right turn onto a cross street or making a “U” turn on a street, the car tire will let you know it is there and does not like to be taken advantage of.
It will fight you a little bit and want to track straight rather than lean into the curve of the road. Also, any little imperfections in the road, it will also let you know when you have found them, by “squiggling” under you.
With a motorcycle tire, you fall into a slow sharp turn. I.E. turning a corner or a “U” turn. You have to help the bike back into the upright position, unless you accelerate hard, then the bike wants to straighten up. With a car tire, you have to tell the bike to turn as it “Wants” to go straight. You “make” the bike turn; it will fight you a little bit, not much but a little. Not to the point of being unnerving, but you can feel it.

Here is where the car tire really shines. The faster the better. I am not talking 140 MPH, but 65 to 80 MPH the tire becomes very stable. Much more so, I feel, than the motorcycle tire.
I ran all kinds of roadway tonight from the smooth flat road to the bumpy lined with tar snakes roads. From the straight road for 5 miles, to the twisty hills and valleys. Does the tire want to track the imperfections in the road? A little, but not much. I could feel the tire want to take a “tiny” bit of wonder off where I wanted it to be, but a very slight minor correction and it was good. Just so you know, you don’t have to constantly make those kinds of corrections, just once in awhile.
The wide sweepers and the tight turns at speed is where this tire outshines the Avon 100%. You wouldn’t think so, but it is true and the key is acceleration.
Ok, Lucy, let me splane!
With a motorcycle tire, I always felt I was on the edge of loosing traction in a corner, not a lot but the feeling was always there. I would take a corner and would accelerate with caution so I would not loose traction and feel the bike slip a little under me. With the car tire, I felt just the opposite. I felt like the harder I accelerated the more it stuck. There is this one ¾ sweeper just outside of Pismo beach, an onramp to the main highway. It has always been a fun turn as you are accelerating up to speed and leaning at the same time. But, with a motorcycle tire I always felt there were limits to my lean and acceleration. With the car tire tonight it “Felt” like the harder I accelerated and leaned, the more confident it and I became. I know it sounds the opposite of what it should be, but … there it is.

So the final verdict so far?
The tire is work at low speed and it takes some getting used to as it will pick up the imperfections in the road and throw them back at you.
At medium to high speed, it is a blast. I felt more comfortable, more confident, especially in a corner than I do with a motorcycle tire. At speed it will still pick up a little of the road, but not enough to be annoying. It just sticks like hell.

Is it for everyone??? In a word, “no”, is it for me …. Well let’s put it this way. Unless I have a really bad experience with it in the months to come, I am never going back to a motorcycle tire for the rear of the Valk unless I have no other choice.
The tracking at speed is much, much better and even at slower speed. The cost for me was only $120.00 for the tire, mounting and balancing. True I did the dirty work of removing the rim from the bike, but still. $120.00 compared to 160.00 + labor for the Avon, which is a great tire, don’t get me wrong. Plus the fact that this will last me probably 50,000 miles and I could only get 15,000 out of the Avon max.
You do the math :) Smile

For you? I dunno, you will have to drive one and try it out. If you even in my area, come on over and you can try mine, or find someone in your area and try theirs.
I think once you get the feel down, and it takes about 20 miles of driving to do so, a car tire will be in your future.

Regards: JAWZ

Falken Ziex ZE-502  205/55/R16

Yokohama AVS Sport 205/55/VR16


I said I would do a follow up on the car tire when I got a few miles on it and as I now have almost 2500 miles on it, I guess it is a good a time as ever, so here goes.
As before, I will share my real thoughts and feelings, not just the good stuff to convince you. If you decide on a car tire, you need to know if it is for you or not.

Same as before, still awesome looking tire. Seems once someone notices it is such a massive tire, they ask me about it and when I tell them it is a car tire, they get real interested. The usual, how does it handle? is it a problem cornering etc?

Tread wear:
Well after 2500 miles I have to say …. WHAT FREAKING TREAD WEAR????
The thing looks new, the little “tire teats”, ya know, the ones that momma tires feed their babies with, are still there. Can’t get that kind of service out of an Avon or ‘Lop, Etc.
I could be wrong, but from the looks so far; it looks like I might just get 30,000 outta it, if not much more. Have to wait and see and I am not easy on tires.


This time three sections –
Slow Maneuvers: (U-turns street cornering)
These types of maneuvers are where the differences between a car tire and a MC tire really are different. After 2500 miles the tire is “broken in” and the major squiggles are gone. Not completely mind you, but very much diminished. I would say that the tire broke in at about 500 miles. By broken in, I mean, the tire felt more comfortable OR it could have just been me getting more comfortable with the tire, either way, it was nicer.
I still do have low speed issues and let me explain what I mean.
I am assuming that all car tires will react about the same, with varying degrees of difference. With my tire, when I get on really rough pavement or pavement that is not even, such as a narrow gully in the street, or a street that is banked and you have to take it at low speed. I find I really have to be aware of what is going on. More than a few times I found myself with my feet reaching for the ground because the road was very uneven or had small but bumpy imperfections in them, such as a street that needs work. Kind of like Mini tar snakes, only a regular road. Again those kinds of road, let you know they are there by throwing the street in your face and saying HEY!, you are running a car tire here.
To be fair, I would have some of the same issues with a MC tire, but much, much less pronounced. So… if you plan on running a car tire, be forewarned, you have to be careful at low speeds. I don’t mean to say that it is dangerous, but sometimes it will definitely give you a wake up call.

(Low speed … ***** I give it a 5 out of 10 star rating.)
High speed:
Basically no change, it is still one of the best tires for high speed straight line or wide sweepers that I have ever ridden on. Bar none! The tire, when new, used to wonder off track a little bit … now, it never does, or so seldom that I don’t really remember the last time it did. It just flat sticks to the road, no argument at all.

(I give it *********** an 11 out of ten stars in this category)

Ok, here is another area that the MC tires takes a “Little” getting used to.
Even after 2500 miles, I still need to remind myself that I need to tell the bike to lean rather than let it lean.
Again as in the first article I wrote: With a Motorcycle tire, you and the bike fall into a turn and you have to pull the bike back up from the lean, unless you accelerate, then the bike has a natural tendency to right itself. With a car tire, you have to push the bike into the lean of the curve as the tire wants to track straight. When it comes time to straighten up the bike, you just allow it to do so and it will.
Is this a bad thing ... No ... just different. It is like learning to re-ride your motorcycle.
I actually feel much more planted in a turn than I ever did before, even though I have to work at the turn a little more, it is still, to me, 100% better than my Avon ever was at negotiating a corner at speed.

(I give it a ********* 9 out of 10 stars for high speed or tight cornering at speed.)
(Just so you know, I would give the Avon an 7 out of ten and a Dunlop an 8) Glasses
So in conclusion, do I still like the Car tire? A resounding yes!

Will I put another one on? Yes

Are there some issues with a car tire compared to a MC tire? Yes.

Has the car tire gotten better with age? Yes, but is still different.

After all is said and done, you can not know what a car tire is like on the Valkyrie until you try it. It is like telling someone that has never had steak before, what a steak tastes like. How do you describe what a steak tastes like?

I think some people will not like the car tire because it is different, some do not want to learn to ride again, even if it is minor.

We tend to get comfortable in the way we handle things and the way we perceive things. But just remember how much different the Valkyrie was to learn, especially at low speeds, but you did it and you are better for it.

Some people will just not like the feel, even if they can get used to it, because, well, they just don’t like it ... and that is Ok.

Like I said before, a car tire is NOT for everyone. But, it is for me for now and for as long as I can mount one on a bike.

Hope this was helpful.


            From AIRETIME

The differences are in RPMs and Dimensions as a comparison to OE.


Dimension Tire A: 180/70 R 16 – Vs. -- Tire B: 205/55 R 16 Difference

Width 7.09" (180.00mm) 8.07" (205.00mm) +0.98" (+25.00mm)
Sidewall height 4.96" (126.00mm) 4.44" (112.75mm) -0.52" (-13.25mm)
Overall height 25.92" (658.40mm) 24.88" (631.90mm) -1.04" (-26.50mm)
Circumference 81.43" (2068.42mm) 78.16" (1985.17mm) -3.28" (-83.25mm)

RPM Change

RPM with 180/70 R 16's -- Verus -- RPM with 205/55 R 16's

1000 1041
1100 1146
1200 1250
1300 1354
1400 1458
1500 1562
1600 1667
1700 1771
1800 1875
1900 1979
2000 2083
2100 2188
2200 2292
2300 2396
2400 2500
2500 2604
2600 2709
2700 2813
2800 2917
2900 3021
3000 3125
3100 3230
3200 3334
3300 3438
3400 3542
3500 3646
3600 3750
3700 3855
3800 3959
3900 4063
4000 4167
4100 4271
4200 4376
4300 4480
4400 4584
4500 4688
4600 4792
4700 4897
4800 5001
4900 5105
5000 5209
5100 5313
5200 5418
5300 5522
5400 5626
5500 5730
5600 5834
5700 5939
5800 6043
5900 6147
6000 6251
6100 6355
6200 6460
6300 6564
6400 6668
6500 6772
6600 6876
6700 6980
6800 7085
6900 7189
7000 7293

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