Motorcycle Riders Club of America: Online Community

Hey,  I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the difference is, for bikes, in bias ply tires vs. radials?  For my bike, they recommend BP, but would it be a big deal if I was to buy a radial rear tire, for instance?

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I use Dunlop Radials for bikes and there is even a set brand for my VROD made by Dunlop, think Radials have a higher top speed and miles than Biased tires.  To me I like the way Radials wear, and construction of tire doesnt matter a whole lot since bike tires pretty much have the same tire patterns and it just has steel bands in the tires.  Would go with whatever makes you feel better, safety wise

Got a question about using car tires. What is the effect in curvers?? To what level can you "hang" in curves without loosing touch with the raod???

Motorcycle tires are "round"" car tires are "flat".

To me, anyone who uses Car tires on a bike is asking for a ride down the pavement so buy a good outfit that the pro use.  I have heard people on this site think it is going on the dark side or something like that, there are enough problems on the road to add another.  The dark side maybe a dirt nap instead.

Yep I think the engineers that developed tires shouldn't want a car tire on a motorcycle. I mean its just to save some money on replacing a tire sooner, pretty poor excuse to take a chance on a crash. And I know guys that darkside and one that even double darksides but I won't, I'll stick with a good high mileage motorcycle tire and feel safe riding not wondering if something is going to go wrong.

You do that Gary, and I will ride my C/T that gets better milage, grips the wet roads better and costs less and feel even safer! However I never ride like something is not going to go wrong on any tires! Motorcycle tires are prone to blow outs and flats even more than car tires you know!

Thats funny been riding for fifty years and haven't had a blowout yet. Average 30k to 40k a year so I'll stick with what works.

Kees if you look at the car tire on my bike it is also rounded but with a lot wider tread. You would almost have to lay the bike completely down to lose contact with the road! The uys that like to race thru the twisties report they are more stable and faster with the car tire.

I have a friend that is in my motorcyle group (star chapter 489) that has a Venture that he put a car tire on the back of his bike and he swears by it.  My impression is that you may feel a slight difference early on, but it does not take that long and you get used to it.  Not a big deal.  He's got 20,000 miles on it and thinks it will last another 50,000 or so.  He only has it on the back, on the front he still puts the bike tires.  I think that he paid $40 for it.  It's a good way to save some money if it's tight and you are not an aggressive rider.

Never mix radials with bias tires on your bike, use one or the other on both wheels

The answer to your question , Mr. Pohlehna , is : The reason your bike comes with a recomendation for Bias Ply tires , has little to do with the tire , itself . The main reason your bike is recommended for B/P is the design and function of your suspension system . Motorcycles set up for Bias ply tires have different rake and trail in the front ent , and a different angle of "set" on the rear shock absorber . The Radial tire allows for "extra" lateral movement of the tire casing , while not "Loading the suspension " properly to maintain proper loading of the tire to the pavement . Thus you would be more susceptable to front-end wash-out in a severe turn at a lower speed , or the complete loss of grip from your rear tire , un-expectedly , without warning of any kind . Like you had hit a patch of ice .

It's all a bunch of engineering , and physics , but if your bike is recommended to have bias ply tires , I for one , would keep putting B/P on it . But that's just me . I put a set of brand new radials on a 68 Barracuda when the radials were the "shits" , back in the day . Cool . Wider , Better profile , nicer lookin ......... You get the pic ?  The suspension was not adjusted for the different castor , and camber for radials , and I rolled the car in a forty-five mph curve , doing forty . The side walls rolled over as they were designed to , but the suspension didn't adjust properly with the tires , and the car lost contact , and rolled over . No body hurt . Just a beautiful Cuda lost . Tires and suspension must match , or you are asking for serious trouble . Hope this helped answer your question with-out a technical explanation even I don't understand , and I'm supposed to be a engineer . Most bikes that have B/P recommendations also tend to be lighter bikes , ie , 450-500 lbs. class .

Hey Pinball,  I am also an engineer. Not mechanical, but in the auto industry.  What you say, now that I've heard it, makes good sense.  The reason that I was asking is that I actually have purchased a set of Metzlers, BP for my bike, but the shop down the road from me is movin and I can get a rear tire, the right size for my bike, for $10, but it's a radial.  So, naturally, I had to ask.  I've had the orig tires, Dulops, and I liked them.  Good traction, and went about 12,000 miles (could have went another 2,000).  Second set was a set of Bridgestones.  Good traction again, and went about 12,000 ( and they are about done).  A friend of mine told me about the Metzlers and I had to try them.  I ended up going with a 180/70 vs. a 170/70, cause the Metz don't make the 170/70, but I have plenty of room for it, so we'll see.  Thanks again.  

After long and careful consideration of the car tire vs MC tire, I decided to try the car tire.  I am not an aggressive rider.  I do not challenge the turns.  I ride a cruiser.  I went from a 180/70 MC to a 195/65 DS radial car tire.  After 10k miles, I have no problems in the turns - wet or dry.  I am still able to securely corner as well as before. My stopping distance was reduced by about 30%.  A  $75 tire looks as if it will go 40k to 50k miles.  The key variable is finding the right tire pressure for your bike and riding style. Note this is rear tire only.  The geometry of the front requires a MC tire.

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