I have decided to go to the dark side as a trial if i feel uncomfortable riding i will come back home ...Can you guys tell me the best tire size and what brand would be best ...also how many miles can i expect out of a rear tire thanks Ridefast99
By all means go and ride dark. You will come up against lots of naysayers, but you will also find lots of riders who have gone to the darkside. In looking more broadly than this forum, you should be in a better position to have gleaned info on what tires to choose from and roughly how many miles that other big bike riders get.
The reason I suggest to look elsewhere for info is that despite this forum being at the pointy end of specific Valkyrie knowledge, the numbers of riders who can give first hand experience and guidance here in this forum will be very, very low.
With a standard issue 180/55 rear as a guide, there are lots of other bike brands riders (Yamaha FJR, Kawasaki 14GTR/Concourse etc) who have already sorted out the options.
This is the only tire that I am aware of, that will fit our bikes. Economist 175-55-17. I have been running this for over a year and about 12k miles. No problems to speak of, wearing like iron and I will keep this tire for along as I keep riding.
Coming from the VTX community where exists a HUGE data base on Darkside I can tell you that you will be sick of looking at that tire before it wears out ..... I ran one for about 3 years ,but got tired of it & sold rim,tire to another VTXer. If you are like me & live around all these super curvy roads it's just not worth the extra effort to steer through the curves. If I were a "flatlander" I would run nothing else ! On grass or a wet road there is NO comparison ! The feel is a lot different so be prepared. ........Good Luck ....Rod
I run a car tire on my VTX1300 since 2011. Can't wait til the back tire on my Valk wears out so I can switch. But I will put a GW rear wheel on since it is a 16" wheel and tire choices go WAY up when you go from 17 to 16 inch. Needs to have a spacer machined to work tho but it is very doable.
The first tire was a Pirelli P4 205/75-15 and I had to replace it due to picking up a nail too close to sidewall. I got tired of putting air in it every 2 weeks so I replaced the Pirelli with some cheap tire thats sized 205/70-15. The height difference between the 2 tires is small but I did notice it. It needs more effort to turn than the 205/75.
Skinnier tires require less turn effort than wider tires.
Taller sidewall tires net more rubber on the road in a hard tire than shorter sidewall tires. Short sidewall tires also require more effort in a turn due to "climbing" up on the edge of the tire in a lean.
Sidewall height is EVERYTHING when it comes to which tire works better than others. The higher the sidewall the more the tire will "squat" in a turn and the more rubber you end up with on the road. The 205/75-15 in a turn, dragging pegs and making sparks, nets almost exactly 50% of tire width on the ground.On a 205 thats a lot of rubber. I actually have a pic of the bike doing just that on the dragon.
The 205/70 has a little less rubber on the road under the same circumstances. My brother-in-law rides behind me and he brought it to my attention. He rides a harley so he is usually behind me. Especially in the curvy stuff. I didnt realize when I changed tires I asked for a 70 series instead of the 75. Thought it was my imagination about the amount of increased steering effort til he asked me about the difference in tread on the ground.
The picture takers on the dragon are an excellent source of info when you examine the on-the-ground tread when the bike is in a hard lean. I have seen the 60 and 55 series on bikes that have very little tread on the ground in a hard lean. Nowhere near as much as my tires have under the same circumstances.
Any other questions just ask. I will be happy to tell you my experiences. They do ride different but if you choose the right tire it makes all the difference between choosing one that works well and choosing one that works but just not as well as others.
A 205 Car Tire will not fit the Valk Too wide. It rubbed on the arm and the battery box. If you dont believe me, I have a brand new one sitting in my garage I'll sell cheap. Here is a pic of the original 180 and the new 205 car tire.
Here is the link to the one I and several others are running and for $51.00 how can you go wrong if you want to try it. https://www.amazon.com/Achilles-ATR-K-ECONOMIST-All-Season-Radial/dp/B00OYM5VKY
99, if you do go dark, do NOT go wide for appearance sake. beside wide wont fit in/on our swingarm, wide also does not tip in well when cornering. If you go with a narrow(er) profile it will tip in faster easier much like a mc tire. some new radial ct's have a rounded edge profile and that also helps. Then of course you will play with tire pressure trying to find that sweet spot of low resistance to tip in and not squirrely wallowing around the corners. each persons preferences are just that. so it is not as easy as just pressure up and ride.
I also did ride fairly wide ct on a bigger bike kaw v2k, it was great on the hiway. it was a bit of work in the benders, but it could be done. riding a ct will require more effort to get the bike to tip into the corner and because it wants to go back straight, takes a fair amount of effort to HOLD it in the corner and track a straight (curved?) line. where as a mc tire is neutral tipping in and holding a line. so sometimes the benefit(s) are not always worth the cost.
also the ct is more susceptible to road surface irregularities do to the larger footprint
the reason most go dark is for Mileage, not needing to change tires in the middle of a long trip, and reduced number of service changes of tires. most guys probably change ct's every 24-36k miles tops. either they wear out (see low pressure issues) or they just get tired of riding the same tire for too many seasons. oh, yeah and that ct's are generally better priced , more competition?
Identifying that Mileage is the main reason for going dark,, there are several MC tires that are finally improving their game and giving significant mileage yields.. I just finally swapped out a set of Dunlop Elite 3s on my 014 ***** chieftain at 25k miles. the rear was gone. the front had at least several k's left on it. I went ahead and put another set of Elite 4's on it. time will tell if these do better. So if mileage is the main reason for going dark, it may be useful to stay mc and not give up all the Flying & Carving.. I have a new set of Dunlop Elites ready to go on my f6c when I get back from my next outing , next week. poncho
I've heard good things about the Pirelli Angel GT II. Supposedly get good mileage and grip is still solid. Anyone have any feedback? I only have 7800 miles on my original tires and the back is almost due to be replaced.
Along those lines, does a GW/6B front wheel swap right over? Thinking about getting out of the 19inch game and going to something with more tire choices and better handling. Thoughts? Experience?