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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone been able to get the Achilles ATR-K Economist 175/55R17XL 88V tire in the USA, recently? Did they stop making this tire? I can't find anyone who has one in stock. If anyone has tried a different tire that works, please mention that too. Thanks.
 

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I found it in several locations...Until I punched in the exact size we need, then it becomes unavailable. I did see this while looking. I have NOT tried it although the shoulders appear rounded?
175/55R15 Tires for Sale Online at Discount Prices - Priority Tire
I did see this tire in a 17" when searching, this link goes straight to a 15", sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Has anyone been able to get the Achilles ATR-K Economist 175/55R17XL 88V tire in the USA, recently? Did they stop making this tire? I can't find anyone who has one in stock. If anyone has tried a different tire that works, please mention that too. Thanks.
There is a private group on Facebook you can join called "ROLL'N DARKSIDE (Car Tires on Motorcycles) " someone there might be able to help. I know one option is to find a used rear Goldwing rim and run a 16" tire. I have seen some do that on their Valkyries. Facebook Groups
 

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There is a private group on Facebook you can join called "ROLL'N DARKSIDE (Car Tires on Motorcycles) " someone there might be able to help. I know one option is to find a used rear Goldwing rim and run a 16" tire. I have seen some do that on their Valkyries. Facebook Groups
I would look for the tallest sidewall you can find that will fit. Examine the pic below and see what happens to a car tire in a leaning turn. The inside sidewall COMPRESSES and allows more rubber to contact the road.
Less sidewall = less rubber on the road in a turn at speed. Simple as that. I have examined pics taken on the dragon of bikes with 55 and 60 series tires that were wider than my 205, and seen the narrow strip they were riding on while leaning. Literally riding on just the edge of the tire. I chose to go taller when I went darkside on my VTX and as you can see I still have almost half the tire's tread width on the ground. You will not be able to get the same result with a short sidewall tire.
I have tried to explain this before but maybe this pic will help.

And yes, that is me with my VTX1300 on the dragon. Replaced the stock foot peg feelers with titanium slugs just for that trip because I wanted to make sure I made lots of sparks .. lol.
I was second man in the fast group and the leader was in my way! Man, I had a blast that trip! I actually miss that bike. It was the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden. I could fall asleep on that bike, and I have! So comfortable.

Wheel Tire Fuel tank Vehicle Automotive lighting
 

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Ditto what RRoy and SLO wrote. I did a lot of research and found no good options for 17", so like at least 3 other Valk 1800 owners, I found a 16" GWing 2001 - 2017 wheel (trike converters have them as scrap, I found mine for free), and now I'm on my 2nd Khumo Ecsta PA31 195/60R 89V 16 that is 10.8 mm taller diameter than the stock tire so just barely fits without modification and gives slightly lower rpms and better mileage on the highway. Photos posted about a year ago on this site and the RollNDarkside site mentioned above: Log into Facebook First Khumo went 13,000 miles and still had 5 mm of tread (similar to a brand new mcycle tire) when it took 2 nails and still stayed inflated for an unknown period, until I happened to do a detailed tire inspection before a long ride. Cost is not a reason for me to be darkside, but it was nice that a new tire was only $94 incl tax delivered to my doorstep. Primary reason is far better traction in corners, rain, and emergency braking, and avoiding the hassle of more frequnt tire changes. Thanks again to Valk 1800 owners Bryan Harrison and Curtis Mixon, who solved the puzzle first and then took the time to show the rest of us ! For those unfamiliar with the darkside concept, or thinking they won't corner as well, here's a very popular video (106) Tail of the Dragon ~ Sniffing the Roses - YouTube .
 

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There is an interesting YouTube video by FortNine that takes a highly convincing analytical approach to darksiding that is worth watching. I would post a link but I don’t know how on my cellphone.
 

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There is an interesting YouTube video by FortNine that takes a highly convincing analytical approach to darksiding that is worth watching. I would post a like but I don’t know how on my cellphone.
Yup, seen that one a few times, I like that FortNine has positives and negatives, mentions the higher load factor as another pro that I hadn’t mentioned, and shows it in rain and snow. He’s an intelligent guy who makes great videos, and that video alone has 2.5 million+ views so would it be unreasonable to think that mcycle tire manufacturers might have sponsored him to emphasize the (flawed) cons in his "Pros and Cons" chaulk board and in his summary? Just sayin... tire manufacturers have after all, put out their own videos poo pooing on the concept. For a smart fellow, his physics formula actually tries to explain that more rubber and a bigger contact patch doesn’t increase friction, and both common sense and my personal experience tell me he’s missing something there, or sportscars (and motorcycles) would have narrower, lighter tires and it wouldn’t be so hard to break the rear end loose on my darkside Valk… I’ve seen a lot of testimony elsewhere about the immediately noticeable increase in traction, especially in the rain.

Millions of miles of evidence from thousands of riders (see the data in the database file on the leftside of the Facebook Groups site, or the Darkside Wing Riders site Facebook Groups) , they counter his negative points about the flange fit and handling. The portion about cornering is flawed - if the pressure is properly low enough, cornering causes a different shape than either of the two he shows and incorrect tire pressure would also explain why he concluded it “handling = shit” line on his pros and cons chaulkboard while at the same time he admits that “after the first 10 minutes I could ‘hardly tell the difference”. It takes a few hundred miles and multiple adjustments to find the proper tire pressure for the combination of rider(s), bike and riding style.

Note, for legal reasons, I’m not making a recommendation, just sharing my perspective after doing a lot of research and then trying it myself. It’s definitely not for everyone, especially those who get years out of a single rear tire, but seems to be the preference for all of the high mileage riders (20,000+ miles/year) that I ride with.

I'll leave the discussion there. Here’s the link to the FortNine’s Darkside video:

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ditto what RRoy and SLO wrote. I did a lot of research and found no good options for 17", so like at least 3 other Valk 1800 owners, I found a 16" GWing 2001 - 2017 wheel (trike converters have them as scrap, I found mine for free), and now I'm on my 2nd Khumo Ecsta PA31 195/60R 89V 16 that is 10.8 mm taller diameter than the stock tire so just barely fits without modification and gives slightly lower rpms and better mileage on the highway. Photos posted about a year ago on this site and the RollNDarkside site mentioned above: Log into Facebook First Khumo went 13,000 miles and still had 5 mm of tread (similar to a brand new mcycle tire) when it took 2 nails and still stayed inflated for an unknown period, until I happened to do a detailed tire inspection before a long ride. Cost is not a reason for me to be darkside, but it was nice that a new tire was only $94 incl tax delivered to my doorstep. Primary reason is far better traction in corners, rain, and emergency braking, and avoiding the hassle of more frequnt tire changes. Thanks again to Valk 1800 owners Bryan Harrison and Curtis Mixon, who solved the puzzle first and then took the time to show the rest of us ! For those unfamiliar with the darkside concept, or thinking they won't corner as well, here's a very popular video (106) Tail of the Dragon ~ Sniffing the Roses - YouTube .
Just to be clear, you saying I can install a 16" goldwing rim without mods if I get it from a 2001-2017 wing?
 

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Correct, no modifications needed. The GWing wheel is finished on only one side, 2 guys have powder coated the GWing rim black, so as to better match the front, but it's very difficult to notice behind the muffler and my Corbin saddle bag. Everyone's too busy looking at the tire and rest of the bike to notice the rim on mine. Be sure to have the tire mounted in the correct direction, as the rim will only mount with the prettier side on the left (kickstand) side of the bike. I also polished it before mounting, See photos on my earlier posting. Good luck! See Sanmo's and my photos in this string: Going to the DARKSIDE. I also keep a half used tire on the old rim in case I need a quick change from a flat.
 
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Yup, seen that one a few times, I like that FortNine has positives and negatives, mentions the higher load factor as another pro that I hadn’t mentioned, and shows it in rain and snow. He’s an intelligent guy who makes great videos, and that video alone has 2.5 million+ views so would it be unreasonable to think that mcycle tire manufacturers might have sponsored him to emphasize the (flawed) cons in his "Pros and Cons" chaulk board and in his summary? Just sayin... tire manufacturers have after all, put out their own videos poo pooing on the concept. For a smart fellow, his physics formula actually tries to explain that more rubber and a bigger contact patch doesn’t increase friction, and both common sense and my personal experience tell me he’s missing something there, or sportscars (and motorcycles) would have narrower, lighter tires and it wouldn’t be so hard to break the rear end loose on my darkside Valk… I’ve seen a lot of testimony elsewhere about the immediately noticeable increase in traction, especially in the rain.

Millions of miles of evidence from thousands of riders (see the data in the database file on the leftside of the Facebook Groups site, or the Darkside Wing Riders site Facebook Groups) , they counter his negative points about the flange fit and handling. The portion about cornering is flawed - if the pressure is properly low enough, cornering causes a different shape than either of the two he shows and incorrect tire pressure would also explain why he concluded it “handling = shit” line on his pros and cons chaulkboard while at the same time he admits that “after the first 10 minutes I could ‘hardly tell the difference”. It takes a few hundred miles and multiple adjustments to find the proper tire pressure for the combination of rider(s), bike and riding style.

Note, for legal reasons, I’m not making a recommendation, just sharing my perspective after doing a lot of research and then trying it myself. It’s definitely not for everyone, especially those who get years out of a single rear tire, but seems to be the preference for all of the high mileage riders (20,000+ miles/year) that I ride with.

I'll leave the discussion there. Here’s the link to the FortNine’s Darkside video:

Good write up. I rode a 98- 1500 Valkyrie for 12 years on the darkside and would not go back, the tire was equal to or superior in everyway to a bike tire. It was a BF Goodrich G force and had zero lag in transition or handling and to boot it was $150 less that a motorcycle tire. The only complaint was if I hit a big bump the tire would rub the inside of the fender where the taillight was mounted. I am looking at taking my 2014 Dark as soon as I use up the current rear tire which will be a couple years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just a quick update. A guy on the rollndarkside fb group said a friend of his with a 2014 valk is running a 205/45 ZR17 made by General on the stock rim. If this works that would beat having to hunt around for a goldwing rim etc etc. I've still got at least 6k miles left on this tire but when I get ready for a tire change, I'll try this and update again.
 

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Interesting read. All useful information, thanks for sharing.
I ran darkside on my ST1300 and about 30k on my 1500 Valkyrie. I loved it on the Valkyrie and hated in on the ST, although I just plain hated the ST1300. I would consider darkside again, especially if I don't need to change out the wheel as well. The problem for me is finding the "right" tire. I went through three darkside tires on my Valkyrie before I found the "right" one with rounded edges that behaved, then fine tuned it with the proper air pressure that worked for me. My wife noticed instantly asking me what I did to the bike said it was smoother and didn't feel every little bump?
Gosh, I wish I wouldn't have read this thread, I swore this would be the first bike I'd leave alone keeping stock.
Different brand tires, edge shape/rounded corners and sizes make a difference. I hate to do all that experimentation again to get it "right"
 

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........I also keep a half used tire on the old rim in case I need a quick change from a flat.
Ditto. Came in handy when I was stranded couple of hundred miles away from home when the tire valve rubber stem on the darkside failed. Lesson learned: the design of the GW wheel makes the OEM or a replacement 90 degree metal valve stem imperative. Anyhoo, could hardly wait to get back to the darkside.
 

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Sanmo, Would you like to share where and how you got the wheel changed out? Did you have to get towed to a dealership, or a friend's house, or....?
 

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Sanmo, Would you like to share where and how you got the wheel changed out? Did you have to get towed to a dealership, or a friend's house, or....?
Happened in early September on the Interstate in significant rain and heavy truck traffic. Some white-knuckle moments until I got safely to the shoulder. Friendly highway patrol called for a tilt-bed tow truck who took the bike and me to a motel in the nearest town. Too late in the day to do anything except mope around during the unexpected overnight stay. Next morning my wife showed up in her car and took me back home. Returned with the OEM wheel, jack and tools and changed the flat wheel in less than half hour at the aforementioned motel. Understandably, my wife was not too happy about her weekend being ruined with nearly 400 miles of undesirable driving, She had pleaded with me to either have the tow truck bring the disabled bike all the way home or have the wheel repaired locally. What? Does she think we have a money tree growing in the backyard?
 

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Sounds like someone's wife deserves an extra-special Christmas gift !!
 
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