Darkside tire change


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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RoadRogue
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Darkside tire change

Postby RoadRogue » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:20 pm



Well I finally did it, I wore out my first Darkside tire. It was an Austone taxi tire, 175R-16 that works out to a 175-80-16. This was a very good tire, amazing traction in all conditions, the only time I ever got it to slip was on gravel and I had to work at it to make it happen then. I got just over 40,000km or 30,000 miles on it. I rode every type of surface, played in the twisties and pulled the tent trailer with it. Like me it is now mostly bald.
Bald Like Me...
Bald Like Me...


Now that it is time for a new rear tire would I go back to a MC tire? Is this experiment over? Afterall the only place to get this tire is from Universal tire in Hershy Pa. After factoring in the cost to ship one into Canada I may as well just buy a MC tire...... oh wait , there is that whole extra mileage and amazing traction thing tht I like so much . After almost as much research as I put into going to the Darkside in the first place, I decided to go with this tire this time. When I picked this up at my local tire store I thought my lord thats a FAT tire :shock: , there is no way it will fit in the swingarm of my 1500.

General tire Altimax HP next to worn out Austone
General tire Altimax HP next to worn out Austone


This is a General Tire Altimax HP in a 195-55-16 size. Yes it is shorter than the taxi tire, the new tire measures in at 24.5 inches unmounted. Sorry didnt measure after I mounted it on the rim. This shorter tire did raise my RPM at any given speed by about 250rpm, and should help when pulling the tent trailer by making it easier on the clutch when first starting to roll. There have been many posts about CT beads not seating properly on a MC rim. I would like to say that after the amount of effort it took me to break the bead on that worn out Taxi tire there will be NO doubt in my mind whatsoever that even if I had had a sudden loss of pressure while riding that tire was no more likely to leave the rim than any other bike tire I have changed out in the past. It was well and truely seated. The new tire went on the rim without a lot of drama and only minimal swearing. I got the bead to seat the first time with only 36psi ( i use pledge as a tire lube). I insalled the wheel with the final drive at the same time so I didn't have to fight the tire past the drive. Now there isnt much room to the drive shaft tube but the tire does not rub at all. Even after a test ride there is no sidewall rub. :D

Holy crap it does fit....
Holy crap it does fit....


With everything bolted back on and the first test ride already taken I have to say that I think I am going to like this tire even more than I like the Austone, but time will tell. I have written down the starting mileage of this tire and will just have to wait and see how well it holds up.

Come to the Darkside
Come to the Darkside


I will post back here from time to time to comment on how this tire handles my somewhat aggressive riding style..... 8-)


Ride safe, Todd
Over night campers welcome

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Dusty Boots
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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby Dusty Boots » Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:38 am

Make sure you keep us updated, Todd.
After running the taller Austone, your bike will seem like it's a Hot Rod now, with the smaller diameter tire. Instant throttle response! :o

I just purchased a spare rear wheel/tire combo with the thoughts of putting on a Yokohama Avid Acend 195/60-16 for exactly the same reasons as you. I would switch out the Austone wheel for the Yokohama wheel for when pulling the trailer to make it easier on the clutch and hopefully improve fuel mileage due to the smaller diameter tire/increased throttle response. No more 'twist and wait' on grades/hills


I had tried a Federal Formoza FD2 175/60-16 before the Austone, (too much sidewall flex) but discovered I lost too much ride height and when fully loaded with all my camping gear on the bike, it would often ground out the bottom of the bike over speed bumps in parking lots etc, so thought the slightly taller (25.21") 195/60-16 might work better, if it will fit in without rubbing.

You won't notice any drop in fuel mileage because of the increase of RPMs with your new tire when riding without the trailer, but it is my guess/hope you should/will see a slight increase in fuel mileage over the Austone when pulling the trailer, due to the increased throttle response, especially on hills/long grades.

I am currently on my 2nd Austone, having gotten 64,000km/43,000+mi on the 1st one. On the Federal Formoza, I ended up with 36,800km/23,000mi and was well into the wear bars.










Dusty

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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby Joecop » Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:19 pm

Nice........you got some serious MacGyver skills!

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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby minimac » Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:01 am

Thanks for posting the pics. I'm curious as to how it will handle with the flexier(is that a word?) sidewalls. Since I'm only at 19Kmiles on my Austone, I'm good for at least another season or two before I even think about something else. With the Austone and its stiff sidewalls, there was no difference to get used to, like I had read about when Darksiding. At this time, the only thing that would make me try something else would be availability.

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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby eberlebike4 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:18 am

Daaaang 30.000 miles on a rear tire????I sure would like to find out more about this Darkside issue :ugeek: Thought get'n between 16.000-18.000 miles on a rear MC tire was fab :D With the cost of Rubber nowa days.Too bad i've ordered and pay'd for a set of Metzlers already.How much for onea those???

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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby eberlebike4 » Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:29 am

Whats the handling in the twisties like, with a car tire??

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RoadRogue
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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby RoadRogue » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:10 pm

minimac wrote:Thanks for posting the pics. I'm curious as to how it will handle with the flexier(is that a word?) sidewalls. Since I'm only at 19Kmiles on my Austone, I'm good for at least another season or two before I even think about something else. With the Austone and its stiff sidewalls, there was no difference to get used to, like I had read about when Darksiding. At this time, the only thing that would make me try something else would be availability.



Flexier? Yes thats a word, at least it is now. Because this is a lower profile tire than the Austone the side wall seems to be just as stiff when mounting. It required just a little more effort to lever the tire on to the rim than the Austone did. I needed an extra hand from my wife this time.

While I dont have that many miles on the new tire yet, first impressions are great. Even though this tire is wider than the Austone it has very smooth transitions from left to right and back again, there is still too much winter sand on the roads around here for me to push it in the twisties yet.

I was very happy with my Austone Taxi tire but wanted to try something a llittle shorter because of the weight of my tent trailer and because shipping an Austone into Canada was almost as much as the tire itself.

Austone taxi tire costs $152 from Universal tire in Heshey Pa. https://www.universaltire.com/175r16-au ... black.html
The General Tire I chose this time cost me $100 plus tax.

For those that are just starting to look at going Darkside I recommend you do the research to see if its right for you. There are factors you should be aware of to make an informed deision. There are thousands of us out there doing this, putting on hundreds of thousands of miles. The benifits far out weigh any potential risks as far as I am concerened, but if I was afraid of risks I wouldnt get out out of bed let alone ride motorcycles.......... 8-)
Ride safe, Todd
Over night campers welcome

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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby RoadRogue » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:24 pm

eberlebike4 wrote:Whats the handling in the twisties like, with a car tire??


When playing in the twisties with a Dunlop E3 front and rear I always felt limited by the tires. Rarely would I ever scrape the pegs. When I switched to the Austone Tire, even though it was taller than the MC tire, the bike felt more " planted" and I could carry more speed into my favorite set of corners and could scrape the pegs on both sides. Sometimes even scraping the hard parts, that is a very long way over with the taller tire. I have never managed to lock up the rear when braking hard with the car tire like I could with a bike tire. 8-)
Ride safe, Todd
Over night campers welcome

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redial
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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby redial » Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:15 pm

Thanks, Todd. That was a reasonable and balanced assessment of your Darkside adventures.
Len in Kapunda

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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby eberlebike4 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:28 am

Thanks for the info Todd.I'll wear out these new Metzlers and head over to the Darkside @ a later date:)

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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby mash71 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 8:58 pm

I have a GL 1500 and had to replace my Dunlop RF because of a nail on the very edge of the tread. No matter how much I tried it still leaked air because of where the hole was located. So it was off to find another CT for the bike. BTW, I had over 3000 miles on this tire without any problems. It felt and handled just like the MC tire except in the rain when THIS tire had twice the traction.
Enter the Goodyear Assurance FuelMax NON RF. After mounting the tire with 38lbs of air, I took it for a ride. The ride was soft but the bike wiggled in the turns. Went home and put 40lbs of air and took another ride. The ride was better but the wiggle was still there. Added 44lbs of air and the wiggle was almost gone. After riding for a while the air pressure increased to 49lbs (I have a TPMS) and the bike felt better.
I have over 1000 miles on this tire and still don’t like it. The handle is OK in the twisties but there is still a hint of wiggle. So this past weekend I took the bike out with the trailer for the first time. Everything was OK until I hit 65mph going straight on the interstate pulling the trailer. The bike started to wiggle real bad and had to drop the speed down to 60.
I started my search again for the Dunlop Wintersport RF. I found one and when it arrives it will go on the bike ASAP. I do know firsthand how GOOD and SAVE a RF tire is because on the interstate the tire went flat and I was able to limp at 50mph to the next exit and re-plug the tire to get home safely.
The bottom line is I will NEVER put a non run flat tire on the bike again. If I cannot find a RF car tire to fit my 1500, I will go kicking and screaming back to a MC tire. This Goodyear tire may do fine on a lighter bike but it isn’t worth a @#$% on a 1500 Goldwing.
If any of you have any other questions, please ask.

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redial
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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby redial » Tue Apr 01, 2014 10:49 pm

Thanks for the comments regarding the Run Flat (RF) tyres. I want to ask you whether the trailer was correctly loaded, as too much weight on the ball or too little weight on the ball may affect the handling at the higher speeds, and just wanted to understand the loading. TUA.
Len in Kapunda

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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby minimac » Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:54 am

I run my Austone @ 48 lbs. Its the same whether I ride single, double, or fully loaded. I ran 46# in my Excedra Max radial front and the handling was superb. I realize its a little high in the front and as a result I wore the .middle out sooner than it should have. I' m getting ready to change it( its still has 4/32) soon but at 19 k there is no cupping whatsoever. With almost 20k on the Austone, it might be 1/3 worn! As long as I have this bike, it has seen its last MC rear tire.

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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby mash71 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:48 am

The trailer was balanced because when I had the Wintersport or the E3 there was never a problem. When you can move the sidewall full of air with your thumb, there will be a problem.

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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby minimac » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:34 am

^ This is why I questioned the OP about his sidewalls. His choice has stiff sidewalls too, similar to the Austone. You have to realize that all car tires, including run flats, are NOT created equal, and by design, most radials are made to flex a lot. Just because a car tire will fit doesn't make it a good candidate for darksiding.

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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby wingit11 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:38 pm

I just picked up my Austone CT tire last week. I will be replacing the Federal Formoza CT I am currently running. The Federal worked well, but with my sidecar rig it made the bike too low. I was rubbing the sidecar subframe on drive way curbs and speed bumps. Going from a 60 profile to an 80 profile should help with that. I also have raked the front end to make the steering easier so that also dropped the front end a bit. I have a long list of work I want to do before I hit the streets and try my new Austone. Replace fork seals; sub and cruise filters; front and rear tires; clean and grease splines on drive shaft; check/replace brake pads as required and bleed the clutch for just a few. Sure glad the weather has finally broke and I can get out to the garage without freezing my buns off. Stereo ready and beer fridge stocked, ready to get some work done. :lol:

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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby RoadRogue » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:12 pm

Im glad to see you survived the deep freeze Larry, better get on that maintainance list soon, its time to ride. 8-)
Ride safe, Todd
Over night campers welcome

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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby wingit11 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:48 pm

RoadRogue wrote:Im glad to see you survived the deep freeze Larry, better get on that maintainance list soon, its time to ride. 8-)

You got that right. Wasted way too much time waiting for winter to end. TIME TO RIDE!"

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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby waynehere » Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:58 pm

Wow, this has me all excited to give this a try. Question? Do you balance the CT normally or can you use the beads?

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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby RoadRogue » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:26 pm

I use Dyna beads or Couteract beads , which ever is available at the time.

So far I am liking this new tire, I have a couple hundred on it so far. Seems solid in the twisties. 8-)
Ride safe, Todd
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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby Dusty Boots » Thu Apr 03, 2014 4:38 am

RoadRogue wrote:I use Dyna beads or Couteract beads , which ever is available at the time.

So far I am liking this new tire, I have a couple hundred on it so far. Seems solid in the twisties. 8-)


How about sidewall flex exiting a corner? .... No feeling off the a$$ end wanting to swap places with the front. Any ground clearance issues with speed bumps in parking lots etc???

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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby RoadRogue » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:20 pm

So far the Altimax HP seems like a winner, mind you I haven't gotten it "broken in " yet. I am still playing with the air pressure looking for the sweet spot. For the first 500 miles I am starting with 41psi. The tire is rated to 51psi.

The only time I can feel any squirm from the sidewall flex is when I am really romping hard in the twisties and I give it a big handful coming out of the tight corners. It is very slight and may disappear with a few more psi. I had this same type of feel with the Austone when it was new too. Its just a matter of fine tuning the air pressure to riding style. For just straight up cruising it feels good, no squirm, no tendency to follow cracks.
As for clearance issues i have bumped the centre stand on one speed bump with a passenger on once. As a rule I go around speed bumps when I can. I have not pushed it hard enough to drag pegs yet there is still too much sand on the roads and the tire isnt broken in yet. This tire is shorter than the Austone but not so short as to cause any problems yet , even on the side stand the bike has a safe lean angle. I had to run the rear suspension at max with the Austone for clearance to the tire and am continuing to do so with this tire for ride height reasons.

If they had made this tire in a 60 series I would probably have gone with it instead. I do however really like the extra throttle response but am back to looking for 6th gear, alas you cant have both.

Now having said all that, I am going for a ride " to do some more testing". Ya thats it ....... 8-)
Ride safe, Todd
Over night campers welcome

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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby SgtCharlie » Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:25 pm

RoadRogue wrote:I had to run the rear suspension at max with the Austone for clearance to the tire and am continuing to do so with this tire for ride height reasons.


What pressure setting do you use for "Max" rear suspension when you are sitting on the bike? I've had mine up to about 90psi with a passenger, which drops back down to 50-60 when they get off. But I've never heard what the max rating is on the GL1500... Mines a 95.

Also, I'm shorter than some at 5'7" and when I ride solo I like to ride at around 15-20 psi for more foot/pavement contact at stops (less tippy-toeing). I'm looking at dropping $700 on a new low profile Road Sofa seat from Saddleman. (I know that this is the wrong topic for this question, but does anyone have any other recommendations before I drop that kind of cash?)

Thanks, God Bless and keep the shiny side up!
Sgt Charlie
86th Signal Battalion
Fort Bliss, TX

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RoadRogue
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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby RoadRogue » Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:44 pm

Hey Sarge, no problem on the seat questions here. There is lots of info on custom seats to be had on the forum, try the search feature for many threads discussing just that question.BTW I have a Orbin seat on mine that I adjusted to fit my butt and added heat to it , love it but I have long legs.

As for air pressure in the rear shocks it should be adjusted with the bike on the centre stand , max pressure being 57psi. This is how all adjustment are supposed to be made according to the book.When you put the bike back on its wheels the reading will be higher and thats OK. The engineers took loading into account when they set the max pressure.the moment you set your butt on the seat it will increase , dont even think about it. 8-)
Ride safe, Todd
Over night campers welcome

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SgtCharlie
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Re: Darkside tire change

Postby SgtCharlie » Fri Apr 04, 2014 12:26 am

Rogue,

Thanks, that really helps. I have a Corbin seat right now (came with the bike) and it's more like a SADDLE! Man is it hard and uncomfortable! That's why I'm looking at the Saddleman because they use memory foam with gel on top.

Thanks again.
God Bless


Sgt Charlie
86th Signal Battalion
Fort Bliss, TX


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