185/65-15 General Altimax HP on vt700?

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185/65-15 General Altimax HP on vt700?

Post  Bladerunner on Sat Jun 02, 2012 4:43 pm

I have a 1986 VT700 Shadow with alloy rims I am wanting to go darkside with, I have to travel on miles and miles of dirt road, as well as asphalt and darkside seems to make very good sense to me. After reading everything I can readily find on the net about the pros and cons of doing this, I am convinced it is at least worth a try. My question is, having read many posts about some brands or sizes working well with certain bike rims and others not, has anyone had success with mounting a General Altimax HP 185/65-15 on a 1986 vt700 or vt750 of the same year? Or maybe that tire on a similar rim size/ fender size? I really like the way the tread looks, but am concerned with possible clearance and/or mounting issues. I am aware most ppl go with a 165/80 15 starting out, but most go wider later on as well, so this is my reasoning as to why I would go that wide to begin with...also tire size availability in the tread I like seems to be an issue.

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Re: 185/65-15 General Altimax HP on vt700?

Post  Bladerunner on Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:31 pm

Well here is an update...as those who have tried the darkside know, MC tires measure a bit different than a car tire, here is what I have found so far;
1) my rim is a 3.5 inch
2) the stock 140/90-15 tire is 6.5 inches wide at the widest point
3) I have about .400 inches clearance between the shaft drive and tire, which means that a 7 inch wide tire would be about the biggest I could go with
4) 185/65 tires are 7.2 inches wide on a regular car rim, they have been successfully mounted on a 3.5 inch rim, and I wonder if that may make them just slightly narrower?

Can some darksiders measure actual tire width of a 185, a 175, or a 165 mounted on a 3.5 rim? it would be very helpful,
Thanks

Bladerunner

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Re: 185/65-15 General Altimax HP on vt700?

Post  thx997303 on Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:15 pm

I actually want to know the answer to Question #4 in the above post as well.

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update

Post  Bladerunner on Sat Jan 05, 2013 11:30 am

1/5/13 sorry I did not update this for so long, I did post some on another site, you can read my account complete with pictures here
http://www.hondashadow.net/forum/72-technical-discussion/129231-vlx-darkside-2.html

I also copy and pasted most of the relevant info for this update.

as of right now, I have logged 15000 + on the Altimax tire, and am very pleased with it's performance to date. As I ride more, and in a wider variety of conditions, I have come to the following conclusions;
1) A car tire is VERY difficult to mount on a bike rim, but not impossible.
2) For my riding style (cruising, medium to occasional hard cornering) the car tire performance is satisfactory, not outstanding, but satisfactory.
3) There is a definite strangeness going on in a hard corner if the road swells, I believe this is due to tire deformation\reformation and might be magnified by the squareness of my particular tire. The bike wobbles a bit more than with a stock tire in the same hard corner. The relative lightness of the particular bike I have may be a factor in this, heavier bikes may not experience the same effect...not really sure. This is the single negative characteristic I have observed, and is easily avoided by not going too fast in sharp corners that have swells in them.
4) Handling with 2 up is VASTLY improved, which is somewhat strange, with a stock tire you feel weight shift of the passenger if they move wrong, or at an inopportune time, much more dramatically. Not sure why this is, maybe just absorbing the shift in tire mass? dunno.
5)Rain performance seems better, I didn't do any slide tests or hard cornering to really push the performance envelope, but it seemed to grip the road fine, no hydroplaning that I experienced (thankfully) this particular tire is supposed to do well in the rain on a car, so that may be an additional factor. There was one time I felt in grave danger, the wind was blowing sideways to the road (gusting to 50mph I found out later), there was at least 1/2 inch of rain on the road, more was POUNDING down, splash from passing trucks and cars limiting visibility. I was able to maintain 45-50 mph, but when the wind gusts came, I felt some slipping and was in danger of being pushed into another lane. I don't think in those circumstances I would have felt any safer at all with a MC tire, and possibly much less.
6) Wear is dramatically less, after 15,000 miles I am starting to see just a little wear, so my tire does not look brand spankin new anymore, but still plenty of life left in it, I would guess at present rate, I should expect to get around 60-100k miles out of it befor I really need to change it.

6/9/12

Ok,I have officially gone to the dark side! Installed a General Altimax hp 186/65-15 today.

I got the old tire off using the 2X4 under the truck hitch method to break the bead (worked pretty slick) and got the new tire mounted. The beads were problematic to get to seat, one popped on at 60 lbs, the other took re-inflating the tire about 5 times, popped on at around 100 psi. One thing I noted was part of the remaining bead seemed to go on easier than the other, so I moved the tire around a bit while inflating, till the "hard to get on side" went on first, this seemed to make the tire happier, and the remaining bead popped on then...used copious amounts of dawn dish soap, each time I let air back out to try again, I would squirt more on...

Fit was JUST barely, as matter of fact rubbed just a tad when installed, I tried the smack the swing arm using a wood block and hammer trick...didn't think it even made a difference till I put tire back on, and like magic, no rubbing! clearance is at about .010, this is absolutely the fattest tire you can put on this bike. No issues with the fender rubbing (thankfully).
Looks AWESOME from the back, will post pictures tonight.

Handling on a dirt road is like heaven! (big selling point for me) WAY better traction and absorbs the bumps like a giant marshmallow. I did notice a slight tendency to push me towards the center of ruts, but the MC tire did that as well, might be a result of the better traction, dunno. Not a big deal at all though. On the asphalt, massive traction for straight line, a bit different in the corners, (we got lots of twisties here in Arkansas) although I was running it at 26 lbs, so will raise to 36, and see how that feels. Even at a low pressure, it felt different, but not bad, just different. Reminded me of dirt biking, when you go into a corner with loose gravel, and feel the back slide around the corner. But it wasn't sliding, just had sorta that feel, might be the transition from flat to corner. The difference is that it is a consistent feeling, and even at low pressures, I am sure I could adjust, again I expect that to change a bit with different pressures. The ride is smooth as glass though, my MC tire had a strange wobble at about 85-90mph, not so with the CT, no straight away to find just how deep the rabbit hole goes on this one, but am VERY pleased with first impressions. I suspect putting a wider MC tire on would have much of the same issues. Stopping is FAR improved, I did not lock up the rear end, but stopped fast enough to pile myself up on the tank, had to fight to stay in position... I want to measure actual distance, it was WAY shorter than any bike I have ever ridden.
So far, I LOVE this new tire! If my opinion changes later on, I will post reasons why.

For the nay sayers, I would say this, from every account I have read, CT will FAR outlast MC, and this was my biggest reason for switching. If someone puts a wider MC tire on a bike, or ape hangers, or a springer front end, or rakes the front a bit, ppl seem to be just fine with these modifications. Some of which affect the handling of a bike FAR more than a CT does...it is different, but not drastically so.

6/10/12 On with today's adventure!

I live down 8 miles of super rough and steep dirt road, so the darkside for me has been at a different angle than most. the ride today was done at 36 lbs air...the marshmallow disappeared, I guess that was the under inflation thing going on, gave super soft ride before, a bit rougher now, but still much less than the MT. One new observation on dirt, sand seems to be a non-issue now, was kinda freaky with bald MT, constantly felt like wheels were going to squirt out one side or another. With CT, it seems to be much more stable, almost like having a real narrow trike, the front is much the same, but the back is rock solid, only time it gets floaty is when you get going too fast, feels like marbles under you (similar to MT, just without the back tire wanting to kick one way or the other all the time) so the most dangerous thing I have found with the CT, is it may give me a false sense of stability, and I go too fast in a corner or something, it is not magic, I am sure I could still wreck bike on dirt...a shadow is NOT a good choice for a dirt bike, just doing it 'cause I have to to reach asphalt, and sharing about the experience.



I rode 126 miles today, through mostly super twisty roads, it's not the dragon, but on that ride, there were possibly 4 or 5 straight stretches, so I really got to give her a good workout in the corners.
I deliberately pushed hard, to try and get a feel for this tire. I won't blow smoke and say how I was dragging pegs the whole day (although I did try, I used to be able to push my cb900 that far pretty easy, but no scraping today) I pushed her quite a bit past comfortable, not quite to the point of having to empty my shorts, so evaluate how you will. In one 20 mph corner, pushed as hard as I was willing to go, glanced at speedo, and saw 50, so I felt it was plenty good enough for me.
the tire felt very stable at 36 psi, no real surprises, no real transition feeling from flat to edge (I actually expected a bit of this), no "sliding "feeling as at the 26 psi, so I am chalking that up to tire deformation. Very good traction in all positions, from vertical to buttclench, I sort of feel something different from MT, but it is so subtle, I am not positive I am just making it up. Really trying to remain objective with this evaluation, I would have to say, I am not "blown away" by the performance or anything compared to MT. it seems close to the same performance, I can't think of anything that I could do with MT that I would feel uncomfortable trying with this CT. Again, the only difference I can feel is very subtle, if I wasn't looking for it, I doubt I would even notice. The only real freaky moment came in a corner I was pushing hard in and the pavement threw me around a bit, (lumpy corner) but that is freaky on any tire.
one thing about driving on dirt before asphalt that is neat, is you can see very clearly how much of the tread you use...almost all of the front, but back never even used all of available tread. at any rate, I like the tire fine, works like a tire is supposed to, frankly not sure what all the fuss is about. I probably will use one on the back of my bike from here on, but mostly because of cost and longevity, and performance on dirt.

oh, one other test I did was stopping distance, I can stop from 60mph to dead stop in 92 feet with both brakes, 121 with just the back, not sure how that stacks up against stock tires, but there ya have it in real numbers, and if you slide the back tire, it really DOES track straight, no snaking back and forth, wanting to come up front, using only the rear brake, or in tandem with the front...another REAL good selling point for me.

Bladerunner

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Re: 185/65-15 General Altimax HP on vt700?

Post  thx997303 on Sat Jan 05, 2013 10:33 pm

So, what's the section width on that 185/65/15 tire? I may have some clearance issues as well. Trying to figure this out.

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TIRE CROSS SECTION

Post  Bladerunner on Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:23 am

The cross section on my bike (Altimax 185/65-15) with a 3 1/2 wide rim is 6.800, just a tad over 6 3/4. Someone else has reported 6 5/8 with the same setup, may be sleight differences in tires. Hope this helps.

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Re: 185/65-15 General Altimax HP on vt700?

Post  thx997303 on Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:50 pm

Very helpful. This means that tire will fit on my bike with only slight modification.

Interesting there aren't many darksiding Honda Magnas.

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Re: 185/65-15 General Altimax HP on vt700?

Post  Steve-O on Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:33 am

Great Post! Test the rear brake at 20-35 mph when you get a chance. Lock up the rear and see if the back end stays straight. That was a big selling point for me.
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Re: 185/65-15 General Altimax HP on vt700?

Post  timpane on Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:54 am

Handling with 2 up is VASTLY improved, which is somewhat strange, with a stock tire you feel weight shift of the passenger if they move wrong, or at an inopportune time, much more dramatically. Not sure why this is, maybe just absorbing the shift in tire mass?

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Re: 185/65-15 General Altimax HP on vt700?

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