stick with the darkside or not ?

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stick with the darkside or not ?

Post  coldweatherfreak on Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:29 pm

here goes, my thoughts are a little scatterbrained so they may not be well sorted out

Bike '07 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 original rear tire 150/70-17 running General Altimax Arctic 205/50-17 (on 4" wheel) originally experiment for winter riding only with studded Metezeler Karoo T in front then is spring when studded tire was removed for unstudded (still a knobby tire though) I was planning on going back to a MC tire for summer, until my after may dealer service manger sez "Hey Randy, I hope your not planning on replacing that tire till its worn out or get a spare wheel" So, its been on for the last 4yrs/ 35k miles and getting near replacment still got plenty of tread, very evenly worn I might add, but its beginning to loose its traction, I was able to lock the rear tire into a skid the other day

Ideally, I would get a second wheel, one for CT, it would be winter studded, and one for MC tire but I barly have the $$ to buy a tire, let alone a wheel and another tire + I also need a new front knobby to drill and stud for this winter if I want to ride other than fair weather & bare roads for that matter, I'd like a spare front wheel as well to make the swap for winter easier.

For winter riding, the Darkside experiment was successful beyond my wildest expectations, I ride with as much confidence in the middle of a blizzard in the dark of night as I would in any other vehicle, or sleet or ice or freezing rain, not just short jaunts, travelling 75-100 miles in such conditions on several occasions

Highway riding, its really not much different than a MC tire, a little heavier on the countersteer effort, not much, and still less effort than a lot of the cruiser type bikes, but it don't flick like a sportbike anymore, easy to get used to and not a big deal for that type of riding

Twisty/sport riding, I'd rather have a MC tire, the big CT gets tiresome after a long day, but I don't sport ride a lot

2up riding I like the CT, it just feels like the bike supports the heavier load better

But just as much of my riding includes irregular surfaces on tractor roads and such, the wider footprint catches a bump near the edge and it throws the bike off balance, in a word, off road riding, the car tire SUCKS, big time, ye, its got better traction, it'll get ya thru soupy mud, but it can just as easy throw ya in the mud hole

so, in a nutshell, I'm trying to make the decision

winter is coming on, replacing with new Altimax Artic is my cheapest option, and maybe I'll afford a studded front before Thanksgiving but I can't count on it and with the front tire I have now (almost new) Metzeler Tourance, I expect another 15k before it need replace

or replace my CT with a Metzeler Tourance on the back as well than I'll be all set for some touring I plan next spring and forgo the winter riding that I don't have my bike fully prepared for this winter anyway, as much as I love riding in adverse conditions, it has taken its toll on my bike, major surgery to replace all the sensors and a cancerous wire harness. I still need to do a little more work to protect from the carcinogenic road salt
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Re: stick with the darkside or not ?

Post  quadancer on Mon Oct 14, 2013 10:50 am

First thought I have is air pressure. If your hard road sweet spot was, say 35 lbs., it is possible that on a rutted, potholed Alaskan backtrack,
your better pressure may be lower, for more flex from the tire and less knocking about. Now, back in my dirtbike days, we'd take skillsaws, files,
or whatnot to re-square the tread blocks, even reversing the tire at one point, but this could do serious damage to balance on a street tire,
unless you static balanced it as you went and kept top speeds down on the pavement.
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Re: stick with the darkside or not ?

Post  coldweatherfreak on Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:27 pm

I've tried lower pressure, only makes things worse, I think the difference between darkside on a Vstrom 17x4" wheel is that there are no "skinny" car tires available in 17" sizes, the contact patch of a 205/50 is approx 3x the stock 150/70. reducing the pressure lets it wallow all over the place

when you have 14", 15" or even 16" wheels, CT sizes are very close to the MC tire size
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Re: stick with the darkside or not ?

Post  Doc on Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:39 pm

coldweatherfreak wrote:I've tried lower pressure, only makes things worse, I think the difference between darkside on a Vstrom 17x4" wheel is that there are no "skinny" car tires available in 17" sizes, the contact patch of a 205/50 is approx 3x the stock 150/70. reducing the pressure lets it wallow all over the place

when you have 14", 15" or even 16" wheels, CT sizes are very close to the MC tire size
I think you are absolutely correct about the 17" wheel dilemma!
I agree on a motorcycle that wider is not necessarily better.

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Michelin Alpin PA3 195/55/16 The Darkside... Ain't nothin' but a rubber thang... Vader
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Re: stick with the darkside or not ?

Post  lj birdman on Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:41 pm

if you have been on the darkside:vadr:Vader then there is no question stay dark ShrugShrug no ? ExclamationExclamationExclamation
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Re: stick with the darkside or not ?

Post  coldweatherfreak on Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:31 am

I have managed to score a reasonably priced spare rear wheel for my Vee.

spare wheel will give me the ability to run darkside in winter and go back to a MC tire in the summer
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