I have an '03 Harley Electra Glide with a Champion Daytona S/C (large, 2 person). I've got 3900 miles on it, but only 2700 with the sidecar attached. My rear tire is nearly through the tread already. Most wear is in center and right of tire. I believe the rig is set up correctly (tracks straight (with use of electric lean at times)). What is average distance before tire replacement is necessary? Also, need advice for replacement tire. During the cooler months, the sidecar will not be attached, so the "car tire" type is probably not an option. Thanks in advance.
Posted 8/14/2004 8:52 AM (#4448 - in reply to #4445) Subject: RE: Excessive Tire Wear
Location: Mooresville, IN 46158
Check your toe in. I have found that the sidecar manufacturers recommend way too much toe in. This has caused me to wear out rear tires like you have. On my Goldwing with the same sidecar as you have I am running 1/16" toe in. I just put this sidecar on, so I dont know what tire wear will be yet, but with a similarly sized watsonian oxford on the same bike and 1/16" toe in I could always get at least 10,000 miles out of a rear 491 Dunlop.
Posted 8/14/2004 12:26 PM (#4450 - in reply to #4445) Subject: RE: Excessive Tire Wear
Location: Boise, Idaho
By the description of your tire wear, it seems you may not have enough toe-in. A heavy sidecar with inadequate toe-in and a flat tread tire will have a tendency to drag the rear of the bike to the right. Check the wear pattern on your rear tire and see if there is any "feathering" showing on the left edge of the tread. If this is apparent and the right edge is a bit rounded, the sidecar is pulling to the right, indicating a need for more toe-in.
Other causes can be inadequate lean-out (since you have electric lean this is probably not the culprit), and driving exclusively on rough high crowned secondary roads. The toe-in adjustment seems the most likely. The rear tire will wear out first even if the alignment is correct but your wear is excessive.
Posted 8/14/2004 3:18 PM (#4452 - in reply to #4445) Subject: RE: Excessive Tire Wear
One thing that can help is to go to an automotive tire. We have automotive tires that will fit right on the stock Harley rims. Our customers are reporting that they get almost double the life of regular motorcycle tires on Harley rigs.
The tires are called twin tires and can be seen at www.dauntlessmotors.com
Dauntless Motors Corporation
Posted 8/15/2004 1:13 PM (#4453 - in reply to #4445) Subject: RE: Excessive Tire Wear
Location: WESTERN NEW YORK
I have a 01 Harley RoadGlide with a California III. I suggest that you check the toe in. After I readjusted mine I get aprox.7000 miles at 5/16 toe in. If the tire is wearing from the center to the right side(between the bike and car) I think that you will find that the toe in needs to be adjusted like Fred had mentioned in the first post after yours. Because it handles fine doesn't mean that it is always adjusted properly.The dealer is still amazed at the mileage that I get on a tire now.
Posted 8/17/2004 5:04 AM (#4464 - in reply to #4453) Subject: RE: Excessive Tire Wear
Location: Middleburg, Pa
>>... I suggest that you check the toe in. After I readjusted mine I get aprox.7000 miles at 5/16 toe in. If the tire is wearing from the center to the right side(between the bike and car) I think that you will find that the toe in needs to be adjusted like Fred had mentioned in the first post after yours. Because it handles fine doesn't mean that it is always adjusted properly....<<
I agree 100%! Go with as littel toe as possible and try to get rid of any pull to the right by leaning the bike out more. If your electric lean is between the bike and sidecar this can be used. If it is a device that simply tilts the whole rig from the sidecar wheel then you should adjust more static lean out into it.
Also, very important, be sure to check your toe in after lean adjustments are made to see if it changes or not. If both of your lower mounts are not the same distance from the ground or the centerline of the bike the tow will change some when the bike is leaned out or in. To know this is good as it wil prevent you from havingexcessive toe in or out and not realizing it.
Too much Toe is what eats tires!!
Posted 8/22/2004 8:20 AM (#4510 - in reply to #4445) Subject: RE: Excessive Tire Wear
All the above advice is very helpful to everyone with any abnormal tire wear. I have a HD softail/liberty sidecar rig and do not take off the sidecar for solo riding.
I wanted to thank Jay for the tip on car tires and I will check out your web site.
I know there has been endless discussions on what's the best tire for sidecars,and dollar for dollar radial car tires are the most cost effective.
Thanks again Jay