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Motorcycle tire vs auto tire for steer tire
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Posted 9/4/2005 7:01 AM (#9659)
Subject: Motorcycle tire vs auto tire for steer tire


Posts: 60
Location: Grand Marais, MN
I have an EML rig on a 1981 Gold Wing. On a recent trip, in construction zones, a few times I hit the large expansion joints. The rig was violently thrown around by those joints.

I have a 135/15 car tire on the front, mounted on the EML rims that are part of this outfit. I understand wide, flat, steer axle tires tend to catch the rain grooves a lot, and although my flat front tire is fairly narrow, it does catch. I also understand that running a fairly wide rear motorcycle tire on the front steer axle can solve this issue.

Has anyone done this with an EML or EZS or similar dedicated rig? How do I decide what size rear motorcycle tire to put on the front steer axle wheel, to match the size of the existing flat car tire? Is there someone in the industry who I should contact for an answer to this question?


Edited by MikeS 9/4/2005 7:02 AM
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Posted 9/4/2005 11:25 AM (#9663 - in reply to #9659)
Subject: RE: Motorcycle tire vs auto tire for steer tire

Elite Veteran

Posts: 746
Location: Salem, OR
Hi Mike - I have an EZS rig with a leading link front end. (BMW R1100RT/EZS Summit) I run a 135/70/15 tire on the front and 185/70/15 tires on the rear and sidecar. Originally the front was also a 185, but at that time, I also had telecsopic (but sidecar) forks. I found the wider tire on the front REALLY tended to follow the rain grooves and expansion joints and the smaller tire is much better - less prone to follow expansion joints and rain grooves.

Here was my progression:
first: 185/15 front tire, telescopic forks: followed expansion joints, contact patch shrunk - a lot - when turning, making it easy to lose traction on the front.

second: "conventional" rear motorcycle tire, telescopic forks - pretty good about expansion joints, but "taller" than the 185/15, so trail was increased which made the rig very stable in a straight line, but a bear to turn.

now: 135/15 front tire, leading link front end - easy to turn, well behanved in rough road situations.

I'm guessing that a 185/15 on the front of your EML rig would react even more violently that what you have now. You could probably screw around with running a rear motorcycle tire on the front of your rig - but take care about what that will do to your trail.

Maybe some of the HPS guys will chip in with their experience. My old web site still seems to be functional if you want to look at my rig in the early days. I don't work with this ISP any longer, but the site is still there - go figure!
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