There’s a reason why motorcycles, even large cruisers, still use round tires. It’s because motorcycles were meant to lean into turns.
While there are motorcycles that use car tires — like the Can-Am Spyder and Harley-Davidson CVO Tri-Glide and Trike models — it’s generally something that just isn’t done. The few times that it is done on purpose, it’s called “dark-siding.”
To demonstrate, rider Mike Hunter, uploaded a video of his 1999 Honda Valkyrie with a car tire mounted in the rear. He takes it through the very famous Tail of the Dragon road in between the states of Tennessee and North Carolina in the USA. Tail of the Dragon spands 17-km and boasts of 318 curves. It is a popular road among riders and car enthusiasts because of its winding nature through a forested area. Much like our own Marilaque, it has become notorious for its numerous accidents and fatalities.
The uploader is riding a 1999 Honda Valkyrie, a naked version of the Honda Gold Wing, powered by a 1.5-liter flat 6. Being based on the Gold Wing, it’s wide enough to accommodate a standard car tire. However, this is not recommended by Honda, US laws, or any insurance agency.
Nonetheless, Hunter has fitted a car tire into the rear to boldly take on one of the USA’s most dangerous roads. The result is in the video below.
While it’s certainly interesting to see, this is something we cannot recommend as car tires are not designed to bear lateral forces and weight on their shoulders. The sidewalls of a car tire are also much more delicate and not designed to make contact with the road surface or directly absorb impact. Many experts predict this may lead to a blowout with prolonged use.
Nonetheless, in the video, the tire seems to perform fairly ok, even while banking, with the rider managing to scrape his foot pegs on a few corners.
Have you done this or know anyone who has locally?