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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to go darkside. Since most of my riding is freeways, but I do like to roll into the canyons pretty well, I think, and my mechanic agrees, that it's a good route to take. Sometimes, I take the wife and sometimes pull a trailer.

I've read through much of the DARKSIDE info on this forum and Saunders forum, but haven't seen a lot of info on the FRONT tire. I don't think I'm ready for double darkside yet.

I'd like to put my current rear tire on the front. I's a Michelin Commander II 180/65/B16. It's probably got 5,000 miles in it.

1) will it fit?
2) Is it a good option?
3) I don't see arrows on the tire. Should I run it backwards from where it is now?

Thanks
 

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Lots of guys/owners/gals will use a Bridgestone Battlax (reversed) rear on the front. Personally I'd run the 709 Excedra but that's just me.
 

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+ 1 with Budoka's comment for,a front tire.
 

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My 2nd summer with a BT45 (Rear Bridgestone Battleaxe)on the front running in the normal direction and really liking it.Been in some nasty rain and twisties and no problem.Actually ran the Dragon a couple of weeks ago in the rain.Well at least the last half and no problems.It and the CT felt really solid.
 

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I just got the Battlax BT45 rear tire for the front of our trike, didn't mount it yet. I personally have no plans to play the silly tire games of the C.T.C./Trike gurus and run it in a backwards direction, however some folks do.

The terminology of the Battlax Rear tire is a bit misleading because although it is a rear tire it is the same size as our front tires so you really aren't changing anything.
 

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The reasoning for reversing the direction on the front is because the opposing forces of braking kind of resemble the forces of acceleration on the rear. Don't really know if that's a valid argument though. Just one of the reasons I run only m/c tires. But I do see the merit in a trike configuration, totally different animal.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Lots of guys/owners/gals will use a Bridgestone Battlax (reversed) rear on the front. Personally I'd run the 709 Excedra but that's just me.
Hi Boduka.

I've already decided on the Michelin PA3 for the rear.

I had another conversation with my mechanic last night. He also suggested the G709 for the front, instead of the BT45 Battleax. Can you enlighten me as to why you would choose the 709, when it appears from the responses here, that the BT45 is more popular? He mentioned that the BT45 had a little wider profile, but that didn't necessarily result in more rubber on the road. I do mostly freeway driving, but do like to hit the twisties on the weekend. Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated.
 

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lilflyboy, call me a dinosaur if you like but I'm a motorcycle guy and I still believe in running the "recommended" motorcycle tires for my bikes. Simply put, a rear sport bike tire is not intended to be run on the front of a touring bike, end of story. The tire manufacturers don't recommend it and neither do bike manufacturers. I've spoken with Stu Oltman from Wing World on this several times and at great length and he has very sound reasoning for not recommending alternative tire applications on bikes. He's been a Goldwing technician for some 30 years so I trust his judgement implicitly. Not dissing anybody's wish to run whatever they like on their bikes as long as they made their choice on the right grounds and not as a matter of heresay or another rider's recommendation. You sure don't see sport bikes with touring tires on them.:wink2:
Altered machines (trikes, side car equipped etc) can and do have different characteristics than conventional bikes and as such place different loads and forces on the tires as the unit operates. All bets are off in those cases.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the input. I have made the decision. Based on all the threads all over this forum and others.

I expect tire and motorcycle manufacturers to recommend against darkside, because they are subject to their legal department, and in this litigious world, I'd do the same thing if I were them.

I ride in constant fear of a flat tire. I had one on the wing at slow speed, and that wasn't much fun. I think ride-flat is a great innovation.
 

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Not wanting to tempt the fates, but in 43 years I've never had an issue with loosing a tire/air when riding. Don't want to either but I'll deal with it when/if I have to. Hopefully it comes out well. I definitely see the advantage to a run flat as well, but not willing to switch for it. And a Battlax on the front is just as prone to flats as any other bike tire.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Pardon me for the "thread creep", but this reminds me of when I was a pilot going from single engine to twin engine. My instructor said that the twin is not necessarily that much safer because you had twice the chance of an engine dying. It was kind of tongue in cheek, but it stayed with me.

One run-flat = half the chance of a tire going flat. I'm not ready for double darkside yet, so I'll have to live with that.

Thanks budoka. I appreciate the help.
 

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On my '13 wing I am currently running a Stone 701. It is a front tire but bias. It, like the BT-45 is a dual compound with harder center tread. I have about 8K on it and the sides are about 2/3 gone with plenty still left in the center. Paired with the Yokohama on the rear it has, however, been the smoothest ride I have ever had. On my '08 wing I used several BT-45's. The all lasted about 25 - 27K. Although the 701 is a tad smoother I am going back to the BT-45 because I like the long mileage. I can go a whole year or more without having to change it. BTW I never reversed the rotation of the BT-45. No need to today with modern manufacturing processes. Reversing it may negate its ability to shed water.
 

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On my '13 wing I am currently running a Stone 701. It is a front tire but bias. It, like the BT-45 is a dual compound with harder center tread. I have about 8K on it and the sides are about 2/3 gone with plenty still left in the center. Paired with the Yokohama on the rear it has, however, been the smoothest ride I have ever had. On my '08 wing I used several BT-45's. The all lasted about 25 - 27K. Although the 701 is a tad smoother I am going back to the BT-45 because I like the long mileage. I can go a whole year or more without having to change it. BTW I never reversed the rotation of the BT-45. No need to today with modern manufacturing processes. Reversing it may negate its ability to shed water.
In bold: Ron, I'm sure you are aware that the 1800 wheel was designed for radial tires not bias. The rim, especially the bead area is not designed to accept a bias ply construction tire at all. There's far more to tires than just correct size. Just because it worked in this particular application for you does not guarantee it was safe.
 

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......... He mentioned that the BT45 had a little wider profile, but that didn't necessarily result in more rubber on the road........
No tire can put more rubber on the road. That's determined by the air pressure in your tire and the weight on it. Area=weight/pressure
 

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Discussion Starter #19
No tire can put more rubber on the road. That's determined by the air pressure in your tire and the weight on it. Area=weight/pressure

I don't understand what you mean by this. The wider the tire, the more rubber contacts the road. Sports cars have wider tires, so they can accelerate faster without spinning the tires. Did you mean " No tire, OF THE SAME SIZE"??

Richie
 

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Once again, there differences between bike and car tires are significant. The tread profile (flat) and contact patch of a car tire is far different than a rounded profile m/c tire. The contact patch is affected by downforce (weight) and the internal air pressure that prevents the tire from flattening out beyond the design that the tire was spec'd for. Less air pressure does mean a wider contact patch on a bike tire, just as a racing slick on a rail or funny car etc with a low pressure puts more rubber on the road for a drag race situation. Tad of a different scenario sure but same outcome.
On the street I run 36 psi rear on my RC51, on the track it's 30. I want the tire to heat up faster and get the maximum grip the tire compound can deliver for the more extreme speeds and lean angles I'm getting. And yes, my contact patch is also larger with the less pressure. That's why racers use tire heaters when in the pits, they want the tire as warm and sticky as possible for the high power launch at the start line. Just the warm up lap alone won't generate the heat they need or want.
 
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