First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective
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Thread: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

  1. #1
    2009 Vulcan Custom Se BTK Beginner
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    Default First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    Hello everyone,
    I know this can be a heated topic for some. There are those who swear for it and those who swear against it. I wanted to put down my own personal experience for everone to read because who knows... it may be helpful to someone else and may help them make their own personal decision.
    I needed a new rear tire on my 2009 Vulcan 900 Custom SE. I went to the local Kawasaki dealership where I had purchased the bike new and got a price. I was astounded to find that it was going to cost me over $200 to get a tire and have it put on. I decided to hold off so I could try and find a tire from somewhere else with a price tag that wasn't as painful. This is when I learned about the darkside. I did some research and decided it might be worth the time and money to try it for myself. If I didn't like it I could just throw a MC tire back on.
    I found a General AltiMAX HP 195/65R15 online but the shipping was going to up the price by almost $15. I found the same tire on the Walmart website and used the Site-to-Store so the shipping didn't cost me a dime. The tire tire came to a grand total of $82.32 after state and federal tax. I opted to use DynaBeads to balance the tire. These brought the total price to $106.32 -- less than half the price of the other tire installed from the dealership.
    I went to Northern Tool and bought some tire spoons and wrapped them really well in duct tape to proctect my wheel when removing/installing the tires. I removed the old tire and the clip on wheel weight. Then, I used a small abount of Meguires polish around the bead areas. I lightly hit them and didn't put much effort into this step. I put the new tire on, threw in 3 ounces of DynaBeads, and sprayed the wheel and tire bead area with Windex. First time I put air into the tire I went to 65psi and let the pressure off. The second time I went up to 80psi. I got a rubber mallet out of the tool box and beat the dog crap out of the tire where the bead was not yet set. This helped some but it still did not set all the way. The thrid time I was going to take the tire to 100psi, but the bead set at 94psi. I took the pressure down to 36 psi and I put the wheel and tire back on the bike, spending a total of 1hr and 20 mins for the whole process.
    On my first ride I was really surprised at how the CT felt going down the road -- wonderful. It is smooth and balcanced with no vibration what-so-ever. I have read about how some people encountered the CT making the bike follow grooves in the road. This did not happen at all. I tried to get the bike to do so and it went exactly where I was pointing it, not following the grooves. I took the bike over to my brother's house and he took it for a spin without me telling him what I thought about the tire. He came back just as amazed as I was at the tire performance, on straight stretches and curves both. He says he will definately be going darkside when he is due a tire change.
    Next challenge, how will the tire perform 2 up? Like a champ. My wife and I went for a ride and she said the ride was way smoother for her on the back with the CT. The bike also handled great with her on the back. I didn't have to get used to the new tire and there was no time spent on trying to learn how to ride with a CT on the back. No issues at all.
    In summary, I have nothing but praises for the darkside. I have only put around 100 miles on it and the ride continues to get better. As of right now I will never put another MT on the back of my bike. We will see what happens with time. I didn't expect anything out of the tire when I put it on, I just wanted to see how it would perform and see what all the hype about the darkside was about. My brother, wife, and myself are all very pleasantly surprised. If you are dead set against the idea of putting a CT on the back of your bike then continue to use MC tires. But, if you are even remotely pondering the idea give it a try. I really think you will be as pleased as I am. If anyone is interested I will post updates as time goes on.
    09 Vulcan Custon SE-Road Burner Pipes
    96 Mustang Cobra SVT-99 Bristol FFW Pure Street Champion

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  3. #2
    Crazy as a sh!thouse rat. BTK Expert Uncle Wulf's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    Ain't that pretty much what we told you all along?


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  4. #3
    HD has nothin on a Custom BTK Expert 417vulcan's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    i'll be joining the darkside once my pirelli wears out on me
    James

    2009 Vulcan 900 Custom

    Video of my bike

  5. #4
    Way Too Much Free Time BTK Expert internet_bully's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    You only got 100 miles on it. Don't worry you will bust your @$$ soon enough.
    08 Vulcan 900 Classic DARKSIDE
    We must meet at the Breastiary in Nipopolis to settle this debate

  6. #5
    EWA
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    Welcome to the Darkside and get use to the awesome rear brakes you have now.

  7. #6
    2009 Vulcan Custom Se BTK Beginner
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    U ain't kidding. Rear brakes are twice as strong as they were before.
    09 Vulcan Custon SE-Road Burner Pipes
    96 Mustang Cobra SVT-99 Bristol FFW Pure Street Champion

  8. #7
    Sit speling cheker BTK Expert KahWahSahKey's Avatar
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    You're doooooooooooooooooooomed!

    By the way, I am going darkside on my next tire...shhhhhhhhhh!!!

    Sent from my Samsung Epic 4G, but not while riding!

  9. #8
    Can't find time to ride BTK Expert Pooker's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    My wife and I ride on the dark side!


    Dark Side pictures by pooker_langton - Photobucket
    08,1600 Nomad
    My GPS is a full tank of gas

  10. #9
    Sick Puppy BTK Expert ricksza's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    After you go Darkside, you wonder what all the fuss is about.


    Rick

    Darkside 2009 900 Custom 'Candy Burnt Orange'

  11. #10
    Way Too Much Free Time BTK Expert Sick Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    What size inner tube as I noticed you are on a spoke wheel.
    2008 Vulcan 900 LT Red/Black Cobra Highway bars, Cobra Light Bar, Scootsworks Front Pulley.

  12. #11
    Crazy as a sh!thouse rat. BTK Expert Uncle Wulf's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    Use the same size tube, or one size up. Either will do. The tube will expand to fill the available volume. Ever seen a car tube overinflated to four feet diameter for use in the river?

    Seriously, if you're going dark (or not) on spoked wheels, why not just ditch the damn tube altogether? It's a cheap, simple mod, $20 will do both wheels. Instructions are on Gadget's site.
    Last edited by Uncle Wulf; 07-06-2012 at 08:23 PM. Reason: Spelling


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    Sit speling cheker BTK Expert KahWahSahKey's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Wulf View Post

    Seriously, if you're going dark (or not) on spoked wheels, why not just ditch the damn tube altogether? It's a cheap, simple mod, $20 will do both wheels. Instructions are on Gadget's site.
    It's a lot of work, a lot of down time & not guaranteed to work.

  14. #13
    Army Strong. Ride Long Extreme Forum Supporter agentfox1942's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    The June issue of Rider Magazine has a great article about car tires on bikes. There is scientific data, not just opinions. It is worth the read. People can do what they want on their bikes, just like not wearing a helmet. But I will not jeopordize safety for less than $100. It's like being in an airplane or a boat. Not many options when the $h!t hits the fan and you're at 10,000 ft or 10 miles out at sea. Please read the article. Tales From the Dark Side: Putting Car Tires on Motorcycles | Rider Magazine
    patriotugcs likes this.
    Mark
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    "ad astra per aspera"

  15. #14
    Way Too Much Free Time BTK Expert Sick Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    What ^^^ he said its not worth the few bucks you save, my health and safety is worth more than a couple of hundred buck's!

    "Life's tough. It's even tougher if you're stupid."John Wayne
    Last edited by Sick Tom; 07-10-2012 at 08:57 AM.
    2008 Vulcan 900 LT Red/Black Cobra Highway bars, Cobra Light Bar, Scootsworks Front Pulley.

  16. #15
    EWA
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    Quote Originally Posted by agentfox1942 View Post
    The June issue of Rider Magazine has a great article about car tires on bikes. There is scientific data, not just opinions. It is worth the read. People can do what they want on their bikes, just like not wearing a helmet. But I will not jeopordize safety for less than $100. It's like being in an airplane or a boat. Not many options when the $h!t hits the fan and you're at 10,000 ft or 10 miles out at sea. Please read the article. Tales From the Dark Side: Putting Car Tires on Motorcycles | Rider Magazine
    I read the artical and couldn't find any scientific testing what so ever, just one guys biased opinion.

  17. #16
    Army Strong. Ride Long Extreme Forum Supporter agentfox1942's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    Jeez, I don't consider AMA, AMSC, MIC, and David Hough "one guys biased opinion. Pictures are one form of non-biased opinion; albeit the scientific aspect can be debated.
    Mark
    Hagerstown, MD
    '05 Vulcan 1600 Classic
    "ad astra per aspera"

  18. #17
    EWA
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    I would think that if he truly wanted an unbiased and fair report, he would have had some participation from riders representing the darkside. I agree the information he gave concerning motorcycle tires was spot on, but a car tire is not like a soup can. I'm just saying he left out the entire pro-darkside part of the discussion.
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  19. #18
    Army Strong. Ride Long Extreme Forum Supporter agentfox1942's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    I agree with that statement, EWA, but I think it's because he couldn't find any professionals willing to come on the pro-side of car tires on bikes. There are riders that have favorable results from using car tires on bikes, but I think it would be difficult to find any professional biker or car tire manufacture willing to stake their reputations or liability claims on such a statement. Think about it, if a tire manufacture came out and advocated using car tires on bikes and people died, holy hell would break out in the litigation department.
    Mark
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    '05 Vulcan 1600 Classic
    "ad astra per aspera"

  20. #19
    Sick Puppy BTK Expert ricksza's Avatar
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    Just once I would like to see a side-by-side comparison of two identical cruisers, one darkside and the other with a mc tire. Then they can have their scientific data to prove us wrong. But that will never happen. All the magazines and organizations are funded by mc tire manufacturer's advertising. What would happen if they found out what we know?

    You want to compare pictures, check out youtube videos of darksiders scraping their pegs against mc tires doing the same and tell me that darkside doesn't handle.

    The cost difference is quite a bit more than $100. I rode my OEM Dunlops 5000 miles till they hit the wear bars. Replacement tire - over $200. Darkside under $70 last at least 5 to 6 times longer. So we can compare $1000 of mc tires to $70 darkside.
    Last edited by ricksza; 07-09-2012 at 11:34 AM.
    KahWahSahKey likes this.


    Rick

    Darkside 2009 900 Custom 'Candy Burnt Orange'

  21. #20
    Klink BTK Beginner
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    Default Re: First Time Darksider -- Unbiased Initial Opinion/Perspective

    You will never get a Motorcycle editor or magazine to even consider endorsing a car tire on a motorcycle. It would cost them to much money in advertising I would like to see someone that is a better rider than i am ride on the isle of mann with a car tire. If he could "do the ton" I think that would be all you need.
    Klink (also on the Darkside)
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    05VN2000 Black

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