Car Tire on Indian Motorcycle


So who has put a car tire on their Indian, and how’s it working out for ya?

Rob 6 years 66 Answers 5970 views 0

Answers ( 66 )

  1. People who put car tires on any bike are cheep. If you want the big tire look get a bike tireand go it the correct way. Car tires screw with the cornering. Hey if your going to race the quarter mile , than maybe it is a good option but for daily driving really?

  2. Most riders don’t even use their whole tire thread. Look at majority of bikes and they have a flat wear down the center.

  3. You are wrong.

  4. Paul, I was saying the comment from Chris is wrong

  5. Justinx really??? What tire manufacturer are you an engineer for????

  6. Paul, I thing you still had a few hundred more miles left on those. Lol

  7. Knight, I rode from Erie to Cleveland with that tire. Once I noticed it was that worn I rode another 25 on it. I white-knuckled that ride.

  8. Paul, yea. I was on a 500 mile trip. Stopped to get gas and looked down and saw the same thing. 18 miles to the nearest shop. Was a long 18 miles. Lol

  9. Not true. We put a car tire on a honda shadow with a side car. Wider contact, longer life, and all season so better riding in weather.

  10. Carroll, i wonder if the side car made the difference in that you don’t ride as much on the side walls when cornering?

  11. Carroll, a side hack bike does not lean as it goes around a corner like a 2 wheel bike does.

  12. Thats why we did it. Put a 50k mile tire on. 25k into it and still no signs of wear at all. Figuring we will see 100k out of it.
    In the corners with out the sidecar takes a little riding skill.
    This bike is for a guy with major issues on his left leg. Can not hold a bike up or shift. We also built a hand shift with clutch lever relocated to the hand shift.

  13. There is a website called “Riding the Darkside” it has all the info you could ever want about putting a “car tire” on a motorcycle. I put a car tire on my VTX1800R and Goldwing and loved it. Havent put one on the Indian, but that’s personal preference. I am not endorsing or condemning putting a car tire on a bike, your view may be different and that’s ok.

  14. There is ton of proof on this subject!, maybe not with an Indian, but lots of miles put on car tires. How it handles depends on how you like to ride.

  15. Carroll You hit the nail on the head when you said about the sidecar. If the bike don’t lean, then a car tire / Darkside works great. Check out the tires on a CanAm Spyder. They don’t lean. But if you are gonna ride a bike and not just sit on one, EVERY tire expert / professional rider will destroy any argument anyone can bring up about the handling dynamics of a car tire on a bike. Google this concept. This topic gets regurgitated every time someone needs a new tire and wants to cheap out the purchase. Rant off.

  16. And then there’s the people who’ve done it and proved the naysayers wrong. But there will always be motorcycle tires, car tires, and naysayers.

  17. Burke that’s a refreshing statement at the end!

  18. Pop, Maybe the crash just hasn’t occured yet.

  19. What was that saying? It’s not if you’re going to crash, it’s when.

  20. And which one are you an engineer for. How many car tires have you ran on your bike. Exactly.

  21. Paul, What brand tire? I run my Metzlers down that far or near to it & not had a flat. Love it.

  22. David Katz That’s a Metzler.

  23. Paul, Thought it looked like an 888 or Z6. Love how hard you can corner with them & the superb handing on wet roads. Oh, meant I’ve run em all down till cord shows & NEVER had a flat. I ride on non-paved gravel roads, cut corners (emergency lanes) even jumped a few curbs to avoid idiots in cages. Love em!

  24. Why do so many people have problems with what tire you run. I could care less.

  25. Michael, I am not, and not stupid enough to try to corner on a sharp edges of a tire. The 1/8 inch of rubber making contact in the rain is a sure way to die. Hope your life insurance is paid up brainiac.

  26. Knight, you sir are not a tire engineer either. How many engineering classes have you even taken??? Exactly 0 right, who are you the act all upitty and knowledgeable about something you have never studied??? Buncha punk ass dumasses

  27. Tom, 1/8 is about all you have on the road now. Car tires also round out on the edges to have about the same contact surface as motorcycle tires. The only real difference is the trail changes on the corners, but thats only at high lean.

  28. Nope, more like 3/4 or a bit more, of rubber and core designed for such use. As far as rounding out, do they do that in the first mile? or after several thousand? Also, is the side wall and tire core designed for that usage, or do you just hope nothing goes wrong?

    Just because all you dark siders are idiots, does not mean I can be one too.

  29. Easy on the insults guys.

  30. For what its worth,I have a buddy with 30k on a auto tire on his Roadmaster…..said he’d never use anything else….I,personally have never used one.

  31. This post may work, an article examining porous and cons to use

  32. Most riders are averaging around 20,000 miles on the Dunlop Elites so why even go Dark Side.

  33. Man I was hoping it would be longer before we started having these discussions on this site but it seems to follow every single cruiser site……. I can tell you right now the answer you always get are people telling you you’re stupid that are too afraid to try it themselves and people who have actually done it and enjoy it and will never go back to a motorcycle tire

  34. Come to the dark side… heavy cruisers are great on car tires.

  35. Rob, I won’t be doing it on my Indian, but I ran one for several years on my 07 Stratoliner. never had any problem with it. Yes there are things you have to consider, like finding the sweet spot on air pressure, and most folks who have done it will agree that when taking curves you are sat up a little faster and that stopping on a curved surface is different. You probably won’t be able to find a Motorcycle shop to do the mounting for you, but many folks do there own work so that not an issue. I heard the insurance thing from many folks but none that have actually had a claim running a dark side tire. I went back to a car tire on the bike because I frequently change motorcycles that I ride now out of my stable and prefer the consistence of the ride between bikes. I only get about 8k out of a motorcycle tire on the Yamaha, and the darkside was good for about 30k and that was my main reason for doing it when it was my primary bike.

  36. Interesting conversation. I would like to understand more about a. what the benefits of using a car tyre over a motorcycle tyre, b. what the technical differences are between the two. The way that I see it is that the side walls of a car tyre are designed to be flexible so that on cornering, the tread stays on the road when the weight of the vehicle is attempting to corner. I also figure that car tyres are designed to be used in a group of 3 or 4 but are not designed for 2 wheeled cars. Motorcycle tyres have stronger side walls so that the tyre maintains it’s shape in both a straight line and whilst cornering. I wonder, when using a car tyre if the sidewalls of the tyre would interfere with the running gear of the bike – don’t know the answer but thought I would ask. Personally (and yes, this is my opinion), I have a $40k bike – I am going to put on a recommended tyre that is considered “fit for purpose”.??

  37. Rob, when doing my chops i some times use car tires for the old chop style. Corners are scary.

  38. I personally never used them but I say we spend all this money on these bikes why not just get the correct tires that are made for motorcycle just my thoughts but it is your bike and your life to do whatever you like and no one should call you names or make fun of you once again just my thoughts

  39. I will be going darkside after this tire. My goldwing is double darksided. Love it. So many pros to it. On top of everything it’s nothing new. Been around since the 1930s

  40. WHY? Never understood why people screw with how motorcycle manufactures build, test and stand behind their products by putting on parts built and designed for another type of vehicle all together. If motorcycles were meant to have a car tire on it motorcycle manufactures would put them on.

  41. Check out the page Roll’n darkside here on facebook, you will get decent answers there, unlike here

  42. Les Schwabb isn’t happy, as they look on the Internet for how to change a motorcycle tire! I also wanted fresh air in my tires, but they wouldn’t show me the ‘best by date’ on the cans they used.

  43. 195-55r16 would be the size for most of the indians, chieftain, roadmaster etc.

  44. i put indian tires in my car once, that count?

  45. Doesn’t effect anything but how often you’ll buy tires. I’ve read countless testimonies about it. Guys say they can feel a difference, but it’s not incredibly noticeable and not anything you won’t adjust to quickly.

  46. Most of the darksiders I know put 15K plus a year on their bikes and they feel that avoiding the down time changing and cost difference is worth it. Like with any modification outside OEM there is the need for research on the part of the owner, and the need for actually riding a bike with the mods done before making the change. I would suggest that anyone thinking of going Darkside visit a good number of forums for such, and understand that it is a personal choice to make the change.

  47. I’ve never done it. But with the advancement in the design of a modern day car tire, I’d say they might be just as good if not better than actual motorcycle tires

  48. Why would you? It’s not a Goldwing

  49. You don’t need car tires. This is how you repair worn out bike tires.

  50. It was ok but I rather have my wife behind me instead of a tire strapped to seat. “Plus it looks weird”

  51. For anyone interested in learning a little more. After researching the topic to determine if we could accept bikes with car tires in our Stayin’ Safe on-road training program, I wrote this article. Biggest issue may be liability, even if a crash was not a direct cause of car tire.…/tales-from-the-dark-side…/

  52. aren’t most car tires of a more square profile, than a motorcycle tire? ya would think it would make cornering a little exciting

  53. I’m going to the Dark Side on my Victory Vision Tour, soon as I wear out this rear tire. Make sure you get a runflat tire. Stronger sidewalls

  54. I live near mountains and the guys ride with cam cannon carve their Harley’s and Indians etc. no way anyone in my group is going to use a car tire. It you live in a place with straight roads go for it.

  55. My ’48 Has a Set of VW Whitewalls on It

  56. When I had bought. My 01 Scout it had Crotchrocket tires on it . It also had a Sock instead of an Air filter in it.

  57. I have dark sided my last 2 bikes. Not my Indian so far. Here in Texas abrasive roads and high temps cause early fail rates for bike tires. I was averaging 3500 miles to a rear tire. Low profile car tires lasted 45-50 k miles.

  58. 3500 miles??? Ouch. Have your tried the Metzler 880s?

    • Deep south that happens. Surface temp on the blacktop is often over 140.

    • Carroll wow melted tires. It gets cold up north here so my stock tires slip around corners. Almost took a spill this morning. I need sticky tires for cooler weather

    • Metzlers tend to fall apart..,and they are too expensive to be replacing 2 or 3 or even 4 times a year…,they are low milage tires..,and NOT hot asphalt friendly..,I’ve had em blister..,and actually throw chunks, could give me a Metzler tire

  59. Damn !….this horse has been beat to death folks !… want a car tire,GET ONE !……you don’t want a car tire,DONT GET ONE !….its that simple !

  60. Almost 12,000 on the tires from the factory Dunlop he’s eats go with the elite plus the new ones you’ll get 16 to 20 thousand miles car tires effort cars motorcycle tires that design for motorcycles keep the rubber down people

  61. Car tires are for cars motorcycle tires are for motorcycles

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