Darkside - finally! - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-26-2016, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Darkside - finally!

First ride to work on my brand new Nitto NT450 225/55 R16. Mounted and balanced it myself - no issues. Plenty of room in the V2K swingarm for this tire. Nothing else to say about fitment.

When I took it down off of the lift I noticed right away that the bike is much easier to push around in the garage. The tendency to want to tip over is greatly reduced.

Out on a crummy, bumpy straight road at 40mph the rear tire is hunting all over the place, pushing left and right constantly. I was fighting this and it got annoying right away. Then I got tired of it and quit fighting it. I noticed that the hunting is more of a feeling than an actual tendency to change the direction of travel of the bike. I just ignored it and in a few minutes I became oblivious to it.

The big surprise was in turns. The tire behaves about the same as the Avon Cobra I took off. I got 15k mi. out of the Avon before the wear indicators started showing (for me, that's the casing peeking thru the rubber).

Out on the highway - 95% of my commute - the tire tracks arrow straight. Big difference in going over expansion joints. At 32psi. the Nitto just soaks them up with hardly a sound or bump felt. It's like riding on a big, fat marshmallow back there. At 42psi. the Avon gave a sharp pop every time it went over a joint.

Overall: not that big of a deal. The differences are minor. Tire is too new to test traction, but the contact patch is HUGE, so it should be better. Life should be longer and the tire cost $106 delivered to my door.

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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-26-2016, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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One more thing: I didn't measure it, but the new tire is taller than the Avon. I definitely felt the change in gearing. I ride mostly highway, so the taller gearing is a plus for me, but I want to mention it to give a complete picture to anyone wanting to run this tire.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 02:22 AM
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Isn't just a beauty of a ride with that 225 tire back there?, Just reading yur post made want to go ride, Man I'm just 2 easy.
For people doing it 4 the first time the apprehension exaggerates the feel of the bike trying to follow every bump an/or line on the road. Once you get over that you hardly notice any difference.
Recently I started thinking about shock improvement and after a lot of thought I went to the front fork first.
Now, the reason I mention this is cus after changin' only the front fork oil (not the springs) I got a MAYOR improvement in handling and even (here is the surprise) the feel of the rear tire.
That little push of the bike trying to stand straight you usually get from a wide tire (being a bike tire or darkside) practically disappeared.
My only conclusion be that the superior handling guys get when they overhaul the front fork has more to do with the new oil than new springs.
Welcome to the DARKSIDE bro.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Yes, the apprehension is much more than it needs to be. I have a Metzler Marathon tire standing by in case I hated the car tire - now I'm selling it.

My V2K has 30,000mi. on it, and I haven't touched the forks. An oil change is in order and I'm interested in how it effects the handling of the bike. I should have mentioned that I'm running a Shinko Tour Master 130 section front tire in my original post because yes, the front and rear do interact.

Honestly, I can't see why anyone runs a bike tire on the back of a V2K. Lots of car tires have 60,000mi. warranties. What kind of warranty do you get on a bike tire? Car tires are more heavy duty and just better quality overall. Also, the price of bike tires is out of proportion to what you get. And all the anti-car tire rhetoric you see is either put out by people with no experience or bike tire companies that don't want it to ever catch on that you can run a car tire on a bike with zero problems.

Take care.
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