Why you should NOT go to the darkside - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
 12Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Beejatron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Ocala, FL
Year/Make/Model: 2008 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000
Displacement/CC's: 2000
Color: Black
Gender: Male
Posts: 31
Why you should NOT go to the darkside

Let's start this off with a couple disclaimers. One, I know this will start a huge debate (as darkside threads usually do), but I wanted to give my actual experience coming from someone being relatively fairly new at riding. Two, I AM NOT saying that having a car tire is the SOLE reason for my injury. However, I believe it was a contributing factor to what ultimately lead to going slight off the road after a sharp curve and breaking my ankle/leg. So, that being out of the way, here's my story.

October of 2016, I'm in Daytona for Biketoberfest. I'm riding with my girlfriend, who at the time had a Harley Street 500. Part of the activities I wanted to partake in was seeing all the dealerships, small and large, to look at used bikes since it was time to sell/retire my old '87 Honda Shadow 1100 I've had for 5 years for something bigger. One of the bikes I was looking to upgrade to was a Vulcan 2000. Low and behold there was Vulcan 2000 at a smaller dealer, 2008 with low miles. I went home to think about it, sold my bike, and went back the next weekend to pick it up.

One thing I notice about the bike is that it had a car tire on the rear. I've never heard of this before, so during that week before I bought it I did some research. I have an extensive background in working on and racing cars (drag racing). I have rebuilt engines, transmission, and rear ends. I know my way around a tool box and understand the basics and most advance engineering issues relating to vehicles. After doing some research and talking to more experienced riders, I decided to replace the car tire with a motorcycle tire ASAP. I believe car tires are inappropriate or dangerous for the following reasons:

1, The rubber compounds are not the same. The reason motorcycle tires don't last as long as car tires is because they have a more aggressive compound, such as drag radials in the car tire world. And, motorcycle tires actually have a more "sticky" compound at the edges of the tire to help when cornering. Yes, you won't notice a difference in the grip of the tire with about 99% of the riding most people do on cruisers. But that 1% of the time you will need that extra grip can mean the difference in laying the bike down and sliding into traffic or a pole/tree, or making the turn and getting out unscathed.

2, Contact patch. Yes, I know this has been discussed many times, with the contact patch of the tire actually being "larger" than a motorcycle's. This is true, when you're going straight. However, when turning, the tire actually lifts up off the ground and you're losing 50% of the original contact patch. The patch may be the same size as a motorcycle tire's when turning, but when you factor in the tread compound, it's a much more dangerous situation. And, no one seems to discuss the shape of the contact patch. A motorcycle tire has a more oval contact patch, while a car tire will be wide and short. The contact patch of the motorcycle tire is much more favorable to have when exerting the force tires have when turning on a motorcycle.

3, Initial lean/turns. After the test drive, and riding the bike after purchase, I notice it took much more effort to lean into turns. I understand once you're used to it, it's not a big issue, but what if you need to make an evasive maneuver? A car tire will not be as nimble, as quickly, as a motorcycle tire.

So fast forward to November 27, 2016. My g/f and I want to go for a ride locally and get something to eat. We chose to take a local road in Citrus County, Ozello Road. The road is very scenic, runs out towards the Gulf of Mexico, and is infamous for its sharp curves (many sporty cars and bikes ride this road daily for that purpose). I'm on a new to me bike, a bike much larger than my previous one (although I did have plenty of experience riding larger bikes like Road Kings and a VTX 1800), and on a sharp curved road I'm not familiar with. About 5 miles into the 7 mile road my confidence is really up and I'm getting a real good feel for the bike even with a car tire on it. I start coming up to a very sharp left curve, probably 110-130 degrees. I start slowing down before leaning the bike, begin the turn, and look at the road ahead. As I'm halfway through the turn I realize that I really didn't start the lean soon enough and start drifting towards the right edge of road. And, as a noob would do, I slightly panicked and looked at the side of the road for a moment instead of where I needed to go. As the bike started to barely drift off the road and straightened it up, knowing that it would almost instantly slide out from under me if I did not. Only being a few feet off the road I tried turning slightly to get her back on the road. While doing so I could feel the back end starting to slide out. So, I again panicked and did the 'ole "dirt bike" manuever by putting down my left foot and giving it some gas to straighten it out. It worked, I kept the bike vertical, and got her back on the road. However, when I put my foot down, somewhere it popped up and either the force of the bike changing directions or my foot getting caught up under the bike for a spit second, snapped my lower fibula.

At first, I thought I just may have sprained it. But a trip to the ER showed the complete break/spiral fracture.





The break required surgery including a plate, screws, and a floating screw







As stated above, is it my belief that having a car tire was the SOLE reason this happened? NO. However, if I had a motorcycle tire on there, I'm sure I would have made it through that turn no problem. I ALSO believe that if I didn't come in too confidently/fast or kept looking ahead at the road ahead I would have also made the turn too.

Food for thought everyone.

2008 Vulcan 2000
Baron's Big and Nasy pipes
K&N Hypercharger
Baron's 18" Ape Hangers
Cobra FI2000
Viking Bags
Chromeworks highway bars
Beejatron is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 11:30 AM
Top Contributor
 
Scott_in_TX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 2,221
Garage
Doesn't really sound like the tire made much of a difference to me.

It sounds like you went into a curve too hot on a bike that you weren't familiar with.

Disclaimer: I don't have a darkside tire and have never ridden on a darkside.
I can tell you that every darksider I've ridden with can lean their bike to scrape hard parts and maintain excellent control.

I have changed tires that have worn a flat spot to a tire that's new and round. That will change the handling of the bike quite a bit.
I've changed the size/profile of a front tire that made a significant difference on how fast the bike will tip-in.
I've gone from riding my sport tourer with a quick reaction to minimal imput to riding my cruiser with a 32deg rake and needed to spend a few miles getting re-accustomed to the handling.

I've also went slightly offroad due to a deer once and getting back on asphalt was pretty squirrelly.

Sometimes a bike will react to conditions in a manner that we aren't used too and it can be difficult to handle those situations correctly.

I'm not trying to pick on you and I'm not singing the praises of darksiding; heck I'm not even advocating it.
But, this doesn't equate to a compelling argument against it either.

Scott
Preacher824 likes this.

2012 Voyager 1700 ---SOLD
Pearl Alpine White/Pearl Luster Beige
Nice

2011 Rocket III Touring
Phantom Black
Naughty

2016 Indian Roadmaster
Thunder Black

There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do
Scott_in_TX is offline  
post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Beejatron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Ocala, FL
Year/Make/Model: 2008 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000
Displacement/CC's: 2000
Color: Black
Gender: Male
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_in_TX View Post
Doesn't really sound like the tire made much of a difference to me.

It sounds like you went into a curve too hot on a bike that you weren't familiar with.

Disclaimer: I don't have a darkside tire and have never ridden on a darkside.
I can tell you that every darksider I've ridden with can lean their bike to scrape hard parts and maintain excellent control.

I have changed tires that have worn a flat spot to a tire that's new and round. That will change the handling of the bike quite a bit.
I've changed the size/profile of a front tire that made a significant difference on how fast the bike will tip-in.
I've gone from riding my sport tourer with a quick reaction to minimal imput to riding my cruiser with a 32deg rake and needed to spend a few miles getting re-accustomed to the handling.

I've also went slightly offroad due to a deer once and getting back on asphalt was pretty squirrelly.

Sometimes a bike will react to conditions in a manner that we aren't used too and it can be difficult to handle those situations correctly.

I'm not trying to pick on you and I'm not singing the praises of darksiding; heck I'm not even advocating it.
But, this doesn't equate to a compelling argument against it either.

Scott
I guess I didn't quite explain it. But the reason I leaned too late was due to the slight hesitation having of having a car tire and needing more effort to lean the bike.

2008 Vulcan 2000
Baron's Big and Nasy pipes
K&N Hypercharger
Baron's 18" Ape Hangers
Cobra FI2000
Viking Bags
Chromeworks highway bars
Beejatron is offline  
 
post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 12:10 PM
BOTM Winner
October 2016

 
V2K_Rod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Portsmouth, VA
Posts: 537
Never put your foot down. These bikes are heavy and will win every time. That said, I've been riding dark and double dark for a number of years. I started on a CB360T at 15, moved to a VN750 in my 20s, then a Nomad 1500, and now on the VN2000. Did my father share of noob things asking the way mostly on the smaller bikes. Ride some CBRs and GSXRs but was smart enough to quit before doing serious damage.
The Beast in my opinion shouldn't be a starter bike or even a step up after a atarter, but you know what they say about opinions.
If it makes you feel safer to remove the car tire, do it. That said, I don't see your bad experience as a cautionary tale against DS.
Hope you heal quickly and wish you the best.

Keep the shiny side up brother.
-Rod

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I537 using Tapatalk
Preacher824 likes this.
V2K_Rod is offline  
post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 12:26 PM
Top Contributor
 
Scott_in_TX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 2,221
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beejatron View Post
I guess I didn't quite explain it. But the reason I leaned too late was due to the slight hesitation having of having a car tire and needing more effort to lean the bike.
I'm pretty sure I understood what you wrote; I just don't ascribe it to the tire.

There are multitudes of bikes that handle differently and many conditions that can make the SAME bike handle differently.
As a rider it's your job to use the correct techniques for the situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beejatron View Post
So fast forward to November 27, 2016. My g/f and I want to go for a ride locally and get something to eat. We chose to take a local road in Citrus County, Ozello Road. The road is very scenic, runs out towards the Gulf of Mexico, and is infamous for its sharp curves (many sporty cars and bikes ride this road daily for that purpose). I'm on a new to me bike, a bike much larger than my previous one (although I did have plenty of experience riding larger bikes like Road Kings and a VTX 1800), and on a sharp curved road I'm not familiar with. About 5 miles into the 7 mile road my confidence is really up and I'm getting a real good feel for the bike even with a car tire on it. I start coming up to a very sharp left curve, probably 110-130 degrees. I start slowing down before leaning the bike, begin the turn, and look at the road ahead. As I'm halfway through the turn I realize that I really didn't start the lean soon enough and start drifting towards the right edge of road. And, as a noob would do, I slightly panicked and looked at the side of the road for a moment instead of where I needed to go. As the bike started to barely drift off the road and straightened it up, knowing that it would almost instantly slide out from under me if I did not. Only being a few feet off the road I tried turning slightly to get her back on the road. While doing so I could feel the back end starting to slide out. So, I again panicked and did the 'ole "dirt bike" manuever by putting down my left foot and giving it some gas to straighten it out. It worked, I kept the bike vertical, and got her back on the road. However, when I put my foot down, somewhere it popped up and either the force of the bike changing directions or my foot getting caught up under the bike for a spit second, snapped my lower fibula.
Beeja, Let me tell you about when I dropped my bike.
My wife and I were on our way home from a long trip. We'd spent about 8 hours in the saddle and were about an hour away from home.
We were trying to get home before a storm but it wasn't happening. We got caught in a heavy rain in stop and go rush hour traffic.
I decided to get off the highway and took an exit that I knew but wasn't familiar with.
There was some construction with barrels and concrete dividers along the lane. My face shield and windshield were both wet so my view wasn't great.
I made the right turn and as I stood the bike back up; I added a slight amount of throttle. Well, the R3 has an enormous amount of torque and the rear tire lost all traction, went wide and I lowsided the bike. Only injuries were a little bruising.
After I made sure my wife was ok and went to pick up the bike; I noticed that there was a steel trench plate due to the construction.
A trench plate is one of those big flat pieces of steel they put over a hole so that you can still drive on it. Well, those things are slick when they're dry and like ICE when wet.
Anyway, I can tell you that the rain made visibility poor. The concrete barriers limited my view of the street I was turning onto. The traffic created a situation that required a lot of attention to the cars around me rather than the road surface. And none of my previous bikes had enough power to go THAT sideways.
But the ultimate reason for the drop was my throttle error due to my impatience.
I should have pulled off the road much sooner. I should have made an extra effort in that situation to be aware of the conditions.

So, was the tire that you're unfamiliar with a contributing factor? A bike you'd had less than a month or infamous road you weren't familiar with? Probably, but it wasn't the cause.

Ride safe
Scott
Preacher824 likes this.

2012 Voyager 1700 ---SOLD
Pearl Alpine White/Pearl Luster Beige
Nice

2011 Rocket III Touring
Phantom Black
Naughty

2016 Indian Roadmaster
Thunder Black

There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do
Scott_in_TX is offline  
post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 04:56 PM
Senior Member
 
D-Dub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Mid- MI
Year/Make/Model: 2015 Voyager
Posts: 324
I rode my buddies 2012 1700 Voyager with a car tire on the rear before purchasing new tires for my own 1700 Voyager. And there is no way in hell I would put a car tire on a 2 wheeled bike. It completely ruined the handling of the bike. For a big heavy bike the Voyager handles surprising well... until you bolt on a car tire. You have to force it into every turn. Took a fun bike and made it a chore to ride. Car tires were never designed to lean, and it shows. All the $avings can't make an ill handling bike fun again.
I'm sure they'll work great on trikes though.
D-Dub is offline  
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 06:18 PM
BOTM Winner
December 2016

 
Luckymann77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Where the Horses Are Fast and the Grass is BLUE !!!
Posts: 326
Garage
Wink

I commend you for keeping it upright !!!
The fact that you did, going through all the previous experience in an instant, is GREAT !!!


You did what you HAD to, in order to save your GF from getting hurt or eating dirt !!!


The sympathy sex has got to be phenomenal !!!
"You'll have to do all the work tonight, honey...
On account of my leg and all...LOL !!!


The VN2000 is a behemoth no matter what tires are on it.
Every bike/ rider combo has limitations...
Add a passenger and things just got complicated, exponentially !!!


I applaud your nano-second "do anything you have to" recovery !!!


Would have done the same if "wifey poo" was ridin on back !!!


Hope you heal quick and get back out there !!!



Ride On !!!
Luckymann77
Toddster, Scott_in_TX and revrider like this.

I love you more today than I did yesterday...
Yesterday you really PISSED ME OFF !!!


Long Time Rider...
First Time Vulcan Owner...

2005 Vulcan 1600 Classic
Majestic Metallic Red
Bagged up !!!
Chromed and Studded out !!!
Big 3
Cobra Dragsters
Cadmann
Wiseco/Doebeck EJK
Luckymann77 is offline  
post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 07:15 AM
Top Contributor
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,159
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_in_TX View Post
Doesn't really sound like the tire made much of a difference to me.

It sounds like you went into a curve too hot on a bike that you weren't familiar with.
I'm with Scott. Sucks you got hurt, but you listed many things you know you did wrong to cause the crash. Get well soon.
Preacher824 likes this.
Graybush is offline  
post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 07:16 AM
Top Contributor
 
Scott_in_TX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 2,221
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckymann77 View Post
I commend you for keeping it upright !!!
Agreed!

We've all made riding errors; it's what you do after that matters most.
Preacher824 likes this.

2012 Voyager 1700 ---SOLD
Pearl Alpine White/Pearl Luster Beige
Nice

2011 Rocket III Touring
Phantom Black
Naughty

2016 Indian Roadmaster
Thunder Black

There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do
Scott_in_TX is offline  
post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-01-2017, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Beejatron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Ocala, FL
Year/Make/Model: 2008 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000
Displacement/CC's: 2000
Color: Black
Gender: Male
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luckymann77 View Post
I commend you for keeping it upright !!!
The fact that you did, going through all the previous experience in an instant, is GREAT !!!


You did what you HAD to, in order to save your GF from getting hurt or eating dirt !!!


The sympathy sex has got to be phenomenal !!!
"You'll have to do all the work tonight, honey...
On account of my leg and all...LOL !!!


The VN2000 is a behemoth no matter what tires are on it.
Every bike/ rider combo has limitations...
Add a passenger and things just got complicated, exponentially !!!


I applaud your nano-second "do anything you have to" recovery !!!


Would have done the same if "wifey poo" was ridin on back !!!


Hope you heal quick and get back out there !!!



Ride On !!!
Luckymann77
Thank you, just to clarify g/f was riding behind me on her bike, lol. If I was two up I would've been much more cautious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graybush View Post
I'm with Scott. Sucks you got hurt, but you listed many things you know you did wrong to cause the crash. Get well soon.
Yes, while I think coming into the corner too fast where I knew or should of known about the extra effort/time to get into a good lean with a car tire was the main factor, I know I would've made that turn with a motorcycle tire. But I understand what you two are saying.

I've been out of my walking boot for about 2 weeks now (jumped back on the bike the day I was out of the boot). I ordered a new tire a few weeks ago and mounted it yesterday. World of difference! It's effortless to turn the bike and slow speed maneuvering is so much easier now. Having rid for about 20 miles last night on the new tire, I know for a fact I could've made that turn at the speed I was going no problem with the correct tire.
Romans5.8 and Scott_in_TX like this.

2008 Vulcan 2000
Baron's Big and Nasy pipes
K&N Hypercharger
Baron's 18" Ape Hangers
Cobra FI2000
Viking Bags
Chromeworks highway bars
Beejatron is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
no go....then go real fast..then no go mercman Vulcan 500 18 06-10-2016 08:08 PM
If you could go back in time would you still buy a VN900 or go to bigger bike. choco Vulcan 900 37 11-15-2014 10:07 AM
Once you go black you don't go back WaterfowlWidowMaker Vulcan 900 4 09-01-2012 11:43 PM
Not riding this weekend? Why not? Kaw-poke The Lounge (Off Topic) 21 07-05-2012 02:13 AM
Why is the V2K-LT "light"? How far can you go? studiocarter Vulcan 2000 11 02-05-2011 08:46 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome