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Thursday, October 20, 2005

How Wide of A Tire Can I Use On My Chopper?

This is one of the most common questions we hear. The question should be how wide SHOULD you go.

Keep in mind this is only my opinion, and many fat tire guys will swear by their last breath that running a 250 or 300 monster is the way to go. I just don't happen to agree with them.

In my opinion, the ideal tire width is the 200 for the average rider. It looks nasty (especially with a shortened fender), it has a lot of rubber on the road, and it still handles good. If you have a pile of money and time on your hands to build a 300 monster, by all means, don't let me talk you out of it. But here are some things to consider:

1) Extra Cost
200 tire frames and spacer kits are expensive enough as it is, and if you go any wider than this, the costs skyrocket.

2) Balance/Drive Issues
In order to make a really wide tire work, you have to offset the driveline so the belt/chain will clear the tire. This is fine on a 200, as the amount is very small, but when you get up to a 250, the offset is an inch or more, which makes your bike heavy to the left.

The way around this is to go with a Right Side Drive (RSD) setup, where the transmission drive components come out on the right side of the transmission. The problem with this is that you need special, and usually very expensive, components. These include transmission, frames, and spaced-out exhaust. For the average rider it is not worth it.

3) Handling
Put a 250 or 300 in a Softail frame, and it handles lousy. Put it in a rigid, and you will feel like you are herding cattle. The biggest issues comes when cornering, where bigger tires tend to push you out of curves.

4) Little Benefit
You read that right, a 250 will give you little or no traction gain over a 200. Motorcycle tires are not like car tire; only a small patch of rubber is touching the ground at any time because of the curvature of the tires. The difference in the area touching on a 200 and 250 is negligible.

So basically, you will be paying twice as much for a bike that handles poorly, and has no additional traction. Then again, wide tires look real cool, so it's just a matter of where your priorities lie.

11 Comments:

Anonymous discount tires said...

I enjoyed reading some of your posts ChopperSurplus. I was looking for discount tires related information and found your blog. I have a discount tires site. You'll find info on atv tires as well as most major brands of vehicle tires such as Michelin, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Cooper and more. With winter right around the corner, you can also get tire chain recommendations for your vehicle. Come and check it out if you get time :-)

December 4, 2005 at 1:29 AM  
Anonymous ATV Tire changer said...

Fantastic blog you've got here ChopperSurplus, I was looking for atv tires related information and found your site. I have a atv tires site. You'll find info on atv tires as well as most major brands of vehicle tires such as Michelin, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Cooper and more. With winter right around the corner, you can also get tire chain recommendations for your vehicle. Stop by and check it out when you can.

December 4, 2005 at 11:11 PM  
Anonymous brake rotors said...

Hi ChopperSurplus, very unique blog you have! I was looking for motorcycle tires related information and came across your site. Very good info, I'm definitely going to bookmark you! I have a motorcycle tires site. You'll find info on atv tires as well as most major brands of vehicle tires such as Michelin, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Cooper and more. With winter right around the corner, you can also get tire chain recommendations for your vehicle. Please visit it.

December 7, 2005 at 1:19 AM  
Anonymous brake rotors said...

Hi ChopperSurplus, very unique blog you have! I was looking for ATV Tire changer related information and came across your site. Very good info, I'm definitely going to bookmark you! I have a ATV Tire changer site. You'll find info on atv tires as well as most major brands of vehicle tires such as Michelin, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Cooper and more. With winter here, you can also get winter tire and tire chain recommendations for your vehicle. Please visit it.

December 8, 2005 at 2:11 AM  
Anonymous brake rotors said...

Nice blog ChopperSurplus. Your posts were interesting reading. I was looking for atv tires related information and found your site. I have a atv tires site. You'll find info on atv tires as well as most major brands of vehicle tires such as Michelin, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Cooper and more. With winter here, you can also get winter tire and tire chain recommendations for your vehicle. Please try and visit it, see what you think.

December 18, 2005 at 2:34 AM  
Anonymous discount tires said...

I enjoyed reading some of your posts ChopperSurplus. I was looking for ATV Tire changer related information and found your blog. I have a ATV Tire changer site. You'll find info on atv tires as well as most major brands of vehicle tires such as Michelin, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Cooper and more. With winter here, you can also get winter tire and tire chain recommendations for your vehicle. Come and check it out if you get time :-)

January 4, 2006 at 6:09 AM  
Anonymous discount tires said...

Hi ChopperSurplus. I was looking for custom wheels related information and came across your blog. Very good reading! I have a custom wheels site. You'll find info on atv tires as well as most major brands of vehicle tires such as Michelin, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Cooper and more. With winter here, you can also get winter tire and tire chain recommendations for your vehicle. Check it out when you can :)

January 6, 2006 at 11:51 PM  
Anonymous atv tires said...

I enjoyed reading some of your posts ChopperSurplus. I was looking for ATV Tire changer related information and found your blog. I have a ATV Tire changer site. You'll find info on atv tires as well as most major brands of vehicle tires such as Michelin, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Cooper and more. With winter here, you can also get winter tire and tire chain recommendations for your vehicle. Come and check it out if you get time :-)

January 7, 2006 at 9:39 AM  
Anonymous discount tires said...

I enjoyed reading some of your posts ChopperSurplus. I was looking for brake rotors related information and found your blog. I have a brake rotors site. You'll find info on atv tires as well as most major brands of vehicle tires such as Michelin, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Cooper and more. With winter here, you can also get winter tire and tire chain recommendations for your vehicle. Come and check it out if you get time :-)

January 8, 2006 at 11:12 AM  
Anonymous atv tires said...

Nice blog ChopperSurplus. Your posts were interesting reading. I was looking for motorcycle tires related information and found your site. I have a motorcycle tires site. You'll find info on atv tires as well as most major brands of vehicle tires such as Michelin, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Cooper and more. With winter here, you can also get winter tire and tire chain recommendations for your vehicle. Please try and visit it, see what you think.
If you have a site similar to mine and would like to exchange links, please contact me through my website.

January 10, 2006 at 6:43 AM  
Anonymous michelin tire said...

I enjoyed reading some of your posts ChopperSurplus. I was looking for bf goodrich tires related information and found your blog. I have a bf goodrich tires site. You'll find info on atv tires as well as most major brands of vehicle tires such as Michelin, Goodyear, BF Goodrich, Cooper and more. With winter here, you can also get winter tire and tire chain recommendations for your vehicle. Come and check it out if you get time :-)
If you have a site similar to mine and would like to exchange links, please contact me through my website.

January 15, 2006 at 12:28 PM  

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