Questions about tire/wheel size and handling
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Questions about tire/wheel size and handling

This is a discussion on Questions about tire/wheel size and handling within the General forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; I'd like to know more about the effects and trade-offs of different tire and wheel sizes, specifically in handling characteristics and ride quality. Does anyone ...

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Thread: Questions about tire/wheel size and handling

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    Member scottshaffer's Avatar
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    Questions about tire/wheel size and handling

    I'd like to know more about the effects and trade-offs of different tire and wheel sizes, specifically in handling characteristics and ride quality. Does anyone know of any books or internet resources that discuss this in detail?

    Thanks.

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    Senior Member KeninIowa's Avatar
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    It's been beat to death here. Tony Foale writes books, I've never read one.

    In general things with big tires go faster.

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    Senior Member mlinder's Avatar
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    So get 21 inch cokers. Front and rear.
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    Senior Member kenessex's Avatar
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    A more specific question might get a more useful answer. Generally speaking I like wider tires than most people, up top a point, but I know why I like them and others might not.
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    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    Are you talking differences between front and back? Or differences as a whole? Differences in width or in height?

    a lot depends on the bike. For some reason twins running on dirt/flat track tend to do well with 19" front and rear, but motocross uses 21" and 16" or 18", and motards use 17" front and rear. 17" also seems to be the popular road race size but that may have to do more with access to modern rubber on older bikes.
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    Senior Member Big Bad Bob Dog's Avatar
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    There are a million variables in this. So much so that even tires companies and the manufacturers still have a shit load to discover. A small wheel the same width may turn in faster, a taller wheel that is narrow may turn in faster. A wider tire with a certain tire pressure (I know in proddy 250 2T V 400 4T teams would run their pressure as low as 15PSI in the rear) will have a bigger contact patch. Rossi and most of the GP field run 16.5 inch tires instead of conventional 17" to get the tires wider but retain the turning speed into a corner. Stoner often ran a 16" front when he was at Ducati.

    A larger rear wheel/tire will also gear the bike down. There is so much to talk about here. Whats the example you need help remedying?
    That's like, your opinion, man.

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    Senior Member hillsy's Avatar
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    Even when you get your head around all this there's the possibility that putting modern sized tyres on your vintage bike is going to make it handle worse because the frame and suspension isn't up to the extra forces of stickier rubber.

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    Usually the question is 'how big can I go' if that's what you mean, just use search
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    Member scottshaffer's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the responses.

    Quote Originally Posted by kenessex View Post
    A more specific question might get a more useful answer.
    You're probably right, but I was hoping to understand the basic principles and guidelines first, and then have the ability to apply them to specific situations. Having said that, I have a 2005 EVO sportster that has a 16" rear wheel and a 21" front. The 883 of the same year comes with a 19" front. I took a look at the XR1200 and it has a 17" rear and 18" front. I'd like to systematically improve the bike's handling (rear shocks, fork springs, tires and wheels).

    Quote Originally Posted by Geeto67 View Post
    Are you talking differences between front and back? Or differences as a whole? Differences in width or in height?
    All of the above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Bad Bob Dog View Post
    There is so much to talk about here. Whats the example you need help remedying?
    See my response above.

  11. #10
    Senior Member mlinder's Avatar
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    Then there's also the question on tire profile.

    The 17" and 18" combo of the XR is a good beginning to improved handling, but tire profiles play a big part in turn-in speed. the 'round' ones are slower, the "V" shaped quicker.
    http://quiterandom.hubpages.com/hub/...sic-motorcycle How to buy a used bike
    http://quiterandom.hubpages.com/hub/...the-Cafe-Racer How to build a cafe racer

    It's like a Machiavellian 4-volume trilogy based on Hamlet senza misura with an ego-maniacal downs syndrome kid reading from a Rube Goldeberg-esque kindle.

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