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Okay. This is a beginner's question regarding the "clown shoes." What about the stock tires on something like a Forty-Eight? Are those any good? Is it the sizing or just that the tires suck?

I understand that those old school Flintstone/Firestone tires are crap. I would assume they are basically like throwing a set of Coker repop Polyglas and comparing them to Eagle F1 Supercars or Pilot Super Sports. OTOH, the Forty-Eight Sportster has a similar sized tire that appears to be a modern compound/design. Are they just as horrid or do they give 90% of the look with better performance? Weird thing is how many Forty-Eights are running around wearing those repops.

I am not worried about it because my bike wouldn't fit that mold, but years ago I remember seeing a very nice Sportster with Fat Boy look forks and a bicycle seat. It had a really good look, kind of like an old WW2 bike, and the tires were a decent part of it. When the Forty-Eight came out, I thought it was similar. I understand that it isn't going to be a sport-bike, but can you have that look with useable tires?
 

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That seemed to go quite well... What was the original question again?
 

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All first posts should be quoted to preserve for posterity. I missed a good clown shoe bike pic?:rolleyes:
 

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Okay. This is a beginner's question regarding the "clown shoes." What about the stock tires on something like a Forty-Eight? Are those any good? Is it the sizing or just that the tires suck?
a little of both actually.
I understand that those old school Flintstone/Firestone tires are crap. I would assume they are basically like throwing a set of Coker repop Polyglas and comparing them to Eagle F1 Supercars or Pilot Super Sports
I'd say this is pretty accurate, except you have to consider that the repops are not actually made by firestone but just under license. QC used to be an issue with them. Design wise I still say the tread isn't great either.

OTOH, the Forty-Eight Sportster has a similar sized tire that appears to be a modern compound/design. Are they just as horrid or do they give 90% of the look with better performance? Weird thing is how many Forty-Eights are running around wearing those repops.
the stock sportster forty-eight came with modern Michelin Scorcher tires that are modern tread and decent compound. Doesn't look anything like a firestone repop:

2014-Harley-Forty-Eight-Spo.jpg
As to the "rear tire on the front" look that you are referring to, well that isn't doing the handling any favors. The steering is going to be heavier and the bike won't "slip" under hard cornering like you get with a modern performance bike with staggered tire sizes front and rear....but I do want to point out something with the Forty-eight: notice the front rim? it's a 16". both rims I believe are a 3.5" but the front works out to be a 130" wide while the rear is a 150, so even though they look like the same size they are not. Also a 130 is going to have a narrower profile on a 3.5" rim than a 150 tire so...let me put it this way: some harley engineer sat down and figured out how to get the biek to look like it has a rear tire on the front without screwing up the handling too much. Often when you see these custom fat front tire conversions they are one something like a stock 18" or 19" front wheel and often the same width as the back, which is going to make for an interesting ride. So what am I saying, home builders are kinda dumb when it comes to figuring this out? yeah a little. I am going to add here that NOBODY expects a sportster forty eight to get around corners as well as say a ducati monster or a sportster xr1200 so....the point is moot. It isn't a racer so who cares, right?

I am not worried about it because my bike wouldn't fit that mold, but years ago I remember seeing a very nice Sportster with Fat Boy look forks and a bicycle seat. It had a really good look, kind of like an old WW2 bike, and the tires were a decent part of it. When the Forty-Eight came out, I thought it was similar. I understand that it isn't going to be a sport-bike, but can you have that look with useable tires?


I feel like I pull it off. Of course I was going for more of a late 1950's woods racer vibe.
 

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These re-production vintage tyres remind me of the clothes iron my grandmother had - it was one of those solid iron things that you placed on the wood stove to heat it up. When it was hot enough, you ironed a shirt for a minute or two....then put it back on the stove to heat up again. Once they started making electric irons, these things were never used again.
 

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Once they started making electric irons, these things were never used again.
except as props in movies and on stages, which ironically is kind of the same use for the repop-firestone: as a prop to help foster a different age.
 

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As an aside, I hate the look of the tire/ wheel combo on 48's.
So back in the 40's, most bikes had interchangeable front and rear tires. this way you didn't have to carry two different tubes with you if you got a flat. then...you know...the advancement of science happened and we figured out how to make bikes handle better and that meant different size tires. Also fashion happened and it was popular to have bikes with skinny sized front tires and big back ones to look more like a dragster. The fat front tire thing is not new, where do you think the harley fatboy came from? the thing that is new is going bigger than 120 in the front. The forty eight is supposed to emulate the old WL flatheads which are the spiritual predecessor to the sportsters which had front and rear 4.00x18 (WLA) or 5.00x16 (WL) depending on year and model (army bikes got 18" wheels).

Harley_WL45_Flathead_Sport_Solo_R1-468x442.jpg
 

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These re-production vintage tyres remind me of the clothes iron my grandmother had - it was one of those solid iron things that you placed on the wood stove to heat it up. When it was hot enough, you ironed a shirt for a minute or two....then put it back on the stove to heat up again. Once they started making electric irons, these things were never used again.
pffff electric, I still prefer some of the reliable old school methods, like for soldering galvanized evestrough ;) pass me over that big bottle of muriatic acid:

 

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So back in the 40's, most bikes had interchangeable front and rear tires. this way you didn't have to carry two different tubes with you if you got a flat. then...you know...the advancement of science happened and we figured out how to make bikes handle better and that meant different size tires. Also fashion happened and it was popular to have bikes with skinny sized front tires and big back ones to look more like a dragster. The fat front tire thing is not new, where do you think the harley fatboy came from? the thing that is new is going bigger than 120 in the front. The forty eight is supposed to emulate the old WL flatheads which are the spiritual predecessor to the sportsters which had front and rear 4.00x18 (WLA) or 5.00x16 (WL) depending on year and model (army bikes got 18" wheels).

View attachment 20535
I know it's not new. I get the history. It looks like dump to me. I'd like to see a Sporty with 17s and sporty rubber in optimal sizes. Nothing about a 48 reminds me of a WL. Harley really is more fashion than function anyway. Sigh.
 
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