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I just read on a yamaha site (via google) that it is ok to replace factory bias ply tires with radials, as long as you do both.. Is this true? Always thought radials are better.
 

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Not on your bike. Your rims are not rated for radials even if you could find some to fit, and the bike was not designed for the handling differences of radials. It could get you injured or worse. There are a lot of idiots out there trying to change a safety item for something that they think will make their bike faster, or handle better, but on 20 to 30 year old bikes, it just has the tendency to make them more dangerous. If you want a bike that handles like a sport bike, buy a sport bike. Don't take this the wrong way, but there are some things that should not be changed.:)



Gene:waving:
 

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Gene,
So I'm listening and I respect your opinion. I am curious however, what about the rims/tubes that is different for a rim that is designed for a radial. I ask because I remember way back when I put the first Goodyear Radial TA's on my 68 Z with Anson Sprint Mags. At that time it had not been tried, however, turns out they worked well on those rims/car.
Thanks for your input.
 

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What GLester has told you is very true. You can read a lot of things on the internet, some of them true, some of them not, and many are simply speculation or the front of truth by folks who have never actually done what they state they have done.

The older bikes have rims and wheels designed for the bias ply tires that the manufacturer provided with the bike at its time of design. To leave that tested design without some real good knowledge and experience is a great safety concern to yourself.

To begin with I do not know of any radial tires that will fit the older bikes. They simply are not available and even if you can find one that would be assumed to fit the molded seating bead on the tire is of a different length and size and would put you at risk rolling it off the rim.

The only known tire to the Wing community that is actually designed to fit a bike that originally came with bias ply tires is the Shinko radial for the GL1500. It is a tire designed specifically for this application.

When you change things you have much to be aware of, rim design, clearance from the swing arm, design stress on the drive etc.

Many of the newer bikes do lend themselves to the use of radial tires. This is simply because radial tire technology is now fairly solid and so many new bikes are produced with radial tires and rims that are also made for them . Radial tires were simply not around for bikes when the older bikes were designed, so as far as I know there is no safe application for the use of them on older bikes. It was only as the radial tire was improved and became a standard , did bikes become equipped with them.

I have a lot of experience with my own experiments with tires on the 1800. In this course of life I have learned a lot about all tires and all applications. And with older bikes bias ply as per the manufacturer is that way for reasons.

The yamaha guys you speak of, yea, I know a few of them, and they are trying to put tires on a 15 inch rim and putting 100 psi plus into the tire trying to seat the bead. They seem to like to live a dangerous life, the only way I would even attempt that is to cover the tire up with a heavy tarp and run a 100 foot hose to it and rig it up to a valve controlled from behind a brick wall. You will read these things and it boggles the mind.
But do them they do.

Even in my Darkside circle we have folks who do silly things. Simply because someone tried it, or said it. One of them is running a rear bias ply tire on the front of the 1800 but installing it with the rotation of the tire backwards. This is another internet thing.
Radial belts are laid to rotate in the proper and one direction, to do otherwise is simply a risk to oneself.

Hope this helps.

Kit
 
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