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(I didn't want to hijack Baddawg's "what's the safest tire" thread, so I've started a separate one.)

I've been riding for 46 years and don't believe I have ever seen one of the major motorcycle tire manufacturers offer a run flat tire option.

Run flat tire technology has been around for a long time now, so what in the world is keeping run flat MOTORCYCLE tires from being manufactured and offered for sale?

I know one possible answer may be "money". That said, I'd personally be happy to pay a premium for a run flat version of any of the major manufacturer's motorcycle tires.

One request:
Please don't turn this thread into a MT vs CT thread. I know I can put a CT on the back. That's not the purpose of the thread.

I'd simply like to understand why run flat MTs are not available for sale in the 21st century! Makes no sense!

***
 

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Here's the short version-"They can,but they won't"

Added weight of thicker sidewalls plays a big part I believe.

I have no idea how much weight this product adds to a tire after it is applied?,but here is something that is out there right now. http://www.rhinotire.com/
 

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If autos have run-flat tires isn't a TPMS required? Seems like I heard that somewhere, but don't know it to be a fact. If it's true, I'm guessing that rule would hold for motorcycles too. It certainly makes sense.
 

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Couple of things.

Wingleader09, I think all autos today have to have TPMS regardless of tire type. I think that became law about 4 years ago...not sure.

Wingman, I'll tell you what I have read in various places. It appears Dunlop used to make them for Police use only. The reason the tire was never released to the public was because it wouldn't support two-up riding. Take it for what it is worth because I can't prove it.

Today Dunlop still makes a run-flat tire but it is for off-road use. At least that is what I read...I think it was on the Dakar Rally website.

I also think Rocky is on to something with the weight. The Dunlop e3 already weighs over 21 pounds. If they made that tire a run-flat it would out weigh many on the CTs out there.
 

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(I didn't want to hijack Baddawg's "what's the safest tire" thread, so I've started a separate one.)

I've been riding for 46 years and don't believe I have ever seen one of the major motorcycle tire manufacturers offer a run flat tire option.

Run flat tire technology has been around for a long time now, so what in the world is keeping run flat MOTORCYCLE tires from being manufactured and offered for sale?

I know one possible answer may be "money". That said, I'd personally be happy to pay a premium for a run flat version of any of the major manufacturer's motorcycle tires.

One request:
Please don't turn this thread into a MT vs CT thread. I know I can put a CT on the back. That's not the purpose of the thread.

I'd simply like to understand why run flat MTs are not available for sale in the 21st century! Makes no sense!

***
One of the best questions that has been asked in a long time. Sorta falls in the 'better safe than sorry' category.

Since necessity is the mother of invention... oh, wait. You didn't want to go there.
:lol:
 

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Good question---good answers above:yes1:
 

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Simple. moto tire companies are lazy and don't really care. They make money off volume, volume comes from car tire sales. No, not that, to put on cars. There is also some higher sales in the lighter MC category, but the heavy machines suffer.

Explain why Honda insists on putting such low load rated tires on the Wing. There is a moto tire that has a much higher load rating and is much more beefy. I really don't care for them much, but I didn't care much for the 205's. FWIW, Dunlop upped the antie after the 1800 had been out for nearly 8 years and developed a reputaion for wrecking rear tires. At least they tried, no one else has so far.
 

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I looked into this some time ago as I had the same thoughts. After some research I learned that the Kawasaki KZ1000 police bike was equipped with run flat tires, but from what I've read the tires weren't very compliant in the curves, a function of the stiff side walls.. When riders bought a retired police KZ1000, the first thing they were told to do is to get rid of the run flat tires. It seems to me motorcycle manufacturers keep adding more complexity and more features when they could work with tire manufacturers to offer a run flat tire.. cars carry a spare, bikes don't.. it's a good chance for some company to make money, but maybe the economy of scales and the development cost can be recovered much quicker by making and selling car run flat tires...
 

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Do you have any info on the model of the tire or anything else? I'd like to try and sleuth out some info on it. TIA.
If nobody else chimes in first, I will do some digging tomorrow. Can't find anything on the HD site and the guys in the motorcycle unit don't work nites. I can tell ya this tho: It isn't recommended for two up riding.......which strikes me as odd, as I have seen m/c cops as large as two people....
 

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Wingman71, Goodyear made run flat motorcycle tires in the 70's for about 5 years. Police motorcycles have
used run flats since the early 80's that I know personally. Might have been even longer??

M/C tire companies can make them with no problem they've been doing it for years. You just can't buy
them any more. Once Goodyear stopped making their run flat M/C tire for the public the only ones since
have been for Police use.

I personally have motor officer friends that take their run flats off their motors themselves and put their
tires of choice on out of their own pocket. They tell me they hate the feel of them. I've got other motor
officer friends that like the run flats "go figure"

You could call or e-mail all the M/C tire companies and ask why they don't make them, but my bet is you
won't get one straight answer from any of them...
 

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Run flat motorcycle tires would be a great idea, especially since we don't carry a spare. I have no doubt we will see them someday, but I don't think that day is coming to consumers anytime soon.

If you look back at the history of car features that crossed over to motorcycles, it wasn't until those features were well entrenched in the automotive market and proven before they became available on bikes. Things like ABS, fuel injection, engine computers, electronic ignition, and even the airbag are all examples. Even accessories like CD players, MP3 inputs, and GPS came years later.

All those technologies were well accepted in cars before they became available on motorcycles. Run flat tires in contrast, have not become accepted by car buyers. Except for BMW, which pushes the tecnology hard, most manufacturers are having a difficult time selling the option. Consumers are aware of all the complaints and drawbacks. BMW owners are unhappy with them, and Honda and Toyota have been sued over them. Repair costs and tire changing costs are both high as well.

RF tires require speical wheels to make sure the tire cannot come off the rim when the tire loses air. That means you can't go back to a regular tire if you don't want to pay the high tire prices unless you buy new wheels. Owners complain about the harsh ride because of the stiff sidewall, how they don't grip well in the cold, and how poor the handling is. (Don't take my word for it. Do a Google search and you will be busy reading for hours.) There are very few good experiences reported with RF tires.

Motorcycles are secondary transportation for pleasure for most owners. Motorcycle sales in the US have been dropping for the past 10 years, probably due to how expensive bikes have become. Adding the cost of a safety feature that actually has a very rare instance of accidents is not something that manufacturers are going to jump on. That means that even if the tire manufacturers develop the technology, they have to convince the bike manufacturers to buy it.

Probably the biggest reason we don't have RF tires is that motorcycles tires have an entirely different sidewall construction and profile than car tires. The sidewall is actually very narrow compared to the tread area of the tire. That would make developing an RF motorcycle tire very difficult.

Here is what the Dunlop RF police motorcycle tire that was used on the California CHP bike looks like. It doesn't take much imagination to understand the complaints that officers had about this tire's cornering ability. You can see that Dunlop had to extend the sidewall and make the tread area narrower. That tire is probably a real pain to turn at low speeds too.



Regardless of opinions on performance and cost, the fact is that despite its promise of increased safety, it isn't being accepted by car buyers. Until the technology matures and the tire manufacturers solve the major problems associated with it, and customers begin to accept it, don't hold your breath for it to be introduced on motorcycles.

Just my opinion.
 

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The unsprung weight of a run flat is the issue for usage on a motorcycle. To make a comparison, sport bike riders will spend upwards of $2,000 per rim for ultra light weight graphite. What they are trying to do is to lighten the wheel weight or the in sprung weight of the wheel going into a turn and the acceleration out of the turn. There are many lengthy articles that have been written regarding the subject in sport bike mags or go to a site the sells graphite rims for their sales pitch.

TPMS is not required for cars!

Just because a tire has a higher load rating than what is currently on a GW does not mean more weight can be carried! The weight that can be carried is a function of the suspension, brakes, tires & frame. There are many 2 cent opinions on this board that say otherwise.

Currently I have a run flat ct on my bike. Best thing that I can say is that it does work but, a mc tire works better.

Don't go making to much sence on this board, most here have no idea what you just said in the
slightest. I've been saying this for years and it's like having a battle of wits with unarmed people.

Very true and well writen post though" :thumbup:
 

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I think Run Flats are standard on all BMW Cars these days....I know that most Car Testers don't like them because of the harsh ride and a bit less steering response.

Anyway, thanks for this thread ...might check out that Rhino stuff!

Cheers

Paul.
 

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Run flat motorcycle tires would be a great idea, especially since we don't carry a spare. I have no doubt we will see them someday, but I don't think that day is coming to consumers anytime soon.

Regardless of opinions on performance and cost, the fact is that despite its promise of increased safety, it isn't being accepted by car buyers. Until the technology matures and the tire manufacturers solve the major problems associated with it, and customers begin to accept it, don't hold your breath for it to be introduced on motorcycles.

Just my opinion.
I think your opinion is right on. Technology and consumer acceptance of the cost must change.
 

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...Until the technology matures and the tire manufacturers solve the major problems associated with it, and customers begin to accept it, don't hold your breath for it to be introduced on motorcycles.

Just my opinion.
Exactly, excellent post Larry. An earlier post stated they think manufacturers are just "lazy and don't care" which is a bit irresponsible to say, considering how much time and effort has been put into tires over the last several years to provide us with what we have today. Just because a technology exists, doesn't mean it's easily implimented onto motorcycles. Sidewall construction, special rims, etc are all easy reason why it's not done.

How many of you would buy this tech..? Say it was an option, like the airbag. A RF tire with special rim for the GW. A few extra hundred bucks, you can only run the Dunlop RF tire on it, it has a stiffer ride, costs $600 each, etc. NONE of you guys would buy this... you don't want to be restricted to what tire you can run.

Honda makes an airbag bike, but most who buy a GW do not get this option... Various technologies are not going to be put on motorcycles just because they are on cars. That's like flying an F/A -18 fighter and wondering why they don't put ejection seats on cars?... I mean, what if you go over a cliff, or off a bridge.... it could save your life!

Manufacturers are not "lazy and don't care"... they have gone to great lengths to provide us with great products today. If you could take a GL1800 back to 1975 and show it off to Honda what their future holds, NO ONE would believe you... they would think they will never build a ridiculous motorcycle of such size, with all this "crap" on it...

...and yet, here we have it.
 

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The text below is from an industry pub.
TPMS Legislation - In 2000 6.5 million tires were recalled due to tread separation on autombiles in the US. This prompted President Clinton to sign the first version of the TREAD Act which required Tire Pressure Warning Systems to be implemented on Model Year 2004 automobiles. These were to include all passenger vehicles and light trucks with GWVR of 10,000 lbs and less. A debate continued over the language of the ruling up to 2005 when the final rule was established on April 8 2005. NHTSA have stipulated that for 2008 all newly manufactured or imported US cars will be fitted with TPMS systems most of which use 'direct' sensors which are either part of the valve stem or banded to the wheel. These sensors transmit their own ID along with their pressure, temperature and other data to the vehicle ECU and the legislation defines the designated dash mounted warnings for the driver when a tire is under inflated/leaking etc.
The phase in schedule for new vehicles was:
20% compliance for Model Year 2006
70% compliance for Model Year 2007 (9/1/06)
100% compliance for Model Year 2008 (9/1/07)

The link below is a link to the NHTSA doc.
http://www.bartecusa.com/downloads/TPMS-2005-FMVSS-No138[1].pdf
 

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Here's the short version-"They can,but they won't"

Added weight of thicker sidewalls plays a big part I believe.

I have no idea how much weight this product adds to a tire after it is applied?,but here is something that is out there right now. http://www.rhinotire.com/
Looks like good stuff if we can believe the video. Didn't check the price....
 

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run flat

This thread is very enlightening. The moto tire market, particularly when it comes to the larger bikes, is too small to warrant very much research and design. Therefore we don't see much developement in moto tires at our level. The E3 could probably be changed minorly and handle the run flat label, but why would any tire manufacturer take on the added responsibility? We buy them w/o the rf label, so they have no incentive to change. The fact that rf car tires haven't been well recieved, isn't too surprising, considering that the majority of OEM equiped cars are what would generally be considered "drivers" type cars. That would be like making rf tires on Ninjas standard equipment (thereby adding 3 lbs per tire) and then asking the squids what they thought of them. Probably wouldn't get a lot of positive replys. The comment about rfs needing a special rim is interesting. I'm going to do some checking on that. All of that said, we may be getting closer to a tipping point with our tire usage. The numbers may start to add up for tire manufacturers to come up with a rf for the big bikes. H-D has changed their rear rim to a wider size and are also selling a kit to widen the frames on the older bikes to accept the wider rims too. The local dealer also showed me a replacement rear for their tourer that was the same size as the wings. That alone changes a lot of factors. Maybe enough to get us some better tires.

Richard
 
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