GL1800Riders Forums banner

1 - 20 of 62 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,425 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Darksider #000000000000000001, Darth (Tom) Franken, graciously/bravely rode to the north Georgia mountains to give a first-hand demonstration of the DarkSide to me & my wife, Trialsman, & Toyo yesterday.


It's difficult and unfair to Tom to analyze the ride too harshly. He had ridden all night through frog-strangling weather to come see us. He was unfamiliar with our roads. His bike has the most ragged-out suspension that I've ever seen that could still stay on the road.

All that clarified, here's some observations:


The ct's contact patch is obviously larger. When Tom goosed it on any loose surface, the bike remained linear and predictable and did a spendid hole-shot.


Slow-speed handling was not quite as impressive but, according to our field expert (Trialsman), was manageable.

Our road conditions were moist in the morning and we didn't wick it up that much. After lunch

we were able to go a bit faster but still didn't push him past our 6/10ths pace.

What stuck out to my eye the most were the transitions that the bike made at apex points in the twisties. I had the opportunity several times to be on the inside track going up 129 and could watch the rear of Tom's bike pretty well.
Hard to describe but maybe Yellow Wolf or Max can smooth this out.
When Tom would initiate the turn and begin to countersteer, the bike resists and you can see the understeer from the rear. The bike ultimately complies and falls in with a fairly predictable amount of lean.
At apex however, when the bike starts to transition back up, more tread starts to grab and the bike's rear shifts opposite to the turn and produces oversteer. The transition from under to over is slight but consistant; the ct-runner gets used to it and incorporates it into their style of riding.
Here we are at Dale's after running with the Wolf on Wolfpen Gap:


The second thing that stuck out to me was when Tom rode the bike up and over an obstruction and then accellerated. When the ct "bit" into a rough lip on the edge of the asphalt, it visibly deformed around it and didn't jolt the bike. Then, when he twisted the throttle, I could see the entire leading part of the sidewall deform and wrinkle as the tire bit. And bite it did; did I mention that the ct produces impressive hole-shots?


Conclusions?
That's difficult. Again, very very tired rider on a poorly-sprung bike that's riding unfamiliar roads. Tom has alot of skill to manage that beast and I hope that he upgrades his suspension and takes more naps in the future.
That was the most motion I've ever seen on a bike in the twisties that wasn't in the process of crashing.

I will probably never run a car tire myself. I live in the mountains and all I ride these days are twisties; the ct shows it's worth on the interstates, dirt roads, and other less-than-perfect surfaces.
I've never seen the sidewall of a bike tire distort or deform like the sidewall on Tom's tire. But, in all fairness, I've seen that type of dynamic countless times on car tires when mounted on cars.

Dealer's choice on this one kids; I'm not your Daddy. There's too many people using these things for legitimate reasons to ignore. I think that m/c tire manufacturers need to take a hard look at the concerns, wants, & needs of the touring population and give us some choices for our bikes.
I'm a little sick of replacing my rear tires at 6,000 miles because the tread on the sides is worn out.

Feel free to talk amongst yourselves now. No flames; let's be grown-ups here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,015 Posts
I tend to agree with you Bill. Like I stated yesterday, the only concern,question I have is how many times will this continuing flex of the sidewall hold up. A tire starts to deform from the inside, where we never get to see. If I had to rid efrom here to th west coast I would use one more than likely. Fun day indeed. BTW, Cole won his first game.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,057 Posts
Wow.Arn Butt great write up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D

100% bike tire user here thinking out loud. --I think one thing both sides have to agree on is the wing is a heavy bike that is hard on tires. The rear especially. And that CT tire do definitly last longer. I won't argue cornering ability or safety issues though. But I think now maybe just maybe a bike designed car tire that had super stiff sidewalls designed for the wing might be an alternative.

Next week the north and south Texas riders meeting in Centerville will have a chance(weather permitting )to see Doc 's CT.

And off topic comment-Tom that seat looks GOOD with your bikes color.

Both sides RIDE SAFE :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,662 Posts
ABB,
I see from his license plate that Tom is from Colorado. Was that a snowtire on his ride? :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,676 Posts
Hey ABB;

When you wrote "ragged out suspension", what did that mean? Was Tom's machine stock, did it have a lot of miles, or was there some mechanical problems? I have a stock suspension (have considered Traxxion, but not there yet), have about 30,000 miles on it, run the rear shock at 19 one up and just replaced the stem bearing with All Balls. Would mine be ragged out?

Great write up by the way and if I read it right it sounds like you are saying that the type of tire you use should be consistent with the type of riding you do ... makes sense. As Homer (Simpson not the poet) would say ... Duh! :D
 

·
Legend in His Own Mind
Joined
·
4,671 Posts
Bill,
Txs for your honest and unbiased report. :clap2: It turned out just about how I expected it to with no real surprises. My riding style is about 90% aggressive too and will stand by my original allegiance to MC tires. I do get tired of wearing out the sides of MC tires so quickly but whatta ya gonna do, slow down or ride Interstates. :roll: I don't think so!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,425 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
jafi_fink said:
Hey ABB;
When you wrote "ragged out suspension", what did that mean?
He has some aftermarket bits in there but they're worn out too. He's got over 100K miles on the '03.
I've got 72K miles on my '04, 12K on the Traxxion springs.

Tom says that the sidewall flex on the ct lends itself to more movement latterally than a mt --- add that to the looseness of a worn out suspension, and the back of his bike looked like Rosie O'Donnel doing the hula. Wasn't pretty.

Give that guy some decent suspenders and a couple of days to ride with us and I don't think he'd have any problems keeping up with anybody short of Yellow Wolf, Max, or Travel Man.

But, then again, unless he does something about the suspension, he really should slow it down or he's gunna wind up in the weeds somewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,528 Posts
Teaser 1 said:
Bill,
Txs for your honest and unbiased report. :clap2: It turned out just about how I expected it to with no real surprises. My riding style is about 90% aggressive too and will stand by my original allegiance to MC tires. I do get tired of wearing out the sides of MC tires so quickly but whatta ya gonna do, slow down or ride Interstates. :roll: I don't think so!!!
Ok now there is one point I would like to make here. The GL1800 Goldwing is advertised as a "touring bike" not a go for hell twistie crotchrocket bike that only gets 3,000-4,000 miles per tire. Now why would anybody want to make a better tire than what you have. If you rode a crotchrocket hard you will only get 2,000-3,000 mile out of their tires. I really think that the way some ride the Wing verses how and what it was designed for you really do pretty good. Now if you want a tire that will give you more mileage on the sidwalls you would have to slow down. Remember you are laying down a 800 + lb. bike on its side and expecting it to hold in the corners. It will take a softer compound to do this rather than the compound for longer wear. Different suspensions will have an affect on this but what really matters is "WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD".

Now I am not trying to sound like a suspension / tire design expert, I am just posting my thoughts on the subject.

Ross
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,393 Posts
Tom,

Enjoyed meeting you and seeing first hand what a CT is capable of.

The small amound of time I spent on your bike in the parking lot and on the gravel lot near where we ate lead me to conclude that slow speed manueverability is not compromised, whatever. A little different, just because initial handlebar input requires just a schoosh more. It was actually less than I was expecting.

Riding on gravel felt as smooth as a MT on asphalt. Even a tight turn on gravel felt fine.

As Bill said, I was impressed with your riding abilities. Yes, we were riding 6/10ths most of the day, but, at one point, when the roads were still wet in a couple of spots, I feel pretty sure that Steve and I had wicked it up to about 8 or 9/10ths.

Bottom line: I saw that a CT can do everything a MT can. It has the obvious benefits or increased wear and traction. Since I have no seat-of-the-pants time on one going down the road, I really can't comment on whether it does "everything" as well.

I just took my spare rear wheel off because the tire needing replacing. I'm going to replace it with a CT. I feel a little more at ease doing it, after what I saw yesterday. If I don't like it in the twisties, I'll get another rear wheel for my second MT and just keep the CT for interstate rides.

Again, Tom, thanks.
 

·
Legend in His Own Mind
Joined
·
4,671 Posts
5Ross said:
Teaser 1 said:
Bill,
Txs for your honest and unbiased report. :clap2: It turned out just about how I expected it to with no real surprises. My riding style is about 90% aggressive too and will stand by my original allegiance to MC tires. I do get tired of wearing out the sides of MC tires so quickly but whatta ya gonna do, slow down or ride Interstates. :roll: I don't think so!!!
Ok now there is one point I would like to make here. The GL1800 Goldwing is advertised as a "touring bike" not a go for hell twistie crotchrocket bike that only gets 3,000-4,000 miles per tire. Now why would anybody want to make a better tire than what you have. If you rode a crotchrocket hard you will only get 2,000-3,000 mile out of their tires. I really think that the way some ride the Wing verses how and what it was designed for you really do pretty good. Now if you want a tire that will give you more mileage on the sidwalls you would have to slow down. Remember you are laying down a 800 + lb. bike on its side and expecting it to hold in the corners. It will take a softer compound to do this rather than the compound for longer wear. Different suspensions will have an affect on this but what really matters is "WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD".

Now I am not trying to sound like a suspension / tire design expert, I am just posting my thoughts on the subject.

Ross
Yeah I know Ross, Generally speaking, it's a tradeoff.
Car tire or bike tire: Softer compounds means more grip and faster wear. Harder compounds means less grip but greater longevity. But I can still wish for both can't I?? :lol: :lol:
 

·
Legend in His Own Mind
Joined
·
4,671 Posts
Arn But Bill wrote: the back of his bike looked like Rosie O'Donnel doing the hula. Wasn't pretty.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,302 Posts
wanna really know how good a car tire is in the twistys?

bring me a wing to the gap and let me do 10 laps on one,i dont care about the susp. i got base line times on worn out stock to full new traxxion times,i will post the times and my thoughts?

then we will all know!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,928 Posts
Hmmmmm. Think we should send that to Donald Trump, He might want to use that one. It is a good one.

I will remain with my opinion. As long as I continue to ride the way I do I will stick with the MC tire. If there is a time that I begin to move away from the twisties and head for the interstate then I will consider the CT,

Trialsman please keep us posted on how your CT does in the twisties.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,425 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
KA7W said:
There are those who think trying to ride a 900 lb Goldwing in the twisties may be a bit twisted in the head :lol: But even I enjoy going to the outside and passing someone on a so called sport bike :lol:
Toyo had to leave us and go watch Cole murder some other kids on the b-ball court.
So we kept horsing around on "the loop" for a while and then hit the more scenic pig trails.
On 19 between R Ranch and Turner's Corner we came up on two crotch rockets and had to pass them. I thought it pretty funny that 3 old guys on Goldwings dusted 2 squids on a really nice day with perfect road conditions --- especially when one of the 'Wings was sportin' a car tire and one of the 'Wings was riding 2-up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,015 Posts
Ross, I dont feel your giving the Wing or shall I say YOUR wing its full praise. My bike will do ALOT more than a typical Wing. I respect your opinion of what you want your bike to do. But the Wing can and does alot more than what you think. I really wish we lived closer. I would have you ride mine in the twisties so you can feel the difference. The problem is you dont have anything to compare it too. I was like that before I had the upgrades done. When I get in zone I feel I can take more than my share of squids on there bikes. I am not boasting my abilities, just going by experience. I would rather be on my bike knowing what it and I ca do VS being on a squid where I could really hurt myself. I really fel like I have the best of both worlds.
 

·
Are we there yet?
Joined
·
2,344 Posts
Damn Arn Butt, what a lousy report. You left out all the improtant information, like, how was the BBQ and how is that lovely wife of yours doing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,408 Posts
I made it back. 650 miles - 450 in rain. Just a little beat.

I do want to thank Arn Butt, Toyo, and Trialsman for having me and showing me some nice tucked away roads.

My suspension has over 100K on it. Sitting next to Trialsman's leaning on the sidestand, he had more than an inch of ground clearance and two inches of front fork travel. My wobble is from 35 to 45! I've got new springs, bushings, and tapered bearing at the shop. The bike goes in next week. As I’ve noted, I want a Traxxion setup but I want it on a new ‘Wing.

I did ride through the night. A hit of caffeine took care of the drowsiness for the morning. These guys are hard riders. I've had guys on rockets tell me how impressed they were with my riding and I wasn't pushing nearly as hard I was yesterday.

Arn Butt's observation about the rear end made me think more about the dynamics of the tire in corners. It does flex and unflex as power is added or removed. He was trying to observe the flex so I was jerking power on and off to let him take a closer look. If I keep consistent power through a corner, the rear end settles in. In a normal corner where power is applied past the apex, the sidewall flexes and the rear end sinks down a bit. If I lighten up on the bars, the bike will stand up. Personally, I like the dynamics; it tells me the tire is working for me. I add whatever input I need to finish the corner. (Note, if I can make the rear-end move around that much and maintain control, think of the advantage if you do hit something in the curve and get bounced around a bit. The CT is forgiving with all that flex.)

Toyo is worried about the sidewall holding up. At the end of the day, the tire is warm to the touch. When I rode it flat for a while, it was still not too hot to touch. I haven't noticed any difference as the old tire wore out or when I went from the old tire to a new one. The tire is designed for 1300 lbs; I'm giving it 600.

I'm in DC now. I haven't gotten around to getting new plates. I do have a snow tire in large part to help with rain. It has helped me in snow a couple of times.

Yellow Wolf, it would be an honor to have you ride mine for a few laps of the Dragon. Let's keep an eye on the weather. I'm out the next two weekend.

My primary goal was to demonstrate that a CT can hold a corner. Everyone on the ride agreed it can do so quite well - even if it does have a bad suspension to overcome. I contend that the CT will hold any corner you give it on a 'Wing until you lift it off the ground using the engine guards. A Ninja might lean over enough to over-tax the tread and sidewall and cause a problem. But, as was pointed out, we're talking about Goldwings.

I didn't get too much chance to show some of the other benefits. I did spin the rear tire once to demonstrate how it does not fish-tail easily. On the way out of town, Trailsman was following for a minute so I centered the bike on a seam in the road with no hands to try to demonstrate how those are not an issue. I also ran hands off on the rumble strip to show how much vibration is removed. He didn't see me recover from hitting a puddle at 70mph that got the entire bike rocking side to side.

At the outer edges of performance, I don't know if the CT can turn in faster lap times or not. I think it can handle more power coming out of corner than a MT can, but Trialsman says he's never felt his MT start to lose traction pulling out of a corner hard. He should be able to give us a better comparison after a few thousand miles on a CT. But that aside, since the CT will handle a fairly high level of aggressive riding and given all its benefits, you can see why I converted!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,302 Posts
i can and do slide all tires out of corners but a new metz!!

ive done laps at the gap on all kinds of tires and susp. and have a good idea of lap times for all,i would love to ride a car tire there to finilly tell if it can corner with a bike tire!!

i did over 1,000 runs at the gap this year alone so i kinda know the road,lol
 
1 - 20 of 62 Posts
Top