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Discussion Starter #1
The question is, why do bikes go through tires so fast compared to cars? After speaking with others, and from what I have read, I have come up with a list of reasons that I don’t completely agree with or understand fully:
1) The average motorcycle rider is much more aggressive than the average car driver.
2) Motorcycles being much less aerodynamic than cars, are buffeting in the wind which shakes the bike from side to side which causes the additional wear on the tires.
3) Motorcycles tires have a softer compound than car tires which grip the road better but wear out faster.
4) At any normal riding speed (maybe more than 10 mph), you turn a motorcycle left to go right and right to go left. Since this causes the wheels to be out of perfect alignment with each other, the back tire is sliding (I have heard the term “walking” used) whenever you turn.
While I can agree with the first one, not all motorcyclists are aggressive. Those that are conservative still may only get 10000 to 15000 out of a motorcycle tire. They may get more than that from a car tire on a bike, but still not the high mileage that the same car tire would get on a car. (the darksider board can confirm this)
I also agree with number 2 but have a hard time believing that the contribution is very significant.
Number 3 is certainly true but gets tossed in the trash ifyou have a car tire on the rear.
Number 4. You certainly do turn the bars to the right, which causes the bike to lean left and then turn to the left. If this is a major cause of wear, then those that do mainly touring should get much greater mileage than those that don’t.
So why does a bike burn up tires faster than a car? Why does a car tire last longer on a car than it does on a bike? I am sure that there is at least some contribution from the4 items listed above, I just have to think that there is something that I am missing.
 

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Well cars are on 4 tires and the weight is distributed. Different tire composition. Bike needs more grab I assume and the more grab translates to a softer wear quicker compound. But I am just guessing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well cars are on 4 tires and the weight is distributed. Different tire composition. Bike needs more grab I assume and the more grab translates to a softer wear quicker compound. But I am just guessing.
Thanks for the response Jerrie. Yes, cars do have their weight distributed on 4 tires. Bikes have their weight distributed on 2 tires. A wing rolling down the road at 1100 lbs has less weight on each tire than the 4000lb car does(the math is easy). The "softer wear quicker compound" is meaningless to a darksider that is using a car tire and getting less mileage on the tire than the same tire would have on a car, even though the car has more weight on the tire. Maybe I should have posted this on the darksider forum.
 

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Thanks for the response Jerrie. Yes, cars do have their weight distributed on 4 tires. Bikes have their weight distributed on 2 tires. A wing rolling down the road at 1100 lbs has less weight on each tire than the 4000lb car does(the math is easy). The "softer wear quicker compound" is meaningless to a darksider that is using a car tire and getting less mileage on the tire than the same tire would have on a car, even though the car has more weight on the tire. Maybe I should have posted this on the darksider forum.
I have always wondered this myself. But I think a better question would be.....why do bike tires COST so much more than car tires? It costs me significantly more to put TWO new tires on my bike than it does to put FOUR new tires on my car. And then the bike tires only get a fraction of the mileage that my car tires do. Very frustrating.
 

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#3 is the primary reason why mc tires wear faster, but there's some points to consider.

- Yes the mc compound is much, much, softer.

- Car have their weight distributed across 4 tires.

- The car tire contact patch is across the entire width of the tire (flat surface).

- The mc tire has a contact patch around the size of a quarter...thus the need for softer/stickier compound.

- Cars have 4 tires which can be rotated to increase longevity...motorcycles can not be rotated.

Just some extra points....
 

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#3 is the primary reason why mc tires wear faster, but there's some points to consider.

- Yes the mc compound is much, much, softer.

- Car have their weight distributed across 4 tires.

- The car tire contact patch is across the entire width of the tire (flat surface).

- The mc tire has a contact patch around the size of a quarter...thus the need for softer/stickier compound.

- Cars have 4 tires which can be rotated to increase longevity...motorcycles can not be rotated.

Just some extra points....
Makes more sense than what I posted. My car tires will cost me close to 1,000 when I change them out in the fall. They are rated for 50k and I have 45k on them now. I have a hybrid and did some research. The energy conserving tires supposed to get you 5% more mileage so it is worth it to get at least 2 mpg more per gallon.
 

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I have always wondered this myself. But I think a better question would be.....why do bike tires COST so much more than car tires? It costs me significantly more to put TWO new tires on my bike than it does to put FOUR new tires on my car. And then the bike tires only get a fraction of the mileage that my car tires do. Very frustrating.
Motorcycle tires cost more due to the engineering, higher & more quality compounds required for manufacture. Plus, the manufacturing process is more intensive due to the attention to detail & precision required to make a safe, reliable tire. Blow outs on cars...no big deal, blow outs on a motorcycle can cost you your life (tire company liability & law suits). Plus, probably the biggest factor your not considering: VOLUME! Cars alone far out number motorcycles, plus they have 2 more tires per vehicle. Mass production of car tires will make them considerably cheaper. And cheaper depends on the car tire, a single performance tire say for a Corvette or Nissan GTR...will be considerably more than a set of motorcycle tires. I've seen sets of Wing tires for little over $200 ($300 is probably average) a single rear tire for a Vette will be over $300. If you're putting 4 tires on you're vehicle and it costs more to put tires on your Wing...dang, they must be some cheap tires! Please let us know where you get them! I drive a 13 F-150 Supercrew 4X4 and it has pretty common tires @: 255/17-70...the cheapest I can get them is around the $650 range.
 

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Smaller market for bike tires, more of a captive audience( not as much competition), and because they can charge more!!
part of the wear is quicker acceleration more frequently, part is most of us seek out the curviest roads to ride as often as we can at higher speeds. Now this doesn't account for all the wear- but does for part of it.

Back when I had a Porsche boxster the oem very sticky tires wore out at 16,000 miles of very easy driving!!(ok, a couple of higher speed runs for a couple miles, but seriously, overall easy driving!)
 

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Makes more sense than what I posted. My car tires will cost me close to 1,000 when I change them out in the fall. They are rated for 50k and I have 45k on them now. I have a hybrid and did some research. The energy conserving tires supposed to get you 5% more mileage so it is worth it to get at least 2 mpg more per gallon.
Not sure which Hybrid your driving (most likely a Prius...most common anyway) or which tire you're buying but average tire size for a Hybrid is 195/65-15. Tirerack has tires in that size starting at $52. The Goodyear Assurance Fuel Max are $93. $1000 would be way too much for me on a set tires!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
#3 is the primary reason why mc tires wear faster, but there's some points to consider.

- Yes the mc compound is much, much, softer.

- Car have their weight distributed across 4 tires.

- The car tire contact patch is across the entire width of the tire (flat surface).

- The mc tire has a contact patch around the size of a quarter...thus the need for softer/stickier compound.

- Cars have 4 tires which can be rotated to increase longevity...motorcycles can not be rotated.

Just some extra points....
-Yes the mc compoundis much, much, softer. If you are running a car tire in the rear like I do, the compound does not matter. I can compare apples to apples (that is a car tire on a car to a car tire on a motorcycle). If we compare apples to oranges, that is a car tire on a car to mc tires on a mc, then I agree with you.
-Car have their weight distributed across 4 tires. Why would it cause more wear if you are distributing more than twice the weight over only twice the tires? This isn't making sense to me. Wikipedia tells me that the average car weighs about 4000lbs. This means about 1000 lbs per tire. A wing with a fat guy riding it might be about 1200 lbs. This makes the average about 600 per tire. Yes, the wing’s rear tire has more weight on it than the front tire. Still not what the average caris putting on the tires. The math is easy.

- The car tire contact patch is acrossthe entire width of the tire (flat surface). Again, this only holds true if we compare apples to oranges. Since I can run a car tire in the rear, my contact patch would also be across the entire width of the tire (flat surface). The result would be significantly less mileage when the same tire was on a wing.

- Themc tire has a contact patch around the size of a quarter...thus the need forsofter/stickier compound. Again, if I run a car tire in the rear, I then have a larger contact patch and still get less mileage.
-Cars have 4 tires which can be rotated to increase longevity...motorcycles cannot be rotated.This would only be a factor if the tire wear is uneven. What you are saying might be true but I don't see it accounting for the actual difference. From what I have experienced and from what I have read on the darksider forum, I would say that a car tire on the rear of a wing gets at most, about half of what the same tire would get on a car.
While I can agree with most of what you said above, that would only be in the apples to oranges cases (mc tires vs car tires). All of the reasons that you have listed above fall apart if you are comparing a car tire on a car to the same car tire on a bike, with the exception of the last one. Not being able to rotate the tire on a bike could only account for getting half the mileage if the wear pattern was very severely uneven. I think that there is more going on here than what we have discovered so far.
 

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I no longer feel bad about tire wear on my bike since I had to replace my car tires at 40k miles. Those tires run 180.00-200.00 each. I've never had to replace tires at such a low mileage. I guess their high performance tires but it's only a four cylinder.

LAW
 

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-Yes the mc compoundis much, much, softer. If you are running a car tire in the rear like I do, the compound does not matter. I can compare apples to apples (that is a car tire on a car to a car tire on a motorcycle). If we compare apples to oranges, that is a car tire on a car to mc tires on a mc, then I agree with you.
-Car have their weight distributed across 4 tires. Why would it cause more wear if you are distributing more than twice the weight over only twice the tires? This isn't making sense to me. Wikipedia tells me that the average car weighs about 4000lbs. This means about 1000 lbs per tire. A wing with a fat guy riding it might be about 1200 lbs. This makes the average about 600 per tire. Yes, the wing’s rear tire has more weight on it than the front tire. Still not what the average caris putting on the tires. The math is easy.

- The car tire contact patch is acrossthe entire width of the tire (flat surface). Again, this only holds true if we compare apples to oranges. Since I can run a car tire in the rear, my contact patch would also be across the entire width of the tire (flat surface). The result would be significantly less mileage when the same tire was on a wing.

- Themc tire has a contact patch around the size of a quarter...thus the need forsofter/stickier compound. Again, if I run a car tire in the rear, I then have a larger contact patch and still get less mileage.
-Cars have 4 tires which can be rotated to increase longevity...motorcycles cannot be rotated.This would only be a factor if the tire wear is uneven. What you are saying might be true but I don't see it accounting for the actual difference. From what I have experienced and from what I have read on the darksider forum, I would say that a car tire on the rear of a wing gets at most, about half of what the same tire would get on a car.
While I can agree with most of what you said above, that would only be in the apples to oranges cases (mc tires vs car tires). All of the reasons that you have listed above fall apart if you are comparing a car tire on a car to the same car tire on a bike, with the exception of the last one. Not being able to rotate the tire on a bike could only account for getting half the mileage if the wear pattern was very severely uneven. I think that there is more going on here than what we have discovered so far.
I don't get it...if you're already running a car tire on your Wing and the car tire is cheaper & lasts longer...I'm not sure what point you're trying to make is.

If your car tire on your Wing is wearing faster than what they are on your car, maybe this will make it a bit more understanding....
1st you need to understand what causes a tire to wear:
1. Torque applied to the tire on accelerating.
2. Braking force applied to the on decelleration.
3. Lateral forces applied when cornering.

Each one of these is what I'll try to explain in regards to the difference of car tire being mounted on a bike as apposed to a car being mounted on a Wing. 1st off, in regards to weight being applied to each tire isn't really a factor. Most vehicle tires are rated for 50k of thread life (normally). My truck weighs about 6500lbs (2500 lbs more than most cars) and the tires I have on it are rated for 50k thread life...why is that?

So, let's go each of these points:
1. Torque applied to the on accelerating. (In my opinion, this causes the majority of wear...at least my riding style anyway)
- Car: has two tires in which the torque of acceleration is applied.
- MC: has only one tire in which the torque of acceleration is applied (hence...faster wear)
2. Braking force applied on decelleration.
- Car: has four tires to distribute the wear caused by braking.
- MC: had two tires to distribute the braking force (hence faster wear and if your the type rider that uses more rear brake than front on normal stops...even more wear.).
3. Lateral forces applied when cornering.
- Car: has four tires to disperse this force
- MC: has only two tires to do the same action. (In my opinion, this does not cause a majority of the wear unless you do a lot heavy accelerating or braking while cornering).

Another thing you need to consider when it comes wear on a rear tire is the mechanics involved. Most cars and trucks these days are Automatics. When your driving your car and you let off of the accelerator, the transmission basically disengages somewhat and lets the car sort of coast (that's the way it feels to me & not as much reverse torque is applied to the rear tires). On motorcycles you have a manual transmission. What happens when you back off on the throttle on a motorcycle? Anti-rotational forces are applied to the rear tire due to engine compression (or engine braking). This will cause much more wear. And there's not a rider out there that can tell me they pull in the clutch every tine they back off on the throttle. Plus, if you down shift when coming to a stop, you're going to induce more wear as opposed to pulling in the clutch & coasting to a stop.

As for rotating your tires on your car...your throwing $$ out the window if you don't. The purpose of rotating tires is to keep the wear EVEN. If you don't rotate your tires, the fronts are going to wear out on the corners before middle of the tire is even close to be worn. And the reverse will happen to the ones on the rear.
 
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