Clarksville, Tn — I had never heard of the term “Dark Side” as it relates to motorcycles until about a year ago. In my short time on a motorcycle, it never dawned on my that you could or WOULD ever put a car tire on a motorcycle.
Apparently you can and some people do.
Just like the debate over “lane splitting,” the practice of putting a car tire on a motorcycle is just as volatile and opinions are both mixed and passionate. I would never do it, but I know bikers who do, and it doesn’t seem to make any difference to them.
The primary reason for putting a car tire on the rear of a motorcycle is purely financial. Car tires are cheaper than motorcycle tires and can offer longer lasting life. I can’t seem to find any other reason for doing it.
I ride with a guy who is an excellent rider and he’s a “darksider” and can ride like a beast.
There are many things the experts point out about going to the darkside, but traction and splitting away from the rim are two that stand out for me. Apparently the tire can split easier, or pull away from the rim easier than the standard motorcycle tire that it was designed for.
I’ve learned over the last couple of years that bikers do all sorts of unconventional things to their bikes. They “amp” up their engine in a variety of ways, do things to the frame that fits their personality and taste.
To each his own. It’s YOUR motorcycle, YOUR life and YOUR experience. That’s the beauty of it all!
I’m superstitious and pretty much stick to the same protocol with my bike as when I started riding. I buy the same tires, I use synthetic oil, I pump non ehtanol gas and so on. It’s worked for me all these years, and I don’t have any intentions of cutting corners, or trying something new.
I’m not a fan of lane splitting either, but then again, I don’t live in an area where that’s necessary. States that permit lane splitting have educated their population about it, but I’m afraid of getting hit by inattentive drivers.
Same thing with the “dark side.”
I knew going in that this lifestyle isn’t cheap. I DO find the best deals on the tires I buy, but I just wouldn’t be comfortable with having a car tire on my bike, but that’s me and I don’t speak for anyone but myself.
I do find it interesting how passionate bikers are about their choices. “I do it, and so should you” or, “it’s perfectly safe so don’t be a wimp about it.”
To me it’s a personal choice to ride on the dark side. It’s your choice to ride however you feel comfortable. That’s the beauty of this whole thing and that’s you can do it any DAMN way you want.
I’m not going to the dark side anytime soon, and I won’t be lane splitting either. But that’s just me and that’s all that matters.