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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-08-2020, 04:42 PM
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Bias ply and radial tire question

I'm finishing up my Trike. Been working on this for a few years. Running radials on the back. Can I run a bias ply tire up front or does it need to be radial also?
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Old 03-08-2020, 06:28 PM
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I cannot say on a trike but it’s generally never a good idea. I had a friend who inherited a ‘72 FLH and towed it to me because he was afraid to ride it because something was seriously wrong with the front end. I checked everything(or so I thought) and it was all good so I took it for a ride, the first sweeping turn I took was horrifying. The front end felt like it was falling apart, turns out there was a brand new radial in the back and a well worn bias ply in the front...gained some knowledge that day.
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Old 03-09-2020, 10:49 AM
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I've seen some articles that say Harley runs a bias ply on the front and radial on the rear. I always thought that they couldn't be mixed also.

The Motorcycle Tire Question: Radial, Bias or Both?
Which raises the question, why are some manufacturers delivering new models with radial rear tires and bias-ply fronts? Harley-Davidson Softail Breakout and CVO Breakout are both equipped with a radial rear (240/40R-18) and a bias-ply front (130/60B-19) are examples of bikes that use this combo presumably for the advantages of longer tread life and better heat dissipation for rear tires.
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Old 03-10-2020, 06:58 AM
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Redneck Opinion

I'm not a tire tech, but I know how they each perform. The radials dissipate heat faster, making them more laterally stable... This meaning they flex side to side less when cornering. When you factor in the generally reduced sidewall dimension, it compounds how stiff they are. I live in the sticks, and have a 77 ElCamino with 325 HP. I once put radials on it... it chewed em' up and spit em' out in less than 10K miles. Weighing 3790 lbs. and hauling ass down these twisty country roads, they tended to slide in the curves, sometimes wanting to swap ends when I hit the 4 barrel half way through (learned to drive from some old bootleggers). The higher sidewall of bias gives them more air capacity, that produces a much smoother ride. Smoothest riding car I ever drove was a Cadillac with spoke (wire basket) rims. Heat in the bias makes traction, "hot means sticky". That's why when I used to drag race, you do burn-outs before you stage. So it's just a matter of choice. If were to make a choice for a trike (especially if it had a posi-trac rear end giving more straight line push in the corners), I'd choose the extra traction up front. As I said though, it's just a redneck point of view...
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