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Since early Spring of 2019 on my ST1300 I've been running a Vercelli Strada 2 All-Season - 205/50R17 ($53.23 delivered from Amazon) on the rear and a 130/70-18 Bridgestone Battlax BT-45 Dual Compound Radial Rear Tire ($108.88 delivered from chaparralmotosports/eBay) on the front. I have a heavily modified Harbor Freight MC tire changer, a British made Wheelmate tire bar and have mounted all of my tires for years. I found the Vercelli much easier to mount than the Bridgestone BT-020 rear MC tire on the ST and had no problems getting the beads to seat.:smiley-happy0034:

When mounting tires I highly recommend using a commercial grade tire lube instead of any other concoction guys come up with. I took a margarine container to Discount Tire and they filled it for $5.00. I cut it 1/2 and 1/2 with water and apply it with a cheap paint brush. At 71 yrs of age I want it to be as easy as possible and the best advice I can give when mounting tires is use plenty of lube. Otherwise you're gonna fight the tires to get them on the rims, work up a good sweat and probably use quite a few cuss words in the process. :mad:

After going dark it took less than 20 minutes to acclimate to the handling difference. I've put 6000 miles on the bike so far and both tires still look new. When going thru tight twisties I have leaned it over far enough to drag the driver foot peg feelers without any issues. The bike is very stable well over 100mph, rock solid in the curves and handles so much better than with MC tires I'm sorry I didn't go dark sooner. Air pressure is extremely important when running a car tire. I've found 38psi to be the best for my 250lb body weight and riding style. The ST1300 weighs in at 720 wet and I always ride alone. It seems the only naysayers about going dark are the ones that aren't doing it. I love it and will never go back to only getting 3,500 to 4,000 miles out of motorcycle tires. :)
 

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UPDATE on my Darkside, ...

Been 1 year now, since having the Hankook Ventus V12 K120 mounted.

Zero problems. Have 11,000+ miles on it, ... haven't road more than 200 miles in the last four months due to the stay-at-home situation. Lucky I can work from home.

Tire is down about 1/3 of the tread. Back 6-8 months ago or so, we had some monsoon rains, ... I wish my helmet cam had worked as I road through it, passing every car that was doing 55 or less on the 101 FWY. Rain was pouring down, and this bike with the CT, just gripped and held the road better than any other bike i've ever ridden in the rain. I doubt I will every find a better motorcyle. The CT gripped where the motorcycle tire would have been squirrelly.

I am now saving for another rear rim to mount a motorcycle tire onto, so I can quickly change if I'll be running in a canyon for most of the day. Long trips and commuting will use the CT.

Also, no tire slip, during hard accelleration with the CT. I can drop a couple of gears, wind it up and she flies. With the Excedra Max I had some tire slipage. Even in the rain, no tire slip during heavy accelleration.

Real happy with the darkside. Going to do the same to my Suzuki C50 when the rear motorcycle tire wears out.

My wife likes riding now, much more comfortable with the CTX1300 with the CT.

:cool::cool::cool:
 

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Well since you can't see chicken strips on the rear DarkSide tire here is how the bike leans on the front tire...

About 2k miles..

..



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Thought I'd bring this thread back up rather than start a new one.
After 13,000 miles the stock Dunlops are done for. The front hit the wear indicators over the weekend, It wore faster than the rear, which has maybe 750 to a 1000 miles left in it. I don't recall having seen that before. Both are cupped badly and honestly should have been replaced sometime ago. I'm glad to see them done, I never cared much for the handling of them.
I finally made the call to go to the Darkside, just ordered a Riken Raptor ZR A/S 205 50 R 17 and a Bridgestone G 851 for the front.
I have a TPMS system, I've been waiting on the FOBO T valves to install it permanently. They finally showed up after 5 weeks, thanks DHL for being so ridiculously slow.
It seems that everywhere is out of Ride On sealant, may have to use (cringe) stick on weights till I can find it.

Front

Rear
 

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I've put about 2.5K miles on my tires and I couldn't ask for more.

Will be putting another 4K on them in Sept. And I can't WAIT!

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I've put about 2.5K miles on my tires and I couldn't ask for more.

Will be putting another 4K on them in Sept. And I can't WAIT!

Sent from my cellphone using Tapatalk
So no weird wobbles, wiggles or vibrations or other complaints? And how is the dual compound tire working out on the front?
 

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Grooved pavement is "interesting" but other than that I couldn't be happier.

This is my 3rd bike that had a dark side rear. All have been perfectly fine.

Hard to imagine going back to needing a new tire every year.

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How does this set up fair on metal grate decked bridges ?
 

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How does this set up fair on metal grate decked bridges ?
Either I haven't been over one or it was so insignificant I didn't notice. last month I did MILES on grooved pavement and it honestly felt as though my tire pressure was low. Mushy but workable...

That was the only artifact that I think needs to be stated as a negative. The extra stability is well worth the the slight increase of effort to lean in, which you naturally compensate for in the first 5 minutes of riding.
 

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Tire Rack doesn't mess around my tire showed up in less than 24 hours.

20200901_173243_resized.jpg 20200901_174315_resized - Copy.jpg 20200901_173231_resized.jpg
 
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Grooved pavement is "interesting" but other than that I couldn't be happier.

This is my 3rd bike that had a dark side rear. All have been perfectly fine.

Hard to imagine going back to needing a new tire every year.

Sent from my cellphone using Tapatalk
I've ridden 3 GL1800's that were on CT's when I worked at the dealership back home. It seemed pretty easy to get used to but I never got more than 50 miles on either bike so not really enough to base a solid opinion on. Thanks for the info.
 

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@troystg I was wondering what tire pressures are you running ? Also how heavily is the bike loaded.
 

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@troystg I was wondering what tire pressures are you running ? Also how heavily is the bike loaded.
I am 200 lbs. and I carry about 25 lbs. of crap in the saddle bags...

I run 40-42 PSI in BOTH the front and rear. I prefer the rear tire center wearing first since it is easy to see and monitor the wear there. However I find at 40 PSI the rear wears fairly evenly.
 

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Sure seems like levering a tire on is tougher than it used to be. I managed it without throwing out my back so maybe I'm not as old as I feel after all.
Have to wait till tomorrow for the moly paste to show up so I can install it.
Lol
 

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