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Old 12-12-2015, 11:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Tire and wheel choice for economical motorcycle

Hello, I have been thinking about what is the most fuel efficient wheel that has the most economical tires. The wheel will be for sub 200kg (including rider) streamlined recumbent motorcycle (probably electric but that is another thread).

For perspective ($AUD)

CBR125r 2007
Tires $1.00 per 100km (21% total cost) ($230 tire change at 23,000km)
Fuel $3.80 per 100km (79% total cost) (Unleaded 95 $1.40.9 per litre x 2.7L)
Total cost $4.80 per 100km

-- If fuel consumption is lowered to 1L/100km

Tires $1 per 100km (41% total cost)
fuel $1.40.9 per 100km (58% total cost)
Total $2.40.9 per 100km.

As you can see economical tire choice is worth investigating.

Another consideration is that smaller wheels are lighter and fit better inside small fairings allowing for greater steering angles on long wheel base vehicles. If wheel weight was decreased from 18kg to 5kg that has got to be worth some fuel savings (side note wheel weights are very hard to find).

So what are your thoughts on the most fuel efficient tyre/wheels for motorcycle?

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Old 12-12-2015, 11:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 12-13-2015, 10:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Look for silica rubber compound, often touring tires.
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:01 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I just use my stock scooter wheels and put a car tire on the rear and call it a day
Slightly taller than the stock scooter tire for a little leg up ratio wise and the last tire I used went 35,000 miles. (it could have gone several thousand more miles actually) But I changed it to try an even taller tire. Not bad for a tire that lasted 6X as long as a standard tire and cost $23 + $7 for shipping and $20 for installation. It's all I ever use now. It's not for everybody, but it works just fine for me.
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Old 12-14-2015, 01:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Not sure if a silica-compound tyre would be so easily available for a small-displacement motorcycle. And a car tyre might become dangerous, as it won't allow you to inclinate while cornering.
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Old 12-14-2015, 06:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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A couple of thoughts:

Generally motorcycle and scooter tires have different wheel diameters than car and truck tires. In other words, a 16" tire isn't 16.000", it is different - AND - that diameter is different between cars/trucks and motorcycle/scooters. Directionally, the motorcycle/scooter wheel is larger in diameter and that means that mounting a passenger car tire on a motorcycle wheel has a greatly increased risk of failure during mounting - very dangerous.
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapriRacer View Post
A couple of thoughts:

Generally motorcycle and scooter tires have different wheel diameters than car and truck tires. In other words, a 16" tire isn't 16.000", it is different - AND - that diameter is different between cars/trucks and motorcycle/scooters. Directionally, the motorcycle/scooter wheel is larger in diameter and that means that mounting a passenger car tire on a motorcycle wheel has a greatly increased risk of failure during mounting - very dangerous.
Yes, and that is partly why I have professionals mount my tires. I don't have the tools to do so and they know the risks of mounting any tire. Never heard from the service people of any difficulty mounting the tires... not that they never did, but they never have said so.
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Old 12-16-2015, 09:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
Not sure if a silica-compound tyre would be so easily available for a small-displacement motorcycle. And a car tyre might become dangerous, as it won't allow you to inclinate while cornering.
That one tire went 35,000 miles with some of those miles banked over scraping hard parts in the twisties. It manages to navigate corners just fine... it just does it differently than a bike tire with its round profile. Bike tire in a lean effectively has a smaller diameter so its like a coffee cup on its side that will follow an arc when rolling. Car tire effectively gets that smaller diameter by compression & flexing of the sidewall along with some of the tread face. Different method, same result; tire follows an arc. Car tire tread does flex and will lie flat on the road surface where it makes contact. It does not ride on a hard immovable, non-pliable edge.
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Old 12-17-2015, 09:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaghetti Man View Post
Hello, I have been thinking about what is the most fuel efficient wheel that has the most economical tires. The wheel will be for sub 200kg (including rider) streamlined recumbent motorcycle
Are you building the frame from scratch or starting with an existing motorcycle? Because you will want to make sure the front end has the correct amount of trail and going with a smaller wheel in the same fork reduces it.
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Smaller wheels do package better for a near recumbent/ foot forward design but have less gyro effect for stability.
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Wheel/ tire weight only hurts fuel efficiency when you use the brakes.
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Using a car tire on the rear of a motorcycle works very well for normal daily riding as proven by thousands of "dark siders" so the smallest of the new eco car tires would be by far the best for the rear. Not sure if any of these guys run a car tire on the front. But my original IRC front tire on my CBR250R is still on at 29,000 miles/ 47,000 km. My rear IRC's last about 24,000 km. The new Michelin Pilot Street tires offer even better life and efficiency.
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The easiest project would be to stick with the CBR125R and streamline it at which point you could realistically expect 170 mpgUS, 1.4 L/100km at 100 km/h.

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