Do we really need fatter/wider rear tyres..?? or do we just want it..??
Correct me if I am wrong but it seems like Indian bikers/consumers seem to prefer a bigger/wider rear tyre on their bikes.
One doesn’t have to look beyond the modifications that guys/"desi" bikers carry out on their bikes. Fitting a loud exhaust and a wider rear tyre always happens to be among the favourite ones.
Actually fitting too wide a rear tyre also has the following negative implications.
Decrease the performance and fuel efficiency of the bike by increasing the "Rolling Resistance" and adding additional weight.
It can also adversely affect the handling of the bike.
"Give bikers what they WANT and they would move Heaven and Earth to get it."
Even if "Average Kya hai..??" (What's the average mileage..??) still happens to be the national anthem among "desi" bikers, surprisingly they also seem to prefer a wider rear tyre. So why do we seem to prefer a wider rear tyre..??
Reason #1: Aesthetics
Most of us who have seen a Super Bike are always in awe of the impossibly wide rear tyre that those exotic bikes possess. Who wouldn’t like to dream of riding a similar machine someday? So while we work towards that transition, we may want to ride something which shows off to the world that we are indeed riding something powerful (Whether what they ride is really powerful or not is a different matter altogether).
Reason #2: Safety
Normally a wider tyre at the rear gives the feeling that while taking sharp turns and while braking, such a tyre would provide with more contact patch and therefore would be a safer one as well.
But the other day a particular guy put forward his point of view on this..
"Most of the braking load is on the front tire and thats as thick as it needs to be. Shall i say it again, already tested and proven on the race track. You dont brake or corner half as much as that on the street".
Actually is it true. About 70-80 % of the braking in a motorcycle takes place on the front wheels. That’s exactly the reason why the front brakes are made more powerful on motorcycles.
Ok I understand.. But I would still say that a wider rear tyre is a "Psychological" need and maybe an "Emotional" need as well.
In the end it all boils down to what Bikers "Need" and what they actually "Want".. and I can safely tell you that "Give bikers what they WANT and they would move Heaven and Earth to get it."
Come to think of it, even Honda (HMSI) has to increase the size of the rear tyre of the New Unicorn from it earlier size 3.00 (inches) to size 100 (in mm).
It is not just the size that matters but also the compound of what it is made of:
This is speaking from a personal experience of mine. I have a Yamaha RX100 (which my brother rides in Bangalore right now) and recently I went in for a rear tyre change. This time instead of going in for a tyre with fancy racing pattern, I went in for one with a simple pattern but which was made of "softer compound". The brand of this new tyre was "CEAT" and the tyre is called "SECURA".
I went for this tyre on the recommendation of my mechanic and boy was I impressed with the tyre..!! Although the "CEAT SECURA" did not have any fancy patterns, the grip from that tyre was very impressive.
Fitting an Wider aftermarket rear tyre:
This is speaking from my brother’s experience. My brother used to ride a Hero Honda CBZ (Original) back in Assam. After a few years he decided to replace the stock 100 section rear tyre with a 120 section tyre.. the bike did look cool from behind but according to his own words, the handling all went for a toss.
So the learning point here is that its better to stick to the stock tyre size. Going up one size (2.75 to 3.00 or 100 to 110) is should be ok, but going up more than one size would do more harm than good.
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