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Discussion Starter #1
I know it is not winter yet but I plan to get ready for it ahead of time. Im thinking of getting tire chains for one of my bikes. I ride year around and where we live it gets some snow and ice, it does happen but not often. We have been iced in for a week in the past. I have thought of getting tire chains for my bike and wanted to know if anyone has used them and if they work OK?
 

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That would bind into the front fender, and were it to work and one came off, would you want it to potentially get caught in between one of your wheels? Putting studs in a tire is likely your only choice, there is a pretty avid snow/winter rider here named Randy who I am hoping will respond to you. Road salt is very very bad for motorcycles, that in itself will keep me away from ever riding on slushy roads.
 

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Chains are for drive tires only. Putting them on the front would be counter productive and cause potential danger when turning. Chains on the rear and studs on the front perhaps? They do make cars and trucks for bad weather....
 

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Chains are for drive tires only. Putting them on the front would be counter productive and cause potential danger when turning. Chains on the rear and studs on the front perhaps? They do make cars and trucks for bad weather....

hmm, I run chains on front of my UTV and generally don't use 4wd unless necessary

I have had good luck with regular automotive studs, not the expensive self tapping studs that Aerostich sells, you need a block knobby with a good 13-15mm of tread depth, stud pockets drilled to 10-11mm depending on the depth studs you get, studs inserted with a pneumatic stud gun

don't stud the outer knobs, you won't be leaning that much on ice, and when yer leaning that much on bare pavement, you don't want studs in your contact patch, more density of stud torar the center knobs, iirc, I put about 140 studs in a 150/70-17 rear metzeler karoo T and 190 studs in a front 110/80-19 Karoo T

front hooked up well and didn't throw any studs, tire lasted me 4 winter seasons (about 20,000 miles) yep, studs help improve tread life.

rear tire didn't fare so well, I have a Vee, 1000 cc a bit much, but biggest problem was deceleration, not acceleration. Went to the Darkside, 205/50-17 General Altimax Arctic, no studs, just a real winter car tire, heavier tire helped with wheel spin on acceleration and hooked up better all around that tire lasted me 4 years year round, or nearly 50,000 miles, and still has legal tread, but no longer enuf tread that I would feel safe in winter conditions

I just don't see chains as practical, you would have to severely limit speeds, with studs normal road speeds are more than easily dooable, you can keep up and pass most traffic in winter conditions

disadvantage to studs is you need to swap tires when you no longer need them, I have invested in a spare wheel for the rear, looking for a reasonably priced front, but not as important, its a much bigger deal to mount and dismount a car tire than it is a studded motorcycle tire
 

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It initially sounded strange for someone in Georgia (Even beautiful north Georgia !) Talking about ice and snow but I know it happens down there.

There do now exists at least one brand of motorcycle winter tires that fit our bikes. I have not tried them but intend to this upcoming winter. Google " Anlas Wintergrip 2" tires. I don't plan on purposely riding on ice and snow but do get caught up here sometimes in it.

..Tom
 

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...and also:
Funny you should post this. I was thinking of a side car when I first read the post. Growing up in western NY all the funeral escorts rode Harley's with side cars in the winter. They did use chains on the rear tire only but I think they were dark side too which makes sense with a side car.
 

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hmm, I run chains on front of my UTV and generally don't use 4wd unless necessary

I have had good luck with regular automotive studs, not the expensive self tapping studs that Aerostich sells, you need a block knobby with a good 13-15mm of tread depth, stud pockets drilled to 10-11mm depending on the depth studs you get, studs inserted with a pneumatic stud gun

don't stud the outer knobs, you won't be leaning that much on ice, and when yer leaning that much on bare pavement, you don't want studs in your contact patch, more density of stud torar the center knobs, iirc, I put about 140 studs in a 150/70-17 rear metzeler karoo T and 190 studs in a front 110/80-19 Karoo T

front hooked up well and didn't throw any studs, tire lasted me 4 winter seasons (about 20,000 miles) yep, studs help improve tread life.

rear tire didn't fare so well, I have a Vee, 1000 cc a bit much, but biggest problem was deceleration, not acceleration. Went to the Darkside, 205/50-17 General Altimax Arctic, no studs, just a real winter car tire, heavier tire helped with wheel spin on acceleration and hooked up better all around that tire lasted me 4 years year round, or nearly 50,000 miles, and still has legal tread, but no longer enuf tread that I would feel safe in winter conditions

I just don't see chains as practical, you would have to severely limit speeds, with studs normal road speeds are more than easily dooable, you can keep up and pass most traffic in winter conditions

disadvantage to studs is you need to swap tires when you no longer need them, I have invested in a spare wheel for the rear, looking for a reasonably priced front, but not as important, its a much bigger deal to mount and dismount a car tire than it is a studded motorcycle tire
Rest assured your chains on the front are only going along for the ride when you are not in 4wd with the exception of braking. Both are fine on a vehicle with 4 tires not so good with two...
 

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Rest assured your chains on the front are only going along for the ride when you are not in 4wd with the exception of braking. Both are fine on a vehicle with 4 tires not so good with two...
sound like you don't have a lot of personal experience actually riding on snow & ice, chains are there for more than the ride, without them you would be pushing straight in corners (ever watched automobile racing on ice) , while I have never ran chains on a motorcycle, I have ran makeshift chains on a pedal bike as a kid growing up, front and rear, if conditions warrant chains for traction on the rear, they are advisable for the front as well, 2 wheels or 4


still, I wouldn't advise chains, studs work better
 

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There do now exists at least one brand of motorcycle winter tires that fit our bikes. I have not tried them but intend to this upcoming winter. Google " Anlas Wintergrip 2" tires. I don't plan on purposely riding on ice and snow but do get caught up here sometimes in it.

..Tom
I see them in scooter and small dirtbike sizes, not 110/89-19 or 150/70-17

Schwalbe is another company that make winter bike tires, but again, not in our sizes
 

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Funny you should post this. I was thinking of a side car when I first read the post. Growing up in western NY all the funeral escorts rode Harley's with side cars in the winter. They did use chains on the rear tire only but I think they were dark side too which makes sense with a side car.
Last winter it was a nice day and I figured I'd head into the mountains. Originally was going to take the 2 wheeled DR and at the last minute I decided to take the DR sidecar rig. Tooling up through the winding road to where the pavement ends I was clipping along about 50 MPH. Got off pavement and thought the road was awful shiny. I stopped and put my foot down and the road was packed snow that had slightly thawed and refrozen into a thick sheet of ice. If I were on 2 wheels I'd have been in the woods waiting for the ambulance, but the 3 wheels w/o studs tractored right along. Interesting thing about a sidecar is gas on it pulls right gas off it pulls left. On ice you can get it to self correct with the use of the throttle. If you're slide to the right, brake and throttle off and it'll straighten right out. If you slide left gas on and it again straightens out.

Riding 2 wheels in snow id marginally. Legs out and slow going.

Riding 2 wheels on ice, not happening for this ole boy, to dangerous

Riding 3 wheels rain, shine, sleet, ice or snow is a real hoot.
 

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I see them in scooter and small dirtbike sizes, not 110/89-19 or 150/70-17

Schwalbe is another company that make winter bike tires, but again, not in our sizes
I know at least one strommer in the Greater Toronto Area that put them on his Strom and The place I but my tire from (Pete's Superbike in Montreal) carries them.

..Tom
 

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I know at least one strommer in the Greater Toronto Area that put them on his Strom and The place I but my tire from (Pete's Superbike in Montreal) carries them.

..Tom
strange the manufacturer doesn't list vstrom sizes on their website, when I go to the darkside in the winter, it's certainly not the shape that makes it excel in winter riding, while the size of contact patch and weight is a significant factor in traction management, without the rubber compound that is soft on cold surfaces, thread and sipes, it still wouldn't make much of a difference

unfortunately, those few of us who ride in such conditions are not yet a significant market to take notice, we have to sometimes think outside the box, so far, I have been more than satisfied with my experiments.
 

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Warm late Dec 2008: I know it looks flat but I found out that it wasn't, really. It was fine while going in on a slight uphill. Then it started to rain and I headed back down the same road, slight down hill. "Legs Out". Found the ditch several times.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I was planning to put the chains on my KLR250 and is a light bike for the snow but the ice is still a problem here from time to time. I have Dunlop D606's on the bike that has worked in the snow but total crap on ice. I would have to stud the tires but chains would be easy to remove later. I then thought of being on a ride and snow coming in later on the DL or if I do a Colorado run in the late fall. I would have to find good snow tires for the DL at least. There is alot of information on here for mud and road tires but not much for the snow tires....
 

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sound like you don't have a lot of personal experience actually riding on snow & ice, chains are there for more than the ride, without them you would be pushing straight in corners (ever watched automobile racing on ice) , while I have never ran chains on a motorcycle, I have ran makeshift chains on a pedal bike as a kid growing up, front and rear, if conditions warrant chains for traction on the rear, they are advisable for the front as well, 2 wheels or 4


still, I wouldn't advise chains, studs work better
I'm with you that I would never put chains on a bike. As for chains on 4, I'm on them almost every weekend in the winter here in AZ. Highway DOT makes them mandatory for me to get up the mountain to ski most weekends. Before I moved west, I grew up in Adirondack mountains NY where winters with 300+ inches of snow was not uncommon. Chains are intended for drive-train wheels only. 4wd you can use two sets and yes they will help you 'pull' the front around a turn when 4wd is engage. Without 4wd engaged they are pretty useless on the front. Precisely why you only buy one set of chains for the drive tires of 2wd cars.

Funny thing is it happens every year where we sit and watch people with 2wd cars in the chain up zone put their chains on the wrong tires. Always worth a laugh!
 

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I have absolutely no experience with chains, for the amount of time you might need them in the South would the zip tie version be worth a try, No permanent modification and possible easier to deal with all around. I have no idea but just remembered seeing them couple years ago, had forgotten about them.
 
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