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Auto tire equivalent size


We have a 2000 HD Road King with a matching HD sidecar. Our rear tire mileage is positively terrible. I have tried most everything except the suggestion of trying an automobile tire. Might anyone know what the equivalent size would be for a D402MT90 16? Thanks for your time.
Jim in Germantown, TN

There are no automotive tires that will fit your rim other then some antique tires that are worse then a bike tire. You have to go to a 2009 or newer FLH in order to be able to run an automotive tire on the stock rim. You could have a custom wheel built in which case you could go with a 135 15 tire however this would have to be an automotive sized rim as in the 15 inch size automotive rims and bike rims are not even close to the same diameter the bike rim being about 1/3 of an inch more.
Jay G
DMC sidecars

Jay G DMC sidecars 15616 Carbonado South Prairie RD Buckley WA 98321 866-638-1793 Hours Monday - Thursday 6-4:30

Jay, many thanks for the definitive answer! You saved me no telling how much time searching our friend Google. Any particular recommendation for a tire that might be better than the Dunlop white wall that I run now? Brenda and I rode the rig from Memphis to Labrador and Newfoundland last summer and had to stop in Maryland for a new tire, and then in Buffalo on the way back for another. Gets old trying to enjoy a trip and constantly looking at the rear tire. Thanks again, by the way.

I’m running an American Elite Dunlap white wall (stock tire) with my rig and have just over 7000 miles and it looks like I should make it to 10K no problem. My side car is from DMC and Jay helped out a lot when I was installing it on my bike. I’m sure he will be able to point you in the right direction. My first thought is to check alignment.
Hope to,see you on the road. I’m in Moscow, Fayette county.

In general if your alignment is correct you should get about 5K out of a rear tire. I suspect yours is not. No specific recommendations as to which tire however some thing I have observed over the years, lower priced tires tend to be harder rubber and as such last a bit longer. Even if they do not last longer at least they were cheaper. If you go this route make sure that the load capacity of the tire is suitable for your bike.
What it really gets down to is that the tire size on your bike was adequate when Harley stated using it many, many decades ago. In the mean time bikes got heavier, speeds faster due to improving roads and the engines got more power full. Harley being Harley, it took a very long time for Harley to get around to upping the tire size to keep up with changes. (they never got around to adding suspension to their sidecars something every other company pretty much had before WW2 started) It took until 2009 for Harley to finally up the tire size for modern bikes, speeds and roads. (And as to the sidecars, they simply stopped building them rather then up date the chassis they came out with in 1928)
If you want good tire life out of a rear tire on a Harley sidecar bike you need to either have a custom automotive wheel built, widen the rear end to allow for a wider wheel or give up and move onto a 2009 or newer bike.
Jay G
DMC sidecars

Jay G DMC sidecars 15616 Carbonado South Prairie RD Buckley WA 98321 866-638-1793 Hours Monday - Thursday 6-4:30

There are other more substantial tires that you can try to see which ones gives you the best mileage. BTW, the metric tire size equivalent for a MT90-16 is 130/90-16. And since you'll probably be wanting a bias-ply tire, you might see that written as 130/90-B16.

Here are some worth a look-

  • Bridgestone H50--costs about as much as your D402. Bridgestone's latest bias-ply cruiser tire. A very high quality tire with a reinforced bias-ply construction. Make sure you get the one designated "reinforced."
  • Bridgestone BT45--Bridgestone's tried and true cruiser tire. For the money, I'd try the H50 first.
  • Continental Conti Tour--cost a little less but with reinforced bias-ply construction.
  • Metzeler ME888--this tire comes in several different configurations in your size. You want the Rear 130/90-B16 Reinforced. The Metzeler Marathon's reputation for longevity is pretty much epic.
  • Michelin Commander II--again, you want the Rear 130/90-B16 Reinforced. Michelin's answer to the ME888.

I'm not a Dunlop fan, so I'm haven't included any Dunlops in the above list.

I think I'm going to order a Metzeler ME888. Comes in wide whitewall. Gotta be better than Dunlap.

Remember I said the ME888 comes in different configurations? There are TWO wide white wall versions. You want to be sure to order the Rear 130/90-16 Reinforced WWW, not the Rear 130/90-16 WWW.

You also may wish to check your setup. Typically too much toe in will increase tire wear. If you make adjustments record your starting point so you can ;return to home'. If it is setup according to the Harley manual it doesn't mean it is the best for YOU. If it pulls to the right increase lean out away from the sidecar. Yes, I know, the Harley manual says to lean it in (I have a manual here). I understand their thinking as the sidecar is rigidly 'sprung'. That does not make it right for everyone though. Lean the bike in the direction you want to go. After changing lean out always recheck toe in as one adjustment can change another. ..... If you are not going with an aftermarket wheel to run a car tire I would recommend the Metzler ME88 as Drone mentioned.

I thought the Taxi tire from England was a direct fit for a 16" tire?
I just cant do it, But I've read of lots of high mileage results
Im in the same boat thinking of going to Coker firestone
or Shinko 240
anyone have experience?