USCA Sidecar Forum


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I have a sportster 883 for which I recently bought a velorex 563. I was wondering what tires would be the longest lasting when pulling that rig. right now my bike has a set of michelin commander II's that have 11,000 miles on them, making them about half-way through their life expectancy. Should I get another set of those for my next tires, or are there other suggestions that you guys have had better luck with?

Rear tire wear is normally about half of rear.

Sounds like you have a good choice already.


I have also read some things about guys using automotive tires on their bikes, does anyone know anything about that?

Car Tires (CT) is often called "Darkside". Do a search for Darkside and you bike model & year and you are likely to find info. Be warned, there are those passionate about going Darkside and those who are convinced CTs on a bike are death waiting to happen.

I have a velorex on an 883 Sportster also.Have you put 11,000 on with the sidecar? From this post I will now be buying Michelin commanders for my bike if you have. I did convert my sidecar tire to a 12" utility trailer tire wheel and hub. all those parts combined were less than the price of a sidecar tire. They get more miles and only cost $45 to replace here.

Doug "Rain Man" Plotner 2nd Thief M/M chapter coordinator Eastern Panhandle WV USCA #8789 01 883C Sportster /Velorex combo 95 Ultra Classic Electra Glide /California Friendship combo Iron Butt Association member

No, the 11,000 was how many miles the tire had before I got the hack.

Cool I was getting about 18,000 out of my Dunlops. Now I get about 6-8k . The side car tire was wearing out in 5k so thats why I did the conversion. Here is the link to that thread if ya want to check it out.

Doug "Rain Man" Plotner 2nd Thief M/M chapter coordinator Eastern Panhandle WV USCA #8789 01 883C Sportster /Velorex combo 95 Ultra Classic Electra Glide /California Friendship combo Iron Butt Association member

If your sidecar tire is only getting about 5K on it then either the inflation is wrong or more then likely your alignment is off. I have seen tires on sidecars dry rot before wearing out if alignment and inflation is proper.
When running a bike that automotive tires will not fit and flat profile motorcycle tires are not made for I often go with the least expensive tire I can find that has the needed load rating. I have found that the lower the price of the tire usually the harder the rubber and as such they tend to last longer. Even if they do not last any longer at least they were cheaper. When I can I do like to run a flat profile tire on the front which you may be able to do on your Sportster depending on which wheel you have. I find while they do not seem to last any longer there is less of a tendency for a head shake and braking distance is reduced. Heidenau ties are my first choice, Avon makes a 3.50 19 and Michelin makes a 4.00 18
I have found also that often Velorex sidecars as the mounting system leaves a lot to be desired dynamically may have a different alignment then statically. What I mean by this is simply that the alignment specifications you have while setting up the sidecar are not the same as when you go down the road as every thing moves as the mounts slip or flex. At this link you can see how we mount Velorex sidecars on the Sportster Also as Velorex does not have a proper way to set wheel lead, we find that wheel lead is often far to great on Velorex sidecars and as such tire wear suffers. How well the sidecar is mounted will effect tire life.
As to car tires on your bike, antique car tires will fit, do not go there, their are many down sides to them, they really are a bad idea, we use to have a tire called a twin tire, if you find some also do not go there, the newest tire is now 17 years old. So in short, there are no car tires that will fit your bike that are any better then a bike tire.
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

I ran Dunlop E3's on my 82 Goldwing Watsonian Monaco sidecar. Got around 10-12000 miles on the rear tire.