Maybe I’m to the odd one, but I only heard about this some time ago – Motorcyclists replace the rear tire for a similar sized normal car tire. Mostly done on touring bikes as will be obviuse in a moment.
The habit (it even has a name – “the dark side” don’t ask me why…) probably originated from simple economics as car tires last about twice and cost about half.
I really have no intention to state my mind and say if it’s a good or bad idea, just to lay it out as it is.
Some facts about tires for the two wheeled creatures – they suppose to generate more (much needed) friction, especially in turns with the bike leaning over, for this reason they are more expensive then car tires and wears-out faster, as it is comprised of more rubber compounds for the different angles. A car tire is pretty flat as it touches the ground but a bike one is in a U shape so the same contact is maintained no matter the angle.
Now, some say (and you may agree after seeing some motorcycle tires) that even with some of it in mid-air, a car tire has a bigger contact patch then a motorcycle tire.
On the other hand some say that making the bike turn, or lean, is harder with a car tire and the handling and stability is degraded (for a turn turning).
For me, as one that stopped getting around on motorcycles some years ago, the out of place tire is a bit scary, and the fact that all the “professionals” say it’s a mistake just adds on. But I guess part of the freedom of driving a motorcycle is being able to do and check things for yourself, not to mention that we all met “experts” that knew nothing and gave us wrong advice in the past…
It just goes to show you that people, even westerners, that are being told what and how to do something will always rethink it and eventually do what ever they want and think best, well, at least if no law exist that says otherwise…
You’re welcome to check out this out of the box motorcycle culture in the many articles and materials about it in the net.