Is the fat tire craze over? I think not — but it’s definitely showing signs of slowing down. I’d be the first to admit that fat tires look cool on some bikes, but for the most part those bikes are only displayed in shows where they’re taken off the trailer and put back on after the show.
I remember back before this tire craze started that if you had a 150mm tire on your bike, it was considered fat. Did you know there are manufacturers out there today making tires for motorcycles that measure more than 330mm? Unbelievable! My personal opinion is anything over 200mm is overkill — especially if it’s on a daily driver. With a tire that big, you can pretty much kiss a motorcycle’s handling characteristics goodbye.
In today’s world of motorcycle customization, more and more people are building skinny bobbers using stock frames. Maybe it’s the fact money is tight and people have limited cash reserves under their mattresses to build a bike from scratch. Or it could be the cost of motorcycle tires, which average about $1 per millimeter of width. Purchasing just one replacement fat tire can be pretty expensive — especially since the average tire only lasts about 5,000 miles, give or take a burnout or two.It’s my opinion that a wide tire is built for going straight. A fat tire works great on a drag bike, which needs all of its rubber-to-road contact in order for the bike to hook up and not just sit and spin. But whe
In it comes to practicality and daily use, I just don’t see the advantages of a wide tire. Laziness, I can understand. Maybe you want to get off your bike and not use the kickstand. And I suppose some tires or so wide the bike stands on its own. But like I said, other than that, I can’t see it.
My personal motorcycles are quick and agile. It’s much easier to lane split or shoot down the breakdown lane with a skinny tire, especially when you’re late to work. Unfortunately, I find myself doing both more times than not. Like I said before, the wider the tire, the more you sacrifice handling. Oh, it can be done, but you’re going to spend most of your time just fighting the bike from lane to lane. Someone might argue that point, but I ride my bike 60 miles to and from work each day, and I can assure you it’s much easier to dip in and out of traffic on a bike that is agile and streamlined.
I’m not saying go out there and buy yourself a plastic crotch rocket, but for a commuter bike or something on which you want to have fun tearing up the road, you’ll need to tone down the tire size a little.
I’m a firm believer in “to each his own,” so by all means, do whatever floats your boat. Who knows? Some day I might have a fat tire monster in my lineup, but it will be a show bike or a very local bar hopper. For now I’m sticking to my 150mm, and I’ll be waving at you as I shoot down the sidewalk on my way to work. Later…..