Sunday, May 13, 2012

The return from the Darkside

Ed here,

Sorry it has been some time since I have made a post.  There has been a lot of things going on at our household.  Every weekend has been tied up solid. 

I have done a ton of things to the bike, but unfortunately I did not take photos so I cannot write a tutorial.  My new friend and I installed the Darkside tires on the Wing, they were on for about 250-300 miles then removed.  

The Darkside set up just was not for me.  The rear tire gripped so firmly that the front tire seemed to always be searching for a track when riding on any paved surface with a defect.  This caused the handlebars to wobble slightly.  Having a loaded trailer seemed to amplify the wobble.  I was not willing to put up with the wobbling for a ride that will be well over 9000 miles, so I installed a set of new E3 tires on the Wing and it is back to normal. 

When I removed the Taxi tire from the rear, here is what I saw:

The tire was rubbing against the front section of the rear tire.  It also was rubbing the top of the rear fender.  It actually wore a hole in the front section of the rear fender.  There were times when I was riding that I would smell a slight whiff of burning plastic, but I could never isolate it and thought it must have been a passing car or something.  It was me!!

I'm glad this was corrected before leaving for Alaska.  The Darkside was an interesting experiment.  I'm glad I tried it, but it simply was not for me.

The other things that were done to the bike were as follows:
  • New rear rotor installed
  • Greased all splines with Molly paste
  • Inspected the U joint
  • Replaced the U joint boot (it had a hole in it)
  • Re-torqued the swing arm
  • Checked the wheel bearings
  • Replaced the air shock boot
  • New brake pads all around
  • Repaired some wiring
  • Replaced the rear wheel dampeners, they were totally shot 
The only thing left to do on the bike is to change the oil which I will be done the day before departure.

Talk to you soon,


  1. I was wondering how you would like the darkside ride. People on the forum swear by it but I think if Honda wanted people to run car tires on there rides they would have put on a car tire from the factory! I run E3's on my 98 SE and love them.

  2. It really changed the handling of my bike. I had a few folks tell me that the tire would behave like I describe until it was worn in a little. Perhaps with a little more time it may have been OK; however, the first time I took it on a concrete highway I knew I was going back to E3's immediately. The bike was so wobbly that the fun was sucked right out of the ride.

    I was surprised as all get out when I removed the rear tire and found what it did to the rear fender.

    In the end, I am glad I tried it. From here on out, no more darkside for me. I'll stick with the E3's.