my experiment with the darkside

My experiment with the darkside began 5 years ago in 2011, a year earlier, I began to setup my V-strom 1000 for serious winter riding , I purchased a set of Metzeler Karoo Ts for studding, first, I drilled stud pockets, then inserted standard automotive studs with a pneumatic stud gun

the results were encouraging, at first, a bit sketchy until the studs seated into to drilled pockets, but after a few miles, the tires became predictable, hooking up in front surprisingly well on frozen northern New England back roads, with 1000 cc, the rear did not hook up so well, deceleration being a bigger problem than acceleration

the next winter, I decided to entertain the ideal of a winter car tire, I wasn't even sure it would fit between the swingarm. my research told me to first try to find a car tire similar in circumference before looking at width.

closest tire I could find was a 205/50-17 intended for a 5½"-7½" wheel to be spooned on to the V-strom's 4" rear wheel, the General altimax Arctic I purchased for $110 @ a local mom & pop tire store fit between the swingarm and cleared the chain by nearly 1/8"

my intent was to use the tre for winter only, but my dealer that mounted the tire for me informed me that they would not be swapping the tire out next spring.... start looking for a spare wheel if that is my intent

The results, an experiment successful beyond my wildest imagination, first, a short ride during a blizzard, just to see if I could. Snow was falling at a rate of 6" per hour, I was able to get around just as well as I could with my Jeep Cherokee, a few weeks later, riding home in the evening after an all day business seminar, after 15 minutes in the rain on I-293 in Manchester, NH, it dawned on me something was wrong I was going only 35-40 mph and was passing everybody, then as my direction changed to I-93 north, I discovered why, the sleet and freezing rain was attaching to my face shield, I stopped to make so windscreen & face shield adjustments, I couldn't even stand it was so slippery, I continued home, freezing rain gave way to snow, after 75 miles I finally made it to my driveway with 7"-8" accumulation in 15-20 minutes more time than normal

a week later, another evening meeting in Keene, NH, and a 100 mile ride home in the dark in sleet and freezing rain confirmed the success of my decision to go to the darkside