Originally Posted by bairdco
...i was looking into DOT tires, and checking out sites like Coker Tire and a few others, because they made antique motorcycles with the same sizes as bicycles. despite the outrageous prices ($200+ per tire) most of them don't show any load ratings or speed ratings.
The vintage-repro motorcycle tires that Coker sells will not fit on modern bicycle rims at all.
The load ratings are copied here:
The Vintagent: 'BEADED EDGE' TIRES AND SAFETY
Note that traditionally, cotton-cord-edged tires are termed "beaded" and steel-wire-edged tires are termed "straight-sided" or "wired".
Cars were using steel-wired tires as early as 1915, but I am not certain when motorcycles switched over.
Cotton-beaded tires were not really that much of a problem for the motorcycles they were on, since roads were so poor that you really couldn't go fast anyway. Before the mid-1930's the few main streets in a town would be mortared brick, the secondary streets and major highways would be gravel and all the country roads would be dirt. The Depression began in 1929, and many of the public works projects initiated were building improved asphalt roads.
The board-track racing motorcycles did use cotton-bead tires, but they also used bead-locking attachments to help prevent tires stretching off the rims.
i have heard a few horror stories about antique motorcycles losing a tire, but that was mostly due to the problems with fitment. back in the old days of motorcycles, there wasn't the technology to make a tire fit a rim like there is today. ...
Yea, but,,,,,,,, Coker and other vintage-repro tire manufacturers still make them with cotton rope beads, since the beads need to be able to stretch for you to get them on the real-actual-vintage rims that they fit on. You could not fit the same tires onto the rims if the tires were made with steel-wire beads. You cannot use those tires without facing that risk.