The tire arrived yesterday afternoon in the big brown truck. When I saw it my first thought was: "Damn, that's never going to fit!" It looked two feet wide!
This morning I jacked up the Victory and put a big block of wood beneath the lowest sidecar strut to give me some room, removed the mufflers and extracted the wheel and worn out tire. After breaking the bead and removing the tire from the wheel on my HF tire changer, I quickly realized that due to the extension of the drive belt pulley/sprocket thingy the HF machine would not be of any use in trying to muscle this tire on.
The problem was that the new Dunlop - which is also a run-on-flat tire - has sidewalls so stiff that when I sat on the tire it hardly bulged out at all. And it's made for a 4- or 5-inch rim. The Victory's cast rims are 3" wide.
So it loaded up the rim and tire and drove to the local bike place a mile down the road. They have a fancy hydraulic mounting machine and computer balancer which made short work of the mounting. Ten minutes after I got there, I had a mounted and balanced tire with new valve stem for $20 (gladly paid). And when the beads were squeezed together to fit the smaller rim, the sidewalls all but disappeared, making the tire just a few millimeters wider than the stocker.
Re-installing it took some time by myself because, due to the sidecar, you now have to put the axle in from the lefthand side and it complicated the procedure, requiring three hands while I only had two. But after a half hour I figured out a way to put a block of wood beneath it whilst I started the axle, etc., etc. and it was on.
Unfortunately, the new tire's profile is smaller, effectively lowering the bike almost one inch. That'll probably mean some tweaks to the sidecar alignment, but I'll ride it tomorrow and see how it does.
I'm hoping to get 25K miles or more from this tire, so maybe this job will only be an annual or every-other-year task. We'll see. I measured the tread depth in the center of the tire (9mm) and will be checking it at each oil change to see how it's wearing. Looks like it will be a good match for the hack though, keeping at least 4-5 times as much rubber touching the road at all times as the MC tires I"ve been using.
I think I'm gonna like The Darkside
During the re-install of the wheel in my garage:
Closeup of the tire tread:
All mounted up and ready for test ride: