What is a rider to do when they fancy a really wide rear tire? An honest to goodness fat tire? Use to be back in the day a fellow (or gal) could get as big a rear tire as they could handle. When we say back in the day we mean a little over 10 years ago. The 2004 Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 came with a 200mm wide tire which was, as claimed by the manufacturer, the fattest rear tire on a production motorcycle.
To understate it, things got interesting from there. In 2008 – which was about the peak of the the custom bike market – we rode a Big Dog K9 with a 300mm rear tire. It wasn’t the biggest tire out there but it was getting very close. Big Dog was a boutique manufacturer of custom bikes but mainstream manufacturers were not to be left off the bandwagon and tires continued to get fatter – which was fine as long as your trajectory involved a rather straight line. Few argued that the fat tire was much more than an aesthetic application of form over function – but who cares? It looked darn good.
Looking for a fat tire?
If you wander around the showroom today looking for a little extra meat on your back tire, there are still a few bikes that will do their best to keep you happy – if you keep your definition of a wide rear end as something at least 200mm wide – anything below doesn’t even approach plump. The Victory Hammer comes in with a 250mm rear tire that pretty much reigns as the fattest tire on a production bike. The Hammer has held out in the Victory lineup even though it is now only available as a blacked out 8-Ball model.
There are several models available once you drop it down to 240mm. The Suzuki M109 and the Harley-Davidson Breakout and VRod Muscle serve up rubber of that dimension. The Muscle and M109 are holdovers from back in the day but the Breakout is relatively new so perhaps there is some hope for the fat tire enthusiast. The Yamaha Raider comes in with an odd size of 210mm while the Yamaha VMax, Honda Fury and the Ducati “Don’t call me a cruiser” Diavel tip the scales at 200mm.
Should you find yourself working on a project in the garage and require a truly fat rear tire, Avon can still help you out with the 330mm Venom. That my friend is a wide rear end. Call me old fashioned, berate me for my lack of current style but I think a big meaty rear tire on the back of your cruiser is still a great way to go.
The Hammer always was my favourite bike in the Victory lineup anyhow.