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Choosing Radial or Bias Ply Replacement 205/75-15 Tires for Motorcycle Trailer

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Hello, Reading your Qand A on trailer tires Im a little confused. I have a single axel enclosed trailer currently with ST205/75D15 on white wagon wheel 5 on 4 1/2. Reading your article about the DOT I was able to discover the current tires are1913 and need to be replaced. The stamp on the trailer calls for ST205/75D15. But reading your articles using a radial as apposed to a bias tire last longer and are better for longer distances towing the trailer. The trailer is not a work trailer but used to transport my 900 lb Harley Davidson touring motorcycle. When I do trailer it, I do go out of state and distance. When not it use it sits. So is it better to use the ST205/75D15 it calls for or the ST205/75R15 for better durability and performance? Also if I wanted to replace the rims, would aluminum one piece wheel would be better than the steel wagon wheels I currently have? Any information regarding this matter will be helpful. Thank you, James Wolfe

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Expert Reply:

You can absolutely use a radial tire as a replacement for your existing bias ply 205/75-15 load range D tires. The Goodyear Endurance # 724861519 you'd looked at would be a fine choice for a replacement tire. The tire carries a D load rating, which is good for a 2150 lb per tire, or 4300 lb per axle capacity. The tires carry an 87 mph speed rating.

Radial tires will offer a smoother ride and do a better job of shedding heat that a comparable bias ply tire, which will contribute to longer tire life as excessive heat is the number one cause of premature tire failure. You'll also want to choose tires whose load range/capacity exceed the loaded weight of the trailer, observe the tire's speed rating and protect the tires from UV rays while the trailer is being stored to prevent dry rotting. The Adco tire storage covers, part # 290-3953 would offer excellent protection for your tires.

Other than cosmetics and corrosion resistance, there really isn't much in the way of a performance advantage in using an aluminum versus a steel wheel. The tire you'd looked at is compatible with 15 inch rims that are 5, 5-1/2, 6 or 6-1/2 inches in width.

If you wanted an aluminum rim, we certainly offer them, but we don't offer the Goodyear Endurance you'd looked at mounted to an aluminum rim, so if you wanted to go that route, you'll need to purchase the tires and rims separately and have them mounted locally. For an aluminum rim, assuming your current wheels have the most common 5 on 4-1/2 inch bolt pattern, I'd recommend the 5 inch wide Lion's Head Bobcat, part # LHSO301B as an affordable but nice looking option. The wheel is compatible with 1/2 inch wheel studs.

I'll link you to our series of trailer tire/wheel help articles, which you might find helpful.



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Mike L

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