Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
It isn't unheard of to put automotive tires on motorcycles. It's called "going to the dark side". You can google it for more info. It is more common on larger bikes, since auto tires tend to be larger. I did it on the rear of my VN750 after replacing the expensive motorcycle specific tires about every 12,000 miles. The auto tire cost just a little more than the motorcycle tires, but should last 60,000 miles or more.
There are some negative aspects to such a swap. The relatively square cross section of the auto tire, even with a radial, doesn't provide as much of a contact area as a rounded motorcycle tire, so in theory you can't lean them as far. I have never been brave enough to scape a peg with the auto tire on, but I got close and never lost traction.
In the situation above, I'd be curious as to how many years that tire sat in the back end of an auto before being placed on the Rebel. More than likely, it came from a junk yard since no one that is thinking rationally would get rid of their spare . It may have been very old and deteriorated before ever going on the bike. It looks like the tire failed catastrophically, which could be expected from an old tire.