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How Do You " Read " Tire Wear?

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Looking at tires can tell you a lot about the suspension settings, rider's style and throttle control etc.

 

How do you look at tires and interpret wear patterns?

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Search the web for videos or articles from Dave Moss. He gives actual examples with photos or videos and they are very instructive.

 

Typically you'd want relatively smooth and even wear with a sort of orange-peel texture. For spirited or track riding it is normal to see some balling up of rubber at the tire edges. What is NOT normal is cupping, or bands of really ragged rubber where the top layers of rubber are tearing. Excessive wear like that can be caused by improper suspension settings or improper tire pressures.

 

In track riding, it is common to see a lot of weird globs on the rubber of the front tire, right in the middle track of the tire (the part you ride on when straight up and down). This sometimes concerns new track riders but it is totally normal - when exiting the track on heated-up tires, you run over bits of rubber sitting on the track from other bikes and cars; your hot tire picks up those bits and is hot enough to soften them and squash them onto your tire. They don't hurt anything and quickly wear off on your next outing.

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I have seen the Dave Moss videos but was looking for a more organized and detailed fashion of learning.

 

Wonder if any books/dvd's are out on the subject?

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In track riding, it is common to see a lot of weird globs on the rubber of the front tire, right in the middle track of the tire (the part you ride on when straight up and down). This sometimes concerns new track riders but it is totally normal - when exiting the track on heated-up tires, you run over bits of rubber sitting on the track from other bikes and cars; your hot tire picks up those bits and is hot enough to soften them and squash them onto your tire. They don't hurt anything and quickly wear off on your next outing.

 

That's a handy bit of information. I was wondering what was up with my tires on the FZR400 for exactly this reason and now I know.

 

Ok. I know everyone is itching to post photos of their tires so I'll start. Front tire on my FZR400 with the weird globs of rubber.

 

IMG_20130929_151100.jpg

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^^^^ hard braking straight up with a tad/decent amount of trail braking on the right side. I love the challenge of reading tires. Sometimes it's soooooo telling and spot on, other times you're soooooo wrong. lol

 

As a 250 racer, seems I pick up more dingleberries than the normal track day riders as my braking markers and such are different.

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Wow. Quite impressive. I was at Barber so lots of right turns. Also dealing with some visual issues at the time (solved at this last Level 4) so that's why I was so hard on the brakes. I actually warped that set of rotors shortly after the photo was taken. :)

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Well. I'm stumped. It's not much fun to ride on tires with an edge like that though. :)

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Robert, looks like your tire was so hot the debris did not get a chance to move to the edge.It balled up and melted onto the surface.As CSmith observed, the right side has seen more wear, probably from long fast right handers when you are leaned over and hard on the gas.

 

Tyler, looks like you have done a lot of upright street riding and some spirited cornering.Looks like the tire has been through a lot and lost it's oils.Is it very hard now?

 

Hey....if everyone could post pics of tires that would be great, good start Robert.

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Thats the OEM BT-023F front tire from my FJR1300A , had about 10k miles on it when I pulled it off, I thought the bizarre wear profile was a tire pressure problem but every time I checked em it was at 36 psi cold just like the manufacturer recommends. The bike was bought new in January so its not a "aged" tire and the lets call it a "pyramid" wear pattern was much more pronounced when it was on the bike and inflated, and let me tell you it made riding on painted lines and freeway seams while lane splitting to and from work a nerve racking experience. It's definitely not from lots of spirited riding, unless you consider freeway interchanges and 85 mph spirited riding. Also this is the first time I have EVER worn through a front tire faster than a rear, which is still on the bike but most likely wont last more than another week or two

 

My best guess is that its poor design in a dual compound front, The Q3 takeoff I replaced it with has just over 1k miles so far and hasn't yet displayed this wear pattern but I'm keeping a close eye on it.

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I had BT023's on one of the R6's for a while before I knew better. It's a multi compound tire with the softer compound on the sides (the soft compound is probably completely missing on the ones in the photo). When I first had the tires on the bike I noticed the sides of the fronts "sticking" to the pavement on really hot days because of how soft the compound was. That's probably why you are getting the weird wear.

 

Tires with edges like that are a terror. I had flat spotted tires on my Harley and went riding with some friends at a spirited pace on some twisty roads. It felt like it took a lot of effort to get the bike to turn but then once the bike started to lean in it wanted to DROP into the turn because of the extra effort involved. There's nothing more unsettling than wrestling an 800# bike not designed for corners on a twisty road on worn out tires.

 

Even worse than bad wear patterns are tires that are old. The first time I took my MV to the track it had some Michelin Pilot Power's on it that looked nearly brand new. They were a lot older than I realized. On dry pavement it seemed like I had less traction than I did in the wet. The rear end wanted to constantly get out of shape any time I even thought about getting near the throttle.

 

Here's what they looked like after one very cautious session before I came to my senses and bought new tires at the track. They looked normal before going out but have a bit of a dried out look after some terrifying riding.

 

IMG_7707.JPG

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It was a good learning experience. People can give you great advice. Experiencing it for yourself certainly gives you much more understanding. After sliding around on a set of dried out tires I have no issues at all replacing a set that are slightly questionable. Tires are way cheaper than accident damage.

 

I lucked out on the Tarot cards that time for sure. :)

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Looks like it started tearing....were they warmed up properly before you went out?

 

I don't run warmers and usually just take it easy and allow the tires time to warm up before asking much out of them. Even after a few laps the traction was just not there (it was a hot summer day). It actually seemed like it was getting worse but that may have just been my perception. After the tire change the bike completely transformed. Even the suspension seemed to work better.

 

Of course luck was not on my side. All they had in my size was Michelin Supersports and after another session it started pouring rain. As much as I love the rain I did not want to risk the bike on tires not intended for rain use.

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Are there chunks of rubber missing from the side? Looks like you are hard on the gas when leaned/run high corner speeds.But the wear pattern is good.

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Are there chunks of rubber missing from the side? Looks like you are hard on the gas when leaned/run high corner speeds.But the wear pattern is good.

 

 

nah, those are normal tread sipes

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640 miles at Road America

 

I consulted the magic 8 ball and this is what it said. lol

 

On warmers? Because it looks like it. Why do I think that? Because of the cupping on the forward sides of the tread are sheared off. Common with q2's and I see it in my own q3's. I feel a rebound adjustment in your future.

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