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Unusual tire wear pattern?


eddd

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I replace the tires on my '96 R1100RT last night. The ones that came off were Metzeler MEZ4. The rear had the usual flat wear pattern down the center.

 

The front, however, had significantly more wear on the left side of the tire.

 

I was unable to locate any possible causes in the repair manual.

 

Any suggestions as to the cause and remedy? Two points: I have 66,000 miles on the bike, and the forks are in need of seal replacement, especially the left one. (The seals are ordered and will be installed next weekend.)

 

Thanks.

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That wear pattern is pretty much standard on these bikes. There are many theories as to why but whatever the cause, TADT (They all do that).

 

Andy

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Thanks for the replies. I had never notice that on any of the other bikes I've had, but most of my previous bikes had the standard "block" style tread pattern on the front tire, and I changed many more rears that fronts of course.

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The best way to fix this problem is to stay in the left lane! thumbsup.gif

 

Now way. The BEST way to fix this is to always corner to the right. That evens out the wear on the left. lmao.gif

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Dick_at_Lake_Tahoe_NV

Yup, the RTs that I have all have that wear pattern, left side of front wears more than the right. On my GoldWing the front tire tends to cup. Cops that ride RTs claim that the wear occurs because they make lots of U-turns to the Left. But that wear happens to the rest of us as well. Some claim it's the crown in the road, some claim it's the torque of the Boxer engine--Whatever! Lot's of theories--not many answers as to why.

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These tires were run on my 96RT. I felt they wore fairly even. The D204 on left has 10,855 miles,

Metzler Z1 in middle has 14,216 miles,

the D205 on right has 16,842 miles.

795677-fronttires_0001.jpg.76ff5ca744aabbf03d8babea2a001d0f.jpg

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Andy, and the rest of the respondants have it pretty much right. My RT with the Metzler 880s do the same thing. Front tire wore exactly the same way, and this time around it had 1500 miles of riding in a strong right crosswind on it. I was sure that would wear out on the right side first, but it didn't. My back tire has the normal flat spot with a fair amount of cupping at the extreme edges. FWIW, just put another set of tires on it and enjoy the hound out of wearing them out too.

 

See ya on the highway!

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The crown of most roads is always to the left (the uphill side)....now if you could right at right angles to this, it wouldn't do that.....but we can't.....and what you see on your tire, are the results.

 

Pat

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The crown of most roads is always to the left (the uphill side)....now if you could right at right angles to this, it wouldn't do that.....but we can't.....and what you see on your tire, are the results.

 

Pat

 

I've heard that argument before but my answer is wouldn't that make every motorcycle ridden in the US to have the same uneven tire wear on the front? Yet I don't hear it as a universal problem, in fact I'm not sure all BMW's experience it but the RT's seem to. When I first got on this board all I hear about was PTTR - Pulls to the right. Don't hear that much any more but some folks were saying that was the cause for the uneven wear.

 

I don't think there is any proven reason. Lots of speculation and mine may be no better than the rest. grin.gif

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These tires were run on my 96RT. I felt they wore fairly even. The D204 on left has 10,855 miles,

Metzler Z1 in middle has 14,216 miles,

the D205 on right has 16,842 miles.

 

Even side to side but all see to show some cupping.

 

Pretty good mileage on the D205 thumbsup.gif

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The crown of most roads is always to the left (the uphill side)....now if you could right at right angles to this, it wouldn't do that.....but we can't.....and what you see on your tire, are the results.

 

Pat

 

Read this, and you will see that it is the fact that we ride on the right side of the road, making left turns longer, that makes the tires wear on the left like that!

 

The increased radius on left turns means more distance is traveled turning left than turning right on the average riding day. That is plane geometry and plainly undeniable. Because of the natural tendency to make left turns faster (admittedly this is subjective and open to debate, but is plausible for reasons given) there will be more stress placed on your tires as they travel that longer left distance. Increased left side tire wear is evident, though, on both the front and rear tires but because the front tire shows less evidence of flat band center wear (which disguises the side wear bands on the rear tire), side wear is more evident to the eye up front and leaves you to wonder, "Why does the left side† of my front tire wear out first?" Now you know.

 

Jim cool.gif

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Here's a pic of a Pirelli Dragon GT 03 with 16,370 miles. It was used on roads in IL, IA, MO, KS, NE, CO, WY, MT, Alberta, ID, NV, CA, AZ, UT, NM, IN, OH, WV,and PA. I think it wore mostly even side to side.

795914-DragonGT_0001.jpg.53fdd5d93d8111b03720e7351ec72b22.jpg

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Looks like I need to look to buy different tires. I love the way the MEZ6s handle but they don't last. I'm on my third set and don't anticipate them lasting more than the others (7K).

 

The MEZ4s that they replaced had over 11K on them.

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Oh yeah.....forgot about that one!! thumbsup.gif

 

I believe also that the material used in the road bed has a lot to do with how fast/slow your tire wears.

 

Pat

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Oh yeah.....forgot about that one!! thumbsup.gif

 

I believe also that the material used in the road bed has a lot to do with how fast/slow your tire wears.

 

Pat

 

Very much so. Here in the Mid-Atlantic the road surfaces are smooth rock/pebbles, but in the desert Southwest the surfaces are crushed rock, kinda like sandpaper.

 

Seems to make a big difference.

 

Jim cool.gif

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I replace the tires on my '96 R1100RT last night. The ones that came off were Metzeler MEZ4. The rear had the usual flat wear pattern down the center.

 

The front, however, had significantly more wear on the left side of the tire.

 

I was unable to locate any possible causes in the repair manual.

 

Any suggestions as to the cause and remedy? Two points: I have 66,000 miles on the bike, and the forks are in need of seal replacement, especially the left one. (The seals are ordered and will be installed next weekend.)

 

Thanks.

 

Here is the answer I received from Metzler

 

The types of roads in the US concentrate the wear of both tire to the left side because of the crown.

 

Go to www.us.metzelermoto.com

then open the full line brochure and look in the center. We have listed all of our specs for your easy viewing.

This area also has the fitment guide for bikes sold in the US and Canada.

 

Thank you for your interest in our company and products.

Best Regards.

 

Customer Service

Metzeler MOTO

 

So, ride on the other side of the road for awhile and maybe, if you survive, you might just ........... smirk.gif

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In reply to Metzler----why doesn't my rear tire wear on the left side also?? 96RT 122K miles, never had rear tire wear on left side! All driving was done in Good Ole USA!!!

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This has kind of been kicked around before, but I still think it is because left turns are longer in right-side driving countries. I.e. - Overall, the tire spends more total time leaned left than leaned right over its life.

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This has kind of been kicked around before, but I still think it is because left turns are longer in right-side driving countries. I.e. - Overall, the tire spends more total time leaned left than leaned right over its life.

 

This tyre has abot 5K miles of British, low crown, chip-seal roads on it. Not much to choose from in wear - I will let you decide.

 

tyre.jpg

 

Andy

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This has kind of been kicked around before, but I still think it is because left turns are longer in right-side driving countries. I.e. - Overall, the tire spends more total time leaned left than leaned right over its life.

 

So why doesn't every motorcycle show the same left front side wear?

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Besides the greater distance covered in left twists vs rights, might crown angle factor come into play?

 

In other words, when one is lefting even in a slight radius in the US, the crown slopes away and to the right; tire contact is already <90, and becomes more acute as more of the sidewall comes into contact with the side slope. [Downhill skiers can visualize this dynamic]

 

In contrast, when righting even slightly on a crowned road, the tire initially rights to true right angle against the crown slope before listing over to <90.

 

Hey, maybe I hit on something . . . besides boxed wine tongue.gif

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Joe Frickin' Friday
Besides the greater distance covered in left twists vs rights, might crown angle factor come into play?

 

In other words, when one is lefting even in a slight radius in the US, the crown slopes away and to the right; tire contact is already <90, and becomes more acute as more of the sidewall comes into contact with the side slope. [Downhill skiers can visualize this dynamic]

 

In contrast, when righting even slightly on a crowned road, the tire initially rights to true right angle against the crown slope before listing over to <90.

 

This website (referenced earlier in this thread) offers a pretty solid analysis that refutes road crown as the cause; the crown angle is just not large enough to account for the location of the tread wear. The author instead attributes left-side tire wear to the increased mileage of left turns. He also asserts that most (though of course not all) riders take left turns a little more aggressively, due to a bit of psychology and also due to better sight lines and longer turn radii.

 

The reverse should be true in places like England and Ireland, where vehicles are driven on the left side of the road.

 

Some speculation as to why not everyone sees a bias in tire wear:

 

  • Some riders are not susceptible to the aforementioned left-turn psychology and will tend to be a bit more even-handed in negotiating left and right turns, so they will be less likely to see a bias in tire wear.
     
  • Some riders are more conservative than others, choosing not to drag a peg on every turn; these folks will also be less likely to see a bias in tire wear, and if there is any, it won't be far from the centerline of the tire.
     
  • Some tires are ridden mostly in a straight line, so they will wear on the centerline well before any bias can develop.
     
  • Some tires are changed/discarded before the tread is taken down to the wear indicators, so the bias will be more difficult to see.

I've been through a lot of tires, and I can only recall one single tire where I noticed a wear bias; it spent most of its short, tortured existence in the Smokies, and it was indeed worn down enough so that the tread on the left side was completely gone, making the bias very apparent. On all the rest, I think I've changed my tires out before the tread was worn far enough to make the bias terribly apparent (and maybe the other factors also apply).

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This has kind of been kicked around before, but I still think it is because left turns are longer in right-side driving countries. I.e. - Overall, the tire spends more total time leaned left than leaned right over its life.

 

So why doesn't every motorcycle show the same left front side wear?

Exactly my point. It's not the crown, it PTTR and the RT compensates by tilting slightly to the left (just like rudder-compensation in a propeller plane).

 

Can't someone prove/disprove this theory with a spirit level on the handlebars of 2 bikes on the same road in calm wind conditions? Maybe I'll try this when I get a chance.

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I recall a post in the last year by a rider in the US who did a nice experiment. Since most of his miles were on a low-traffic interstate highway, he tried riding always in the left lane, where the crown slopes the opposite way. He found that his tires wore most rapidly on the right side.

 

So in his case, the road's crown explained the wear pattern.

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I recall a post in the last year by a rider in the US who did a nice experiment. Since most of his miles were on a low-traffic interstate highway, he tried riding always in the left lane, where the crown slopes the opposite way. He found that his tires wore most rapidly on the right side.

 

So in his case, the road's crown explained the wear pattern.

 

While one persons experience is interesting, it really doesn't prove cause and effect and as you clearly stated, it was only his experience.

 

I still ask this question: If it is the road, why doesn't EVERY motorcycle in the US show this same wear pattern?

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Exactly my point. It's not the crown, it PTTR and the RT compensates by tilting slightly to the left (just like rudder-compensation in a propeller plane).

 

Can't someone prove/disprove this theory with a spirit level on the handlebars of 2 bikes on the same road in calm wind conditions? Maybe I'll try this when I get a chance.

Perhaps PTTR is a small factor, but this left side wear is very common on all brands of bikes. As mentioned in the rattlebars link above, your bike has to be leaned significantly (20 degrees)to make contact on the tire where the wear is noted. If you were leaned that far you certainly wouldn't need a level on the handlebars to notice it.

 

My 2 cents: Left side wear = 80% turning speed, length, and angle differences which are amplified by road crown) + 15% road crown + 5% mystic cosmic forces.

 

Here's my Honda's front tire:

1108422tire002.jpg

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Wow

 

If it weren't for the need to obey that little arrow on the tire that indicates rotation direction, you could remount the tire flipped over and get lots more wear on the other side.

 

Here's my Honda's front tire:

1108422tire002.jpg

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