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Old 11-13-2010, 07:41 AM   #1
ravenranger OP
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Joined: May 2007
Location: az
Oddometer: 1,555
Avon Storm Ultra II Delamination Crash

Hey eveyone -

Wanted to share info on my recent crash because I know lots of folks really like the Avon Storm tires. Of note, I've never had any issues with the original Avon Storms and absolutely loved them but the Ultra II's I'm not too fond of.

The first Ultra II I had did a strange edge slice in the deep part of one of the treads at ~3000 miles and suddenly deflated. I was very fortunate to not crash and managed to keep the bike upright and pull off the road. I assumed it must have been a road hazard but couldn't find anything that I might have hit.

With the second Ultra II I had, I got over ~12,000 miles out of it but it also had a strange edge chunk out of it. Once again, I assumed it must have been a road hazard even though I'd not remembered hitting anything.

The third Ultra II was 11 days on the bike with ~1800 miles on it when it did a catastrophic delamination at highway speed. Totaled the bike and only by the grace of good protective gear am I still here. Fortunately, the weather was cool enough that I was wearing both my riding jacket AND riding pants, otherwise I'd be hamburger.

So all three Ultra's I've used have had issues....

A number of other folks have expressed concern over strange wear on the Ultra II's as well as strange deformities - bubbles, weak spots, separation, etc. To my knowledge, my experience is the only full-out delamination but, given the recall on Avon Azaros for delamination it might be worth thinking twice on the Storm Ultra II's.

Here are some photos of the tire in question.
Air pressure was spot on as of that morning (500 miles before the crash)
No known road hazard
No weird handling
No warning
~1800 miles on the tire
mounted 11 days prior to the crash
Going the speed limit NB on NM Hwy 285 between Roswell and Vaughn (mm 163.7)
I rode it out ~150 yards then high-sided and tumbled another ~30 yards

I handed my cell-phone to a good samaritan who snapped photos on the scene and then I snapped photos at the wrecking yard.

1989 NX250
2006 ST1300A
2006 Aprilia Caponord

ravenranger screwed with this post 11-13-2010 at 09:31 AM
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:51 AM   #2
Matt the Wanderer
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Bluhduh What am I doing wrong here?

I read half the first line of text and then gave up because the pics were so big that I had to scroll back and forth for every line. If the pics were the same size as the text I would read it, but as it is it would take all day. Maybe there is some way to adjust this... would like to know!

Hope you were not hurt too badly in the crash and that everything worked out well for you.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:30 AM   #3
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Glad you came out ok. Do you have a review and pics of your gear? I assume you were at interstate speed when this occurred? That really sucks about your bike.

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Old 11-13-2010, 08:55 AM   #4
Isn't this that guy?
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Very glad you came out okay. Don't know much about lawsuits but to me it looks like you may have grounds for one.
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:56 AM   #5
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Shoei Multitech Helmet:

First Gear Jacket

right side seams completely blown out

right elbow took a huge blow - don't know if the padding slipped or not but I'm very lucky it's not broken

MotoBoss Overpants

Carolina Work boots and generic elk-skin ropers for gloves. Boots are scraped and gloves slightly abraded but look good.

My lower back was extremely bruised and slight scraping where my gear shifted during the slide.

My neck is stiff and sore.

My right elbow took a hella smack and actually looks worse now, a week later, than at the time of the crash.

My right shoulder is sore but nothing broken.

Jacket had back, shoulder, and elbow/forearm pads. The air vents are definitely a weak spot as they tore out. The seams on the right side were also blown out but I'm assuming that my forceful landing was on the right side after being ejected from the bike when it high-sided.

Both feet and ankles are bruised but nothing broken.

Both knees and hips are bruised but not broken (pants did NOT have pads).

A couple of cracked ribs on the right side that didn't hurt as bad as the elbow and back but have gotten more painful during the week (yes, I got checked out and they're okay).

No known internal injuries.

I did get an abrasion on my chin where gravel worked it's way inside the helmet whilst sliding on the chin bar. I also got a scratch on my forehead that I assume is from debris getting inside the helmet. My jaw is incredibly sore from the chin strap pressure but nothing broken.

As far as I know I did not loose consciousness but don't remember taking my helmet off. I had a slight headache and slight nausea for about five days but think it may have been more altitude related than crash related (because I spent the week after the crash in Flagstaff). Did not have a CT in the ER in Roswell but did get a neuro check yesterday and am no more brain damaged than normal.....

I do remember making the choice to ride it out. I also remember thinking, "Well, this is it - at least it's a beautiful place." I also remember consciously choosing to land in the median instead of the embankment or ditch b/c I figured my dead body would be found sooner. I don't remember flipping but I was aware of tumbling and thinking I should ball up as much as possible. I also was aware of changing from tumbling to sliding. Near the end of the sliding I was aware of my left glove sliding off and thinking my hand wouldn't be too badly scraped because I wasn't going nearly so fast as I had been.

I was incredibly surprised when I opened my eyes and saw blue sky. I was also amazed that as I started going through the body inventory (toes - check; ankles - check; knees - yep, still there.....) that I wasn't paralyzed because I thought sure before I went down that I'd be dead if I was lucky and really f'd-up if I wasn't.....

Guess I was BEYOND lucky......or else I'm really f'd-up and just don't know it, yet.....

1989 NX250
2006 ST1300A
2006 Aprilia Caponord

ravenranger screwed with this post 11-13-2010 at 09:29 AM
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:40 AM   #6
Bonzai Becky
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I'm glad you came through remarkably well Raven!

You said your bike was totalled, but it doesn't -look- completely trashed. Are you thinking of buying it back on a salvage title and trying to revive it?
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:46 AM   #7
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Don't know yet - a lot depends on the insurance company and I haven't gotten a final word from them yet. They only went out to look at it yesterday!

You're right, though, it doesn't look as bad as it might but when you start adding things up......just the rear panniers are about $2K each. Every bit of plastic either has some broken tabs or scrapes (about another $2K). The tank is dented ($600). The handle bars are toast (so who knows how the forks faired). The major electronics (ECU, etc) were in the tail piece and got shredded by the tire (looking at another $1-2K there). Rear rim is toast and don't know if the transmission was affected by the final lock-up or not. So, it definitely starts adding up.

However, if you're interested in a wicked street-fighter, let me know and I'll give you first dibs on salvage.....
1989 NX250
2006 ST1300A
2006 Aprilia Caponord
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:51 AM   #8
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Based upon:

"the ER in Roswell but did get a neuro check yesterday and am no more brain damaged than normal....."

I'd say that you have survived well

It is great hearing from you.
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Old 11-13-2010, 12:57 PM   #9
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Holy cow! That sounds like a hell of a ride you took there. Glad to hear you came out as well as you did.

Have you contacted Avon about this?
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:21 PM   #10
Behind Bars....
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Wow. I'd think tire delamination is extremely rare these days, but that's sure looks like what happened. And on your 3rd Ultra Storm II, no less.

This is a bit close to home in that I have a relatively fresh set of Storm II's on my ST1100. They replaced my no-longer-available AV45/46s which I really liked -- but I haven't been nearly as enamored with the Storm II's as they slowed my steering noticeably and the bike didn't feel as planted at higher lean angles. Guess I'm used to in now....but I'm gonna take a good look at 'em.

The thought of that carcass slapping your subframe/fender/undercarriage at highway speed (against the grain, no less) is sobering, too. Musta made a helluva racket and vibration in addition to the rest of the mayhem it caused.

Glad you're still with us and thanks for the post.
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Old 11-13-2010, 01:38 PM   #11
frank walsh
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ultra II tale

I sold my ST1300 this past spring to a guy from California. He flew to Connecticut and rode it home. I had just put new Ultra II Avons on the bike and when he picked it up they had lass than 50 miles on them. I told him to take it easy for a few hundred miles to make sure all the tire mold was off. When he got home he told me the rear tire failed on him at the 3,000 mile mark on his trip. He said the sidewall was cut and he could see the cord. He had to go to a Harley shop to get an emergency replacement. At the time I thought maybe he ran it under inflated but now I'm not so sure. I did hear that the Ultra II is not approved for the 1300, they say it's too heavy. Can anyone confirm this.
My son in law has the Ultra's on his VFR and he says they are not as confidence inspiring as the old Storms. I think I'm going to suggest he change them out.
Newington, CT
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:00 PM   #12
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Spread the Word !!! report to

Ravenranger: Your words sum it up: "To my knowledge, my experience is the only...".
Please report this to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration @ Information is power, and I'm sure that you would be doing all of the biking community a big favor by doing your part to help assemble a database against Avon for selling a defective product. So many manufacturers today try to skimp-by and save-a-buck by not doing real-world testing of their products because it costs money. Instead, they are relying on "computer modeling" and "simulations", then going straight to production. Looks great on paper, but... In fact Toyota said earlier this year that they are going to go back more to physical testing, though this extends cycle times and developement costs (after their fiasco in the press).
How many other folks wont survive to tell their tale when their tires blow? Please make your experience count by tallying it up in their database, so that eventually justice can be done. Otherwise, we are all by ourselves and just relying on hearsay and coffeepot chat to stay informed (and, of course, sites like this). Thank goodness that you survived ! Thanks so much for sharing your story.
I used to be an engineering test technician for a major manufacturer (not tires) -cost is King; -dont let them slide !

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Old 11-13-2010, 04:14 PM   #13
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Avon NOT calling again perhaps

Wow, Raven that is incredibly scary to hear and to see the pics of what that tire did. Could have been anyone, could have been so much worse. I'm not so sure anyone could have ridden it out like you did. Your staying with it probably saved your skin.

Amazing that you were able to direct the bike somewhat toward the median and probably scrub off some speed also before the highside.

I currently have Avon Distanza's on my bike and the wear pattern and mileage is so unimpressive that I will not get Avon's again. It is also scary to read of your earlier experiences with them and others experiences as well. I would hate to be faced with the same scenario.

Nice recovery I say.
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:25 PM   #14
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I'm glad you are alive to tell the tale. Sounds like caution is in order, but I have a couple questions.

Who mounted your tires?
Was the direction of rotation correct?

I have never seen a MC tire delam unless the rotation is wrong, but I have seen a few of those.
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Old 11-13-2010, 04:44 PM   #15
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A few years ago I had an Avon that had the carcass start coming apart! It was on the ZX11 that I still have and I knew there was something MAJOR going on with the tire. I called Avon and told some clown what was going on and he told me..."these are race tires and you may not be used to the way the feel." I told him that I had had "race" tires before and they don't "feel" any different than any other tire. He told me that I really don't know very much about tires; I told him to put one of his "higher ups" on the phone. He said they were all kind of too busy to waste time talking to a relative novice! I asked him his name, he asked why? I told him that he's be the first name on the lawsuit!
I had a "higher up" on the line in about 1 minute. I described in detail what the bike was doing wrong and what I thought the problem was with the tire, he told me that I was 100% on the money and to NOT RIDE THE BIKE EVEN 1 MORE MILE. He asked me to take the tires off and send them back to Avon and they would be sending me a new set of tires. I got the new set........................and sold them to someone else. They didn't have any problems with them.
Since then, I've had a set of bias ply Avon's on my MV with no problems. Now it's got Pirelli's! And I had a couple of sets of Avon Pro-Extreem Rains on my ATK SM that I was racing back in the day. No problems, worked greater than great, and I won LOTS of races with 'em.

Avon's on anything now?

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