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Old 01-21-2009, 04:39 PM   #1
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Michelin Desert front tire discussion...

I'm wondering if anyone else has had the same findings as me...

I was recommended the Michelin Desert front by Indy Unlimited... and I have to say I'm *very* impressed with this tire.

It hooks up well all around (similar to a 606) but the one exceptional thing that is happening is that the center row of knobs isn't wearing. I have somewhere between 1500 and 2000 miles on the thing (a 606 was so scalloped by 1500 miles that my hands would go numb from the vibration) and the second row of knobs from the middle are scalloping (like a 606's center knobs) but the center row is still square and the tire is still buzz/vibration free

I'm wondering if this is a fluke with my tire or if michelin has put a different tire compound in the middle of the tire... has anyone else found this?

Mark and I were convinced for a while that this tire was going to last forever. The rear Terraflex was a half an inch down before the center knobs on this thing even started to show any wear at all.

be forewarned though: the first hundred miles on pavement are a bit sketchy (it takes that long to wear the bloody nipples off).

Also note: they are a directional tread. Put 'em on backwards and you'll fall down quick. DAMHIK.

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Old 01-21-2009, 04:41 PM   #2
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reading that.. I dunno if it makes sense. I'll go take a picture.
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Old 01-21-2009, 04:45 PM   #3
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I had one of those on the Husky when I first got it and noticed the same wear pattern. Also noticed it on Indy's used ones that he had in his garage. Only thing I've come across while trying to find out why this happens is using the front brake too much on pavement. Don't know if it's actually true, or been proven. Also, it doesn't explain why the knobs around the ones that wear funny are fine. Just thought i'd throw that into the discussion.
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Old 01-21-2009, 04:46 PM   #4
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The first tires I had on the '92 was a Michelin Desert front and a D752 rear.

They were fine offroad, the front wore it's knobs just like you mention in a weird alternating pattern leaving the center row alone (knobby cupping? ) after a bit of pavement - but it was a good tire in the dirt.

I like the D606 better all around.
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Old 01-21-2009, 04:52 PM   #5
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Don't get me wrong.. this tire wear pattern is a GOOD thing IMHO. Sure.. in a "racing environment" this tire would be garbage too.. but for general all around squidding I'm impressed because its still easily ride able after this many miles.

If I had this many miles on any other front knobbie on this bike, the center row of knobs would be so scalloped (knobbie cupping as you call it Blake) that the bars would buzz and vibrate like crazy. The tire would be done.

I very much *like* the fact that the center knobs are holding square. I think I may be able to get a geuine 2 fronts per rear with this tire (unlike a D606 which I'd have to throw away because of the cupping; despite having lots of knob left).

Does anyone know if they are using a dual compound rubber or is it something else happening?


Geek screwed with this post 01-21-2009 at 04:59 PM
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:02 PM   #6
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Geek, I'm no tire expert, but at one point in one of my previous careers I sold proprietary tires (Michelin and Goodyear mostly) under the "Shell" brand to Shell dealers. What I recall from my sales training was that tire wear is not a function of tire compounds as much as it is a function of alignment, inflation, surfaces, vibration/balancing and (as stated above) braking.

My guess is that your wear patterns are not a result of Michelin using a different compound in the center section of the tire, but more a result of the type of riding you've been doing, the surfaces upon which you ride and the combinations of various air pressures and balances.

But what the heck to I know, I sell drugs now. If your tire wear begins to give you back pain, then I can really be of some help.
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:07 PM   #7
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ok.. so I need to write down what my tire pressure is and run this pressure from now 'til the end of time

I'd consider my "overall riding" on this tire to be about the same as a 606 as far as terrain, etc goes.. but who knows...

I do know that every time I look at a front 606, they are ALL scalloped once worn.

Come to think of it though... doesn't a 606 do a "2 -1 - 2" pattern? i.e. no defined middle row like this tire... maybe thats why?
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Old 01-21-2009, 05:10 PM   #8
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Michelin has been making dual compound bicycle tires for years. I don't know why they would not for motors also?
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geek
ok.. so I need to write down what my tire pressure is and run this pressure from now 'til the end of time

I'd consider my "overall riding" on this tire to be about the same as a 606 as far as terrain, etc goes.. but who knows...

I do know that every time I look at a front 606, they are ALL scalloped once worn.

Come to think of it though... doesn't a 606 do a "2 -1 - 2" pattern? i.e. no defined middle row like this tire... maybe thats why?

If you kept the bloody thing on the ground it would wear .
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:35 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olas Altas
I had one of those on the Husky when I first got it and noticed the same wear pattern. Also noticed it on Indy's used ones that he had in his garage. Only thing I've come across while trying to find out why this happens is using the front brake too much on pavement. Don't know if it's actually true, or been proven. Also, it doesn't explain why the knobs around the ones that wear funny are fine. Just thought i'd throw that into the discussion.
I have been running the Michelin desert front for 6 years now and they all wear like that. I believe the center set of knobs are a different compound and they were developed specifically for heavy bikes for Dakar sand so the center row of knobs act like a traditional ribbed sand tire for stability and they need to not wear during an endurance race!
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Old 01-22-2009, 09:43 AM   #11
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I have ~3,000 miles on my front Michelin dessert & rear Terraflex (across city riding, highway, sand, trails, etc...)...glad that someone else is enjoying this combo...

The rear is approaching a period to chage for a newer one, but the front does have similar wear as what you are describing...what pressure are ya'll running on/offroad?

I believe I'm doing 24-26psi on, and 16-18psi off...the rear is at 10psi for onroad, and 5-8psi for offroad...

Cheers,
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:05 AM   #12
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Desert Front:
20 psi on extended pavement runs
16 psi in the rocks
12 psi in mud

I run the Teraflex rear as well! Great combo for the Husky 610.
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Old 01-22-2009, 03:49 PM   #13
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My 606 and 739fa wore the same way, it's not unusual.
The center (single knob) pushes in and scrubs away (or scallops as you call it) the inner portion of the secondary knobs.

They are a singular compound.
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:47 PM   #14
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I'm not completely sold on the terraflex rear ... to me, it was almost like its 3 different tires depending on what stage of wear it was experiencing. Of course part of my problem is I hop on the bike and ride 7 hours to Telluride before I head up the goat trails... I don't think a terraflex was ever designed for such paved miles.

Overall I was pleased with it.. but I'm still going to try some others just to see if I find one that "clicks for me".

908 is next in the try column.
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:44 PM   #15
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I'm convinced that some knobby tires are geometrically designed to start cupping very early. They make alternate rows slightly uneven and it starts bouncing and the wear acclerates.
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