Avon Storm Ultra II Delamination Crash

Discussion in 'Face Plant' started by ravenranger, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. ravenranger

    ravenranger rave

    Joined:
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    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.

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    #1
  2. Matt the Wanderer

    Matt the Wanderer Supremely Not Lost

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    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.
    #2
  3. Dastard

    Dastard Just another guy

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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.

    D
    #3
  4. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Isn't this that guy?

    Joined:
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    :eek1 Very glad you came out okay. Don't know much about lawsuits but to me it looks like you may have grounds for one.
    #4
  5. ravenranger

    ravenranger rave

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    Shoei Multitech Helmet:

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    First Gear Jacket

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    right side seams completely blown out
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    right elbow took a huge blow - don't know if the padding slipped or not but I'm very lucky it's not broken
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    MotoBoss Overpants

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    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.....

    .
    #5
  6. Becktastic

    Becktastic 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?
    #6
  7. ravenranger

    ravenranger rave

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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.....:lol3
    #7
  8. jsonder

    jsonder Tired Old Fart

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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 :wink:

    It is great hearing from you.
    #8
  9. duck

    duck Banned

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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?
    #9
  10. Guano11

    Guano11 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.:scratch

    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.:thumb
    #10
  11. frank walsh

    frank walsh Been here awhile

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    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.
    #11
  12. 2pofomo

    2pofomo I see dumb deer

    Joined:
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    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 @ www.nhtsa.gov. 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 !

    Spread the word !

    -2po
    #12
  13. yzfcathy

    yzfcathy Weeble

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    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. :clap
    #13
  14. RollingJ

    RollingJ The mud in your eye

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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.
    #14
  15. O.C.F.RIDER

    O.C.F.RIDER Loose nut behind h/bars

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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?
    Nope.

    Chris
    #15
  16. duck

    duck Banned

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    I just remembered that a riding buddy of mine I was riding in CA with a few weeks ago had an Avon on the rear. I think it was a Storm II. He said that the rear end didn't feel nearly as planted as riding on a Pilot Road II so he's now ditched it and gone back to a PR II. (I emailed him a link to this thread.)
    #16
  17. Cale_Kat

    Cale_Kat Been here awhile

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    You are very lucky to be alive. I found reading about your experience riding out the failure inspirational. Great job! And really glad you weren't hurt worse.

    I know your experience with three of the same tires sounds damning for the Avon Storm 2 Ultra as a whole but it is important to keep in mind that your experience with the first 2 tires offers no predictive value for the failure you experienced on the 3rd tire.

    I say this because your tire failure, horrendous as it was, does not provide evidence that the Storm 2 Ultras, as a whole are dangerous, only that the tire you were riding was dangerous.
    #17
  18. owrstrich

    owrstrich F O T G

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    im thinking the duck is talking about me...

    i scored a set of avon storm tires a few years ago when they 1st hit the market... i had to take them off at 3,000 miles cause i couldnt hold onto the handlebars they wobbled so bad... the wobble 1st occurred about 1k... avon even sent a warranty set to a bmw dealer for me for a warranty replacement deal due to a "radial issue" in my size...

    the bmw dealer put them on and the same thing happened within 100 miles... makes you wonder if its the motobrick instead of the tires... i went to a motobrick suspension specialists... he asked me to push the moto... i obliged... he said its your tires...

    he explained how the rear tire had squished down and lots its character... he went into greater detail but thats for another day... he told me to score a set of new tires and come back... i obliged... wobble gone... i vowed never another avon...

    2010 has been the year of motobrick tire experimentation and avon had a new tire... the avon storm ultra 2 in 120/70/17 front n 160/60/18 rear... i wanted to try it because it was getting really good reviews...

    at 2k i got a wobble... thought it was my steering head bearings... i could feel a slight wobble at slow speeds and at highway speeds... i would let go of the handle bars between 25 n 35 mph and it was a violent wobble... every time i would lean i felt like i was gonna slide out... by 2.5k the dry grip was greatly diminished... the wet grip was gone...

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    unrideable in less than 2 months at 3107 miles... so i scored a set of michelin pilot road 2s...

    guess what... no wobble and im firmly planted... im thinking it had to be the low mileage avon storm ultra 2s that was causing the wobble and the treacherous input...

    it took nothing but a tire change to get me back in the game... i blasted the mountains today... feels good to have smooth n steady gripp again...

    yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeheeeeeeeee...

    ravenranger... you are highly skilled and extremely lucky... wishing you the best...

    j o
    #18
  19. midengineracer

    midengineracer Lost, with a GPS

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    Even a scratch in the frame gets a replacement there as well. Damage to the swing arm? It is most likely totalled.
    Do you know if the tire is in the correct weight rating?
    I know Michelin sells a 'b' model of the PR2 for our heavier bikes (it's whats on the K1200GT right now and I like it). The funny thing there is that they both have the same load rating listed on the books, but the 'b' model supposedly (according to internet forums like this) gives better mileage on the bigger bikes.

    I am really glad you faired so well! I am also glad there were other people to stop and help! Perhaps you can use those pictures in your classes?
    Your accident is exactly why I always where a full face helmet, no matter the temperature, and you also have inspired me to get some riding pants!

    Impact is hard on our gear and usually blows the stitching. Motoport claims the best stitching in the biz but I haven't gotten around to their stuff yet.

    When Becky buys your street-fighter bike, I have a nice BMW...
    #19
  20. DesertDuster

    DesertDuster Old Pueblo Rider

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    Raven,

    Glad to hear that you are fine for the most part. That was quite a fall you took. The event could have been much worse but your protective gear and your motorcycle skills helped you come out on top. Hope to see you at RG sometime again.

    Ron
    #20