Touring tire longevity

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by scapegoat, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. scapegoat

    scapegoat Pushin forward back

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    So how worn is worn? I cant understand how some of you get 10K or more from a rear tire. Do you run it until the threads are close to showing,is there still a small amount of tread in the middle? I put just over 3500 miles on new Metz Me88's on a 01 E Glide and the rear is squared off from freeway runnin and bald on the contact patch. The tire was rebranded by Metz over the O/E sidewall spec with the max pressure or 50psi IIRC so thats what I run. I thought is was bad doin a Pirelli N/D every oil change on the Dyna but 3500 miles can be for real. Shinko's, Michelins? any advice? The Dunlops were better but not by much.
    #1
  2. larryboy

    larryboy Chopper Rider

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  3. scapegoat

    scapegoat Pushin forward back

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    Hum..I have now, thank You for that one. The front is about 70%, I don't care to mix brands so looks like this will likely be the next tire.
    #3
  4. Scrivens

    Scrivens Been here awhile

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    Road surface and heat make a big difference. I rarely get more than 5000km out of a rear as the surface here is nearly all chip rather than smooth tarmac, and for four months of the year the road surface is baking. On the east coast on smoother, cooler roads I used to get about 12,000km from the same tyres. The pressure on the sidewall is the maximum loaded pressure; you should be running somewhat less than that if you aren't near the listed load rating. Running too high a pressure will also wear tyres out fast, as well as losing grip. Go by the bike's manual and check them if you get a tyre put on. I had a Dunlop K70 set put on one of my bikes recently and the fitter pumped them both to 42psi. Not a good idea for tubed tyres that should be 28F/30R.

    (Oh, and on the Sportster, the last Dunlop 401s had 14,000km on them when I changed them out about 6 months back as they were losing grip, despite still having quite a bit of tread. They didn't wear out much but they didn't hold the road very well either. The Avon Venom-X set have done 8,000km and the front is almost gone and the rear has perhaps 1000km left. Longest lasting "grippy" tyres I've had for ages. Note kilometres, not miles, btw.)
    #4
  5. jdiaz

    jdiaz .

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    There was a period in the early 2000s when Dunlop made a 401 in BMW sizes and called it the 401 S/T. Still the best tire we've ever used on a K75 or K100......my wife and I have about 350,000 miles on K75's alone. I think Sue got 23k miles out of a set one year, and they weren't completely bald at the end....just handled weird. Stunningly good in the rain, laughed at chip seal and a full load of saddlebags, and handled just great.

    Dunlop discontinued them fairly quickly, because they would sell one set and not see the customer again for five years or so. :lol3
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  6. rockmurf

    rockmurf IBA #31100

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    Heat and heat cycles and how and where you ride, weight of the bike/load etc all have a bearing on how much mileage you get out of a tire. Always check the sidewall of the tire for tire pressure. If your pressure is too low your tire will run too hot. If you do lots of short rides your tire will have too many heat cycles(when the tire warms up and cools off, warms up/cools off) and what happens is your tire become hard which will effect the wear, ride and handling. If you are a load and or always carry a load your tires will wear out faster. I got 20k miles on a set of goldwing tires and always get more than 10k miles on my fjr and I go 240lbs. I am fanatical about air pressure in the tire. good luck.
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  7. scapegoat

    scapegoat Pushin forward back

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    90% of the mileage is in 65+-5 degree weather, solo unloaded headed to and fro work which is 20 miles each way. Id far rather ride the cage it and there once was a cost savings factor but now....geez...time to saddle up the Donk I recon.
    #7
  8. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    Do you really, I mean, REALLY like the throttle? Do you use a lot of rear brake? Do you ride a lot of rough roads? There are a million reasons you aren't getting much mileage out of your rear tire. I routinely get 8-9K miles from PR2s on the rear of my VFR, and I don't exactly pussy foot the thing around either -- but I hardly use any rear brake, except for crawling around in parking lots.
    #8
  9. Sport

    Sport Been here awhile

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    The max pressure listed on the sidewall is NOT what the recommended running psi should be. 'That' can be adjusted to your riding style and weight on the bike (like in touring or two up) so if you're running that rear at 50 psi (that's) why the middle wore thru. Anywhere between 30 and 42 should be your pressure...depending. Remember you typically gain 2-4 psi as the tire heats up. Starting at 50 means that after a short time, you're actually running 52-54 psi and that's just too much. The tire squeezes up, making the center strip quite prominent in tread wear.
    #9
  10. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    Not to mention it's dangerous due to reduced traction from a smaller contact patch.
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  11. Jimmy the Heater

    Jimmy the Heater Dirt Farmer

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    I get about 10k out of the pilot road 1 on the rear of an SV1000N. That's down to the wear bar not even close to showing cords. I hear Pilot Road 2's do even better with the dual compound.

    I don't go crazy with the throttle but I'm not a grandma either.

    However I did only get 3500 miles out of a MT75 rear on a Ninja 250, so it's all relative.
    #11
  12. joexr

    joexr Banned

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    The Pilot Road 2 is the same compound in the center. The sides are softer.
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  13. PhilB

    PhilB Long timer

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    The sidewall pressure is the maximum rating, not at all the recommended pressure. So that's part of your problem. Your owners manual will have the recommended ratings for your bike, which usually are somewhere more like the low- to mid-30's. As others have said, it depends a LOT on what you ride, and how you ride, and the conditions where you ride, and so on. Heavy bikes or heavy loads on bikes will wear faster. More powerful bikes will wear faster.

    I run Metzelers, with a sport-touring on the rear and a sport tire on the front. My Monster is light, not extremely powerful, and I am not a hard rider. I typically get about 10K to 12K out of a rear, and 15K to 20K out of a front, and I do run them pretty much to the end. Not down to the cords, but yes down to the wear markers.

    PhilB
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  14. Cakeeater

    Cakeeater Long timer

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    I got more than 20,000 out of a late model Harley touring tire. The tires are substantially wider than yours. And as others have said, a key to long rear tire life is back brake use. I rarely use my back brake, except on dirt or doing really tight turns...or when I'm trying to hustle the big beast at a good clip in twisties. but in stop and go driving, almost never.

    I'm no engineer and I have nothing to base this on other than my own experience, but it seems rear braking on any two-wheeler (bicycles, motorbikes) really wears out the rubber more than similar braking does on a front tire. I know a front tire has much more braking power...so perhaps it's the back tire that is operating closer to it's maximum "grab"...and thus wearing faster??

    I brake hard on my front, and I seem to hardly notice any wear. My front stock Dunlop is going to go easily 25,000, maybe 30,000.

    Cakeeater

    Cakeeater
    #14
  15. mike

    mike Long timer

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    5K out of a Shinko 009 rear. It's got cord showing by then. No burnouts, but am kind of heavy handed with the throttle.


    009 - [​IMG]

    Worst was 2800 out of a Dunlop 220. no burnouts on it either.
    #15
  16. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    Bridgestone Excedras have given me more miles than any other tire, they may not be available any more. One came stock on the rear of my '02 Vulcan 750, and I got 20,000 miles out of it. I did run it a couple thousand miles beyond where it probably should have been replaced. I always run tires at "max" pressure. Not a safety issue on a touring bike or cruiser. But I have never seen max pressure anywhere near 50 psi. I believe the Bridgestone was 41 psi. Might have been 36 psi. I only got 10,000 miles out of the same tire on a 1500 Goldwing. Bike, rider, passenger, and cargo weight make a huge difference. That's why a lot of Goldwing riders are using car tires on the rear. They are rarely ever ridden in an aggressive manner, and to my knowledge there has never been an accident caused by doing so.

    As far as the pressure, what is marked on the sidewall is the "max" SAFE pressure, so it is safe to use it. Tire manufacturers are probably the most sued vehicle component manufacturers ever, they will noot recommend something unsafe. In fact, they give you a pretty wide margin of error. I would much rather rise on an over inflated tire than an underinflated tire. An over inflated tire will wear out the center faster, but an under inflated tire will allow the sidewalls to flex, build up heat, and develop cracks. The tire can literally come apart on you while riding. That is what happened with the Firestone tire/Ford explorer fiasco. Ford got complaints from customers about the harsh ride (it's a truck, what did they expect) so they recommended tire pressures way below what Firestone did, and people followed Ford's recommendation. We all know the result. 100% Ford's fault.
    #16
  17. waveydavey

    waveydavey happy times!!

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    Jeepers JerryH, you would think that with all those flat tires you get (minimum 2 a year you said) that you would be buying a lot more tires than that. How many plugs will you put in one of those handy tubeless tires before you replace the tire? :huh
    #17
  18. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

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    I have 3 plugs in the rear tire on my Vulcan 750 right now, and it is only half worn out. This one may not make it to 20,000 miles, but I'm going to get everything I can out of it.
    #18
  19. scapegoat

    scapegoat Pushin forward back

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    So this brings up a question regarding tire pressure.
    Say you buy the HD recommended Dunlops. Tire, HD manual and bike frame stickie has the same info, inflate to 42 with two up/max load. So say you run it at 36 solo unloaded.
    You switch to brand X tire which carries the same max load capacity as the Dunlop, but the tire says to run it 50 psi with max loaded. Wouldent it be asking for trouble running this new tire at 36 psi? Low tires create heat,heat kills tries yes?
    48 to 50 inflation in my current Metzler came after reading numerous posts that said run Metz's on the high end or they will wear out to fast and suck handling wise. Also the Metz website had similar info as some tires, including my particular tires, were literally branded over the original load and fill info with new higher specs.
    You are right that use the rear brake more than I used to on this bike. Guess its become habit as the hands get worst every year. Perhaps that where the problem lies. :huh
    #19
  20. dddd

    dddd Been here awhile

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    completely disagree.

    By observation of results, (and I have not really calmed down on throttle or braking) I'm forced to conclude that high pressure could mean less grip because of less heat and less deformation but therefore less wear and tear.

    I'm about to finish 20000km with my PR2, and I put 39psi at the rear instead of 36. A new record for me. And all that without cupping at all.
    #20