Thoughts on running low tire pressure - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-20-2016, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thoughts on running low tire pressure

So I have about 2500 miles on a rear 705 and it is already visibly wearing in the middle. I'm sure I will have a flat bald spot long before I wear out the outside edges. I know riding style plays a big part, but I wore my TW's pretty evenly, and most of my miles are commuting, so the roads never change.

My question is, has anyone ever thought about running low tire pressure to get more rubber contact? It's pretty evident that at the 38 psi, I only have about an inch worth of contact patch.

I'm thinking about lowering it to say 26 or 30 or so to see how it feels, and if it wears more evenly across the tire.

Thoughts?

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post #2 of 7 Old 07-20-2016, 07:22 AM
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Thoughts on running low tire pressure

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Originally Posted by Bucket View Post
So I have about 2500 miles on a rear 705 and it is already visibly wearing in the middle. I'm sure I will have a flat bald spot long before I wear out the outside edges. I know riding style plays a big part, but I wore my TW's pretty evenly, and most of my miles are commuting, so the roads never change.



My question is, has anyone ever thought about running low tire pressure to get more rubber contact? It's pretty evident that at the 38 psi, I only have about an inch worth of contact patch.



I'm thinking about lowering it to say 26 or 30 or so to see how it feels, and if it wears more evenly across the tire.



Thoughts?


Run whatever psi you feel comfortable with. Me personally only run a lower psi off road. On road, I even go a little higher than the manufacturers recommendations to preserve the tire life. I never once had an issue with traction.

-John
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-20-2016, 07:38 AM
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Its common to lower trye pressure on dirt and on race tracks. (I do both) It does increase the contact patch and also heat up faster.

However tyres rely on that pressure to hold the shape of the carcass, its part of the structural integrity (especially in the sidewall). also part of the suspension system - absorbs shock and protects rims. Its not roccomended by manufacturers for good reason. You will find the bike becomes harder to turn. As well as chewing out the tread quicker.

For commuting low tyre pressure is probably the worst thing you can do for your tyre life.

Personally id be looking at what tyre im using. Ideally a multicompound rear will increase life. While still giving grip in corners
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-20-2016, 07:51 AM
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I also forgot to mention that it will effect the tread, allowing it to close together and reduce wet weather performance. Ive also seen scalloping of tread a few there conditions. First thing we do when a customer complains of weird tyre wear or bad handling is check tyre pressure. It's usually the main culprit.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-20-2016, 07:52 AM
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Narrow contact patches and flat spots are just parts of owning a motorcycle. I wouldn't drop the pressure that much in one shot for street riding. Starting that low will allow for too much sidewall flex and make the bike feel squirrelly until the tire warms up. It can also make the tire overheat, glaze, and lose traction. Overheating can also cause tire rupture. Remember the Ford Exploder fiasco from years back?. That was from running pressures that were too low.

Start with a cold pressure about 5 PSI lower than what's recommended for that tire (the pressure on the sidewall is for max weight load, so don't go by that unless you ride loaded all the time). You're looking for 5-7 psi growth when the tire is hot (ex: 33 cold, 38 hot). It'll take some experimentation, but you'll be able to figure out a cold pressure that suits the tire and your riding style.

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post #6 of 7 Old 07-20-2016, 08:14 AM
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Add to the above that lower pressures will make the tire run hotter causing accelerated wear, especially if your commuting includes motorway speeds.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-20-2016, 09:55 AM
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One thing that hasn't been mentioned is alignment. I found the alignment can profoundly affect tire wear. This is why I invested in a laser alignment tool that mounts to the rims. I use it every 2 or 3 times I adjust the chain or change tires. Just think if your rear tire is crabbing ever so slightly every single revolution (a little more than 800 per mile) added up over thousands of miles.
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