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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a new 2011 DL650 with 7K KMs (4300 miles) on the clock, stock Trail Wings front and rear. Always carefully set tire pressures to recommned setting (33 PSI Front, 36 PSI Rear). The bike has always displayed some minor bad handling traits. Decel wobble, noise / vibration on the highway, wickedly skiddish on tar snakes, poor wet weather handling.

I've just returned from a 5 day 2500km trip through some very twisty roads. Halfway through the trip I noticed my front tire was shot. Hard to describe... The center row of 'knobs' is higher with sharp edges, the inside of the next outer rows are worn down to the carcass of the tire. I have never seen anything like it; seems like a defect to me. Its like the center row is made of harder rubber than the rest of the tire. I'm (obviously) going to be buying some new tires. Its very scary to ride now. Here are some pics, hope they show the problem clearly.

Has anyone seen or heard of this? Is it a case for warranty?
 

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tire wear

that maybe normal wear for a trail wing ridden hard. the twisty's wear the front on my v-strom faster than the back. i replaced the front trail wing at 4000 miles and the replacement battle wing at about 4500 miles. the battle wing could have gone a little more but the wear looked the same. i have 800 miles on a front tourance now. i hope it lasts a little longer. my bike had the deceleration wobble until i changed to tapered steering bearings. could loose bearing cause odd wear and do you have the wobble?
 

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If it's cupping it's normal for dual purpose tires. Ever heard of rolling resistance? Search for wheel dynamics.

Something like this...

Are you a some kind of scientist?


Buy the whey,

My OEM Trailwing and both Tourances wore the same way.
 

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In my experience, it's the tire pressure that causes what you are seeing. A lower pressure lets the weight of the heavy bike flatten the tire out (pushing the center lugs inward) so there is more wear on the next row of knobs.

Perfectly normal for dual sport tires. When it gets real bad, you'll develop a hell of a head shake problem.
 

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I had the same on Trailwings, Battlewings, Anakees and even on TKC80's. Good thing I can turn TKC's around and even it up... :thumbup:
I ran a TKC-80 one summer.

It got to the point where I was losing fillings every time I had to stop hard.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If it's cupping it's normal for dual purpose tires.
Is it cupping? I guess I don't understand what that is.

In my case the center row of 'knobs' is 3-4 mm higher that the inside of the 'knobs' on the side. The center is not worn, the edge of the knobs are sharp as anything. It's the same all around the tire. I was hoping pictures showed the problem as it's hard to describe.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
In my experience, it's the tire pressure that causes what you are seeing. A lower pressure lets the weight of the heavy bike flatten the tire out (pushing the center lugs inward) so there is more wear on the next row of knobs.

Perfectly normal for dual sport tires. When it gets real bad, you'll develop a hell of a head shake problem.
Hmmm, I've been running the recommended pressure, but it sounds like its not high enough... and yes I do now have some major headshake / vibration problems. Its also very hairy leaning the bike over when it drops off the center knobs and onto the side ones...
 

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Yeah, my TrailWings did this too (unless I ran them at higher pressures like 36 psi).

I've switched to Battlewings and never looked back. 33psi is the right pressure for the front battlewing.

My rear trailwing also squared off something fierce; the battlewing also lasts a lot longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My rear is squared off as well but that seems normal to me. It's round on the edges and flat in the middle. I carried heavy tail bags on both my long trips, so i didn't think the rear was AB normal.
 

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the bike manufacturer sets pressures for the original tires, these are conservative to give a good comfortable ride and acceptable wear for an average being (75kg). If you go to a different tire there are different pressures give by that tire manufacturer, in case go and have a look on the Metzeler site for recommended pressures for your bike, pressures for my tourance exp's on a dl1000 if I remember is 36 front and 41 rear . Reckon 33 psi is a tad too low and agree with the rest that it is more likely from that. start running the tires at 36 and see how it goes, and not on the tire in picture, you cant resurrect a tire that far gone!

Farmer Strom
 

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It seems like it is 'cupping', something that is a part of the two-wheel equation--all motorcycles are subject to this phenomenon to some extent. I don't buy Trailwings any more for that reason, but if I got a deal on some I might use them again, but I get better results with other tires.
Air pressure is a factor--more pressure = less cupping, but you have other issues with too much pressure, so its a trade-off.
I buy hiway oriented tires that seem to resist cupping more than DS tires.
The handlebar shimmy is founds on most motorcycles at some point, but it can be minimized by new tires, high pressure, and careful head bearing adjustment. Some bikes are more susceptible than others. Don't worry about it too much, just ride with hands on bars, get new tires more often, and ride happy.
 

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Yup, tire pressure issue. I run mine around 40psi because that's what the tire manufacturer recommends. They made the tires, so I believe they should know how to make them perform best. I am still on my first set of trail wings too and I have about 6,500 miles+/- Hate 'em. I would dearly love to find something with a little more bite on gravel and off road but these tire companies are squeezing every dollar they can out of riders. Just kills me to pay so stinking much for a motorcycle tire. Please, let's not start with all the crap about how much your life if worth. I just don't see how they can manufacturer a larger car tire, using more compound, incorporate more technology, and sell it for less while getting greater mileage. Doesn't make sense that the motorcycle tire should wear out so stinkin' fast.

Sorry for the rant. I'm shopping for tires too and between the shoddy reputation of the Shinkos and the price of the TKCs and the poor performance of all of them, it's like you just can't win. I don't really have any idea of what I'll pick next because if this dilemma but your cupping issue is normal, for that tire pressure, for you style of riding. Mine are just starting and I know I'll need to replace them in the spring, but...:beatnik:
 

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Yup, tire pressure issue. I run mine around 40psi because that's what the tire manufacturer recommends.
I believe the 40 psi is "maximum recommended pressure", not necessarily what's right for your bike/you.

The right tire pressure depends on the bike's weight more than anything else.
A certain mass of air is required in the tire to support a certain weight; pressure is just a convenient way of measuring air mass.

For example, I ran Hankook Z2000 tires on my fiero, and ran the fronts at 28 lbs; on the much lighter formula 1600, 19 lbs were enough. The "recommended" (max) pressure was something like 42.

Generally speaking, if a tire has the same volume as another (and the sidewalls are of the same stiffness), it'll benefit from running at the same pressure for the same vehicle.

The trailwings definitely like higher pressure than the battlewings though, so I'm guessing their carcass is softer.
 

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Agree with Sitting Duck, not usual to run max recommended in a tire. when you ride, of course, the pressure rises a good bit, so keeping 4-6 psi back off the max would be a good idea, IMHO. Not sure how far bike pressures rises, but in 4200lb car, I go from 36 to a bit over 40 in the summer just from driving around.
 

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Stop braking and front tire life will be extended

Its all the ducks in the row from you, tires, suspension, pavement......
 
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