"Shape" of the stock rear tire... - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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"Shape" of the stock rear tire...

Okay, first let me say that I am relatively new to the Versys ( had it year yesterday, about 3k miles so far ) and that my previous ( and first ) bike was a metric cruiser. One of the reasons I went to the Versys was that I wanted something that was a lot more responsive that the foot-forward cruiser bikes. That being said, it's taking me a lot longer to get used to the lean on this bike, it seems really squirrelly in the corners and it seems to 'fall' into the turns much faster than I am comfortable with.

Which brings me to my question : Is it normal for the real tire to have a 'squared off' center section? It appears to have a definite ridge on either side ( and no, it's not wear, the square part of the tire is HIGHER than the rest of the tire ) and I am thinking that this might be the reason why it's so twitchy during the lean, it falls off on the line and just feels wrong. I asked the boys at the dealership during the last inspection and they didn't seem to think it was anything unusual but I don't remember anything like this on my previous bike's ( new ) rear tire.

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 02:38 AM
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How about posting some clear pics?
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 06:56 AM
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( and no, it's not wear, the square part of the tire is HIGHER than the rest of the tire )

Usually square off in the centre of the tires are due to running on straight roads and or very little lean on the sides.

Your case its the opposite as the side have worn off excessively than the centre part. Are you doing twisters all the time.

Some pictures will help us explain your problem.

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 07:14 AM
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To start with, the OEM Dunlops didn't install any confidence.
There are a number of tyres out there which is recommended.

What's your tyre pressures?

Agreed, picture will tell a lot.

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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Working on the pics, the tire pressure is what they recommend ( 32 front, 36 rear ) and I check it religiously. No, if anything my riding is a lot more straight line riding than curves, I commute with the bike bike ( about 12 miles ) and there are about 6 decent curves in there but nothing that requires scraping the pegs.

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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As promised. The part that has dirt on it is the 'raised' part, it's hard to capture in a photo but it's very evident if I run my hand across the tire.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by outdoorvtguy View Post
As promised. The part that has dirt on it is the 'raised' part, it's hard to capture in a photo but it's very evident if I run my hand across the tire.
That tire is most definitely squared off from riding in a straight line. The stock Dunlop is a pretty soft tire. Just about any tire you get will eventually do this. Try to lean more in the curves, the chicken stripe on that tire says you have PLENTY of unused rubber...

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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 11:37 AM
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As promised. The part that has dirt on it is the 'raised' part, it's hard to capture in a photo but it's very evident if I run my hand across the tire.
What you're calling the "raised part" is ACTUALLY the worn part. Imagine the curve of the shoulders of your tire CONTINUING so it's all curved. That'll show you how much is worn.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 11:39 AM
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Yes, a squared off rear- the crown of the arc has been removed. When a tire gets like this the transition from straight to leaned over can feel spooky. While there may be plenty of tread left on the edges, it might not be that fun to access it.
The OEMS aren't that good of a tire so binning them with some life left in 'em isn't that big a tragedy. For replacement consider a dual-compound sport-touring tire rather than some of the sticky sport tires that will fit. I did Dunlop Roadsmart on mine and have been pleased, though some have posted up as disappointed.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 11:45 AM
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I don't think he is talking about the crown. I think he is talking about the chicken strip area. Cruiser tires don't have that pronounced sharp edge where the tread ends and the sidewall begins. The center of his tread is worn normally which is why the chicken strip area is "higher". All in all it looks like normal wear to me and that he doesn't do a lot of twisties.

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post #11 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 12:37 PM
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it seems really squirrelly in the corners and it seems to 'fall' into the turns much faster than I am comfortable with.
I wonder if you have the kind of roads that support the deep lean of the bike? It does appear you are not leaning the bike much due to your tire wear, or likely because of what you said about not being comfortable.

I ride with a girl who moved here from Michigan. She said where she lived it was flat and straight. I live in Virginia near the Blue Ridge Mountains that provide roads that are very winding and mountainous. It is really neat to see her face when we stop for a break and she says "WOW that was Awesome!!".... Her heart still pounding.

I wish you the best on honing your skills and feeling better about the V. If you don't soon reach a point where you are comfortable with the Versys, you might want to move on to a bike that feels better for you. I would think a year should be plenty of time. I would not continue to ride a bike that makes me feel less than confident.

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post #12 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 12:38 PM
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try going around some corners
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post #13 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 01:42 PM
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That looks like pretty normal wear to me...normal for someone who rides in a straight line most (all?) of the time. Those are some HUGE chicken strips! It looks like that bike has never been leaned over much.
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post #14 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 01:43 PM
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I am going to agree with Fastoman;
It looks like the tire has a square but raised center section, as if the tires have seen a lot of cornering wear.

After you replace that rear tire, you will find that you still have a very responsive bike, but one that quickly rolls into the turns, not falls into it like it does now.
The tread is not worn much, but replacing it anyway will transform your bike into something you enjoy riding.
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post #15 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 06:25 PM
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In Pic 1, I see most all tires look like this, only brand new tires under 1000 miles do I see have a perfectly round contour. My tires are the stock tires with 3000 miles and they are triangulated as well, one flat for straights and a flat apiece for left and right turn.

As far as surety/security in turns, I had to ease up on the muscle I used to initiate and maintain turns on this bike. I now use a much more gentle touch and I really dont ever notice the tire at all. If you have never dragged a peg, you are WELL within the capabilities of the bike and the stock tire, no worries.

In Pic 2, I think what he is saying about "raised" is the cupping I see. Individual blocks of tread start raising up away from the rest of the tread. I took a pic of my tire like he did, and I have no cupping or raised tread. I believe it's because I use alot of rear brake, to balance the drive force on the rear tire, the tire gets "deformed" accelerating from a stop and then I "deform" it the opposite direction with braking force. I try to use as little front brake as I can get away with because the front tire experiences NO drive force, only braking force. I have never suffered from cupped tires.

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post #16 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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I would the first to say I am not that aggressive in the turns but I am working on that. Coming from a ( low ) cruiser, having a lot of lean on this ( higher ) bike is taking some getting used to. That being said, we do have curves up here but a lot of them are anything but smooth. I am toying with getting new tires now ( I was planning on some in the Spring ) so I can atleast get the 500 mile breakin over with. I asked about what looked like cupping on the tires when I got the bike inspected last month and the service guy didn't see the issue. I can see it being squared off from the straight line riding I do ( like I said, the majority of the time ) but this wear just seems like there is MORE tread in the middle than the sides, almost like the tire was designed that way. Thanks for all the insight.

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post #17 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 07:30 PM
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Outdoortvguy, do you use the front brake as a primary brake on all your stops?

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post #18 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 07:33 PM
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I am toying with getting new tires now ( I was planning on some in the Spring ) so I can atleast get the 500 mile breakin over with.
When you get new tires you dont need to break them in for 500 miles. Just dont go crazy immediately.

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post #19 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 08:05 PM
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When you replace your tire, get a set of sport touring tires. They are dual compound, harder in the middle than the sides. On my last bike I replaced my sport tires with Perelli Angel ST tires. They were the best tires I have ever had. They are a relatively new offering by Perelli and they are moderately priced. They really helped slow down the squaring off of the tire as I commute a lot on my bikes which means a lot of highway riding.
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post #20 of 35 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 09:49 PM
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It looks normal for a lot of straight line riding. Normally the middle section is of a harder compound for straights and for the tyre corners, soft for lean grip.

IMO, new tryes. I changed the Dunlops only after 100 km on them.
Squits in the wet. Using Bridgestone 021 front/020 rear now. Next BT 023.

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