I know there's a wax or mold release agent on the new tires that makes them quite slippery. Will it help if I take a wire brush to the tires and rough them up a bit? I'm planning on taking my Versys on its maiden voyage in about a week (finally...yeah!)
My previous bike mechanic always cleans any mold release off the tyres when he fits them. He uses brake caliper cleaner, sprays it onto a cloth, and wipes the tyres thoroughly when he's got the tyre on the balancer. It leaves them with a very dull surface and a grippy feeling under the hand.
He says he wants his customers to last longer than the first corner.
Stlee's link about Avon not using slippery stuff these days is interesting as it puts the wearing-in period in another perspective.
I use a nail file.... Come on now there is no mold release on modern tires.
Try telling that to the millions who read urban legends on the internet...
Tires grip via mechanical friction. New tires have a smooth surface and therefore less grip. Roughing them up with a sander (or for the more dedicated - nail file ) will do the same thing you achieve in 10-20 miles of riding only slower and not as effectively because you wont generate as much heat. If you pick a winding road and progressively increase the speed/lean angle, in 10 miles the tires are ready for anything.
A couple of orbital sanders mounted in thing like a wheel cradle. Roll the bike, one wheel at a time, into the cradle, hit the switch, and the sanders work the edges of the tyre to make it look like you've been doing some hot scratching. Somewhere in between Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner would be about it.
No more chicken strips.
No more embarrassment outside the coffee shop.
No more smart comments from the squids at work with their Ducatis
When new, the tire's silky smooth. Go easy till you see that silky coating is off. After a while, you can feel it with your hands.
Be careful when rubbing the tire bottom sides while leaning. This is due to the smaller foot print on the road when we'll leaning.
Another hint (not to upset anyone), don't do the above in the wet.
Like us, a good warming up is essential before the big game.
Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.
I just put another set of Dunlop Roadsmart tires on my bike. I got about 9,000 miles out of the first set of tires. Now I'm good until the 20,000 mile mark or more. I'm currently at about 12,500 miles.