Idiot of the day tire question - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Idiot of the day tire question

Ok. So I decided to shine the versys up this am before I took her around the canyons of southern cali and thought placing a little tire wet on the tires might look good. Bad idea. My initial turn in the neiborhood felt like the first ever recorded snowfall had just hit Woodland hills. Down I went. I remember thinking how stupid my idea was as thats the number one no no. Little bruised both inside and out but, Nothing 300 dollars in plastic wont fix. However, How in the hell do I clean that dreadful **** off my tires? Any tricks out there? I need help.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 08:51 PM
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 08:57 PM
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Well just admitting you did that takes some bravery so go easy on him guys!! I would try some rubbing alcohol first, if that doesn't work try some naptha gas.( Coleman camp stove fuel, just put a small amount on a rag & wipe off) Good luck!!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-16-2008, 09:33 PM
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+1 to what Iceman said.

BTW, if it helps, I did almost exactly the same thing with a Triumph Tiger that I bought to sell a couple of months ago. I was dressing it up for the "for sale" pictures and used Armor-All on the tires. For some reason it never even occurred to me that this was a bad idea. I've always had dual sport bikes that I never cared what they looked like so I had never detailed a bike before. Well I almost dumped it leaving my neighborhood. Luckily for me I was going very slowly and was able to save it, but I learned very quickly that Armor All and motorcycle tires don't mix.

I realize that this doesn't help you tunaseed, but maybe it will take the sting away a little knowing that you're not the only one making bonehead decisions.

Take it from one bonehead to another, every one of us here has done something equally as goofy. You've just got the cajones to admit it and ask for help.

BTW, I'm pretty sure the alcohol will do the trick. The guy that I sold the Tiger to said that just regular old soap and water would work, but I never got around to trying it.

Good luck and ride safe.

Chris in Oneonta, NY
08 Versys that replaced my beloved 07 KLR650

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2008, 09:52 AM
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Glad you are ok.

I frequently use kerosene with good results when I get chain lube overspray on the tire.
Pour a little on a rag, and wipe the tire down. Wipe off the excess with a dry rag, the rest will evaporate.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2008, 10:40 AM
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I'm the weirdo that usually reads the instructions for everything. If you read the can, there are warnings about using those products on bikes.

Shout stain remover works great to remove road tar, grease and grime from your bike. Another product called Bleach White (it's for tires) works good too, but seems to be much more caustic. You can make the tires look pretty good just by giving them a good cleaning with either product.

Don't feel too bad, we all make mistakes. I laid my old bike down doing squidly crap, tailgating an annoyingly slow person.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2008, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for not bashing me to bad. Shes my first bike and I cant tell you how many things I have learned the hard way. So I tried metal cleaner, mostly alcohol based product and will wash with soap and water after work. I road tested her after cleaning the tires yesterday in a school parking lot, making tighter and tighter turns, and shes seems to be ok. However, I still feel like my back tire is locking up very easily. It could be my oversensitive brain but I think that stuff chemically altered the composition of my tires.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2008, 11:20 AM
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Tuna, everybody drops a bike at LEAST once. Don't sweat it.

Use mostly front brake when you're on the street. Pull in in gradually, try not to not allow either tire to lock up. If you lock up the rear, keep standing on the pedal so you don't high side, if the rear tire locks up you're better off keeping it locked up until you stop. Most of your breaking power is the front wheel, and it takes about a second for the weight to shift up front which gives even better traction and breaking power, which is why you pull the lever in gradually, modulating power to prevent locking up the front wheel.

When I first got my Versys, I locked up the rear tire a bunch of times as well. The brakes lack feel and feedback, although they work well enough. Practice hard stopping, using mostly the front brake as described. Start at around 17mph and slowly work your way up in speed. Practice stopping at least once every time you ride so when you need to stop for real, you will fall back on your instincts. Wear all your gear!!!

Keep safe, Luke
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2008, 12:33 PM
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+1 on the practice. It's easy to speed up, hard to slow down. I've found the rear wheel locks very easy on this bike. I've lowered by rear brake lever and that's helped. Then I went and did a lot of parking lot and back roads practice.

Don't feel bad about the Tire Wet - I've armor-all'd my seat when I got my first bike a few years ago. That's not a good idea either - you'll crush the family jewels on every stop.

Thanks for sharing - you've probably saved a few others from doing the same thing.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2008, 06:10 PM
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tunaseed, looks like only your pride was hurt!

If you have any logging, rough or gritty roads around, that will also clean the tires up-provided you can get there without slipping off.

BTW, how do you get a Versys in CA? They don't go on sale there until the 09's come in to best of my knowledge. I hang in Palm Desert for Jan-April and had one of two down there last year, the other was a guy from MN.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2008, 07:20 PM
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When I tire dress the SIDES of my tires I use a wrag and tape to make sure I dont get any over spray on the tire but I did get a tad on the very outer wall last week so I will have to try the alcohol trick.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-18-2008, 07:42 PM
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