Advice needed: Tire cupping with highway use - Kawasaki Versys Forum
 
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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Advice needed: Tire cupping with highway use

So I bought my Versys in June with a brand new Metzeler Z6 Roadtec interact rear (2011 date) and a partially used matching front (2010). I have ridden the bike about 5800 miles this summer and about halfway through, I replaced the front with a matching tire (2011 date).

I live in washington DC, and make two types of trips
1. Ride nice roads to nice roads
2. Ride the highway to make time to events

After a day of type 1 riding, my tires look great, just like they're supposed to, but then I ride a few hundred miles of type 2, and they start to cup.

In a pinch I rode some twisties even though cupping was visible on the rear and after a hundred miles or so I checked out my tires and they cupping was no longer visable. The tires felt fine, the handling was good, etc. so I kept riding on the tires.

Is this normal? With 5800 miles, my rear has a good bit of tread left in it, but after a long highway day shows cupping.

The whole situation makes me uncomfortable, but I don't have a ton of money or time to waste replacing my tires everytime I do a few hundred miles of superslab.

I have never noticed this with the Metzler Lasertechs I run on my airhead, or the bridgestone battlaxes I ran on my Vee Strom, or the Spitfires on my KZ750.

Any expert advice? If this is not okay, what tires can I get to avoid this problem? Do I need a harder compound?




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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 11:27 AM
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Sorry.. no help from me. I can't even figure out what "cupping" is and/or what it looks like.


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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 11:43 AM
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What tire pressures are you running?

The interacts will bring slightly less mileage than a comparable sport touring tire, such as the Bridgestone BT023 or the Michelin PR2. The Z6 Interacts I believe have been replaced with the Z8s, which might bring better mileage.

Some cupping is completely normal, so keep that in mind.


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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 11:43 AM
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Sounds like low tire pressure. I haven't seen cupping on my Metzeler Roadtec Z8 Interacts (front and rear), which I am very happy with - great tires! Here's a resource on moto tire wear: http://www.rattlebars.com/tirewear/

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Last edited by Tigerpawed; 08-29-2012 at 11:45 AM. Reason: fix tire name
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Low tire pressure?

I don't think it is low tire pressure, I am pretty anal about checking it. I usually run 36/38, but I'll check it out when I get home.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 04:08 PM
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Something to consider.

Low tire pressure may be based not on the factory/manufacturer's specs but on the actual real-world loads. Kawasaki assumes that you weigh 150 pounds and air up at sea level.
From my personal experience ( regrettably I weigh 260 pounds and often have twenty or more pounds in my V46 top case ); I live at 3300 feet ASL. When I set my tire pressure according to factory specs, both my front and rear tires ( more on the rear ) cup badly. If I increase the tire pressure by 5+ psi, the cupping is eliminated. If I rode off road ( I usually prefer my KTM 640 Adventure for such rides ), I would reduce my tire pressure. Additionally, setting my tire pressure at altitude seems to require slightly greater pressure, relative to the ambient pressure.
Your experience may vary.

Last edited by packmann; 08-29-2012 at 04:54 PM.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 07:12 PM
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I cupped my Z6 rear on twisties as well. That's where I really felt it, leaned over. Having a better time with the BT023.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 08:33 PM
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x

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-29-2012, 09:09 PM
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Don't always believe your tire gauge. I too was consistent about checking tire pressure only to find out that my gauge was actually reading a few lbs light when compared to a trackside mechanic's. Now my tires show normal wear.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 03:52 AM
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Harder tire compound would be less sensitive to cupping but not saying that it won't even occur at all. If the tire pressure is right, then it is the spring damping factor. A underdamp (soft) situation will tend to cup the tires. Increase the damping a full turn (+ H), go for a long ride and see if the cupping effects goes away. I had my cupping Dunlops restored after adjustments to the monoshock damping. This tip was given by a old timer with lots of years of riding experience.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Zatx View Post
Sorry.. no help from me. I can't even figure out what "cupping" is and/or what it looks like.
Same here ...

Can someone explain OR post picture

Pretty please


LOP
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-30-2012, 10:35 AM
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Every road bike forum, since the first road bike forum created, has numerous discussion threads regarding tire cupping. Tire cupping is normally found on front tires that have made it into the second half of their mileage design/life. Cupping is the physical characteristic of a pattern of high and low spots on each side of the centerline of the tire tread. The low spots of mostly between tire treads and about a nickle +/- in circumference.

Given enough time and mileage, virtually all road bike tires will develope a certain amount of cupping at the end of their designed life.

Some tires are more prone than others. Tread design, rubber compound, carcass flex character will all influence cupping. BT-20's used to cup on my VFR. BT-23, hardly at all.

Steering head bearing torque and service life is often blamed, though this is really only a small piece of the equation, as equal as the tire design itself.

Certainly monitor your tire pressure. This is important to more than delaying cupping, though you can nail the pressure weekly and still get front tire cupping if you are able to really extend the miles on a tire.

A really important factor is suspension setup and quality of your suspension. Less expensive suspension and inadequate suspension often shows more tire cupping than more quality and better set up suspension. Can't over state how important it is to set your spring load/sag and adjust your damping the best you can with what you have.

Sorry I can't make this reply longer, but I'm leaving in 1hr on an epic Oregon/Idaho sport tour on my Versys. I'm confident my BT-23's will perform quite well.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-31-2012, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lours_Polaire View Post
Same here ...

Can someone explain OR post picture

Pretty please


LOP
I am pretty sure it is this.

Tyre has a flat spot, like a cup, curved on the sides, flat on the bottom.

Caused by not leaning over enough, typically happens when you put in lots of upright highway riding.

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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-31-2012, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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I think I'll try going up a a few pounds for my trip this weekend and see how she does. Thanks for the input, everyone.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-31-2012, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by VOz View Post
I am pretty sure it is this.

Tyre has a flat spot, like a cup, curved on the sides, flat on the bottom.

Caused by not leaning over enough, typically happens when you put in lots of upright highway riding.
I believe that is called flatspotting.

Cupping or scalloping is when the trailing edge of tread blocks wears a lot faster than the leading edge.
This creates an approximation of a saw-tooth profile of your treadblocks: High at the leading edge, going lower towards the trailing edge of the tread block, then jumping up to a high leading edge of the next tread block.

The blue arrow indicates rolling direction of the tire.


Last edited by Pretbek; 08-31-2012 at 10:22 AM.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-31-2012, 06:14 PM
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When I rode KLRs, a lot of the guys used Kenda K270s which would cup. The fix was to remove the tire and re-instal it BACKWARDS to get the most mileage from your tires.

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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2012, 08:05 AM
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When I rode KLRs, a lot of the guys used Kenda K270s which would cup. The fix was to remove the tire and re-instal it BACKWARDS to get the most mileage from your tires.
Now who would have thought of that and try it out. Hats off to the discoverer.

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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-01-2012, 01:44 PM
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Now who would have thought of that and try it out. Hats off to the discoverer.
Right now I CAN'T remember whether or not K270s were directional, but I BELIEVE they were....

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