Tire Issues - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-24-2018, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Tire Issues

Lately the Versys scares the crap out of me.

2 times I've headed off for a ride and first time braking going down the hill near my house the front tire slides like it's on ice, recover from that add some rear brake and slip and slide here I come.

Tread looks good. Nothing slick on them. It doesn't make sense. If I jump on the baby ninja parked directly beside it no issues.

It scared me so much today when both wheels slid around I parked it and started looking for a new bike. Pressures look good. The thing just feels unsettled as a whole lately.

Thoughts? Yes I know replace the tires but they really do look good and I struggle to think something is getting on them as the other bike has no issues.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-24-2018, 10:36 PM
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Do you have those tar lines on the street to fill cracks? That tar can get really soft in the sun and it feels really squirrelly. I thought I was getting a flat front tire recently because of it.

The OEM tires sucked pretty bad for me, and I don't ride aggressively. They didn't feel very stuck to the road, so I replaced them with a different brand at 1500 miles. So, yeah, replace the Dunlops and you'll probably be a lot happier.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-24-2018, 10:39 PM
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I'm no tire expert but I can tell you, there's nothing like a brand new set of rubber! I had about 100 miles on a brand new Conti before hitting the dragon last week. Total different feel! I could feel the control rounding those corners. Handled perfectly.

My tire on there before the change was the stock tire with 4900 miles. It was starting to cup pretty good and I didn't want to take a chance with my new "baby"! I rode with my friend who's worked in the tire business for 15+ years. He told me that when tires start to flatten out like mine was, it's a crap shoot. They could do you well, or they could wear very quickly despite the tread left on the sides.

Try a new set of tires, or at least a new front tire and see how she handles.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-24-2018, 11:43 PM
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True, if you're running stock tires that may be your issue. They seem to be quite hard and made for touring, rather than any kind of performance.
And as we all know, the more durable the tire is the more silica compound it's got, so naturally it's more slippery than tires with more carbon black.
I don't ride that hard and I do pay extra attention to road conditions so I don't mind the stock tires, but it has to be said they don't get that sticky even after a day in the sun.
And if the tarmac you're on is really smooth and 'polished' in this summer time, you might as well be on ice. That's one thing that stuck with me from my scooter days (don't ask why).
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 06:45 PM
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I hear what you are saying. Last week I was was making a simple U-turn on a newish concrete driveway. I was doing about 1 mph, had my left foot almost down. The next thing I knew, I was standing next to my bike on its side. It was just like someone grabbed the tires out from under the bike. There must have been a very light dusting of sand on the concrete, but I didn't see any. The tires are Shinko 705's with @2k miles on them. I don't really know what happened but it scared the crap out of me. It has effected my cornering. It's going to take awhile to get over it. B-(

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 07:10 PM
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Randy, the best way to think about it is the way you think when you drop a glass or a plate. It's a set of unfortunate circumstances that combined together at just the perfect time for the accident to happen. Does it mean you'll drop every glass or a plate henceforth? No, it doesn't. Same thing with a bike. Act like nothing happened and that's all there is to it. Think of it as a challenge and you'll be eager to attack every corner. The last thing you want is to develop a phobia and then you might as well hang up the helmet and put the bike on Craigslist.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 09:36 PM
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The Versys 650 OEM tyres are made to last (and to a price) - so they are hard which translates to poor grip.

When they are cold grip is even worse.

That being said some bikes OEM tyres are better than others bikes... the Versys 650 around the world got crap OEM tyres - Yes they work but I say they are the cause of more brown pants moments than we like to hear about.

Do check your tyre pressures.
Dont over inflate them as that just makes your grip less.
Try 32 PSI front and rear.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-25-2018, 09:37 PM
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Check the road surface, was there dust/gravel on it, or oil? Even the stock tires shouldn't slide like that.

If your Versys is old enough to not have ABS standard then your tires are probably dry rotted.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 07:58 AM
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[QUOTE=mrvwbug;1576083]Check the road surface, was there dust/gravel on it, or oil? Even the stock tires shouldn't slide like that.

If your Versys is old enough to not have ABS standard then your tires are probably dry rotted.[/QUOTE]

The tires are only 3 months old and are well scuffed in. I doubt that there is any dry rot on them unless Revzilla held them in the warehouse for a long time.
No, I spent some time looking at the surface to figure out what happened. On other parts of the driveway there were sand and leaves, but not where the tires were. Whatever it was, it was the summer equivalent of Black Ice and entirely invisible. That was what scared me.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 09:19 AM
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Versys 650 / what year

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danno25nh View Post
Lately the Versys scares the crap out of me.

2 times I've headed off for a ride and first time braking going down the hill near my house the front tire slides like it's on ice, recover from that add some rear brake and slip and slide here I come.

Tread looks good. Nothing slick on them. It doesn't make sense. If I jump on the baby ninja parked directly beside it no issues.

It scared me so much today when both wheels slid around I parked it and started looking for a new bike. Pressures look good. The thing just feels unsettled as a whole lately.

Thoughts? Yes I know replace the tires but they really do look good and I struggle to think something is getting on them as the other bike has no issues.
What year is your bike, what tires do you have, give the make and size. It takes roughly 100 miles to scuff the tires, what you describe sounds extremely wrong. As to pressure, 38 front 42 rear, Dunlop / Pilot Rd 4 on a 2015 with ABS, I can say the only time that front wheel has ever had the ABS fire was from sand on a paved road. One other thing and I very much doubt this applies to your situation and that is to do with weight transfer, if you grab the front brake on a cold road surface before you weighted the front end, expect the tire to slip.Those are pressures recommended by my mechanic as well as Eddie and JDRock .
I do 90% of my braking with the front OEM dunlop at 20,000KM. I also do engine braking combined with using the front brake, the rear brake only gets used when a combined emergency stop is required and in those cases it is clutch in , as very easy to brake traction if the rear brake and engine braking is combined.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Randyjaco View Post
...The tires are Shinko 705's with @2k miles on them. I don't really know what happened but it scared the crap out of me. It has effected my cornering. It's going to take awhile to get over it....
Keep "reading" the road for sand, etc. I had a short 'slip' while riding yesterday which was just a small line of dust or sand, but certainly caught my attention.

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Originally Posted by onewizard View Post
...Those are pressures recommended by my mechanic as well as Eddie and JDRock ....
Dave and I USUALLY recommend 36F, 42R....


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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 01:57 PM
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Keep "reading" the road for sand, etc. I had a short 'slip' while riding yesterday which was just a small line of dust or sand, but certainly caught my attention.
Eddie is correct. Keep them eye balls moving. Way down the road, medium down the road, close down the road, and the road it self.

I just got back from a short ride and had the back do a small slip in a 60 mph right hand turn. As always it gets your attention.

Surface contamination can get ya when it's over a broad area. Fortunately it's usually just a small patch of sand, gravel, or a small rock. Sometimes a car or truck can drop a tad of oil, coolant, or grease, etc and when you roll over it the tire will slip for a nano second or two, then re-establish traction.

Be safe out there.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for he replies everyone.
In my case not the surface as for 1/4 mile each time I touch a brake off I go sliding. Ninja sticks like glue. Of course she has diablo corsas for the track.

Pressure is spot on. Tread at 70 ish %. No slime on them. 2 times in a row. I also washed them just in case.
The whole bike felt unsettled lately especially after speed.
I may replace tires or sell it for a BMW f800. Picking up a 1st gen sv650 track bike Friday.
In 40 years of riding I never felt afraid of a bike like this.
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 10:48 PM
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After reading your piece again and reply it sounds like a brake issue. Does your bike have ABS?

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-26-2018, 11:36 PM
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Isn't that a used 2009 you picked up in March when it had 4,000 miles on it? Your lousy OEM tires are over 9.5 years old! Of course they're hard and slippery now. Check your DOT number's last 4 digits on the sidewall... They expired almost 4 years ago, and you need to replace them ASAP!
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Last edited by invader; 06-26-2018 at 11:50 PM.
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-27-2018, 12:07 AM
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-27-2018, 03:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danno25nh View Post
Lately the Versys scares the crap out of me.

2 times I've headed off for a ride and first time braking going down the hill near my house the front tire slides like it's on ice, recover from that add some rear brake and slip and slide here I come.

Tread looks good. Nothing slick on them. It doesn't make sense. If I jump on the baby ninja parked directly beside it no issues.

It scared me so much today when both wheels slid around I parked it and started looking for a new bike. Pressures look good. The thing just feels unsettled as a whole lately.

Thoughts? Yes I know replace the tires but they really do look good and I struggle to think something is getting on them as the other bike has no issues.
If the tires slip why would you assume it is the bike?

There are a couple things that will cause tires to slip
  • oil or other slippery compound on tires or road
  • tar strips when they are hot
  • too low or high pressure in tires
  • gravel, dirt, leaves or sand on pavement

The brand or type of tires should not be an issue unless it is raining or cold. All tires grip reasonably well in hot dry conditions unless they are compromised.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-27-2018, 03:12 AM
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deleted, duplicate post

Last edited by twowheels; 06-27-2018 at 04:47 PM.
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-27-2018, 04:11 AM
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Testing OEM tires that are over 9.5 years old is completely pointless and also very dangerous. They expired many years ago and need to be replaced ASAP before a catastrophic shunt incurs.
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Last edited by invader; 06-27-2018 at 06:15 AM.
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-27-2018, 07:16 AM
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As we are discussing tires sliding, I had a moment yesterday. Rounding a curve that was shaded from the bright sun by a tree, my V slid unexpectedly. I stopped to find what had caused the slide and found the road was covered in freshly mown grass.
It really angers me when I see people blowing the grass onto the road, rather than onto the lawn (where the grass will actually help growth as it decomposes.) They have no idea how hazardous it can be for riders on two wheels.
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