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Discussion Starter #1
I'm still kind of a newbe (only in my 3rd summer of riding). My Versys 650 has 6500 miles on it and I felt it needed new tires. The front looked a little cupped and the back had a flat center strip. I read various threads here about what tires to get. Not having ever had new tires on a motorcycle before, I just figured 'tires are tires'...just like a car. Unless there's something wrong with your car tires other than normal tread wear, you can't really tell the difference with new ones. I saw the Perelli Angel GT seem to be highly spoken of here in the forum. Shinko Ravens are also mentioned a few times, but a set is $100 less. So I went with the Shinko. After the work was finished, I went out to the bike to ride home. As I mounted the bike, I wondered if I would even be able to tell the difference.

I got less than 20 feet and ....WOW...what a difference. I'm not sure what the difference is, but it's definitely noticeable. Slow speed turning is the most different. It's slightly harder to turn, and I feel it's because they have more 'grip'? I'm unsure if it's better grip, but that's the way I feel. I pulled into two large parking lots on the way home to practice figure 8's. It's very different. Not better or worse...just different. Although I bet an experienced person could say, yes, you're experiencing better grip and yes, that's better!

The service guy saw my cupped front and flat center back, he said I'm probably not inflating the tires enough. I said I keep them at factory specs as stated in the manual. He said to make the front 5lbs more and the back 8lbs more. It will help keep the cupping away, and help not have a flat center rear. And I felt the ride home was bumpier. I figures the tires are more inflated than what I kept them at, and that's why it feels bumpier.
 

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Low pressure and soft gum certainly would feel harder to turn the handlebar at rest, but not sure about when rolling.
Low pressure definitely is the cause of cupping (tire deforms too much on braking).
Squaring the rear is not avoidable imho, it need a hard center gum of specialized top quality road tires.

if you just want a 100% road tire, to me there is no doubt the michelin pilot road 2,4 or 5 are the best, with a harder gum in center, and softer on sides for grip. they lasted 19000-21000km. (39psi rear, 36psi front). Maybe they are pricy, but they last 2x a damn dunlop and I saved $ and time to change them 1/2 as often.

Nowadays I'm on knobbies (hard to exceed 11000km) and I miss the days with 21000km tires...
 

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New bike tires always feel much better. I think the rubber has not been heat cycled much yet and is more supple. The biggest reason is the wear on the old tires. A cupped front doesn't roll smooth and the flat centered rear does not roll side to side smoothly.
My only caution is on your ride home on brand new tires be cautious, new tires still have some mold release and can be slippery. You were in a parking lot doing figure 8's so you were probably good.

Brad
 

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Discussion Starter #4
New bike tires always feel much better. I think the rubber has not been heat cycled much yet and is more supple. The biggest reason is the wear on the old tires. A cupped front doesn't roll smooth and the flat centered rear does not roll side to side smoothly.
My only caution is on your ride home on brand new tires be cautious, new tires still have some mold release and can be slippery. You were in a parking lot doing figure 8's so you were probably good.

Brad
I knew that new tires could be slippery. So I knew the figure 8's would be serving two purposes. I'm not an aggressive rider at all, so I wasn't really worried about it before I hit the parking lots.

I knew about the old rear's center flattening for some time. And there would be times where I would be slightly leaning...especially to the left...where the bike would wiggle just for a quick moment. And it would be my estimation that the amount of lean would be just the amount to put me on the point of the tread where the flat portion meets the side of the tire.
 

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I'm still kind of a newbe (only in my 3rd summer of riding). My Versys 650 has 6500 miles on it and I felt it needed new tires. The front looked a little cupped and the back had a flat center strip. I read various threads here about what tires to get. Not having ever had new tires on a motorcycle before, I just figured 'tires are tires'...just like a car. Unless there's something wrong with your car tires other than normal tread wear, you can't really tell the difference with new ones. I saw the Perelli Angel GT seem to be highly spoken of here in the forum. Shinko Ravens are also mentioned a few times, but a set is $100 less. So I went with the Shinko. After the work was finished, I went out to the bike to ride home. As I mounted the bike, I wondered if I would even be able to tell the difference.

I got less than 20 feet and ....WOW...what a difference. I'm not sure what the difference is, but it's definitely noticeable. Slow speed turning is the most different. It's slightly harder to turn, and I feel it's because they have more 'grip'? I'm unsure if it's better grip, but that's the way I feel. I pulled into two large parking lots on the way home to practice figure 8's. It's very different. Not better or worse...just different. Although I bet an experienced person could say, yes, you're experiencing better grip and yes, that's better!

The service guy saw my cupped front and flat center back, he said I'm probably not inflating the tires enough. I said I keep them at factory specs as stated in the manual. He said to make the front 5lbs more and the back 8lbs more. It will help keep the cupping away, and help not have a flat center rear. And I felt the ride home was bumpier. I figures the tires are more inflated than what I kept them at, and that's why it feels bumpier.
What tyres did the bike have before you replaced them with the Shinkos?

Also, that additional 5lbs front and 8 lbs rear is going to cause a very stiff ride. Plus, the rear centre will wear out much faster than the sides.

The factory pressure is 42/42 for the Ravens. I would recommend 32/36 as the Ravens are similar to the Asian market stock Dunlop D222 which have a recommended 32/36 pressure.
 

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I also replaced my factory tires with the Ravens about 2 weeks ago. My wear bars were showing on the front and the rear middle was completely flattened. Riding it home from the shop with the new ones felt much better. For me it was the smoother ride. I read those Ravens are supposed to last a little longer than other tires due to their extra deep tread lines. I don’t ride hard or too often so I’m hoping they’ll last me a few years at least. Reading about them, it seems like some people replace tires every year....
179929
 

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Reading about them, it seems like some people replace tires every year....
Even for the exact same bike and exact same tire you will read wildly varying reports of tire longevity. Every one rides differently with different road conditions across the country.
I know some riders who change tires about every 18 months, others every 9 months, while I am usually on my 3rd set by the end of the year. 🤷‍♀️
 

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New F+R Ravens on my 650 too. $90 rear, $68 frt, installed myself. Nothing but Shinkos on my bikes for many years!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What tyres did the bike have before you replaced them with the Shinkos?

Also, that additional 5lbs front and 8 lbs rear is going to cause a very stiff ride. Plus, the rear centre will wear out much faster than the sides.

The factory pressure is 42/42 for the Ravens. I would recommend 32/36 as the Ravens are similar to the Asian market stock Dunlop D222 which have a recommended 32/36 pressure.
The previous tires were the stock tires that came new. I can't remember the brand. They've never been spoken highly of here in the forum.
 

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The previous tires were the stock tires that came new. I can't remember the brand. They've never been spoken highly of here in the forum.
I still had my old frt, it was a Dunlop Sportmax. With less than 10k miles, I assume it was the original.
 

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The previous tires were the stock tires that came new. I can't remember the brand. They've never been spoken highly of here in the forum.
Ok, then you have the Dunlop Sportmax D222 as stock. Their recommended TP is F32 and R36.

The Ravens seem to be of the same breed - almost 100% street oriented tread and compound.

That bumpy ride home was because you inflated the front and rear to probably 42/42, which is the max weight bearing TP limit. But you were NOT carrying the max weight and so, bumpy, twitchy, skittish tyres.

I'll recommend you reduce the TP to F32 and R36 and I am sure you will be happy; as it were, the Versys 650 has a slightly hard front and rear suspension and high TP makes matters worse. Not to mention the additional load on the carcass when the bike sits out in the sun, baking the tyres, bolts and nuts loosening, rattling plastics etc.

As to the cupped front. This can happen for reasons other than wrong tyre pressures too. This post in advrider is one of the best explanations for this phenomenon - Front Tire Cupping - What causes it? One does not see cupping on MotoGP or WRC or any such slick tyres as there is no tread pattern to wear out unevenly; the whole tread wears out relatively evenly all over its surface.((Grainbelt has hit the nail on the head - Run some non-DOT slicks - no tread, no cupping)

As to the centre wear. Regardless of tyre type/tread etc, a continuous straight line travel by the tyre will cause a prominent centre strip. The Heidenau K60 Scout is fantastic on highways because of the centre strip (low noise, high wear resistance) and horrible in off-road conditions, again because of it (low grip, stiff sidewalls). That's why all vehicles that don't lean over their front tyres like a bike does - cars, trucks, buses et al - have a tyre shape that is actually like a centre wear strip on a bike's rear tyre - they hardly ever lean over to the sides and 99% of their time on the road is spent moving in a straight line. But the Yamaha Niken leans its two wheeled front and that causes the single rear to lean too that's why it has a proper, rounded tread bike tyre on the rear rather than a car tyre.

I think the Shinko 705s F and R will be the optimal tyres for you if on a budget. Else, the Motoz Tractionater GPS rear teamed up with a Shinko 705 front will be the best tyre fit on a Versys 650. Tractionator GPS – MOTOZ Tyres – High Performance Adventure & Off-Road Motorcycle Tyres You should be able to get it in the USA quite easily.

Sorry to sound pedantic here. All in the spirit of helping a fellow rider. No emoticon for the Indian "namaskar" here:)
 
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I'm still kind of a newbe (only in my 3rd summer of riding). My Versys 650 has 6500 miles on it and I felt it needed new tires. The front looked a little cupped and the back had a flat center strip. I read various threads here about what tires to get. Not having ever had new tires on a motorcycle before, I just figured 'tires are tires'...just like a car. Unless there's something wrong with your car tires other than normal tread wear, you can't really tell the difference with new ones. I saw the Perelli Angel GT seem to be highly spoken of here in the forum. Shinko Ravens are also mentioned a few times, but a set is $100 less. So I went with the Shinko. After the work was finished, I went out to the bike to ride home. As I mounted the bike, I wondered if I would even be able to tell the difference.

I got less than 20 feet and ....WOW...what a difference. I'm not sure what the difference is, but it's definitely noticeable. Slow speed turning is the most different. It's slightly harder to turn, and I feel it's because they have more 'grip'? I'm unsure if it's better grip, but that's the way I feel. I pulled into two large parking lots on the way home to practice figure 8's. It's very different. Not better or worse...just different. Although I bet an experienced person could say, yes, you're experiencing better grip and yes, that's better!

The service guy saw my cupped front and flat center back, he said I'm probably not inflating the tires enough. I said I keep them at factory specs as stated in the manual. He said to make the front 5lbs more and the back 8lbs more. It will help keep the cupping away, and help not have a flat center rear. And I felt the ride home was bumpier. I figures the tires are more inflated than what I kept them at, and that's why it feels bumpier.
It's the "Cross Section" of the tyre that makes it steer differently... rear as well as front.

The "Cross Section" is the shape of the tread viewed from the front or rear of the tyre.
And that cross section changes as the tyre wears... as is obvious on your old back tyre.
179966

The vertical lines just
represent the same
tyre width
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I went for a ride last night. Since having the tires installed, this is the 2nd time I've been out. (The first being the ride home when the tires were installed.) The 'grip' issue seemed extremely diminished. And the bumpy ride wasn't even noticeable. I probably just need a period of mental adjustment and getting used to it. (And 'mental adjustment' will be the name of my new heavy metal band!) I haven't measured the tire pressure yet, so I don't know what the dealership set it at. But I'll be changing the oil today, so I'll take a reading.
 

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If cupping was caused by anything else than braking (like suspension work), it could occur on rear tire too. It doesn't.

Braking pushes the rubber and if you have knobs or threads then the thinner part will stretch more thus letting the leading edge next to it wear faster because pushed harder before transition to next knob/patch.

More pressure means less deformation.
That's all there is to it.
 

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I haven't measured the tire pressure yet, so I don't know what the dealership set it at.
When installing tires, my dealership always sets them near max recommended PSI (40-42) and prints that on the service receipt.
The first thing I always do with new tires is set them to my liking, NOT necessarily what is printed in the owners manual, just like suspension settings which are subjective and a recommended starting point.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I just measured the tire pressure. I'm shocked. The rear was 41lbs...but the front was only 31lbs. Both tires are rated at 42lbs. So I filled the front up to 41. I'll check it in a week to see if it has a slow leak.
 

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FWIW - when I picked up my FIRST V650 from the dealer (Sept '08), I asked the mechanic what pressures he recommends. He answered w/ 36F, 42R, so we set them to that.

Since then I have used 36F, 42R on EVERY tire on EVERY m'cycle I've owned, and ANY tire type.

Those include '08, '09 and '15 V650s; '04 KLR650; '79 Yam SR500, as well as 'street tires', knobbies, and 'dual sport' types. I get reasonable tire-mileage, good handling, so I'm quite happy using those pressures, and highly recommend them whenever I'm asked.

(y)(y)

Additionally - I have ridden OVER 175,000 miles on the three V650s.
 
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