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I've hade my Versys for about a month, previous owner did some heavy highway commuting and the back tire is squarred off pretty badly. More so than any bike I've ridden before. I plan on replacing both tires this Wed., front is just plain wore out, that rear just makes me nervous. The rear has plenty of deep tread left throughout, but the flattened out profile of it is so severe I'm dubious of it.

I've had 4 cruiser bikes previous to this awesome ride, made a habit of replacing tires every Xmas bonus, if I needed tires or not. Being that I've never ridden this bike with fresh tires, nor have I have I ever ridden a bike with such a flattened profile on the rear tire... I do have a question.

Does the below describe the result of what this kinda tire profile can cause?

It feels like the rear tire is sliding out from under in really slow speed turns, we're talking like ~10mph, no throttle, clutch lever pulled in and yet it still feels like the rear wiggles itself wide. Did a little U-turn on my street and I may as well have been in greasy mud it was so squirrely. Required some quick counter steering and dragging a boot to keep it upright.

To reiterate, I'm getting new tires anyways. I'll be doing my homework this weekend on what tire's offer the most grip for the money (weighing more on the safety benefit than the economy). Just curious if what I'm experiencing is a result of the flat-topped tire's profile or something else?
 

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Double check inflation. A rear tire going down feels a lot like what you describe. 32psi front... 36psi rear is what the owners manual calls for. Those numbers work well for me.

Plenty of tire threads on the forum to wade through in your search for what you want for replacements. I went with Michelin Pilot Road 3 tires and have been happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Double check inflation. A rear tire going down feels a lot like what you describe. 32psi front... 36psi rear is what the owners manual calls for. Those numbers work well for me.

Plenty of tire threads on the forum to wade through in your search for what you want for replacements. I went with Michelin Pilot Road 3 tires and have been happy.
Thanks for serving our country!
 

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Cycle Gear just mounted my new rear Shinko 009 Raven. Prior to removal I read and re-read the DIY threads here and was very pleased with how easy the job went. Took my time, used finesse rather than force. I had to go to Harbor Freight to buy the set of large hex sockets in order to remove the front axle (it's on sale for $13 plus I needed the $3 converter for 1/2 to 3/8 socket.) Today, I'll remove the front wheel and head back to Cycle Gear for the front mounting. For both tires, mounting & balancing and new stems, walked away paying just under $250. I'm happy. Can't personally speak about the Shinkos performance (I'm replacing Bridgestones) but other riders here have had favorable comments.

Regarding your present ride characteristic ("sliding out from under") man, don't risk it. I'd hate to read a new post from you titled "Busted My Asssss!" Put some fresh rubber on and THEN start "yank-in and bank-in!"
 

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I run mine 36psi front 38psi rear for canyon,city and freeway.
 

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The sloppy handling would be from a combination of squared mediocre OEM tires that are 3 lbs low... How are your suspension settings?

32/36 psi is recommended for an 'average' weight rider with no extra cargo. Big strong heavy guys like Joe and I may in fact require a couple extra psi's for adequate support and to maintain optimum tire profile under load, and for high speed riding.
 

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I'm happy with my Michelin Pilot Road 3 tires. They offer much better feel than my previous Pirelli Scorpion tires. The grip they offer is excellent for a sport tour tire and they hardly show any signs of wear for being driven 5000 miles so I am expecting to get a lot more miles from them. There are no signs of them squaring off I guess because of the dual compound rubber. Hard in the center and soft on the shoulders.

Tire Thread: http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34122
 

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32/36 PSi all the way since 09 and just repalced the back with Bridgestone S20.
Last BT023 lasted more than 18K Km (Back) and the front is still on and going.

Weekly and regular check on tire pressure extend your tire life.
 

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Checked my cold tire pressure this morning. 32.9psi rear and 28.7psi front. Both were low, but not as low enough I would think it'd give this level of sloppy handling.
I notice a difference in my front tire's handling if it gets down to 30 psi, from 32-33 where it usually is. You'd be amazed at how much of a difference 2 psi makes on a bike.
 

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:eek:

I dont even run that much for touring with a loaded bike!

How much do you weigh?!
I weigh 180 PLUS riding gear (ATGATT!). The mechanic where I got my first V recommended 36F and 42R, so I've run those pressures in BOTH Vs and my KLR (when I had one). I have 'scraped' footpegs at those pressures, and if memory serves, jdrocks runs those same pressures in his tires. Additionally I usually get OVER 10,000 miles from rears, over 12,000 from fronts. Here are pics of my '08s front and rear tires, taken in the FIRST 200 miles, after a fairly "enthusiastic" ride up the Apache Trail near Phoenix. Note the 'chicken strips'... at 36F, 42R...!:yeahsmile:

(BTW - I'd been riding my '04 KLR for several years prior to buying BIG RED, so I was just LEARNING to ride a street bike.):cool:
 

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I weigh 180 PLUS riding gear (ATGATT!). The mechanic where I got my first V recommended 36F and 42R, so I've run those pressures in BOTH Vs and my KLR (when I had one). I have 'scraped' footpegs at those pressures, and if memory serves, jdrocks runs those same pressures in his tires. Additionally I usually get OVER 10,000 miles from rears, over 12,000 from fronts. Here are pics of my '08s front and rear tires, taken in the FIRST 200 miles, after a fairly "enthusiastic" ride up the Apache Trail near Phoenix. Note the 'chicken strips'... at 36F, 42R...!:yeahsmile:

(BTW - I'd been riding my '04 KLR for several years prior to buying BIG RED, so I was just LEARNING to ride a street bike.):cool:
You will see a big improvement in handling and straight line tracking airing down to 32/36. I've tried pressures that high and they make the bike jittery and give it a rough ride. It also does not track as well and feels less stable and planted leaned over in the corners. There is also MUCH less grip in corners and braking because of the jitter over road irregularities. Try airing down to 32/36 (measured with the tires cold) and you will see a night and day improvement in handling and feel.

Some tire manufactures have recommended pressures for specific tire models when used on specific model bikes posted on their web site. Michelin and most other companies I've seen recommend 32/36 for the Versys but I have seen one manufacturer's tire model come in at 33/38. A difference of just 2 psi can be easily felt. The PSI rating printed on the tire is MAX psi not recommended psi.
 

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You will see a big improvement in handling and straight line tracking airing down to 32/36....
You might be right, twowheels, but IF I can drag a footpeg at 36F, 42R....

:stickpoke:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I picked up a pair of Michelin Pilot Road 3 after doing some reading of reviews, here on the forum and what my wallet would allow. It's like a totally different bike now, but running on bad tires for a month has coaxed me into some bad habits I'll need to relax. I've been scared to lean at all since my old set was causing some sliding on parking lot speed turns. That's for the support!
 

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I picked up a pair of Michelin Pilot Road 3 after doing some reading of reviews, here on the forum and what my wallet would allow. It's like a totally different bike now, but running on bad tires for a month has coaxed me into some bad habits I'll need to relax. I've been scared to lean at all since my old set was causing some sliding on parking lot speed turns. That's for the support!


Good pick of the PR3's I'm on my second set.
 
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