Front tire odd wear - ZX6R Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 11-07-2016, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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Front tire odd wear

I took a short ride this weekend and as I was checking pressures I found a couple issues, first being the valve core was sticking on my back tire... gotta replace that... but i noticed that on the tread on the front tire the wear was worse on the outside of the tread vs the inside. I tried to take pictures of it but they don't show very well. What do you think



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post #2 of 17 Old 11-07-2016, 11:01 AM
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I'm thinking you are very nearly at the end of that tire's life.... If you can find the wear bar indicators, I suspect you are already past them. Should be a little triangle pointing at the tread on the sidewall to indicate the location of the bar.

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post #3 of 17 Old 11-07-2016, 11:34 AM
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Its hard to see how deep the sipes are on his tires but the wear kind of looks like cupping, which is typically caused by a poorly set suspension or low tire pressure.
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post #4 of 17 Old 11-07-2016, 11:41 AM
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Its hard to see how deep the sipes are on his tires but the wear kind of looks like cupping, which is typically caused by a poorly set suspension or low tire pressure.
Agreed on both points.

"There's this adage that we have 2 ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Unfortunately with the Internet people have taken this old adage and turned it around. They have two eyes and 10 fingers so they think they need to post 5 times as much as they read. And since they have 10 fingers and one brain, they only have to think 10% of the time! "
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post #5 of 17 Old 11-08-2016, 03:59 AM Thread Starter
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I feel like my suspension is correct, although I only have about a year of experience with supersports. I had the suspension set up and tuned at a Ridesmart event mid 2015 and the bike has felt solid. Now that I'm a little more able to do my part, the bike acts how I think it should. Once I set a line it holds it until I pull it back up, then it goes straight until i point it into another turn.

I run 30 PSI cold on front and rear. So far the rear seems like it is wearing well, aside from the tread on the very edge slightly.
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post #6 of 17 Old 11-08-2016, 05:24 AM
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I can't quite tell what's going on from the pictures, but look up Dave Moss' videos on tire wear patterns and what they mean. He's got one that's like over an hour long if you have the time. Very good information. Highly recommend it. There's so much info though, that I have to re-watch or re-read some of that stuff about once a year to refresh my memory because I can never remember it all

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post #7 of 17 Old 11-08-2016, 06:27 AM
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That tire looks like a Q3 and 30/30 PSI cold is low for the street. When I was setting that tire up for the track Dunlop recommended 36/36 PSI operating pressure at the track and you typically run your track pressures lower than you would street pressures. So, I think you're running your pressures too low and chewing up the tire. When running my Q3's at 32 PSI cold for the front on the street my Q3 did the same exact thing as your tire. I don't know the exact technical reason but Dunlop told me it was due to a combination of low pressure and the carcass flexing. (Mind you, the tire was on a ninja 650 and there's pretty much nothing you can do to the front suspension of that thing other than accept it for what it is or completely replace it.) In my case, the tire wasn't "cupped", I felt no strange vibrations or anything coming from the front, it was just the wear of the rubber on the outside of the sipe was greater than the wear of the rubber the inside of the sipe. (Maybe due to the softer compound on the outside vs. the inside?) All in all, though, this issue didn't manifest itself until the tire was at the end of it's useful life and needed replacing anyway. (Note: I was typically getting 2500-3000 miles out of the Q3 rear and about 2x that on the front.)

Another thing to note about the Q3 is that it's rated for air and tarmac temperatures above 60 F. You can run it down to 50/50 F but you can't ride to your full potential on the tire. There's a video of how I learned this lesson on my YouTube channel, I called it "Low Side at COTA" ... which is why I made sure to talk to the Dunlop reps. I needed to understand more about tires, specifically the Q3, and why that crash happened. (It was slightly below 50/50F for that session and I might as well have been riding on ice for all the grip the Q3 offered.)
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post #8 of 17 Old 11-08-2016, 10:50 AM
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That tire looks like a Q3 and 30/30 PSI cold is low for the street. When I was setting that tire up for the track Dunlop recommended 36/36 PSI operating pressure at the track and you typically run your track pressures lower than you would street pressures. So, I think you're running your pressures too low and chewing up the tire. When running my Q3's at 32 PSI cold for the front on the street my Q3 did the same exact thing as your tire. I don't know the exact technical reason but Dunlop told me it was due to a combination of low pressure and the carcass flexing. (Mind you, the tire was on a ninja 650 and there's pretty much nothing you can do to the front suspension of that thing other than accept it for what it is or completely replace it.) In my case, the tire wasn't "cupped", I felt no strange vibrations or anything coming from the front, it was just the wear of the rubber on the outside of the sipe was greater than the wear of the rubber the inside of the sipe. (Maybe due to the softer compound on the outside vs. the inside?) All in all, though, this issue didn't manifest itself until the tire was at the end of it's useful life and needed replacing anyway. (Note: I was typically getting 2500-3000 miles out of the Q3 rear and about 2x that on the front.)

Another thing to note about the Q3 is that it's rated for air and tarmac temperatures above 60 F. You can run it down to 50/50 F but you can't ride to your full potential on the tire. There's a video of how I learned this lesson on my YouTube channel, I called it "Low Side at COTA" ... which is why I made sure to talk to the Dunlop reps. I needed to understand more about tires, specifically the Q3, and why that crash happened. (It was slightly below 50/50F for that session and I might as well have been riding on ice for all the grip the Q3 offered.)
Daaamn! I searched for the video and saw it. That sucks. It really looked like you did absolutely nothing wrong and even the speed was very low. Just looked like there wasn't shit for grip. I pretty much avoid riding when it's that cold. Anything under about 55 and I'm not riding. On top of that, I always use tire warmers too. But the problem is on a cold days like that even with tire warmers you have to be careful because your tires will get colder as you go instead of hotter because it's hard to keep heat in them, so you'd probably have more grip in your first couple of laps actually then later on after 5-6 laps.
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post #9 of 17 Old 11-08-2016, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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30/30 is what I run at the track. I do about 95% of my miles on a track so I figured that is where the wear occurred. 36 psi seems way high to me. I know I'm getting to the end of this tire's life so I hope that is all it is.
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post #10 of 17 Old 11-08-2016, 11:27 AM
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That is called 'cupping' and at street speeds would be caused by under-inflation.
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post #11 of 17 Old 11-08-2016, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by harleystyles View Post
30/30 is what I run at the track. I do about 95% of my miles on a track so I figured that is where the wear occurred. 36 psi seems way high to me. I know I'm getting to the end of this tire's life so I hope that is all it is.
Ah ... that explains the pressure. That 36/36 was what Dunlop said the tire ought to be when it's fully heated on track, not the cold pressure. So 30/30 cold may be reasonable if you're adding enough heat during your sessions. However, if you're getting cupping in front due to low pressures ... What Dunlop told me was that if you vary from the recommended 36/36 operating pressure you'll change the feel of the tire, but not necessarily the grip, unless, of course, the change is substantial.

Anyway, it seems like you're seeing cupping issues due to low pressure. HT @PainfullySlo

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post #12 of 17 Old 11-09-2016, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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Okay. My next track day is 11-27 at COTA I will increase front tire pressure a bit at a time and see what it feels like. I trust them at 30 cold so I don't want to jump much at once. It will probably be the last track day on these anyway and I'm wanting to try something a little more track oriented next set.
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post #13 of 17 Old 11-10-2016, 05:34 PM
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Okay. My next track day is 11-27 at COTA I will increase front tire pressure a bit at a time and see what it feels like. I trust them at 30 cold so I don't want to jump much at once. It will probably be the last track day on these anyway and I'm wanting to try something a little more track oriented next set.
Just a nickles worth of free advice. Be careful in your tire choice at the end of November. If it's cool outside, sub 70s, I would suggest finding a different tire.

I've always run Q3's on CotA and never had a problem ... until my first cold session. It was about 48 degrees outside and I had a cold tire crash. That Saturday the temps went up to the mid/upper 60s and I couldn't find any grip all day. I was the second slowest person in my group. Since I threw one bike down the track on Saturday I decided to use my bike Sunday. On Sunday we had upper 60s to just breaking 70F. I couldn't find any grip on my Q3s that day either and I was using tire warmers. I had 3 front end slides in turn 8 which didn't really bother me too much, I've slid there before. But my massive front end slide coming out of turn 15 caused me to call it a day. On the exit of T15 I decided to pin it (which isn't saying much on a Ninja 650) hoping I had enough heat in my tire to grip the track ... nope. Since I was once again nearly the slowest guy out there and was damn near crashing in every corner I parked the bike and cracked open a beer and called it a day. It was an expensive CotA weekend that I didn't really enjoy plus I had to fix a friend's bike after crashing it.

I guess where this is going is 1) I don't trust a Q3 in the cold, and 2) CotA is expensive and fun. I'd hate to see you pay that much and have a shit day because of the Q3.

Have fun out there! Let us know how it went. (Normally I'd be there either riding or hanging with friends but since it's Thanksgiving weekend ... family time.)

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post #14 of 17 Old 11-11-2016, 06:58 AM
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I have had the same problem with Q3 wearing the way yours does. Also had a slight shimmy in the front when I let off the bars. I now a running Pirellis Rosso tires and the shimmy is gone but my tire wear is the same. So my believe is the suspension is not tuned right for my weight which is almost impossiable for me because the 09-12 have a much stiffer race oriented suspension. Right now I am running pretty much everything backed off.
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post #15 of 17 Old 11-11-2016, 10:31 AM
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I have had the same problem with Q3 wearing the way yours does. Also had a slight shimmy in the front when I let off the bars. I now a running Pirellis Rosso tires and the shimmy is gone but my tire wear is the same. So my believe is the suspension is not tuned right for my weight which is almost impossiable for me because the 09-12 have a much stiffer race oriented suspension. Right now I am running pretty much everything backed off.
I think I have one click remaining on the fork springs before I am all the way soft on my '09. It was much more difficult to get the fork to an acceptable level of street performance than the rear, and I weigh more than 200 lbs in gear. Got 'em both 'good enough' so I don't have to buy Ohlins like I did with my FZ6.

"There's this adage that we have 2 ears and one mouth so we should listen twice as much as we talk. Unfortunately with the Internet people have taken this old adage and turned it around. They have two eyes and 10 fingers so they think they need to post 5 times as much as they read. And since they have 10 fingers and one brain, they only have to think 10% of the time! "
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