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Thread: Flat ridge in the center of front tire?

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  1. #1
    JohnWC
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    Flat ridge in the center of front tire?

    I have a pair of Michelin Pilot Road 2 on my R1100RT. While doing routine maintenance I just noticed, and was much surprised, that there is a pronounced flat ridge that runs down the center of the front tire, all the way around. It is about 1 1/4 inch wide. I mean it is flat. There are definite edges to it all the way around, on both sides, where it drops off to the sidewalls. I can see it on the rear tire also, but not as pronounced because of the larger radius. These are "dual compound" tires. The previous owner put them on. He seemed to like the brand and the tire. Highly recommended them. But I don't know how many miles they have on them.

    I can't remember ever seeing tires that didn't have a continuous curve all the way across, even when worn down. It doesn't seem like this would be the best design for a tire. Is this the way they should look, with the flat ribbon around them? Are they worn out when they get this way? I"m wondering if this isn't a large part of the reason the bikes seems less than rock solid at 70mph on the expressway. I will try to post a picture.
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  2. #2
    Registered User
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    Flat ridge in the center of front tire?

    How much tire pressure do you run in that tire?

    I run 40# in the front, and 42# in the rear with Dunlop Roadsmarts. The shop said to run high #.
    Last edited by 11319; 10-16-2012 at 01:34 AM.

  3. #3
    JohnWC
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    For one person, I have it noted to run at: front-32, rear-36 Psi. It's usually just me, so that is where I try to keep the pressure. If I plan on two up riding, I would go to F= 36, and R= 42. I don't know exactly where I found those numbers. Maybe under the seat. But, it could have been on here, also. Too high, too low?

  4. #4
    Brick Pilot der ziegelstein's Avatar
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    Here's a pic of mine when I took it off my R1150RT. It was on the bike when I got it and I put an additional 11,000 on it.
    Why do you feel the bike is less than rock solid?
    New tires (RP3s) felt like a new bike.
    I never felt instability on the slab but cornering is much sweeter now.


    Some people take pictures of nature, I take pictures of worn out and broken stuff.
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    Jim McGill
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    '04 R1150RT

  5. #5
    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
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    I don't believe there is anything unusual here -- I road 2000+ slab miles to/from the MOA rally, and flat-centered my rear tire. Not surprised.
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
    #32806

  6. #6
    Registered User kgadley01's Avatar
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    I would bump the pressure on the front to 36 psi. You also need to ride more twisties. I run 40 psi on the rear and 36 psi on the front of my RT.
    AKA SNAPGADGET
    Lifes too short to ride an ugly Motorcycle

  7. #7
    Registered User Jim Rogers's Avatar
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    I have Metzeler Tourance EXPs on my GSA. I have the same wear pattern on both the front and rear with it more pronounced on the front. I run what the Rider's Manual specifies for for two up riding all the time - 36F and 42R. The 'flat' is more pronounced on the front. Interestingly, I just looked at the Metzeler website and discovered Metzeler recommends slightly higher pressure in the front.

    On My RTP, I just changed out my PR2s after almost 10K miles, again always running 36F and 42R. I had no flat wear patter on them. (although I did have some cupping until I got rid of the old, worn out OEM shocks (~ 64K on them) and installed Ohlins)
    Gear Up and Ride Safe
    Jim Rogers
    2010 R12GSA aka Heidi
    Yorktown, Va

  8. #8
    JohnWC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Ziegelstein View Post
    Here's a pic of mine when I took it off my R1150RT. I
    Well, that is what mine looks like. They could be twins. It sounds like this is normal for the tires, that they all get that flat spot on them. I just realized that with all the weird tread patterns they put on these motorcycle tires, it's difficult to tell when they really are worn out. On a car tire, you can tell it's down since the pattern is pretty much the same across the width, and they are also flat. On bikes, are they done when the center has no groove depth, or when the sides are getting shallow grooves? Or is it when they get a flat ring around them? After all, that is the little patch we are riding on mostly, rain or shine.

    I wonder if BMW owners obsess more over small details that other bike brand owners? Harley people seem to be addicted to chrome polishing. Heck with the tires. On my Beemer, I worry that I may be using the wrong spark plug. But I digress...

    I trust my life to those two tires. They have to be right.

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