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Just took a battery charging ride. Put her on the center stand and put a mark across the back tire with a wet finger and began inspecting tread by tread. About half way through my attention was drawn to the left side of the rear tire. It was cupped...not on every segment but abt every other. Some segments showed significant wear short of the chicken strips. All on the left side of the tire. Front is the same, but I expected that. WTF?

Looks like I've been riding into a 100mph leftTOright crosswind for 6000+- miles. Does the weight in the system cases affect tire wear? I always ride with them on and the left one is (i think) is probably 10lbs heavier than the other.

Any wisdom/experience with this issued welcome...
 

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Tread Cupping

By the description you gave, every other tread has cupping, sounds like worn out shock. Maybe out of balance, or both. As for the left side, it could be many reasons: the crown of your roads, always fighting a cross wind, or maybe you lean to the left more than you realize. I have ridden behind some riders who naturally lean one way or the other, just depands on how the rider posistion themselves.
I was behind a rider on I-95 towards DC the other day, real nice red K1100RS, who rode his rear brake for over 40 miles. This is hard on the brakes, gas mileage, even performance. I rode up next to him and sure enough he had his toes tucked in as close as possible against the engine to keep them warm, but did not feel his foot on the brake pedal.

Have someone ride behind you to see if you have a slight lean. I noticed out East here there are many roads with a pretty mean crown on them, out West seemed to be less.
 

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tread cupping

I had something similiar happen to my bike. I had the stock Bridgestones on it. The dealer attributed it to improper inflation but I check that at least twice a week. I had some pictures somewhere If I can find them I will post later. I have over 4000 on new Metz Z6 and they don't show anything like that.
 

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trey55 said:
I had something similiar happen to my bike. I had the stock Bridgestones on it. The dealer attributed it to improper inflation but I check that at least twice a week. I had some pictures somewhere If I can find them I will post later. I have over 4000 on new Metz Z6 and they don't show anything like that.
I noticed this same behavior on my original bridgestones...took amounter 2 k before they were all "cupped". Personally, I think they were crappy tires for slabbing/non-curve cowboy riding. Just my opinion though.
 

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Bridgestone problem, maybe.

I've had the same thing happen running Bridgestone 020s on the rear and the softer 010s on the front. My problem was just on the fronts. I had significant cupping on the left side after 3500 miles of not-too-strenuous riding. This was my third or fourth set with this configuration, and it was never this bad before. I switched to running 020s at both ends, and we'll see if that is any better. I ran ME Z4s before that without much problems, and have heard that the Z6es are better, so once I wear these out I may go back to Metzelers.
 

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My original tires...

andy45320 said:
I noticed this same behavior on my original bridgestones...took amounter 2 k before they were all "cupped". Personally, I think they were crappy tires for slabbing/non-curve cowboy riding. Just my opinion though.
I am in the process of changing my tires, and my original Bridgestone front is severly cupped. I thought maybe I take left corners better (faster) than rights. The dealer tried to tell me I had 60 lbs. in front, that's strange, I had just checked pressure (as I always do every 3-4 days) couple days before that and the front was 38, rear 42. (I'm big). I think possibly the tire was way out of balance, or the explanation as posted b4 about your foot "resting" on rear brake pedal, which I do (which is being corrected).
 

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Bridgestone's and BMW recommend 42/42 for their BT020 'E' fitment tyres. Notice they SHOULD be the special 'E' 020's for the heavier K1200 RS/GT. This may be why you are getting some irregular wear and cupping from the tyres??

Personally when I ride solo or two up with these tyres I use 40f/42r. When touring fully laden I use 42f/44r. I also adjust the suspension appropriately to allow for the heavier loads.

Never had any problems with 020's in the wet or dry and seem to get about 6-7500 miles per rear. I then change both tyres. This mileage includes significant touring miles through the Alps or Pyrenees as well as some slab work getting to the "play" areas.

I've tried Z4's and have not been impressed and couldn't wait to change them.

But as they say "One mans meat etc...."
 

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They ALL do that :)

popeyebedford said:
Just took a battery charging ride. Put her on the center stand and put a mark across the back tire with a wet finger and began inspecting tread by tread. About half way through my attention was drawn to the left side of the rear tire. It was cupped...not on every segment but abt every other. Some segments showed significant wear short of the chicken strips. All on the left side of the tire. Front is the same, but I expected that. WTF?

Looks like I've been riding into a 100mph leftTOright crosswind for 6000+- miles. Does the weight in the system cases affect tire wear? I always ride with them on and the left one is (i think) is probably 10lbs heavier than the other.

Any wisdom/experience with this issued welcome...
Bridgestone 020s will cup. You don't have to do anything to help them. The only cure is to wear them out quickly.
I like them, and normally get 5k to a set.

The attached pic is a front 020 at 3382 miles! BRPR 2003.
 

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I've been thrilled with my Avons. Also, wearing the left side of the tire is not all that uncommon with our Ks. We once discussed this at length a couple of years back. I went with the 5.5" rear and removed the spacer. It did help somewhat.
 

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Road Loading

It's possible that you may be unconsciously loading your steering. I was having the same problem a few years ago. I found that when I would relax my hands and hold them slightly above the bars the bike would veer off to one side. I got new tires, became more conscious of not loading the steering, and the problem went away.
 

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My understanding of "Road Loading" is to apply load to one side or the other while traveling in a straight line. That is, to oversteer the bike when traveling in a straight line. Too tight a grip seems to be the main cause.
 

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More tire cupping

Here are two pictures of my '04 K1200 RS original front tire. Bridgestones 020 with 6000 miles. With this cupping, I get a front end wobble at 60 mph if I hold the bars lightly or not at all. Pressure on the bars subdues the wobble to background noise. It wobbles less or none at higher and lower speeds. The wear bar is practically at the wore out stage, visible in the picture.

I am getting new tires this weekend.

Ron
 

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Ron:
Your tires look like every other set of 020's. This is the nature of these particular tires. My GT came stock with those tires and at about the same mileage as yours looked about the same. Nothing wrong with bike - shocks or your riding style. Only way not to have them look like that is simple - don't ride on them. I found them to be a good tire up to about 5,000 miles. Not a great tire a good all around tire. I have switched to Pilot Roads and find these tires to be an above average all around tire.
Good luck
Bruce
 

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huh?

my original metz z4's front cupped at 10k and continued cupping all the way to 16k. i now have 2k on my pirelli's, no cupping yet. i just rode them cupped, it handled a bit squirelly at times, but wtf!
 

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billbeemer said:
my original metz z4's front cupped at 10k and continued cupping all the way to 16k. i now have 2k on my pirelli's, no cupping yet. i just rode them cupped, it handled a bit squirelly at times, but wtf!
Wow! 16k! Don't fool with us, we are talking miles here!

BTW, purchased Z6's Saturday, the wobble at 60 mph is gone. Everything is back to normal, silky, smooth. Nice.

Ron
 

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ROB said:
I've had the same thing happen running Bridgestone 020s on the rear and the softer 010s on the front. My problem was just on the fronts. I had significant cupping on the left side after 3500 miles of not-too-strenuous riding. This was my third or fourth set with this configuration, and it was never this bad before. I switched to running 020s at both ends, and we'll see if that is any better. I ran ME Z4s before that without much problems, and have heard that the Z6es are better, so once I wear these out I may go back to Metzelers.
I am on my 5th set of z6. I swear by them. They handle great and I get a good honest 5,000 miles out of a set.
 

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Off Center Wear and Cupping

I don't know about any specific riding habits or tire brands affecting this phenomenon. I have had both Bridgestones and Metzelers do exactly the same thing - cupping and wear left of center on the front tire. I have also seen this same thing on other RS and LT bikes. It does make left turns a bit more abrupt than they should be! Anyone think that this may be some kind of reaction to the shaft on the opposite side? Any tires that seem to resist this action? Kind of a pain in the butt 'cause the tire is shot before it is worn out!

'03 K1200RS
'82 R65LS
 

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Wow, I wondered why my K12GT front tire cupped on the left but I see it seems to be "normal". I replaced my first front tire on my '04 at 6000 miles when I did a new rear tire. The front was not worn out but as I was upgrading to the Z6 on the rear I figured I might as well dump the cupped Z4 on the front and make them match. I like the Z6's so far but have no idea of how long they will last with my riding style.

BTW: I have a 650 Vstrom and those guys also complain about the tires cupping. Its not just a BMW thing.
 
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