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Old 11-02-2013, 03:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Motorcycle Tire Pressure and Wear

I know that increasing tire pressure lowers rolling resistance, but I'm wondering what pressure is best for getting the longest life out of the tire. On my bike, I go through a rear tire in approximately 3,000 miles, so extending the life of the tire might be more "green" than saving a marginal amount of fuel.

If a tire is inflated towards the max pressure, it presents a smaller contact patch to the road, so I would assume wear would be mostly limited to that smaller contact patch. However, if pressure is reduced, the area of the contact patch increases. Would this spread the wear out more evenly across the tire?

I know guys run lower pressure during track days, myself included. I'm just wondering if the lower pressure might also extend the usable life of the tire.

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Old 11-02-2013, 07:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have no data but I would assume it is the same as car tires : more pressure => lower temperature => less wear
But the issue is not straight line, it's the bends and there, your smaller contact patch is asking for troubles.

If you have really short lasting tires it's because they are of a softer compound and that you don't hang around ...

Are you using twin compound tires with soft on the sides and hard on the middle ?

Finally, I bet you expected such an answer on this particular website but if you're concerned about tire longevity, quit accelerating briskly ...
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Old 11-02-2013, 08:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Tire manufacturers will typically say higher pressures will give better life, lower pressures will give better traction (up to a point, of course).

The flexing of the carcass where it contacts the road creates heat and wear. The lower the pressure the more the carcass flexes and the more heat and wear you get.

That's why a tire at low pressure, in hot weather, on the hwy, will overheat and blowout.
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Old 11-02-2013, 10:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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All of this is true for a normal car tire, with a relatively flat contact patch, but my motorcycle tends to wear out the center of the tire, with the edges retaining most of the tread. My question is specifically related to motorcycle tires, and to reducing the wear of the center of the tire.

My thought is that a wider contact patch would reduce some of the forces acting on the center portion of the tread, spreading the force out to a larger area. Of course this will cause more tire deformation, but I wonder if the wear related to this would be mitigated by the larger contact patch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by renault_megane_dci View Post
Are you using twin compound tires with soft on the sides and hard on the middle ?

Finally, I bet you expected such an answer on this particular website but if you're concerned about tire longevity, quit accelerating briskly ...
I'm running single compound Pilot Power tires that are on the sticky side. I run these on the track and on the street. The solution to getting even tire wear is to do more track days. Failing that, the center wears out before the sides.

My tires last much longer than they used to, because I don't push the bike hard on the streets anymore. That said, Lafawnda (the Honda) doesn't like to go slow
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Old 11-03-2013, 03:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I think the tire manufacturers try to find the best compromise between longevity and traction already. Bike tires will keep wearing more in the center, as you will never have the same amount of corner miles as you have straights.

Btw the reason to start with low pressure on track days, is to limit the pressure in the tire at the end of the run. It will go up once the tires are hot, up to around 1 bar rise, depending on circumstances.
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Another thing to consider is use the right tool for the job. Have a second set of tires for track days with a soft sticky compound. Since you are wearing the middle out on the street, find a harder compound to use only on the street. I know there are touring tires for bikes that will last as much as 30k miles. (ten times as long)
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wickydude View Post
I think the tire manufacturers try to find the best compromise between longevity and traction already. Bike tires will keep wearing more in the center, as you will never have the same amount of corner miles as you have straights.

Btw the reason to start with low pressure on track days, is to limit the pressure in the tire at the end of the run. It will go up once the tires are hot, up to around 1 bar rise, depending on circumstances.
That's basically it - no way to get around wearing the center if you aren't corner aggressively to wear the sides as well (track mostly).

You need a touring tire designed for maximum tread-life and minimal cornering.
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Old 11-04-2013, 08:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
I'm running single compound Pilot Power tires that are on the sticky side. I run these on the track and on the street.
I've always run 2.5 bar / 36 psi in my motorcycle tyres - bike was 225 kg / 500 lbs, so a bit heavier than the CBR600 - though that's a very common pressure.

Due to developing a "nice" leak where it had been plugged many miles before, my original tyre (BT54) started wearing down a lot faster as it'd only hold about 1.7 bar / 25 psi.
Didn't help the ride either, as it wobbled about.

Dual compound tyres will stretch their life as well.
The latest Pilot Power has dual compound / 2CT(+) in Michelin parlance.

Downgrading to a more street oriented tyre will help increase life as well.
You'll have to accept longer warm up time, and a bit less grip @ the extreme end.

The original Pilot Road has been a great compromise for me - I've done 35.000 km / 22.000 miles on 1 rear tyre (with some 85 HP).
The later versions (they're @ v3 now) should ride even better, but it's a fine testament to the design that Michelin are still selling the original Road some 10 years later !

An extra dedicated set of tyres for track use if you get out on the circuit often enough.
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by euromodder View Post
The original Pilot Road has been a great compromise for me - I've done 35.000 km / 22.000 miles on 1 rear tyre (with some 85 HP).
The later versions (they're @ v3 now) should ride even better, but it's a fine testament to the design that Michelin are still selling the original Road some 10 years later !
I'm testing the 2nd generation right now, looks durable so far (at 12000km). I predict similar life (=like your PR1s' on your bike - Teresa has only 50 horses and I don't even rev her, but a single is anything but smooth ) before reaching the wear marks.

Metzeler Z6 was another type of touring tires that lasted quite long - I used a set for 28000km | 17000+ miles. MPR2 looks better so far - and it feels better on wet and cold roads.

I know a girl with another F650CS who mentioned that the Pilot Power 2 is surprisingly durable too!


Last edited by alvaro84; 11-11-2013 at 01:13 AM..
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