BMWSportTouring

TIRES FOR 2004 RT + ?

Posted By: Cedarone

TIRES FOR 2004 RT + ? - 12/05/17 06:27 PM

HI, I purchased an immaculate 2004RT about a year ago with 10,600 miles on it. It has Metzler Marathons on it that came on the bike. They were in very good shape but now are in need of replacement. I have only put 4000 miles on the bike. It was like one minute there was tread on the front and the next it was gone. It is also wearing unevenly with the left side being more worn out. I have been told by a BMW friend that this is common with the 1150 RT's. Is this common? If so, is there anything that can be done to prevent this from happening? Looking for suggestions for a good replacement set of tires.
Posted By: ron c

Re: TIRES FOR 2004 RT + ? - 12/05/17 07:11 PM

Tom, yes this is common on the 1150rt. I went through several sets of tires on my '04 RT where the left side wore much faster than the rest of the tire. Some will say it is because of the way you ride or that the crown on our roads are at fault or it is because left hand sweepers are longer than right hand sweepers thus faster tire wear on the left. I personally don't think any of these are the cause. I believe it is misalignment in the forks. Here is what I did to help my situation. After mounting a new tire leave the axle pinch bolts loose. Loosen the fork brace bolts. With the bike straight up and the bars in center position push the bike forward and bounce the front tire firmly into a solid wall several times. Then without moving the bars tighen all bolts. This helped reduce the left wear. It didn't completely solve the issue but it made it much better. Some time after that I went to Bridgestone T-30 GT tires. This also helped.
Regards, Ron C.
Posted By: dirtrider

Re: TIRES FOR 2004 RT + ? - 12/05/17 07:47 PM

Originally Posted by Cedarone
HI, I purchased an immaculate 2004RT about a year ago with 10,600 miles on it. It has Metzler Marathons on it that came on the bike. They were in very good shape but now are in need of replacement. I have only put 4000 miles on the bike. It was like one minute there was tread on the front and the next it was gone. It is also wearing unevenly with the left side being more worn out. I have been told by a BMW friend that this is common with the 1150 RT's. Is this common? If so, is there anything that can be done to prevent this from happening? Looking for suggestions for a good replacement set of tires.



Afternoon Cedarone

Your 1150RT is a single track vehicle so, no matter what, the vehicle follows, the front tire. That also means that the only way a front tire can wear off center is if the part of the tire that is wearing is touching the pavement. It won't & can't wear way off center due to air friction.

If you really want to know what is wearing that front tire then just get some help & lean the bike over until the part of the tire that is worn is flat on the ground (THAT is the lean angle that the bike was being ridden at to cause that tire wear).

Depending of the lean-over angle that you determine in the above you can pretty well tell what you are doing to wear that front tire.

If you normally ride down the road with the bike leaned over far enough to have the worn area be on the pavement then you would think you would notice that wouldn't you?

As a rule, most off center front tire wear is caused by cornering & riding through curves. Again, lean the bike over until the part that is worn is flat on the ground, that is the lean angle that the bike was being ridden at to cause that tire wear.

In most cases a rider rides L/H corners/turns a lot faster than the sharper R/H turns plus a L/H turn is also longer than a R/H turn. Most riders also tend to use the same lean angle for most corners & just adjust vehicle speed to keep the lean angle in their comfort zone. Start watching for this & you see that it is mostly true.

Also, in countries that drive on the R/H side of the road L/H curves are longer than the comparable R/H curve due to needing to stay right of the center line.

Road crown seldom figures into (noticeable) front tire wear as the road crown angle is so shallow that any road crown wear falls right on the edge of center tire wear.

You will also find that most BMW 1150RT's have a slight PTTR (Pull To The Right) due to the vehicle weight not centered on the bike's center line (ride with no hands on the handle bars & you will usually see this trait) but again the slight counter steer needed to correct this won't cause a front tire wear off-center far enough to tell it from normal center wear (ie can't cause the 10°+ off center wear most complain about)











Posted By: Cap

Re: TIRES FOR 2004 RT + ? - 12/05/17 08:01 PM

Originally Posted by Cedarone
It is also wearing unevenly with the left side being more worn out.


One year my buddies and I spent a day riding from south to north along the Montana front range. We had a full day of leaning left into a fierce crosswind while riding more-or-less straight. At the end of the day, our tires were badly worn on the left side.

Anyway for my 2004 RT, I use Michelin Pilot Road 4 GT front and back. I wear out two back tires for each new front tire. That's all long range, reasonably fast, touring on local highways and mountain roads. No commuting, minimal interstates. No doubt there are better choices for commuters, but for my mission, the PR4's are great.
Posted By: MarkAZ

Re: TIRES FOR 2004 RT + ? - 12/06/17 02:02 AM

Another thumbsup for the PR4GT's. I have them on mine & am very pleased with them.
Posted By: cat0020

Re: TIRES FOR 2004 RT + ? - 12/06/17 01:29 PM

Not uncommon to have uneven wear on front tires of motorcycles, especially a heavy motorcycle like the RT, if you apply the brakes aggressively (or even just regularly), combined with camber of road surface..
Posted By: Craig G.

Re: TIRES FOR 2004 RT + ? - 12/06/17 11:01 PM

Quote: "Also, in countries that drive on the R/H side of the road L/H curves are longer than the comparable R/H curve due to needing to stay right of the center line."

I've often heard this and made me wonder what front tire wear looks like in the UK... sure enough, their front tires wear on the right side.

http://www.cambriantyres.co.uk/motorcycle-tyre-wears-more-on-right-side/
Posted By: Cedarone

Re: TIRES FOR 2004 RT + ? - 12/07/17 12:56 AM

Thanks to all for the replies. I have never seen this on any of my other bikes and usually wear out two rears for every front or close to it. I was worried since my long time BMW riding friend had advised me that this happens on the 1150 RT. He has had a few but rides and prefers the GS to the RT.
Posted By: cat0020

Re: TIRES FOR 2004 RT + ? - 12/08/17 03:17 PM

AFAIK, excess wear on front tire occurs on all heavy bikes that rely on front braking. More pronounced on BMW since they carry more weight down low that bike feels lighter (to steer) than others.
Posted By: AndyS

Re: TIRES FOR 2004 RT + ? - 12/08/17 03:47 PM

When I first got my 1150RT (for the first 35000 miles), we were running older generation tyres and I would get pretty much exactly 2 rears to one front. Since the likes of the Michelin PR2,3 and 4, I have been getting more wear from the back. So that leaves me with a dilemma. Do I change the front one early and have a nice feel to the bike, or do I do a staggered rear to front change. Well the dilemma is easily solved, because bikes always feel SO MUCH BETTER with new rubber, I change the front early to coincide with a rear.
The new feel is worth the extra money for the kind of riding I do. BUT, if I were just running up and down the Motorway and doing a boring commute, I would stagger the tyre changes. In truth, if I were just running on the Motorway, I would probably get much more out of my rear tyre.
Posted By: cat0020

Re: TIRES FOR 2004 RT + ? - 12/08/17 09:45 PM

Or you could have two set of wheels/tires.. change them as you feel.. better yet... get some spare motorcycles... one for the spirited rides, one for commute and another for long distance touring.
Posted By: greiffster

Re: TIRES FOR 2004 RT + ? - 12/08/17 09:47 PM

Originally Posted by Craig G.
Quote: "Also, in countries that drive on the R/H side of the road L/H curves are longer than the comparable R/H curve due to needing to stay right of the center line."

I've often heard this and made me wonder what front tire wear looks like in the UK... sure enough, their front tires wear on the right side.

http://www.cambriantyres.co.uk/motorcycle-tyre-wears-more-on-right-side/


FWIW, My '03 1150RT showed very little difference regarding R/H and L/H tire wear.


But, the problem I always have with sketches like in the above link is the scaling.......
[Linked Image]

Here in the US, normal crown on roads is +/- 1.5%. It looks like this when scaled correctly.....
[Linked Image]

And when you blow up the front tire and look a the relative slope across the width of the tire, it's unimpressive. A couple of millimeters vertically across the width.
[Linked Image]

When folks talk about uneven wear left to right and post pics, the wear is usually well up the side of the tire. Simply not caused by a 1.5% crown.

Regarding the length of L/H curves (in the US) being longer than R/H. Ok, but how much.....

A minimum radius curve for a design speed of 55mph is about 1200ft. If you assume a 90deg curve, than the traveled distance (about 1885ft) between the two lanes differs by about 19 feet. Or approximately 1%. I doubt you'd be able to visualize a 1% wear difference on either side of the tire.

If you are seeing L/H tire wear noticeably more than the R/H side, and that wear is more than say 1/4" (really 1/8") vertically up the tire, you turn left harder and faster than you turn right.




Posted By: dirtrider

Re: TIRES FOR 2004 RT + ? - 12/08/17 10:22 PM

Evening greiffster

Regarding the length of L/H curves (in the US) being longer than R/H. Ok, but how much.....

A minimum radius curve for a design speed of 55mph is about 1200ft. If you assume a 90deg curve, than the traveled distance (about 1885ft) between the two lanes differs by about 19 feet. Or approximately 1%. I doubt you'd be able to visualize a 1% wear difference on either side of the tire.

Evening greiffster

It really depends on lane position & aggressiveness. Remember that a rider can see much farther through most L/H curves so they tend to ride them faster & leaned over more.
Posted By: greiffster

Re: TIRES FOR 2004 RT + ? - 12/08/17 10:50 PM

Originally Posted by dirtrider

It really depends on lane position & aggressiveness. Remember that a rider can see much farther through most L/H curves so they tend to ride them faster & leaned over more.


Indeed. My point was that the difference in length of the L/H versus R/H curves is mostly negligible as it relates to tire wear.
Posted By: cat0020

Re: TIRES FOR 2004 RT + ? - 12/10/17 03:56 PM

Keep in mind the turning radius difference between left vs right turns in different traffic pattern.

In right side drive traffic pattern, the left turns will likely require twice the distance to complete the turn vs a simple right turn at a regular 4-way intersections.

Twice a year, I head out on my uneven worn front tire bike and ride for one of these highway mergers for 30 min session of right turns just to even out the tire wear pattern a bit:

[Linked Image]
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