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I took my bike into the Honda dealer for new tires. I know I needed a front tire because it was down to the wear bars. The back was fairly close, maybe 1/16" to 1/32" away, but the dealer had me stand back and see the "shark fins" or "cupping" and said that indicated I definitely needed a new rear tire. I had him go ahead and do the rear as well, I'm just not completely convinced that "cupping" is the end of the world. Isn't "cupping" just another word for "normal tire wear"?
 

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I took my bike into the Honda dealer for new tires. I know I needed a front tire because it was down to the wear bars. The back was fairly close, maybe 1/16" to 1/32" away, but the dealer had me stand back and see the "shark fins" or "cupping" and said that indicated I definitely needed a new rear tire. I had him go ahead and do the rear as well, I'm just not completely convinced that "cupping" is the end of the world. Isn't "cupping" just another word for "normal tire wear"?

On this 900 pound pig. that would seem so.

I got rid of cupping by changing to a real rear tire 6 years ago. It is a by product that the front tire wears smoothly and evenly all the way to the sign od the wear bars, where I'll pull it off for new meat.


OEM tires are real sweet for about 4500 smiles, then you'll start to observe a wear pattern on them. no brand gets out without cupping. Some are more pronounced than others.

Keeping the Cupping Demon at bay is your diligence in running correct air pressure in your tires. You heard that before about your cage tires, but it's more important on your bike as heavy as it is. ;)
 

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As Rocky says cuping is a comon wear patern on motorcycle tires. Bigger bikes and those with shaft drive (which might be because it's the bigger bike that usually have shaft drive) seem to expience it the most.

Others common wear patterns that you might be more familiar with from your cars are are worn down sholders due to under inflation, worn out center line by over inflation and localized wear on inner or outer portions of tread due to alingment issues.

But on motorcycles, to answer your question, cuping is stituation that falls in the catagory of "uneven tire wear" in that certain parts of the tread wear at a faster rate than others. The exagerated wear happens at what is effectively the shoulders of the tread. It happens there because (in my humble opinon) the tread "squirms" at the edge of the contact patch.

A "cupped" section of tread is significantly more worn (as much as 1/4 inch more) than the parts of the tread that are experienceing even wear. I have seen tires that had spots in the cupped area that were down to their cords while closer to the centerline of the contact patch the tread was not yet to the wear bars.

So your dealer was telling you the truth that cuping can take tire into a unsafe level of tread wear while the wear bars still indicate some tread remaining.

The harder a motocycle tire is, the less it will squirm and too a point I am obsessive about maintaining my tires fully inflated. But tires inflated beyond their safe recomended max pressure, will over time develope structural issues especially in the bead area. So I check mine atleast once a week (often before every ride) and always every morning when on trips and I maintain the max recomended cold pressure in both tires.

I won't get into the debate of MT vs CT on motorcycles, as there are good arguments for and against both. I will just say (again in just my humble opinion) that max allowable inflation is a good tactic with MT's but it is not with CT's when they are on motorcycles. So these comments are meant only for those of us that run motorcycle style tires on our motorcycles.
 

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I get about 5k to 6k on my rear tire and it starts to cup. I check the pressure once a week and still have the problem. I wish I could wear out a tire before I had to replace it. The cupping drives me crazy when I ride it because I can feel it. That why I am looking at going to the darkside.
 

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Another reason I like my KUMHO rear tire. 14,000 miles later and no appreciable cupping, just wear. Not promoting it, just stating my observation that cupping on the rear is normal if you ride a normal motorcycle tire.
 

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The issue is real and prevalant on Goldwings, I believe excessive weight or tire loading is the culprit. An car tire does resolve that issue.
 

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Agree with Rocky

Agree with Rocky on this - and besides seeming to be somewhat of a normal occurence, one the most common ways a rider notices that his tires are getting cupped is he (or she) will start to hear pronounced road noise, or a buzzing, coming from the tires. In some cases you'll start to feel the buzzing through the handlebars. Car tires on cars can also get cupped. I had an OEM set on my wife's car get so bad I thought I had a wheel bearing going out. Very noisy inside the vehicle. Sometimes you get it because of inflation pressure or riding style, but sometimes it's just the design of the tire.

And like Rocky and many others, I also believe in the positive attributes of an alternative tire for the rear.
 

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I have two bikes, currently a Nomad and a Goldwing. I've settled on running Bridgstone radials on both. I religiously maintain 42PSI front and rear cold in both bikes (consistent with recomendation from sidewall). Both bikes go over 800 lbs and are both shaft driven. I ride smoothly, fairly fast, a lot of miles, and on about every type paved road surface. I am 6 ft, 235 lbs and my bikes are usually loaded for the road and riden one up.

I experience the most pronounce cuping on the rear of the Nomad and see the least of the the front of the Nomad. But it happens to all four tires. And I have run Dunlops and Metzlers and it happened with them also. I get 14-15,000 on the rear of the Nomad, 20-22,000 on the front and on the Wing it is consistently 16,000 front and rear.

Other riders tell me that I do a bit better than aver on tire wear. That seems to me to be more true for the rears than the fronts. Only thing beyond what I have noted here that might contribute to that is I habitually use the front brake lever more than the foot brake. With integrated brakes and 2 front disc and one rear on both bikes I am braking with both ends of the bike but relying more on the front than the rear with that tactic. It seems to me that I may be extending the life of my rear tires by shortening thelife of my fronts a bit?
 

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38 psi front and 41 rear gets me all the life out of my mc tires. I start getting some singing from the rear in curves at about 8,000, no biggy. The front does not really cup at all before it is worn out. Stock suspension, E3's, 15,000 miles usually. My current front tire has 10,000 miles on it and looks like new but I admit most of those miles have been around town, not on twisty roads. I did just do 4,000 miles to the Black Hills and back on it, taking as many curvy roads as possibe, but it was still mostly highway.
 

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The issue is real and prevalant on Goldwings, I believe excessive weight or tire loading is the culprit. An car tire does resolve that issue.
Wanna Bet??????????

I pushed the point on this tire, I normally pull a tire off my bike just to show how my 709 wears up to the wear bars.


123 (2).jpg
 

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Had Same Problem

I had this same issue with a set of E3s, really noisy and I could feel it also, switched to stones (thanks for great price from DLP), I installed a set of centramics at the same time. I check pressure several times a week as I commute in heavy traffic and concerned about tires in general. So far with about 9-10K on new tires they are wearing much better and without cupping (yet). So I suggest trying the centramics and if you need new tires I really like the stones and will stick with them when I need replacements.
 

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I only had my 08 Wing for 30,000 miles and never noticed cupping on the rear tire, I ran E3's until the last tire change than I put a 702 on the rear (it is the 70. Here it is with 8,000 miles on it when I sold the bike. I only rode 1 up that might have something to do wit it also but I have no idea if it does or not.
 

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The original Dunlops cupped bad but it hasn't been an issue with the Stones (run at recommended pressure).
 

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On this 900 pound pig. that would seem so.

I got rid of cupping by changing to a real rear tire 6 years ago. It is a by product that the front tire wears smoothly and evenly all the way to the sign od the wear bars, where I'll pull it off for new meat.


OEM tires are real sweet for about 4500 smiles, then you'll start to observe a wear pattern on them. no brand gets out without cupping. Some are more pronounced than others.

Keeping the Cupping Demon at bay is your diligence in running correct air pressure in your tires. You heard that before about your cage tires, but it's more important on your bike as heavy as it is. ;)

I agree especially with the CT on the rear and the cupping appearing at 4500 for the front. But it also seems that those that have LOTS OF twisties and ride agressively do not have the cupping. I have found that for my riding a CT on the rear along with Traxxion on the front with ALL BALLS and LOWERING the front pressure to 38 lbs eliminates any front tire cupping. At least this has been the case at 8,000 miles using a BStone up front and a CT on the rear. Previously both tires cupped at about 6K. I think the Centramatics helps also
 

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Isn't there a difference between "cupping" ... a real problem, usually with the suspension ... and "scalloping" ... described as a normal wear pattern with radial ply tires ???

http://www.rattlebars.com/tirewear/index.html :shrug:

My E3's always "scallop" after the first 5,000 miles but then I get 20,000 till they are down to the wear bars ...
 

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Isn't there a difference between "cupping" ... a real problem, usually with the suspension ... and "scalloping" ... described as a normal wear pattern with radial ply tires ???

http://www.rattlebars.com/tirewear/index.html :shrug:

My E3's always "scallop" after the first 5,000 miles but then I get 20,000 till they are down to the wear bars ...
Hey Tom. cut that parachute loose and I bet the mileage goes way down.:thumbup:
 

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On this 900 pound pig. that would seem so.

I got rid of cupping by changing to a real rear tire 6 years ago. It is a by product that the front tire wears smoothly and evenly all the way to the sign od the wear bars, where I'll pull it off for new meat.


OEM tires are real sweet for about 4500 smiles, then you'll start to observe a wear pattern on them. no brand gets out without cupping. Some are more pronounced than others.

Keeping the Cupping Demon at bay is your diligence in running correct air pressure in your tires. You heard that before about your cage tires, but it's more important on your bike as heavy as it is. ;)
Strange that Honda is plaqued with the cupping problem. My harley tri glide and yamaha royal star never cupped.
 

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It is not a Honda issue. It is really more a matter of matching the correct tire and preasure to the individual.
There are far too many variables to be able to tell any one rider what will work for them.
Once I found the right combination for me, it was just a matter of keeping up with it. I got my most even wear and longest tire life when I was running a Smartire TPMS, and paid attention to what it was telling me.
 

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The issue is real and prevalant on Goldwings, I believe excessive weight or tire loading is the culprit. An car tire does resolve that issue.
Nope. The issue can be found on all types and makes of vehicles. It is not specific to or prevalent with Goldwings.
 
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