Cupping of the Front Tyre
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Cupping of the Front Tyre

This is a discussion on Cupping of the Front Tyre within the XSR900 Common Problems/Issues forums, part of the Yamaha XSR900 Cafe Racer Forum category; Just wondering whether anybody else suffers from this problem? I have Continental Road Attack 3 tyres fitted which have done just over 5500 miles and ...

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Thread: Cupping of the Front Tyre

  1. #1
    Junior Member Davidoff's Avatar
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    Cupping of the Front Tyre

    Just wondering whether anybody else suffers from this problem?

    I have Continental Road Attack 3 tyres fitted which have done just over 5500 miles and the RHS side of the front tyre is starting to exhibit signs of cupping. We ride on the LHS of the road in the UK so some of the wear is due to the camber of the road.

    The rear is also showing lesser signs of cupping but on both sides of the centre.

    Anybody got any idea what causes it and how to resolve it or at least extend the life of the tyres?

  2. #2
    Senior Member OldSchlPunk's Avatar
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    Low tire pressure?
    '92 Bandit 400
    '18 MT-09

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    Senior Member Tigershark's Avatar
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    You’ll probably be getting more responses. Being 70, my memory is crap, but I vaguely remember cupping referenced to suspension settings. A little help please....

    Edit:
    Did some research and came up with these possible causes.
    1. Under inflation (good call OldSchl)
    2. Overloaded or unbalanced load
    3. Rebound too slow returning, speed up rebound
    4. Brand of tires. Bridgestone comes up a lot with cupping issues
    5. Overly aggressive braking, usually more in front, less in back (sounds familiar?)
    Last edited by Tigershark; 04-20-2019 at 06:35 PM.
    Crosshairs, Frisco and Woof like this.
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    Member cujo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tigershark View Post
    5. Overly aggressive braking, usually more in front, less in back (sounds familiar?)
    wait, we have rear brakes?

    huh

    for what's its worth, I seem to get cupped tires on the front also, on several different bikes. My tires are always properly inflated, so it has been a bit of a mystery to me also.

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    Senior Member Tigershark's Avatar
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    If you rarely use your rear brakes, that could do it.
    You can't have everything. Where would you put it?

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    Senior Member OldSchlPunk's Avatar
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    A long time ago I had a 'Stone cup real bad in less than 30 miles riding underinflated.
    '92 Bandit 400
    '18 MT-09

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    Improper inflation and/or rebound settings. I'll expound on the rebound thing later....got to go to work right now
    "If it ain't fast...........It ain't fun"!

    Vern........ Sportbike Track Time Southern Region Lead Intermediate Instructor (Retired)

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    Senior Member Moto26's Avatar
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    On my old Hypermotard, the stock Pirellis started cupping (and developed flat spots just off center). I switched to Dunlops and never had the problem again. All else being equal, it seemed to be strictly a brand issue in that case...
    ◾◾◾ 2016 XSR900 ◾◾◾

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    OK....I'm back, let's get into the rebound thing. Let's focus on a tire, front or rear it doesn't matter. Unless you are running slicks you are going to have rain grooves/patterns in the tread of the tire. The cupping will usually show up pretty distinctly along the grooves and the front side of the groove will be higher or lower than the rear side of the groove. That is the way to tell whether your rebound is set to slow or too fast. In this example, let's say the front of the groove (the leading edge) is higher than the trailing edge of the groove. What that is telling you is that when the shock or fork(whichever end of the bike you are having tire cupping issues on) is compressed because of a bump or bumps/uneven road surfaces, the rebounding part of the forks or shock is taking too long to allow the tire to make contact with the road surface...or...letting the tire settle back down. Obviously this action all takes place in milli-seconds, so obviously not visible....but the results are, in the form of cupping. So in the example, with the front edge high and the trailing edge of the groove lower, we need to "speed 70£ the rebound action.....make the rebound happen quicker. On every bike that I've ever dealt with, you will need to decrease the rebound effect....also known as speeding it up. This decrease of rebound is done by turning the adjuster COUNTER-CLOCKWISE. And so it is just the opposite if the leading edge of the groove is lower than the trailing edge. Hope this helps if it is a rebound issue.
    Tigershark and Crosshairs like this.
    "If it ain't fast...........It ain't fun"!

    Vern........ Sportbike Track Time Southern Region Lead Intermediate Instructor (Retired)

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    Let me add this bit of further info and making adjustments on the rebound....or any of the settings for that matter....compression and preload. The very FIRST thing to do is to get a piece of paper and write down the settings BEFORE you start making any adjustments at all. If the adjuster has clicks or if you just count the number of turns, write it down. An example would be that you are getting ready to start making some adjustment on the rebound settings and you grab whatever tool is needed to turn the adjuster. Write down on the paper that you are going to turn it counter clockwise and then either count the full and partial turns or the clicks. So turn it counter clockwise and start counting. Let's say you counted 14 clicks....write it down. After noting it on the paper, turn it 14 clicks and put it back to where it was before you started on it. You now have a BASELINE to go back to if needed. Do this on ANY and ALL adjustments that you are going to change.

    The second thing is when you are making adjustments on something like rebound, depending on how bad the cupping is and how quickly it has happened, you may want to make small adjustment....2 or three clicks....or in the case of just counting turns.....maybe 1/8 of a turn. The hard part is that now, after making the adjustments, you have to ride the bike and put some miles on it to see any results....that may take a day or two or a week or two....depending on how much you ride. It's definitely NOT instant gratification in most instances. When I was still doing track days, I could tweak and adjustment, go out and run a 20 minute session and usually be able to come in and see if I had made improvements and if I need more. Riding on the street isn't quite that simple to get results. 20 minutes on the track with the tires at full temperature (200+ degrees on a rear and 160 or more on the front) tends to produce results a whole lot faster. Anyway, WRITE your info down and MAKE YOURSELF A BASELINE for the numbers....AND go in smaller vs. larger steps.
    meinschaft and Crosshairs like this.
    "If it ain't fast...........It ain't fun"!

    Vern........ Sportbike Track Time Southern Region Lead Intermediate Instructor (Retired)

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