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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Dunlop Rear Tire - Normal Wear?

2017 RGU, with 180/65-16; Dunlop D407T.

Noticed after detailing this morning, rear tire looked like middle is wearing evenly but edges are not (where the thread starts to curve outward), sort of like edges are lifting outward. I tried to get two pics to show this, its tough - no good angles.

Pressure is by-the-book, checked every time we ride.

Anyone experience this?
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 05:55 PM
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It’s difficult to tell from the photo, but what you’re describing sounds like scalloping, which is a common occurrence with virtually every motorcycle tire. How do you minimize it? Some people advise experimenting with the tire pressure, either more or less. In reality, most all tires will scallop eventually no matter what you do. It doesn’t really hurt anything, but the tire will start humming going around curves.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 06:02 PM
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I can't see anything out of the ordinary in the pic. If you're referring to the tire getting "square" which happens when the majority of your ride is straight, that's gonna happen unless you travel roads like the tail of the dragon daily.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 06:58 PM
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the stock dunlops are known for getting choppy on the edges. in fact most tires will but the dunlops are pretty bad about it. by the picture you posted it doesn't look too bad yet. youll know when it bad when youre in a turn and you hear a hum or buzzing noise when leaning into a corner

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 08:45 PM
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"They all do that...." Looks to be "cupped" which is not at all unusual for the OEM / Harley-designed Dunlop tires. I would typically get about 7,800 - 9,000 miles out of a rear on my 2013 CVO Road King and went through two of the rear D407's and a front, then switched over to Metzler's.

Talking with someone who knows a bit about Dunlop & Harley-Davidson, he noted that Dunlop is not a fan of Harley's tread design which is why they developed the American Elite... so that Harley owners could have a better experience with Dunlop tires on their Harley's. I went ahead and switched out the wheels and tires on our 2017 FLTRU right after I bought it and replaced them with some CVO take-off "Slicer" rims and had Metzler ME888's put on those, same tires I was running on the Road King.

Now, you'll hear that some folks have no problems with the D407's and cupping. That may be true. I'm really hard on tires because I tend to be a spirited rider and ride two-up on the touring bikes 90% of the time. Even with proper air pressure, hard launches and threshold braking will cup the rear and front tires respectively. And, then there's the less than optimal stock front suspension on Harley's which also causes cupping. I'm running a dampened aftermarket spring set on the 2017 FLTRU.

The cupping will typically begin to cause your bike's tires to "sing" at some point, such that when you're riding above say 20 mph you'll get some harmonics and slight vibration whenever you're navigating curves in the road. As soon as your bike is back to dead-center it goes away. Rear tire cupping can be tolerated for a while, but if your front tire begins to cup... it might be something you won't want to put up with. Here's a video taken from a GoPro camera mounted on the windscreen of my Road King that pics up the harmonics and vibration from the front tire when it was cupped. There's also a bit of a rattle in the audio which is from the Windsplitter vent door's stress-cracked pivots.
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Last edited by tandemgeek; 08-12-2018 at 08:50 PM.
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