Front tire cup wear and motor oil color after oil and filter change. - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
2008+ KLR650 Wrenching & Mod Questions For repair, maintaining or modifying discussions related to the newly updated 2008 and beyond, Generation 2 KLR650 Motorcycle.

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post #1 of 33 Old 09-19-2017, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
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Front tire cup wear and motor oil color after oil and filter change.

1. My front tire has 6500 miles traveled and even though I tried to keep the pressure at least two pounds more than the rear, I could not avoid the cup wear. Now I feel that at low speed the handlebar becomes more difficult to turn and I attribute it to the wear on the front tire. Can I still use the tire? What can be done to prevent further wear.
2. I changed the oil and the filter of the engine to 20w 50. After starting the engine to distribute the oil and check the level, the oil turned a little creamy color and after letting it rest it returned to its original color. What can be? Then I made a 20-mile journey and it was normal. If I take a short tour, for example two miles it does not look normal and I mean a medium transparent oil color that is normal for me. I appreciate any advice or comment on these topics.
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post #2 of 33 Old 09-19-2017, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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A pic of the front tire.
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File Type: jpg 20170919_130053_1505844367756.jpg (490.9 KB, 37 views)

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post #3 of 33 Old 09-19-2017, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
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It is a Dunlop Trailmax.

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post #4 of 33 Old 09-19-2017, 01:14 PM
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My 2016 with 4300 miles on the Dunlop K750 it came with new has some cupping. Barely 1/2 worn and I don't notice any change in steering.
Far as I know all can be done is maintain good pressure in it, check it over closely for any tread separation and just wear it out.
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post #5 of 33 Old 09-19-2017, 01:16 PM
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Cupping on mine is much like that in the picture you posted.
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1983 GL1100 Goldwing
2017 Yamaha R1

Last edited by dan filipi; 09-19-2017 at 01:18 PM.
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post #6 of 33 Old 09-19-2017, 09:27 PM
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Cupping is a common problem with front tires. Might be more common to the Dunlop brand but I'm guessing there. My original Dunlop cupped. My Kenda 761 cupped. The Shinko I currently have on with probably 12,000 miles hasn't cupped. Dunlops on my Goldwing cupped. Avons didn't, so go figure.

As to the oil sounds to me like a little condensation which is normal. Take it for a good run and it's gone.
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post #7 of 33 Old 09-19-2017, 09:27 PM
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From Dunlops website on tire cupping.

How can I keep my tires from cupping?

You may not be able to entirely avoid cupping. Tire cupping or irregular wear is a somewhat common occurrence on all vehicles. On a four-wheel vehicle, you are advised to rotate your tires periodically to even out wear. Unfortunately, you do not have this luxury with a motorcycle because front and rear tires, unlike those on most four-wheel vehicles, are not interchangeable.

However, there are steps that can be taken to minimize cupping and uneven wear on a motorcycle: Maintain your motorcycle and particularly your front and suspension. Avoid hard braking whenever possible. Braking causes the tire to grab and wear in one direction. When braking is applied to the front tire, the load transfer over-flexes the tire and increases the tendency for cupping and uneven wear. Maintain your tire pressures. Under inflation and overloading of motorcycle tires are significant causes of cupping and uneven wear, particularly in association with hard braking and/or trailer use.

Once a tire begins to show signs of uneven wear, even following these steps may not improve the condition.

Tire companies can, and are, helping to minimize cupping and uneven wear but you, the rider, must do your part. Following the aforementioned guidelines will help avoid uneven wear.
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post #8 of 33 Old 09-20-2017, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Gracias amigos. Cupping is inevitable. The oil is already okay. Next riding
LOL.
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post #9 of 33 Old 09-20-2017, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Dicky View Post
Gracias amigos. Cupping is inevitable. The oil is already okay. Next riding
LOL.
Apparently Dunlop does not sell the TrailMax in the USA. We get the TrailSmart, which is much like a Metzeler Tourance, imo. Too street oriented for me.

Dicky, How much actual air pressure do you run in F & R tires? And how much do you weigh and how much gear do you carry?
An old rule of thumb was, 'Never less the 8 psi under Maximum'. Has served me and my customers quite well.
You might try adding at least 4 more psi to the front tire to help extend that tires life a bit.

I can't believe that Dunlop just discouraged Proper braking practice to help eliminate cupping of front motorcycle tires. The Proper response is to add more air pressure to Support the load which is being applied. Up to maximum listed on the side-wall if necessary.
When a front motorcycle tire is pressed in the center all of the surrounding rubber flexes towards the point of contact. The tire tread blocks are actually 'biting at' the road surface.
Various tread patterns are more susceptible to cupping than others.
Even road race slicks with no pattern will wear more quickly just off of the center line on both sides, because of heavy braking into corners. But even front tires on cruiser bikes whos riders only use the Rear Brakes will wear their front tires more just slightly off center line.
The front tire is always Driven against the road surface, never driving like the rear tires do most of the time.


As to your engine oil, just normal aeration of cool/cold oil. Happens every time to every engine. Hot oil lets the air out quicker.
Shake a bottle of shampoo verses a bottle of water.
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post #10 of 33 Old 09-20-2017, 04:15 PM
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I have nothing documented but over the years in the early Goldwing (80's) era there have been many many reports of the Dunlop E2's cupping. Mostly the rear. I've experienced it myself a couple times on mine. Since the E2's are no longer available, we are using the limited tire choices we have left in other brands. Funny thing is, the last time I read of tire cupping on a Goldwing, it was a Dunlop E2 and that was years ago already. I've chalked it up to flaw in the design of that (particular) tire.

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