May Tech Talk
UNEVEN TIRE WEAR
On street-going motorcycles, what is often perceived as premature wear of the left side of the tires is actually a normal wear pattern. The left side of modern motorcycle tires typically wears faster than the right side for a couple of reasons: long radius left hand turns and road crown.
In countries that drive on the right-hand side of the road, motorcyclists typically take left turns at a higher speed than they do right turns. This is because left turns offer a wider arc than right turns, allowing for longer/better sight lines and greater speed. Right-handers are typically tighter turns, with correspondingly shorter/poor sight lines and therefore taken at lower speeds. The long-arc left turns also mean that the bike is leaned over for longer periods than in right turns, further contributing to uneven tire wear.
Another contributing factor to uneven tire wear is road crown. Roads are crowned in the middle to allow for rain runoff. Because we nearly always drive on the right side of the crown, the left-center of the tire is always scrubbing against the crown, even when travelling straight down the road. Our motorcyclist counterparts in England Australia and Japan, who ride on the left-hand side of the road experience the same uneven wear pattern, but on the right side of the tire.
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