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Linkmeister Supreme
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7,960 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have read many threads here over the past year that stressed the importance of scrubbing in or scuffing new new tires before riding them aggressively. James R. Davis introduces a whole new concept to me, as he explains here that tires also "grow", and complete the sealing of tire bead to wheel rim in the first hundred miles or so of riding on new tires.

http://www.msgroup.org/Tip.aspx?Num=112

Edit: After reading Sloppy`s post below, I think some may misinterpret my intro to the link, as well as what Mr. Davis has said. When I say new tires need to be scrubbed in or scuffed, I DO NOT MEAN USING SANDPAPER, I mean ridden until they are warmed up and then gradually leaned over into turns more aggresively until the shine and slick surface is worn away from the tread and "chicken strips" starting up on the sidewalls. Mr. Davis mentions using sandpaper, but only to point out that it is not the proper way to "scuff" a new motorcycle tire. Please read the safety tips carefully and through to the end, or you may have a faulty and opposite understanding of what the author is saying.
 

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Senior Lurker
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509 Posts
Hey there. Brand new motorcycle tires are very slippery for the 50 to 100 miles or so and should be ridden on with caution. A dealer once explained this tire break-in period to me as being due to the release agent used in the molds that the manufacturers use when making the tires. The release agent itself is slippery and it naturally bakes off after the tire heats up for a while through normal use. Scuffing the tires with sand paper doesn't really help with the break in.

There are two reasons I believe him, 1. he sold me my VN750 new and I'm pretty sure he didn't want me to hurt myself and 2. a long time ago I put brand new tires on one of my other bikes and used sandpaper to scuff them up pretty thoroughly. Feeling pretty good about all that hard work, I went out for a short test ride and the rear tire went right out from under me on my first turn right out of my driveway! Went down like a sack of potatoes right in front of my two closest riding buddies and bruised my ego pretty well.

Oh and I guess ehow.com for what it's worth agrees too. Who knew? :wow:
http://www.ehow.com/how_5103058_break-new-set-motorcycle-tires.html

Ride safe! -Sloppy
 

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and the Adventure Cycle
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6,141 Posts
I've always rode awhile before cornering or twisting the throttle too hard, but I can't say I've ever heard of the 'Growing' thing.
I can see wanting the tire bead to get a good seat on the wheel bead, but figure that comes from the heating up while riding, not from the tire growing any?
Interesting concept though.
 

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Simple Solutions
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965 Posts
a slick new tire is better then cords on the old tire put the rubber on the ground and ride. sometimes i need to get hit in the head with a hammer to know it hurts ...
 

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Registered
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50 Posts
FWIW, at least most tire manufacturers say they do not use release agents. I tend to believe this as it would be more dangerous for them as far as liability risk is concerned if that put out such an assertion which turned out to be false.
 

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Linkmeister Supreme
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7,960 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I've always rode awhile before cornering or twisting the throttle too hard, but I can't say I've ever heard of the 'Growing' thing.
I can see wanting the tire bead to get a good seat on the wheel bead, but figure that comes from the heating up while riding, not from the tire growing any?
Interesting concept though.
I think that the warming, softening, stretching and expansion of the rubber to fill the bead seat is part of what he refers to as "growing".
 

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Super Moderator
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11,825 Posts
Sounds like a bunch of bullsheet to me. I have seen racers put on new tires and only take a half-3/4 of a lap to heat the tires up and then go full bonzi and not slide out, lose pressure and even, sometimes, pass everyone else..(cause they got fresh tires)

The "release coating" is a bit of a myth, but they do sometimes "powder" a tire to store it, so a good wash with a wet rag usualy does the trick. (some of the more paranoid use soapy water then rinse it off while wiping...I have never seen the tire guy at the track do this BTW)

Once a tire warms up, it should "grow" all it has too, not mounting the tire correctly and making sure the bead sets right is another completely different matter. I too have pumped up the pressure on a brand new tire to make sure the tire bead snugs up right on the rim..(and of course I let the excess air out before riding on it)

A brand new tire may have a "slicker" looking surface, but it actually sticks better than a used tire. If the road is dry and fairly clean it should not slide any easier because of this...quite the opposite really.

But because you do not know how long the tire was stored, if it was clean to start with, if the wrench that mounted it for you had greasy hands...it still is a good idea to hold off going full tilt boogie until you at least are sure the tire is warmed up...which can take 4 or 5 miles on the street.

KM
 

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Undercover Sportbiker
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1,097 Posts
To add, I wish I could find the link, but there was a thread on another forum last year. A guy took the time to call a number of manufacturers, and most stated that they no longer use the mold release compound of old. One or two of the big name (can't recall if it was Bridgestone or Dunlop) said they still use it. The biggest thing to fear with new tires is "turning into the ground" by using the way you used to turn the old tires to turn the new tires. Simply put, the new ones are way more round, and require a lot less input to fall into a corner. WHereas your old ones may have taken some muscle, but you don't realize how much since you've had the same tires for a while, and it happens gradually. You should always take the time to learn how these tires react to your inputs before really getting on it.

The best way to really get a good "scrub" is to take your bike with the shiny new tires to an empty parking lot and do some lazy circles, getting progressively tighter while leaning your body to the outside of the turn, so you can get max lean angle. Go both ways or do figure 8's. I've done this with every new set of tires I've mounted up and have had zero issues. In fact, in all of my riding, I've only matched the wear in actual street riding that I put on when I "scrubbed" them. On my cruiser, there is still a line between where I've "gotten my lean on" on the street and where I scrubbed them in a parking olot. The advantage is that if there is any mold release/slick stuff/snot/grease/oil/whatever on the tire, it will be worn off fairly quickly, and in the safest possible way. A canyon road is no place to get that done. The timing of this post is funy becuase I need to mount up a new set of shoes on my Ninja, and was hoping to get that done this week, and you can bet I'll be doing circles on my street. I have the advantage of living on a cul-de-sac...
 
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