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My 06 has round about 4800 miles and the front tire pressure is kept between 17-20 psi. Noticed this a while ago but it wasn't really a big concern. With my upcoming chain and sprocket swap, (original to the bike, same with tires) I'm planning on throwing some new rubber on while I'm at. So my main question is, why would a tire wear like this? Is it normal for the stock ones? maybe its just age? In the pictures you can see a big taper in the main inner knobs. There is a noticeable difference in thickness from from to rear. Pictures were taken from the right side of the bike, the front of the tire is to the right. I can't really think of a good reason a tire would wear like this. The only thing I can really think of is the majority of my riding is on road. Either way, thoughts opinions, ideas or hypothesis would be appreciated.

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It's very normal on the "Death-Wing front tire. They start cupping & vibrating after a few thousand miles.. Guys will chime in on what they use.. I went with the road front tire and just love it.. But I'm not a hard core off trail rider. OMM.
 

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Kind of normal for street tire wear. You can dismount the tire and put it on the other way, so it wears the high spots off and smooth's it out again. Then again....it's cracking and is a 9 year old tire...time for a new one perhaps?
 

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Perfectly normal wear pattern for a "Death Wing"

I wouldn't recommend reversing that tire - however - academic - the rubber (not just the tread) is shot - time for a new one .......
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I thought the name death wing came from wash out, but apparently it also comes from how your brain is rattled silly after you use this tire for a while. I was thinking about that trials tire, seams like a nice balance of on and off road. So yeah, they are getting replaced, but is there any science behind that kind of wear? Not that it really matter I guess, just curious.
 

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This is common wear for all front tires though some show it more than others.

Basically the front brake causes the tire to wear like this when you stop. The same thing happens on the rear tire but the rear tire also undergoes acceleration so that equalizes the affect. What happens is when you hit the brake the knob rolls over slightly and wears on the leading edge. Lighter braking and more air pressure equals less rolling over of the knob.

Your new tire will wear the same way but you can minimize it. As I said, pump the tire up with more air -- lower air pressure makes it worse -- higher pressure keep the knob from rolling over. And try to use the front brake less aggressively -- less pressure on the brake handle . Of course in an emergency do what needs to be done, but for example, rolling up to a stop sign start slowing down sooner using the engine to slow you down. Apply the brakes lightly. The wear you show will be much less pronounced. Your front tire will last longer.
 

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Mine did the same thing. My KLR does it also. Check out other dual sport bikes that have a few miles on the rubber and I think you'll see it there also. Car tires also do this but it's hard to see. Take your hand and lightly rub it across the top of your car tire, toward the front of car, then towards the back. Smooth one way, kinda catches the other. I think Elime explained it pretty good.
 
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