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Tire Dilemma- What Would You Do?

2456 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Hurricane
Hi all-

Not sure if this actually belongs in the "How Do I" forum, so my apologies if I got the wrong place...

Ok- so my bike has been thoroughly inspected, lubed, filled, washed and waxed for my upcoming trip down to the Honda Hoot, as we're leaving Monday morning. This afternoon, when I was going over the bike again- I did a double take when I glanced at my front tire. Along the left side of the tire, right past where the sidewall crowns up into the first part of the actual tread, there are a number of slices that run along about 3/4 of the circumference. Only on the left side of the tire, and the slices are maybe 1/64" to 1/32" deep. They are not continuous, but stop and start like every six to eight inches. At first, I thought it was a string or some hair or something- very bizzare looking. This is a BRAND NEW tire, and I mean brand new. The colored manufacturing stripes are barely worn off of it. It's a Dunlop K505, which was bought through a dealership from Honda.

So, I'm wondering how the heck this happened? The way the slices are, I doubt anyone tried to slash it, it's not random enough looking. I thought at first something was sticking out under the front fender and contacting the tire, but I tore that off and everything looks ok. No pressure has been lost at all- again, they are maybe a 1/32" deep. Needless to say, I'm a bit concerned. Part of me says just ride it and see what happens- but another part says not to take any chances. I'm baffled as to how these slices got in the tread. Could this be some kind of seam splitting from the manufacturing process? If you can imagine taking a razor blade and drawing it through the edge of the tread on a fresh tire, then you've got a pretty good mental image of what these slices look like. They are very clean looking- and by that I mean there appears to be no other abrasion wear near the slices.

Not to mention, the dealer where the tire came from wouldn't even mount it on my bike- as their policy is not to service any bike older than a '92. So I had the tire mounted at a different dealership. But it rides fine as far as I can tell so far. I'm thinking though that once it really heats up and starts to get tossed around 100 miles or so into my trip that it's gonna let go or something crazy. I've never been on a motorcycle that's blown out a front tire, and I don't guess it's real fun.

So, do I try to get it looked at on Monday morning by a mechanic, or should I just go for it? I'd feel better if I knew how the heck they got there, if it's due to an external source or a sign of bad things within.

Anyways, thanks alot for your input.


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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Aril, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Hurricane:
Not to mention, the dealer where the tire came from wouldn't even mount it on my bike- as their policy is not to service any bike older than a '92.

Now, that is just totally bizarre to me, that a dealer would choose not to work on older bikes. WEIRD!

And as for the cuts, I'd sure not take any chances if it were me. I'd have someone check it and possibly demand a new tire since it sounds like a manufacturing defect. Not worth risking having something bad happen.

Have fun at the Honda hoot! :D

'00 Honda CBR600F4
"Objects in mirror no longer matter!"
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i would take it back to the dealer you bought it from, in a truck, get the tire off it, get your money back and get a new tire from a dealer that'll work on your bike.


00 GSX-R750-yellow & black
88 FZR400-krylon black
94 CBR600F2--sold
Thanks for the replies-

I think I'm going to have the guys I'm riding down to NC with meet me at the dealership Monday morning to have someone check it out. Hopefully, if the service guys see a bunch of us all packed up and ready to go, they'll be willing to do a quick tire change for me. Usually, at either of the dealerships near me, the service depts. have a good month or so of jobs lined up for them. I'll have to take it to the Kawi/Yam dealership, as the Honda one won't even look at my bike. (even though it's damn near perfect considering it's age...) I just don't feel like blowing all kinds of time at the shop when we should be on the road.

It's kind of annoying- the Honda place will sell me parts for my bike all day long, but they will not service it. I already know what they're going to say if I tell them I think the tire is defective- "We can't take responsibility of replacing the tire because you had it mounted somewhere else. And if you want a new one, we'll only take the wheel- don't bring in the bike." I've heard it before from these guys.

Maybe I'll get lucky and the Kawi/Yam shop will be willing to help out. Thanks again-


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Reading your description dry rot came to mind but if the tire is new it can't be such. Weird

Kyle S.
Got Milk?
Whoa! Wont work on bikes older than 92? That seems to be as alarming as the marks in the tire!

Tire situation--DEFINITELY take it back. If it is defective/questionable, they should easily be able to get credit back from manufacturer. You aren't looking for money back, you just want a good tire, so they should go along with you without much hassle.

I also wonder why you bought a tire from a place that has such a goofy policy on service? Do they only want to work on bikes that dont need any work? It makes me (and apparently others) wonder.

i have D207's and they have little slices in them all over the tire. we don't salt in some places here so when it gets warm there is alot of crushed gravel on the roads. these little pieces dig into the tire because it is so soft. the dealer here said not to worry about it even though one of the rocks that stuck in was like a 1/4 of an inch!!

You meet the nicest people on Hondas
Hurricane -

If this is an authorized Honda dealership, a friendly call to Honda America about this dealerships bogus service policy might be in order. I have never heard of anything like this before.

As for the tires, I had a set of D207's mounted on my ZX6 and when the dealer cut the plastic cover off the tire, they cut the tire. Dumba$$es!! They said they would replace the cut tire, but it would take 2 to 3 weeks to get a tire and I would have to leave my rim and cut tire with them. WRONG!! I took the mounted tire and rode the piss out of them for about 2.5 weeks until the new one came in, then they changed it out and I was not without my bike. The cuts in the tire, never affected the tires performance, but, it is your choice. I would make them replace the tire.

Tony Anderson
Blue '99 ZX9R
The previous poster likely nailed it. Most likely at some point of freeing the tire from its packaging, it had a close (too) encounter with a utility knife. I don't have enough experience with motorcycle tires to hazard a suggestion on whether or not to ride it. But I do have enough experience with customer service to second the suggestion that you get on the horn to Honda America about the dealer.

All Honda motorcycle dealers are supposed to work on Honda's, regardless of how old they are... Turning away another brand of bike that is older may be understandable (foolish in my mind, but understandable), but to refuse to work on a Honda?? Makes as much sense as a Ford dealer refusing to do the work on a Pinto. Yeah, its old, but its a Ford...

So, what's the name of this scurrilous cur of a dealer? That way we can ALL avoid it! :mad:

Grace and peace,

"It came to pass..."
I think Goforlow got it. Obvious as it seems to cut the wrap off from the inside, between the beads.... As for the second part, in all honesty I don't think any good will come of trying to make someone work on your bike. You know that their heart won't be in it. Replace the tires ASAP, as you're worth more than a set of tires, and the cuts flow in the direction of greatest stress on your sidewall. They probably wouldn't fail, but why risk it? Good luck.

Hi all-

Thanks for the input! I just got back from the Hoot, for more on that, see my thread "'00 Hoot Report".

Anyways, almost no tire dealer in my area had a suitable replacement for my sliced up one. All had radials in stock, and I'm running a Dunlop K591 Elite SP in the rear, which is bias ply.

So after much hunting on Monday morning, when we should have been on the road, we stumbled on to a BMW/Honda dealer way far away from my place, and he said he thought he could put a 120 on the rim no problem. (stock is a 110) I was hesistant, but we went out there anyways.

The 120 he had looked like it was for a Gold Wing. No offense, but not exactly "sporting". He dug around some racks, and low and behold, he produced a properly sized K591 Elite SP S compound. Within 5 minutes, I was off. So I will be back to those guys, as they helped me out of quite the jam. As for the mysterious slashes in the old new tire, the razor blade theory seems to be the prevelant one. Probably would not have affected the performance, but not worth the risk. As for the current S compound tire, well, after 2000 miles, it's already at the wear indicators..... ;) At least it fit!


Oh, and the dealer I mentioned who won't service my bike is Penton's Honda/Suzuki in Amherst, Ohio. And this policy is well known through the area. Otherwise, they are a very well established dealer.

The dealer who helped me out was Sill's Motor Sales in Cleveland. If you ever need them, go see Steve and Pat. Great guys.


[This message has been edited by Hurricane (edited June 24, 2000).]
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