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Purely hypothetical of course

but let's just say if it were to happen by chance that a used rear Pilot Road with 1000 miles or so remaining on it was mounted backwards and the owner....name withheld to protect the inattentive....noticed the arrow pointing the wrong way only after the wheel was on the bike. And then said owner took the bike for a ride anyway and it felt fine. Is this OK? Does it REALLY matter which way the arrow is pointing or is it just for best water purging, etc. I'll pass the knowledgeable comments of you guys along to the shy K1200S owner who prefers to remain anonymous. Knowing him he'll probably ride it this way anyway but....well....you know.
Thank you for your time.
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Last edited by Bob Hancock; 12-29-2008 at 08:36 AM..
Old 12-29-2008, 08:00 AM
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Back in the OLD days, some tires such as the K-81 dunlop, I believe, had 2 arrows, one for fromt and one for rear mounting in opposite directions. The theory was that the forces were opposite, braking front, acceleration rear, and that the way the plies overlapped made the determination.

I have also heard of frugal track day riders, swapping direction to get use out of the opposite side of the tread with no issues.

Tell your friend that if it starts to wobble, or thump like a ply separation to slow down and waddle home.
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Last edited by PFFOG; 12-29-2008 at 08:46 AM..
Old 12-29-2008, 08:43 AM
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You don't always get that warning though. I've seen only 3 trackblowouts ever, and 2 were backwards tires on full size bikes. (the other had been enduranced down to the cords) Mind you, I do it all the time, as do most, on the mini classes where the tires were designed for 3x the weight and 5-10x the power, and radically more braking force than we run, but on a full size bike, it's a bad idea. The front tire carcasses are meant to withstand great braking (reverse) forces and the rear drive (forward) forces.

I'm not saying the tire is ruined, or wouldn't stand mild commuting just fine, but if I was to plan even one mildly aggressive ride in the next 1k, I'd pull and remount.
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:58 AM
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I think the direction arrow is pretty important, so I'd count myself lucky so far and remount. Or just replace if you're close to the end anyway. From what I've heard, it's not so much the tread pattern as the angles of how the plys lie with respect to driving and braking forces.

Having said this, the odds are probably that it would go to the cords as mounted just fine and handle Okay for just trolling around.

Don't mean to beat [whomever made the mistake] up, but I'd add "check direction arrow" to your after-tire-mounting checklist. I make my final check right before inflation. I've screwed up twice in a couple hundred tires, but it's a lot easier to correct the error just after you've levered the bead over then after it's on the bike.

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Old 12-29-2008, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
it's not so much the tread pattern as the angles of how the plys lie with respect to driving and braking forces.
The right answer (IMHO) - carcass related load bearing forces et all.

On a pure hypothetical basis...I would suggest...the obvious.
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Old 12-29-2008, 10:18 AM
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I assume the tire engineers knew what they were doing when they put the arrow on. I have a Mefo on a ds bike that supposedly wears better backwards but I elected to mount normally. Tire life has been acceptable, will say 'thank you for a good time' when it comes off.
Jim
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Old 12-30-2008, 04:50 AM
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imagine it wouldn't brake that well in the wet. not sure if there are any other dangers.
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Old 12-30-2008, 06:57 AM
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I just made the same mistake on my F800S this year.

I had just placed a new rear on the bike and went to Buttonwillow for a track day. I spent the day going between the F800 and my Megamoto and never noticed any handling problems.

As I was loading the bikes on the trailer one of the instructors mentioned my tire was on the wrong way around. At first I thought he was just jerking my chain. Then he said "I'm not kidding". I took a look and he was right.

After I got home I switched the tire around. Never noticed any ill effects.

If he hasn't had a problem yet simply turn it around. I think he'll be fine but I wouldn't leave it backwards.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:21 AM
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like the little round dot, those arrows on the tires aren't just for decoration.
it's true that some tires actually do work well when turned backwards, but that's assuming you have it backwards throughout the tire's lifespan.
john ulrich over at road racing world is probably still one of the best tire testers out there. he used to turn tires around all the time, and could actually feel the difference when blind tested.

i wouldn't tell this guy what to do with his tire, but i'd ask two questions:
#1. do you honesty feel 100% confident that this tire is always going to give you 100%?
#2. how many dollars would it take to have a new 100% tire on there?

tires affect a lot of different things while you ride, suspension included (more than most people realize), yet they offer up only about a credit card's worth of contact patch at any given moment.

ask Ivan about tires. i watched he and shannon explode a rear on the santa barbara ride.
i'd guess he'd pay fair money to avoid taking that 100 foot wild ride again.
(despite the danger, it was pretty to watch a two-up "team" counter-lean together, to offset the bike pulling towards the other direction. made it quite obvious that these two were having marital-type relations*).

*at that point in time to the best of my recollection. i have no proof, neither heresay nor video, of any present situations or scenarios, nor am i in any way financially invested in ivan's home-movie direct-to-dvd business, if in fact there even really is one.
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
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i'd guess he'd pay fair money to avoid taking that 100 foot wild ride again.
...when looking at his tires sometimes... I am not always sure he would!
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:22 AM
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To me riding a motorcycle and especially riding it fast is very much a mental exercise. If I didn't know it was mounted wrong and rode it with no problems then I would be OK but if I knew about it, it would drive me crazy. Never take a chance,when you don't have to. Is your life worth a $150.00 tire?
Old 12-30-2008, 08:42 AM
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I'd remove the tire. Excuse me. I'd tell my friend to chalk this up to experience and get the proper dirsction mounted. I have started chalking a big white arrow for the rotation on my tires prior to mounting them.

The radial casing pattern is compromised if the tire heat cycles in a given direction and then you try to reverse it. That's why radial tires are never criscrossed during rotation.
Old 12-30-2008, 09:36 AM
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friends don't let friends ride bass ackwards.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:44 AM
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That's why radial tires are never criscrossed during rotation.
This is nonsense.
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:14 PM
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This is nonsense.
How so?
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Old 12-30-2008, 12:22 PM
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How so?
In the first generation of radial tires there were some issues with the steel cords being "set" by the direction in which they were turned when first driven and when the rotation direction was subsequently reversed there could be excess stress on sidewalls with the possibility of having a sidewall event. Newer materials have aleviated this issue.
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Old 12-30-2008, 01:49 PM
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Craig, you're the first person since bias ply when out that has ever said you can use the old bias ply rotation. Get me some proof and I'll think about changing my stance.
Old 12-30-2008, 03:04 PM
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...where you riding backwards again Bob?
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:12 PM
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I think that the disadvantage to mounting a rear tire backward would be less grip on hard excelleration, do to the tread pattern, not to mention problems in the rain.
Like Brad mentioned with the old Dunlop K81's, the directional arrow could be reversed depending on front or rear.
Good luck MR Tire Mounter
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotRoad? View Post
In the first generation of radial tires there were some issues with the steel cords being "set" by the direction in which they were turned when first driven and when the rotation direction was subsequently reversed there could be excess stress on sidewalls with the possibility of having a sidewall event. Newer materials have aleviated this issue.
I also don't believe any manufacturer ever specifically stated this issue to be 'real'.
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Old 12-30-2008, 03:57 PM
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