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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Found my rear tire to have extreme wear on the left side. My dealer wants to take apart the diff. and check the bearings. Any other thoughts.
It's a Metzler with 22,000 km on it, 14,000 miles. On an 05.
 

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Premium Member
2000 GL1500SE
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It looks pretty normal to me. Motorcycle tires always wear more on the left side of the tire in our part of the world, that is driving on the right lane. The guys in England find theirs wear more on the right side of tire.
Also here is a link to a theory on why they wear like that.

http://www.rattlebars.com/tirewear/index.html
 
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Left turns are a lot longer and at higher speeds than right turns, plus most roads are crowned in the center also causing more wear on the left side of the tire. In England bike tires have the complete opposite wear effects upon them.

If there were bearing problems it would be the bearing in the wheel itself which can and does wallow out in the aluminum wheel hub. With the wheel installed you can probably feel a wobble in it with it off the ground and hands pushing and pulling the top and bottom of it. Also removed reach into the wheel and feel the inner bearing. I do not believe any wear on a differential would cause any of this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys!
I'm thinking I may not be able to trust my shop as much as I would like.
 

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JR
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22000 miles is pretty good for any tire. I switched out my Metzlers for Michelins. The difference in handling is awesome.
 

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killer driller
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22000 miles is pretty good for any tire. I switched out my Metzlers for Michelins. The difference in handling is awesome.
I think that was 14000 miles and thats pretty good on a tire,also when you take the tire off to change it you'll be able to look at the bearings.
 

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Premium Member
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Is it just me and the way I am looking at the pictures?
It looks to me like the tire is almost half new on right and about totally bald on left.
That much uneven wear I do not think would be normal under normal riding.
Heck the center should always go bald first and it even has more tread than the left side it looks like to me.

I've taken off 3 rear tires now that had Less tread than his on the right side, and mine had more tread than his on the left side!
1 1100 rear I think a Dunlop which was totally wore out, 2 1500 rears both E3 Dunlops. Other than cupping on the E3's the tires wore out evenly on the sides though of course the center was the most worn on all 3 tires

I understand what's being said about road crown but I really do not think that has much to do with that tire.
Running straight line the center should be bald WAY before the sides. What are we talking here about a 2" wide contact patch. Any road crown is not all that steep in 2" or even 4" wide patch.

I think I'd look for anything that could be causing the tire to run less than straight line.
Bad wheel bearing, swing arm bearing, etc..
Anything that could let the wheel sit cockeyed running to the side instead of straight.

How does the bike ride? Does it want to run straight and true or drift off to the side?
 

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Thanks guys!
I'm thinking I may not be able to trust my shop as much as I would like.
I never trust shops LOL

We cross posted as I get busy with things and often take forever to make a post sometimes.

Though I doubt it would be final drive bearings I'm thinking it could be.
Basically anything that would let the right side of axle/wheel run foward more than the left side of axle, running the wheel somewhat sideways instead of a straight line and thus chewing off the left side of the tire as it drags down the road.

Anyone that knows the old chain drive bikes should know what I mean.
On those you had to adjust the axle with sliders to adjust the chain. Forward to loosen or back to tighten, both sides needed adjusted the same.
If you got it off a bit with one side back further than the other side it would chew a tire off like yours also.

The shaft drives don't adjust like that, but same idea that if anything lets the wheel run less than straight the tire will chew up on one side.
 

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Vintage Rider
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That sure does not look like normal wear to me. I've never seen anything like it on a bike. Looks like a car tire running a lot of negative camber. I don't see how bad bearings could cause that kind of wear. Somehow the wheel is not straight in the swing arm, the most likely cause would be a bent swing arm.

The '84 and '85 1200s had issues with the right side rear wheel bearing due to a factory defect (I know, I wound up with one) The bearing just fell out of the wheel when I removed it. Had to replace the wheel. Also, the four cylinder models had dual air shocks. If one shock lost all it's air, or for any reason became weaker than the other, then the other shock would support most of the load, eventually twisting the swingarm. I don't see how that could happen with an 1800 either. But something is for sure not right.

And I wouldn't trust a shop no how no way.
 

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Postpubescent member
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I don't believe bearings are a likely cause of that wear. It's normal in North America to get more wear on the left side than the right but that's more difference than I've seen before. If the wheel is solid on the bike, you can't feel any sideways play when it's on the center stand I wouldn't worry about the bearings. 14K isn't a lot of mileage on a rear tire I use to get about 24,000 miles before changing the rear on my 1500. If it were my bike and nothing obvious was out of whack I'd put on a new rear tire and watch it to see how it wore. It could easily be something wrong with the tire. If you can find a different brand it might be worth trying.
 

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Trike Master
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It looks pretty normal to me. Motorcycle tires always wear more on the left side of the tire in our part of the world, that is driving on the right lane. The guys in England find theirs wear more on the right side of tire.
Also here is a link to a theory on why they wear like that.

http://www.rattlebars.com/tirewear/index.html
If you Read the info in that link you wold note the crown of the road theory is dispelled as a cause of one side tire wear!
To the OP
Dealer or you should be able to detect bearing "slop" without tearing into the rear end!
Just to be technical for a moment! The rear drive on a motorcycle is not a differential! There are no axles for it to "differentiate"!
 

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Administrator
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Nobody I know gets anywhere near 14,000 miles out of a 1800 rear tire. And that being a Metzeler it is no surprise it wore a little funny.
Do not let them take the final drive apart, it is probably fine and if it was bad it would be very obvious and the best fix would be replace it with one from a trike take off, they are cheap and plentiful.
A lot of the replies mention wheel bearings and the axle, there are none in an 1800. And there is only one rear shock.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks again to all.
I agree with most that it is likely not a bearing issue because I can not get any movement in the wheel. Even when I had the wheel off, the brake disc and whole final drive had no play at all. (btw, I know it's not a diff. it's just easier to type). I'm just hoping it's not deeper like something bent or swing arm bushings.
As for the bags, they are empty when I'm alone and equally full when the wife comes.
 

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Administrator
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did you have to lay the bike over to get the tire out?
NO, it is just one method of doing it without jacking the bike up or on a bike lift table. Something that can be done on the side of the road if needed.
 
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