Front Tire Installed Backwards - Suzuki Burgman Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Front Tire Installed Backwards

Last fall I replaced the front tire on my K9. The local Yamaha shop is willing to install a car tire I bring in on the rear (some won't) so I always buy my front tire from them. This time they suggested a Michelin City Grip so I went along. Immediately, I found I seriously disliked the tire. First, it was incredibly noisy when going over 50 mph. I mean seriously loud. Next it produced a very healthy oversteer effect when making corners under 40 mph. I thought I would get use to it by I didn't. This spring I pulled the front wheel to check the valves and decided while I had it off I was going to have it replaced - disliked it that much.

I am ashamed to admit it but I really hadn't looked too close at the tire. When I when to load it in the truck I looked at the rotation direction indicator on the tire. I was puzzled - never seen this type of marking before (see Photo). In my experience the ARROW points to the direction of rotation. But on this tire behind the arrow is the word FRONT. Does that mean the arrow should point to the front of the bike? In this case if the arrow and word Front are positioned at the "bottom" of the tire, where the word Front is right side up, the Arrow is pointing to the rear. Obviously, it positioned at the top the arrow would be point correctly but the word would be upside down. WHAT THE *^#%(*!!

Took it back to the shop and they looked at it and weren't sure either which way was correct. I told them to turn it around and lets see what happens.

Much to my surprise - PROBLEMS SOLVED! No more noise or oversteering. I am shocked it made that much difference. And appalled I had not looked closer before!
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Last edited by raymacke; 03-21-2017 at 12:14 AM.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 12:16 AM
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Yep. Some tires are "directional". They need to be installed one way only.


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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 12:50 AM
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The arrow always points to the direction of rotation. Front refers to the mounting position on the bike. Front tire marked front and rear marked rear. There is no up or down on a rim only right and left.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunkhome View Post
The arrow always points to the direction of rotation. Front refers to the mounting position on the bike. Front tire marked front and rear marked rear. There is no up or down on a rim only right and left.
Yes, Quite right Skunk, Indeed on a tire there is no Front or Back or Top or Bottom. The word FRONT means that it goes on the FRONT OF THE BIKE. The arrow does always point in the direction of rotation.

Here is what is not clear, the OP posted the pic of the tire with the arrow. However, I don't know if we are looking at the left side or from thew right side, as mounted on the bike. That would make all the difference.

So my question to the OP is, was the tire first mounted so that the arrow turned in the direction of rotation? Not Front or Rear or Top or Bottom, but in the direction of rotation as the bike moves forward?

At any rate, you got it fixed. so now you learned to keep your perspective in focus.
Cheers!
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 07:15 AM
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FWIW - Michelin City Grips have another indicator labeled "Rotation -->" marked periodically around the tire, on the tread surface, right at the junction of the sidewall and the tread surface. You have to look very closely to see it. Oddly enough, it points in the same direction as the arrow you picture on the sidewall. I never noticed the sidewall marker on the front tire but I have noticed it on the rear. Happily the rear tire rotation indicator, sidewall arrow and tire position all point towards/indicate directions that make sense.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-22-2017, 01:04 AM
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If you look at matching set of tires the front tires tread pattern is typically the reverse of the rear when mounted properly.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-29-2017, 09:46 PM
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One time I took my Victory wheel into the Harley Dealer for a tire. I added arrows to the rim so he couldn't possibly put it on backwards. Guess what happened? We had a laugh. He was a really good dealer, unlike another in town who put a brake puck in backwards when they put the first new tires on my used Ultra Classic (6,000) miles, then refused to own up to it. The local Suzuki dealer did a prep on my V-Strom and I made it to Utah before the piano wire-tight drive chain gave up the ghost. I wondered about that, but assumed dealers do good work. You have to double-check and never trust, always verify.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Need to follow up on my earlier post to clarify what I have confirmed. As several have said the arrow on the City Grip is ROTATIONAL not directional. I now have the tire on backwards.

After two calls to Michelin yield conflicting answers the third finally was with a tech I think knew what he was talking about. He confirmed the tire as I now have it is WRONG. He said the issue with the incorrect rotation was not structural but rather dynamic. The only downside to the incorrect rotation was on wet roads. He said the front tire's tread was intended to rotate with the Vs point in to allow the tire to "cut" the water as apposed to "disperse" it. He said if the front tire dispersed the water it could hamper the disbursement of the rear tire that has the treads pointing out. This make little sense to me but I guess I will defer to the experts. I ask three times about safety with the incorrect rotation and he reiterated it would only be a factor in rain.

BUT, I still have a problem. Installed correctly I find this tire totally unsuitable and possibly unsafe. I have hearing loss and wear normally wear hearing aids. This tire is so loud on my K9 I have had to stop wearing them when I ride and it is still very annoyingly loud even with my poor hearing. But even worse than that is its ability to cause the bike to over-steer. Anytime cornering (especially under 45 mph) I must add a very noticeable amount of back-pressure against the turn direction. Left unchecked the turn will continue to tighten at an alarming rate. I thought I would get use to this but instead it drives me nuts. I can't live with it!

So whats the suggestion? I rarely ride in rain but it has happened about 3 times in 32,000 miles. (Yea, I am a fair weather rider.) Do I just let it alone and ride or take it off, toss it and pay for another new tire?

So many highways,
So little time.........

------------------------------------------
2009 650 Executive
Grip Puppies
Dark Side Ponteza
Speedo Healer
Re-shaped Seat
Clearview Large w/vent
Oznium LED Turn Indicator
RAM Garmin Mount

Last edited by raymacke; 04-07-2017 at 09:13 PM.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 09:24 PM
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I feel like if they installed the tire backwards and you want it remounted correctly they should do so. Whether you ride in the rain or not is irrelevant. They did it wrong; they should fix it.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 09:48 PM
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I'm amazed that you are able to hear your tires over the noise of the bike and the wind. I can barely even hear the speakers in my helmets at highway speeds.

My bike also has a "helpful" steer when I turn slowly in to a turn. When I removed the very small bar-end weights and installed OEM weights, most of that went away. Now I don't notice it much any more.

For my understanding, the bottom of the "V" pattern should hit the pavement first as the tire rotates.

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