Front Tire for '05 K1200lt? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 13 Old May 6th, 2020, 4:10 pm Thread Starter
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Cool Front Tire for '05 K1200lt?

Hello All. I have flipped through several pages of posts, and read everything I can find to do with tires for the K1200, but I haven't found anyone having a cupping issue on the front. Not sure of the mileage on my front, a Metzler Marathon ME880 120/70 because it was on the bike when I purchased it in '18. i have put approximately 7000km(4,400 miles) on the bike since purchase. The tire has developed a symmetrical cupping pattern all the way around the tire. I had put a post on here last summer i believe about crazy wobble if I let go of the handle bars and it was mentioned to check the tire for cupping, which I did at the time, but didn't notice any. Well I certainly do now.
So my question is, what causes it, will it re-occur with a new tire, and what tire should I go with? Most my riding is with my wife and our combined weight is somewhere around 320lbs, and we usually have some gear with us. Thanks!
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post #2 of 13 Old May 6th, 2020, 4:53 pm
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Re: Front Tire for '05 K1200lt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanLT View Post
Hello All. I have flipped through several pages of posts, and read everything I can find to do with tires for the K1200, but I haven't found anyone having a cupping issue on the front. Not sure of the mileage on my front, a Metzler Marathon ME880 120/70 because it was on the bike when I purchased it in '18. i have put approximately 7000km(4,400 miles) on the bike since purchase. The tire has developed a symmetrical cupping pattern all the way around the tire. I had put a post on here last summer i believe about crazy wobble if I let go of the handle bars and it was mentioned to check the tire for cupping, which I did at the time, but didn't notice any. Well I certainly do now.
So my question is, what causes it, will it re-occur with a new tire, and what tire should I go with? Most my riding is with my wife and our combined weight is somewhere around 320lbs, and we usually have some gear with us. Thanks!
Almost all tires cup eventually. Tire pressure makes a big difference. I run 42 in the front which helps some.

2017 KLR650 "Mule"
2007 K1200LT "Starship Enterprise", VOICE II, Navigator V, Motorrad Communicator
1987 Kawasaki Voyager XII
1976 Kawasaki KH400
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post #3 of 13 Old May 7th, 2020, 10:20 am
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Re: Front Tire for '05 K1200lt?

I haven't had any of my front tires cup as a 2 wheel or now presently as a 3 wheel motorcycle. I always kept right up with front tire pressure of 42 psi. The biggest problem I had was as the tire flattened, in the center, the handlebar wobble became more prominent. As a trike this became more evident early on as the center is the only place it wears. I always ran on Metzeler ME880's except last front tire change in which I'm trying a Michelin Radial.

Rob Sprague
Vineland, NJ
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2006 BMW K1200LT/2012 Hannigan Trike Magnesium Black
2004 BMW K1200GT Orient Blue

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post #4 of 13 Old May 7th, 2020, 10:24 am
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Re: Front Tire for '05 K1200lt?

Every one of my 9 front tires eventually "feathered" as I call it as I approached 12-15,000 miles and they were all ME 880s.
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John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 114 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #5 of 13 Old May 8th, 2020, 1:18 pm
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Re: Front Tire for '05 K1200lt?

Cupping is not a defect, it's a characteristic of motorcycle tires. You can minimize it by keeping it inflated. Running 42 in the front works for me. I installed some tire pressure sensors that help me keep on top of that.
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post #6 of 13 Old May 14th, 2020, 7:46 am
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Re: Front Tire for '05 K1200lt?

I run Bridgestones on the front and the maximum air pressure on the tire is 36psi. Those of you that are running 42psi, are yu overinflating or does your tire call for that? I'm replacing front tires every 6-7000 miles due to cupping and I'm beginning to think I have more than a tire issue. I replaced the front shock recently so I'll see if that has any effect.
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post #7 of 13 Old May 14th, 2020, 1:01 pm
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Re: Front Tire for '05 K1200lt?

Copied from Dunlop tire site;

"Maintain your motorcycle and particularly your front and suspension. Avoid hard braking whenever possible. Braking causes the tire to grab and wear in one direction. When braking is applied to the front tire, the load transfer over-flexes the tire and increases the tendency for cupping and uneven wear. Maintain your tire pressures. Under inflation and overloading of motorcycle tires are significant causes of cupping and uneven wear, particularly in association with hard braking and/or trailer use."

So I guess it all depends on driving style and maintenance whether it cups sooner or later!
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Rob Sprague
Vineland, NJ
2009 BMW R1200RT Metallic Black
2006 BMW K1200LT/2012 Hannigan Trike Magnesium Black
2004 BMW K1200GT Orient Blue

"Money talks...but all mine ever says is good-bye."

"We, the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts
not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert
the Constitution." Abraham Lincoln
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post #8 of 13 Old May 14th, 2020, 1:11 pm
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Re: Front Tire for '05 K1200lt?

Have 2009 K1200LT as well, with 130,000 Miles on it, every set of tires cupped in front, religiously set tire pressures every morning at 42PSI (Front), ran high speed all day, All sets, Metzler ME 880's except for the crappy Dunlops it came with. Had flat spot in front rim from big rock, had it straightened in Tuscon. Replaced front wheel bearings.
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post #9 of 13 Old May 14th, 2020, 9:24 pm
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Re: Front Tire for '05 K1200lt?

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Every one of my 9 front tires eventually "feathered" as I call it as I approached 12-15,000 miles and they were all ME 880s.
Hi John... so you never got around to trying out the PR4GT on the front of the LT?
https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/tires/1...-front-lt.html

Chris
Sydney, NSW
2005 Dark Graphite Metallic K1200LT
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post #10 of 13 Old May 14th, 2020, 10:42 pm
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Re: Front Tire for '05 K1200lt?

I hesitate to write this as it seems everyone else is going with 42psi., but here goes

I run metzler, last one 880 and now 888. I only have 35k experience with this LT, but the bike has 72k total miles.

Prior owner ran 36 psi front, 42 psi rear, had it posted under gas tank storage cover..

I upped the front to 42 psi, on comments from several sources.

I ran the 880 that came on it @42psi and ended up with ridiculous cupping.

I now run 36psi front, no signs of cupping, BUT I have only about 5k on the tire.

I also have a K1200S and it runs 36psi as well. No cupping and the tire is down to the last 32nd of tread. It also runs 42psi rear. Tires are nitrogen filled. Very stable pressure.

Just sayin, works for me.
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post #11 of 13 Old May 15th, 2020, 11:28 am
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Re: Front Tire for '05 K1200lt?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cws View Post
Hi John... so you never got around to trying out the PR4GT on the front of the LT?
https://www.bmwlt.com/forums/tires/1...-front-lt.html
No I still have a ME880 on the front that has at least 6K left on it.
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John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 114 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #12 of 13 Old May 20th, 2020, 11:56 pm
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Re: Front Tire for '05 K1200lt?

I put a set of Avon Storm 3D on my 2006 a couple years ago now. I have just shy of 16000km on them. But I must have found a nail someplace since I have a hole in the rear tire right now. Dealer has to take a look to see if it can be patched from inside, but may have to buy a new set sooner than I anticipated.

The rear would still be good for another 5000k or so yet, but the front is getting rather cupped and yes I maintained it at 42PSI. (49PSI in rear).

Overall I liked the traction and handling over the Bridgestones that were on the bike when I bought it used. They are quieter, smoother ride, and way better traction. I am not an aggressive driver most of the time, but do like to push it a bit hard occasionally.

Overall, I would still recommend the Avon 3D.

Current Bike:
2006 BMW K1200LT purchased June 2014, and loving this thing so far!
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post #13 of 13 Old May 21st, 2020, 12:09 am
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Re: Front Tire for '05 K1200lt?

Another country heard from....
In the late 90's, after cupping several front tires on an RT, R12C & 99 LT, Metzler & Dunlop reps both suggested running 4 lbs more in the front to offset the weight and slight downforce of the telelever. Bogus or not, I've religiously run 40 in the fronts ever since.
Mostly 2 up. 8 tires later: avg 12k on 888s, 10k when forced to run BT020. Never had a cupping issue again. Nice even wear.
Just saying...

Chris Cimino
Edmonds WA
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