Have you ever looked at your motorcycle and realised that the tyre is more worn on the right hand side?
It’s very common for motorcycle tyres to wear faster on the right hand side in the UK than on the left, but why does this happen?
Well, it’s actually for a number of reasons, and even riders of more laid-back motorcycles will probably experience this, although more powerful motorcycles will probably exacerbate the problem with the additional forces they put through their tyres.
Firstly it’s down to the camber on our roads. When our roads are surfaced, they generally have a gentle slope away from the centre line to the kerb, to channel water off the tarmac and into the drainage infrastructure.
As shown in the image above, when riding on the right hand side of the road as we do in the UK, more of the surface on the right hand side of the tyre is in contact with the road when riding upright, therefore carrying more of the load, hence it will wear faster.
There are also more right-hand bends in the UK, especially when you consider the number of roundabouts on our road network. Add to that the fact that we can generally see further around a right-hand bend, which means we tend to ride harder through these bends, making increased wear 10 – 15mm from the centre line of the tread a quite normal occurrence.
The front and rear tyres are subjected to different kinds of forces as they take the load under hard braking and acceleration respectively, but all the above factors will generally result in increased wear on the right hand side.
If this were MotoGP, the manufacturer would be producing asymmetric tyres with a harder rubber compound on the right hand shoulder to combat the problem, but unfortunately that just isn’t the case with road rubber.
It’s also worth noting that twisted forks or loose spokes can cause uneven wear patterns, so it’s always worth speaking to an expert if you are concerned about something!