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Discussion Starter #1
I've been looking through the forum for tyre recommendations and I've seen lots of references to tyres scalping (unusual wavy wear pattern). They tyres on my 250 Majesty scalped badly. A mechanic told me that it was because the tyres were overheating. When a tyre is under-inflated it flexes excessively as it rolls causing the rubber to overheat and the edges next to the grooves to wear (I can't remember if it's the leading or trailing edge). I've since ridden about 200,000km and have been experimenting with tyre pressures. I am inclined to agree with the mechanic. If your tyres are showing scalping wear, inflate them a bit harder. On my 650 I ended up running 36psi up front and 42 at the back. I generally ride solo & do a lot of highway riding.

my riding (since 2006)
250 Majesty: 65,000km
200 LeGrande: 10,000km (borrowed while Majesty in shop)
650 Burgman: 127,000km

I've just bought a 2nd hand 2011 400 Burgman... stay tuned!
 

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The effect you are referring to is scalloping or cupping. It is a normal wear pattern for motorcycle tires and results from leaning in turns. The degree of this effect is controlled by numerous factors: rubber composition, most common lean angle, ambient temperature, road surface construction, inflation pressure et.al.

Some scalloping will always occur and is evidenced on front tires by raised trailing edges and worn leading edges. If you are experiencing 'excessive' scalloping, increasing tire pressure may alleviate it to some extent. The only way I know of to eliminate completely it is to always ride in a straight line and never brake. Typically, scalloping on the rear tire will be the reverse of scalloping on the front. Has to do with the direction of frictive forces.

I have found that the OEM Hoops tend to scallop more for me than other brands I have tried. I found the Michelin PP SC didn't seem to scallop at all. Currently have hoops on the front after 12 kmiles of the Michelins and the scalloping is back and pretty noticeable after 10K. The best article I've seen on motorcycle tire wear can be found here.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How embarrassing. Spelling has never been my strong point. Yes 'scalloping' is what I meant. My first experience with quite pronounced scalloping was at the end of a 4000km highway run from Melbourne to Cairns (Australia) - mostly straight cruising at a constant 95 km/h. On the return run with higher tyre pressures there was no noticeable scalloping. Since then on the 650 when I've noticed the tyres begin to scallop I've been able to noticeably reverse the wear pattern by increasing tyre pressures. Of course you're right Chatman128 but don't underestimate the effect of tyre pressures. I suspect that as with cars, vehicle vendors tend to recommend tyre pressures for optimal ride comfort so I tend to listen more to the tyre manufacturer's recommendations and then in hotter conditions and under load I add a bit. On the 650 I was consistently getting 40,000km on from the front and 20-30,000 km from the back. (I can't give exact figures because the log books went with the bike when I sold it).
 

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I don't think leaning in curves is what causes tires to cup. I do about 90% of my riding on very crooked mountain roads and I don't get cupping. The only cupped tires I have had were on bikes I bought from flatlanders who rode on straight level roads. My 650 was the last bike I bought with cupped tires and it had been ridden exclusively on straight, smooth level roads. I put about 6,000 miles on the front after I got it and the cupped front tire got better the more I rode it. However, the definition of curves would be far different in Florida than it would be in the coal field counties in VA and WV.
 
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