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Old 15 Dec 2013
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rear tire overheating

Howdy. My newly installed rear tire is hot to the touch after a 20 mile highway cruise at 60 mph. I had the work done at a shop here in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It's a 650 klr with 8500 miles. Any suggestions or thoughts are appreciated. Thanks,MARK
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Old 16 Dec 2013
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Better check the pressure (most likely) and alignment. There are alignment marks on the rear swing arm that are usually not too far off. Worst case, lie down behind the rear wheel and sight along the chain. If it's really off, you can see the issue. Tire pressure will depend on how heavily your bike is loaded.
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Old 16 Dec 2013
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Tires DO heat up on loaded up touring bikes. Especially if temps are high. Mexico gets pretty warm. Lots to consider here:

Where are you from? Canada? If you come from a cold climate with only a 4 month riding season then perhaps your tires never heat up? Do you often feel your tires to monitor their heat? I do ... and am continually amazed just how HOT they can get after high speed, spirited riding.

A few other considerations:
How heavy are YOU and all your luggage? Passenger on board? All this matters. The KLR is not designed to carry massive weight and it's small tires can heat up if overloaded.

Tire pressure?
For a heavy load maybe add a few extra PSI? On your KLR you'd want to go from Kawi's recommended pressure (I'm guessing between 25 to 29 ? PSI (rear). Go up 3 or 4 PSI. Less increase for front.

Heavy Duty tubes cause MORE HEAT in your tire on the highway. Heavy tubes are good off road and resist punctures better but cause tire to run a bit hotter ... and thus tire will wear out more quickly. Trade off. If you don't ride Off Road, then use Heavy Duty tubes but NOT Ultra HD tubes.

Type of tire?
A more OFF ROAD biased tire may get hotter than a more road biased tire.
A cheap, Chinese import 50/50 also can get hotter than say a steel belted Metzeler Tourance or Michelin Anakee.

Most Llanteros (tire shop guys) in Mexico are pretty good getting the tire to fully seat. If it's way out of alignment then that too can get it hotter than normal. Get it lined up and balanced (close is good enough for a KLR).

Good luck. Don't worry too much unless something is RUBBING on your tire. If you smell burning rubber ... well, that would be your clue!
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Old 30 Jan 2014
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Sounds normal.
A tyre travelling on hot tarmac on a warm day will be hot to the touch, race tyres actually hot enough to shed small bits of rubber, also called scubbing in the tyre.

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Old 30 Jan 2014
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Knobby tires' knobs will move around when riding on a hard, ungiving surface like tarmac/bitumen. This moving causes heat buildup in the carcass, which could lead to thread-separation and the tires 'throwing off its knobs'

This problem becomes more severe during (or in combination of):
  • high speed driving
  • under-inflated tires
  • heavy load
  • when the tire is new and still settling
  • when using tires with less/smaller knobs (i.e. more off-road orientated)

I've totally destroyed a brand new Maxxis tire in 250km on the freeway riding at 140km/h. I managed to destroy a Michelin T63 in 1000km with a heavy load.

Not knowing your circumstances, it's very difficult to say in what category you fall, but (sorry to repeat what was already said):
  • check your tire is the right size for the bike (i.e. KLR650 should be around 130- narrower tire will overheat faster under load)
  • type of tubes
  • correct pressure
  • DOT tire and not an off-road carcass
  • check your load on the bike and the load rating of the tire (bike + you + luggage =???kg). Most 130 knobs are only rated to about 265kg or even less.
  • check your speed: slow down and see if the tire still overheats
  • check your climatic conditions- if the bitumen is around 60-70dC, your tire will be even hotter.
  • or a combination of the above (death by a thousand cuts and all that)

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