Graham Wilshaw of Startright, Leeds
In the last couple of months I have come across three Commanders that were not
handling as well as they should.
I went through all the usual checks on the first one, I dropped out the front forks and overhauled them, replaced the lower steering head bearing which was showing slight signs of wear, checked the rear wheel, swinging arm and brake system without really finding anything to explain the very poor handling.
The second bike was beautiful, in as new condition, its tyres had covered 3000 miles and a few quick checks showed that there was nothing obvious wrong.
The third bike was diagnosed and cured over the phone. I suggested that a new front tyre should be fitted.
All three bikes had just one thing in common, an Avon 100 90V18 Super Venom front tyre. Up to about 3000 miles everything seems fine but after that handling deteriorates. At this stage the tyre still looks OK but close inspection shows an uneven wear pattern. Commanders seem to be particularly susceptible to the problem. H rated Avon rears seem to be the same, they are still road legal long after they lose most of their ability to grip the road.
We all get used to the way our own bikes perform and so tend not to notice gradual changes - unless it lands us in the hedge or worse; my own solution to this problem is to let someone I trust ride my bike now and again. He often picks up little things that I failed to notice.