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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Below is a copy/paste of my complaint to NHTSA.gov about my experience with an Avon tire 130/70/R18. My bike is a 2010 Goldwing, combined weight of my wife and I is 280 lbs, baggage about 40 lbs. This bike is well-cared for and is stored in an air-conditioned garage when not on the road. Tires has 6000 miles on them.

You would do well to avoid Avon's Cobra Chrome tires.

Avon Cobra Chrome motorcycle tire 130/70R18. While driving on a California highway at 70 mph, I experienced a noticeable vibration in my handlebars. Thinking I may have a tire anomaly, I reduced speed and looked for a roadside area where I could stop the motorcycle and inspect the wheels and tires for damage. It took considerable effort to maintain control of the motorcycle as the front end felt as though it would “slide out” to one side or the other. After inspecting the front tire I observed a noticeable “bulb” or “blister” on the tread cap approximately 10” long. This blister was very hot in contrast to the remaining lukewarm tire. After the tire cooled, I could press my thumb against the blister, now receding, and feel the tread cap had separated from the inner core of the tire by approximately 1/2”. Because of the remote location where this tire failure occurred, I had no other choice but to ride the motorcycle 22 miles back to the last town I had passed, Wilets California, at 10-15 mph. In Wilets I was able to locate a motel and performed a tire swap the next day. This Avon tire failure occurred without warning. This same tire in a different size is now the subject of a recall for basically the same thing I experienced. I propose the aforementioned tire recall be expanded to include all Avon Cobra Chrome motorcycle tires regardless of size. Note: I also replaced the Avon Cobra Chrome on the rear of the motorcycle at the same time because we felt that it too could fail without warning.


Note: The attached pictures were taken 15-20 minutes after I got the bike stopped. The bulge or blister shrunk to half it's size in that time period. I had the tire shipped to my home and now just waiting to hear what NHTSA has to say.
 

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Glad you were able to keep safe, I hope they do the right thing.
 
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Your letter may or may not get anywhere. The NHTSA will contact Avon, but it is up to Avon to research and submit a recall notice to NHTSA. I read of a recall on propane regulators for my travel trailer. I contacted the manufacturer and was told my regulator was not recalled even though the date code fell in the recall range. They told me that not all of them within the date code range were affected. Calls to NHTSA told me the manufacturer decides which product should be recalled. I read three different notices on the NHTSA website, and the date codes were changed three times. These notices came from the source manufacturer. NHTSA only investigates defects. It sets standards that are to be followed by manufacturer. I ended up changing the regulator at my own expense.
Good luck on your complaint. I am glad that nothing happened to you or your wife.
 

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Below is a copy/paste of my complaint to NHTSA.gov about my experience with an Avon tire 130/70/R18. My bike is a 2010 Goldwing, combined weight of my wife and I is 280 lbs, baggage about 40 lbs. This bike is well-cared for and is stored in an air-conditioned garage when not on the road. Tires has 6000 miles on them.

You would do well to avoid Avon's Cobra Chrome tires.

Avon Cobra Chrome motorcycle tire 130/70R18. While driving on a California highway at 70 mph, I experienced a noticeable vibration in my handlebars. Thinking I may have a tire anomaly, I reduced speed and looked for a roadside area where I could stop the motorcycle and inspect the wheels and tires for damage. It took considerable effort to maintain control of the motorcycle as the front end felt as though it would “slide out” to one side or the other. After inspecting the front tire I observed a noticeable “bulb” or “blister” on the tread cap approximately 10” long. This blister was very hot in contrast to the remaining lukewarm tire. After the tire cooled, I could press my thumb against the blister, now receding, and feel the tread cap had separated from the inner core of the tire by approximately 1/2”. Because of the remote location where this tire failure occurred, I had no other choice but to ride the motorcycle 22 miles back to the last town I had passed, Wilets California, at 10-15 mph. In Wilets I was able to locate a motel and performed a tire swap the next day. This Avon tire failure occurred without warning. This same tire in a different size is now the subject of a recall for basically the same thing I experienced. I propose the aforementioned tire recall be expanded to include all Avon Cobra Chrome motorcycle tires regardless of size. Note: I also replaced the Avon Cobra Chrome on the rear of the motorcycle at the same time because we felt that it too could fail without warning.


Note: The attached pictures were taken 15-20 minutes after I got the bike stopped. The bulge or blister shrunk to half it's size in that time period. I had the tire shipped to my home and now just waiting to hear what NHTSA has to say.
What is the date stamp on the side of the tire. How old was it when sold to you and/or installed, and where did you buy it? Not pointing fingers so much as doing some data gathering.
 

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I'm glad to hear you were able to stop safely. Sorry to hear about the tire, hope something comes of it.
 
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I had the same thing happen but on the rear. But mine blew out at 70 mph. The previous owner put them on before I bought the bike. The date code on the tire was only 2 years old and it had about 4K miles on it. I really liked the Avon's until this happened. Mine were the original Cobras. After it happened, I looked on the wing sites and there were a lot of complaints back then about tires blistering. I had hoped they fixed them when they redesigned them as the Chrome model. I guess not. I switched to a car tire on the back and a Bridgestone on the front. Thousands of miles without any troubles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Your letter may or may not get anywhere. The NHTSA will contact Avon, but it is up to Avon to research and submit a recall notice to NHTSA. I read of a recall on propane regulators for my travel trailer. I contacted the manufacturer and was told my regulator was not recalled even though the date code fell in the recall range. They told me that not all of them within the date code range were affected. Calls to NHTSA told me the manufacturer decides which product should be recalled. I read three different notices on the NHTSA website, and the date codes were changed three times. These notices came from the source manufacturer. NHTSA only investigates defects. It sets standards that are to be followed by manufacturer. I ended up changing the regulator at my own expense.
Good luck on your complaint. I am glad that nothing happened to you or your wife.
Thank you for your kind words, my wife and I were good to go after new tires were installed. My expectations of NHTSA are realistic. I did want to submit the complaint to get some history established at NHTSA over these Cobra Chrome tires. Perhaps a few more complaints will result in a recall. The wheels of justice turn slowly but I buy ink by the barrel. Cheers!


What is the date stamp on the side of the tire. How old was it when sold to you and/or installed, and where did you buy it? Not pointing fingers so much as doing some data gathering.

I had the same thing happen but on the rear. But mine blew out at 70 mph. The previous owner put them on before I bought the bike. The date code on the tire was only 2 years old and it had about 4K miles on it. I really liked the Avon's until this happened. Mine were the original Cobras. After it happened, I looked on the wing sites and there were a lot of complaints back then about tires blistering. I had hoped they fixed them when they redesigned them as the Chrome model. I guess not. I switched to a car tire on the back and a Bridgestone on the front. Thousands of miles without any troubles.
Interesting for sure. I think there are probably many others out there with similar experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Not too old either. Hope you get some resolve. Had a friend try the Avon on his gl1800, had me take it off after 9000 ish miles, center was all gone and it had a crack from a square edged pothole. He runs E4’s now.
I forgot to mention the deep cracks in the rain grooves in the same area as the tread separation occurred. It's not easy to spot these cracks but if you know what you're looking for they're easy to spot. I was reading through the recalled Avon tire and these cracks were mentioned or I would've even known to look for them.
 

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Below is a copy/paste of my complaint to NHTSA.gov about my experience with an Avon tire 130/70/R18. My bike is a 2010 Goldwing, combined weight of my wife and I is 280 lbs, baggage about 40 lbs. This bike is well-cared for and is stored in an air-conditioned garage when not on the road. Tires has 6000 miles on them.

You would do well to avoid Avon's Cobra Chrome tires.

Avon Cobra Chrome motorcycle tire 130/70R18. While driving on a California highway at 70 mph, I experienced a noticeable vibration in my handlebars. Thinking I may have a tire anomaly, I reduced speed and looked for a roadside area where I could stop the motorcycle and inspect the wheels and tires for damage. It took considerable effort to maintain control of the motorcycle as the front end felt as though it would “slide out” to one side or the other. After inspecting the front tire I observed a noticeable “bulb” or “blister” on the tread cap approximately 10” long. This blister was very hot in contrast to the remaining lukewarm tire. After the tire cooled, I could press my thumb against the blister, now receding, and feel the tread cap had separated from the inner core of the tire by approximately 1/2”. Because of the remote location where this tire failure occurred, I had no other choice but to ride the motorcycle 22 miles back to the last town I had passed, Wilets California, at 10-15 mph. In Wilets I was able to locate a motel and performed a tire swap the next day. This Avon tire failure occurred without warning. This same tire in a different size is now the subject of a recall for basically the same thing I experienced. I propose the aforementioned tire recall be expanded to include all Avon Cobra Chrome motorcycle tires regardless of size. Note: I also replaced the Avon Cobra Chrome on the rear of the motorcycle at the same time because we felt that it too could fail without warning.


Note: The attached pictures were taken 15-20 minutes after I got the bike stopped. The bulge or blister shrunk to half it's size in that time period. I had the tire shipped to my home and now just waiting to hear what NHTSA has to say.
Glad you made it to a safe location, hope all go well between you and Avon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Avon weighed in after examining the tire in their lab. Before you read their word salad below, be certain of this… I maintain my vehicles and the tires they ride on meticulously. The Avon tires that used to be on my 2010 Goldwing were no exception and they likely received more attention than any other component of any of my vehicles because there was always a lot riding on their integrity. So the following excerpt from Avon was off the mark and clearly trying to redirect the tire’s failure onto me. Laughable. Enjoy…


Thank you for contacting Cooper Tires regarding your experience and the concern you raised on your tire “Avon Cobra Chrome 130/70R18 63H” with DOT code AT4Y273318.

We have completed our review of your claim. Based upon our inspection of this tire, the cause of the disablement is not attributable to the design or manufacture of the tire, but instead to overdeflected operation and potential damage due to impact.
The following signs of over deflection were noted during the inspection: heel/toe wear on either side of the raised center portion of the tread, heat discoloration on both shoulders, crazing at the base of the grooves, rim flange impression as well as heat discoloration on various sections of the internal liner. We also observed an area of bruising with abrasion on either side of the raised center tread portion.

Cooper is respectfully not able to accept your claim.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW, IN WRITING, IF YOU WANT YOUR TIRE BACK. PLEASE INCLUDE THE ADDRESS WHERE THE TIRE IS TO BE SHIPPED AND A DAYTIME PHONE NUMBER.

Kind regards,

Vincent BEZARD
 

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Avon weighed in after examining the tire in their lab. Before you read their word salad below, be certain of this… I maintain my vehicles and the tires they ride on meticulously. The Avon tires that used to be on my 2010 Goldwing were no exception and they likely received more attention than any other component of any of my vehicles because there was always a lot riding on their integrity. So the following excerpt from Avon was off the mark and clearly trying to redirect the tire’s failure onto me. Laughable. Enjoy…


Thank you for contacting Cooper Tires regarding your experience and the concern you raised on your tire “Avon Cobra Chrome 130/70R18 63H” with DOT code AT4Y273318.

We have completed our review of your claim. Based upon our inspection of this tire, the cause of the disablement is not attributable to the design or manufacture of the tire, but instead to overdeflected operation and potential damage due to impact.
The following signs of over deflection were noted during the inspection: heel/toe wear on either side of the raised center portion of the tread, heat discoloration on both shoulders, crazing at the base of the grooves, rim flange impression as well as heat discoloration on various sections of the internal liner. We also observed an area of bruising with abrasion on either side of the raised center tread portion.

Cooper is respectfully not able to accept your claim.

PLEASE LET ME KNOW, IN WRITING, IF YOU WANT YOUR TIRE BACK. PLEASE INCLUDE THE ADDRESS WHERE THE TIRE IS TO BE SHIPPED AND A DAYTIME PHONE NUMBER.

Kind regards,

Vincent BEZARD
That’s pretty typical of tire companies. Plausible deniability.
 
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