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So we picked up a used M696 for my wife with 4,000 miles on it. The factory rear Bridgestone has a pretty good chicken strip and I suspect that the transition from flat spot onto the edge of the tire is the culprit. Am I on the right track?
 

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So we picked up a used M696 for my wife with 4,000 miles on it. The factory rear Bridgestone has a pretty good chicken strip and I suspect that the transition from flat spot onto the edge of the tire is the culprit. Am I on the right track?
I my opinion, the transition issue could certainly be one of the culprits. By reading your post stating that the tire has a "pretty good" chicken strips leads me to believe that the strips are quite wide. Could it be that possibly the previous owner was a burnout king (or queen!) that could only go straight and not corner and that situation has magnified the transition issue you raised?

There is also the obvious which is to confirm the tire has the proper pressure. I am assuming you have already ruled that out.

What about tire temp? Does the same sensation exist when the tire is up to to proper operating temp or does it only exist at cooler temps?

Without knowing tire condition or the experience level of the primary person riding the bike and knowing that the bike has 4000 miles, is the tire original? To me, without seeing the tire, I would think that the time has come for a new tire. Get a new one and narrow those chicken strips your way. Real narrow chicken strips are always a good bragging point!
 
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