One of the most important aspects of motorcycle maintenance is ensuring that your tires are in good condition. Although comfort is a big factor and you may be interested in looking at motorcycle saddles, the tires should always be the first agenda. Compared to cars, the contact patch or part of the rubber that meets the surface of the road is smaller on tires for motorcycles. This increases the likelihood of an accident occurring as a result of negligence. When tires are in good condition, they handle the road better and provide more traction and a safer ride. In the following post you will find some tips concerning when it is the right time to replace your tires.
Inspecting Your Tires
Perhaps the simplest and most effective way to inspect your tires is to pure your bike on a centre stand in a very well lit room or area. If you do not have access to a centre stand you could always use a paddock stand or simply ask a friends to get on the bike and roll it forwards to enable you to look at the tires in motion. You should be paying close attention and looking out for things such as embedded rocks, cracks, nails and holes. Also look closely at the side wall to ensure there is no cracking or dry rotting. This is always more noticeable when the bike is carrying some weight, so have someone sit on it to check for cracks in the side walls. You also need to look out for and uneven wear on the tire, also referred to feathering or cupping which is generally caused by lack of sufficient inflation.
If you look along the side wall of your tire you should find a little arrow or triangle. This illustrates where you will find the wear indicators on the surface of the tire. On the inside of the groove beside the triangle you will find a wear bump some millimetres higher than the bottom of the tread. You can use this bump as a guide as to when it is time to change the tire because of wear.
Simply put – when the tire surface is the same level as the bump, it is then time to change that tire. Your rear tire will always wear out quicker than the front one, so if this happens it is nothing to worry about.
Don’t Delay Purchasing New Tires
Although it is fair to say that even from the best online motorcycle store, tires are not cheap; the risks you can cause by postponing the purchasing of new ones greatly outweigh the cost. If you feel the need to ride your tires until they are falling off, consider this point – your tires are the only thing separating you and your bike from the ground. Does it not make sense to ensure that your tires are therefore in good roadworthy condition and replace them if necessary.