Motorcycle Tire Safety Tips

Ahh, the smell of fresh rubber tires…

To me this means a safe ride.  We’re stocking up on the best motorcycle tires for riding season at Chariots of Fire Customs, LLC.

Tires play a big role in the safety department of your motorcycle. As you ride, those new tires begin to break down.  The way you ride and your bike’s set-up will determine the wear on them as you rack up the miles.  Some riders just naturally have a longer life on their tires than others.

In terms of handling and performance, motorcycle tires set the tone for your journey. When your tires exhibit substantial indications of deterioration, your bike may feel very different, increasing the risk of losing control. Here’s what you should know about taking care of your motorcycle’s tires, whether you do it yourself or have a reputable professional do it for you.

Check the Pressure 

It’s critical to double-check that both tires are adequately inflated. Pressure is affected by a number of things, including how long you’ve been riding on the tires and the current weather.

If the pressure is low, you’ll need to use compressed air to inflate both tires to the necessary PSI. If the tires are over-inflated due to warmer weather or the load you’re hauling, use the Schrader valve to bleed them and recheck with a tire gauge.  Don’t just kick them and say “that should do”.

You should also thoroughly inspect both tires for nails or glass shards embedded in the rubber, broken material, tread separation, bubbling, or bulging. These factors affect tire pressure as well as your likelihood of an unsafe tire which could potentially cause a blowout.

Look at the Tread

Worn tread is a warning sign that your tires are nearing the end of their useful life and will no longer be able to withstand slick or harsh conditions. Make it a practice to inspect your tire tread each time you go for a ride.

Check to see if the rubber has begun to create a smooth appearance. Too much material has worn away if the rubber and wear bars look the same. If the cord on the tire is visible, there isn’t enough material left to ride safely. A gauge or penny can also be used to show how many millimeters are left.

Since there are only two tires, tread plays a vital role in safety as you ride. Direct touch with the road and how quickly a tread pattern deflects water can reduce your chance of hydroplaning.

Check the DOT number on the sidewall.  The last four digits are the only ones you need to concern yourself with.  How do you decipher these numbers?  For example, 0218 means that the tire was manufactured in the 2nd week of 2018.  Tires older than five years need to be replaced no matter how good they may look.  Reasons:  tire deterioration starts from the inside out because of moisture from compressed air and temperature variation.  Also, tire rubber gets harder with age and does not have the same traction as when new.  This means wet riding is compromised when taking off and stopping power is not as good.  Look at the tire tread closely as it will show you whether cracks have begun forming because of aging.

When to Seek Help

Not all rubber compounds are the same. Having a professional help you decipher the best decision to make for your bike’s tires is the best solution. Need new tires, or help checking your old tires? Stop by our shop during the month of March and April for special deals on tires.  20% off all Dunlop and Metzler tires while supplies last!