Motorcycle Tires: Important Tips That You Should Know


Having fun and staying safe on a motorcycle often come down to the tires. Using the right type for your bike and keeping them in good repair are important. Here are a few tips about motorcycle tires that you should know.

As with all motor vehicles, check the treads regularly to make they have grip and are not worn down beyond safe levels. A bald tire will not have proper traction on the road or any other surface. Letting it go too far will result in a blowout and probably a motorcycle accident. A quick visual check will show the dangerously obvious. If little or no tread is visible, the tire needs replacement immediately. If metal is showing through, this is also a sign the tire must be replaced as soon as possible. For best results, use a tire depth gauge to see if treads are too shallow. These can be bought at an auto supply store, a motorcycle parts and accessories store or online. When the bike is driven daily, check the tires every week or two for tread wear.

Equip your motorcycle with the right type of tire. Consult your owner’s manual for the exact size and kind of tire specified. The simple rule of thumb is to put street tires on a street bike and off-road tires on a dirt bike. The specific type of tire is dependent upon what the bike is used for on a regular basis. The street bike or cruiser will need street legal tires that makes riding on asphalt safer and more comfortable. Riding a dirt bike requires much deeper treads for more traction.

Consider the type of weather you travel in the most and use those types of tires. Wet or snowy roads require all-weather radials. For those that only ride their bikes in dry road conditions, buy tires for dry weather. When storing tires for future use, avoid leaving them out in the sunshine. Long-term exposure to heat and sunlight will make tires harder and shorten their lifespan. Avoid extreme high and low temperatures, whether indoors or out.

Tire Pressure
Use the recommended amount of tire pressure suggested in your owner’s manual. Before a long trip, always check the tires with a pressure gauge to make sure they are at safe levels. Add air or let some out as needed. When riding in extremely hot conditions over asphalt for several hours at a time, periodically check the tire pressure to be sure you will not experience a blowout.

Motorcycle tires should match in type and wear. When replacing the front tire, replace the back so that they have even wear and create a smooth and stable ride. Put the same type of tire and pattern on both the front and back. For example, radial tires should be mounted on both front and back, not radial on the front and bias tires on the back. Use tires specifically designed for front or back placement. The designation will be on the tire itself.

Brand New
When putting new tires on the motorcycle, they should be properly balanced by a professional. Ride easy for their first 100 miles. This is called a break-in period, or a run-in. This improves the length of wear on tires and gives the rider a chance to get accustomed to different handling and roadway grip. Avoid hard turns, high speeds and sudden shift of weight during this time.

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