As transportation and technology merged through years of advancement, the automotive industry reached its peak. They have offered people with various means of transport depending on their needs, lifestyle, and personal preferences. Because of its versatility to travel on different roads and terrains, the motorcycle, a vehicle with two to three wheels, became one of the most preferred options.
To make your motorcycle rides safe and enjoyable, you should always maintain the condition of its tires. Your motorcycle tires are what link your vehicle to the road. Thus, you should always know if they’re in bad shape, or worse, in need of a replacement.
The Basics Of Motorcycle Tires
Generally, most automobile tires have the same anatomy. But, motorcycle tires experience more wear and tear than other tires. A motorcycle’s tire patch is smaller than those attached to four-wheeled vehicles. Thus, it applies more force and exposes the tires to more wear and tear.
You can purchase heavy-duty motorcycle tires, like the Shinko Motorcycle Tyres, which will last for a long time due to its durability. However, numerous factors can aggravate and hasten wear and tear of motorcycle tires, so take note of the following if you usually do them to your tires:
- Aggressive riding
- Driving in rougher surfaces
- Adding more weight
- Less frequent bike maintenance
Its increased wear emphasizes that motorcycle owners should have consistent maintenance in their tires and know when to replace them. Once your tires have worn out, consider having a new pair from Michelin Motorcycle Tyres, a new generation of tires that sets out excellent standards in the industry.
To shed more information about how motorcycle tires work and wear down, here are some tips and ways to check if your motorcycle tires require a replacement at the earliest opportunity:
- Low Tread Depth
Due to natural wear and tear and other factors mentioned earlier, the first part of your tire that will get affected is the tread because it is completely exposed to road friction when driving. Thus, this will first show the signs of a replacement. A tire with a low tread depth should have a considerable replacement, or else, it can lead to driving issues and might damage other components of your vehicle.
Tire manufacturers place a Tyre Wear Indicator (TWI) label on every tire to help owners know if they have reached the maximum tread wear. Check your tire for a triangular arrow pointing at the level of wear that a specific tire can handle. As much as possible, check them from time to time, especially if you drive frequently.
You won’t have to wait for your tread to reach the TWI before considering a tire replacement. Doing so will put your tire into more risk. Once your tread wear indicates 1/8th to 1/16th of an inch, start searching for a new alternative and check if you have enough savings.
If you’re finding it difficult to read the TWI, another indicator method to try is the good old penny trick. Instead of purchasing a treadwear indicator, you can use a one-cent coin where you can find Lincoln. Flip the coin upside down, placing Lincoln’s head against the tire groove. If you can see Lincoln’s hair exposed, then you need fresh rubber for your wheels.
- Uneven Tread Wear
While your tread hasn’t reached its limit yet, another problem that you might encounter is your tread wearing unevenly. You will start to notice this, without checking the tire closely, when making a turn and contact patch of the unevenly worn area of the tire feels small.
Typically, uneven tread patterns look like a square where wearing is concentrated on the tire’s center called squaring of the tire. Another type of irregular wearing is the cupping or scalping – wearing happens along the length of the tread instead of the center.
Whatever type of uneven tread wearing your tires are currently experiencing, don’t hesitate to change them because it can result in handling, stability, and traction issues. Thanks to uneven tread wear, it marks you a telltale indication to also have your suspension checked, since one of the root causes of irregular tread wear is a poor suspension configuration.
- Age of Tires
No matter how rugged or well your tires look if they have served their purpose long enough already, it is time to bid them goodbye. Some motorcycle owners might argue that they don’t need a tire replacement if they haven’t used their bikes for a long time, but this is not the case. As long as the tires are past their manufacturing date, they need replacement after five years. However, with consistent maintenance and check-ups, they can stay for longer.
To check the manufacturing date of your tires, look at the tires’ sidewall, and you’ll see two four-character configurations, one with a letter and another one with all four digits. See the four numbers, and that will indicate when the tires have been manufactured. For example, if the figures show “0712,” the tires were built in the 7th week of 2012. The calculations of its age are up to you now.
Old tires require to be replaced because oil compounds in the rubber will eventually evaporate and cause the tire to dry out and lose its grip. Exposing the tires to sunlight can also speed up the evaporation process and make the rubber brittle. Without the rubber’s natural oil, your tires will not perform well, especially on wet roads, which can become a cause of motorcycle accidents.
- Excessive Cuts and Punctures
Other than the fact that your tires don’t look good and consistent anymore, having too many cuts, punctures, abrasions, and bulges call for a tire replacement. Particularly, if your tires have embedded objects, such as nails, screws, and sticks, it is best to have them replaced since this can leak air excessively and lead to a blowout.
Moreover, cuts and punctures have an uncomfortable impact on your driving experience. They can induce uneven contact patchiness, which will continue until the end of your ride, affecting your vehicle’s performance.
You can opt to have it repaired first, but there’s always the tendency that the issue will persist after a repair, and the tires get consistently punctured repeatedly. Instead of spending money on costly tire repairs, allot and save it for new tires.
In 2017 alone, motorcycle accidents account for 14% of traffic fatalities in the United States. At all times, you should always observe motorcycle safety, and one of the factors that can help you stay safer on the road is to check your tires regularly because they’re your bridge to maneuvering on the road. By knowing how to check your tires for a replacement, you can discern accordingly, as a motorcycle owner, if you need to replace your tires for a new and safer pair.