One of the best feelings about riding a motorcycle is the ability to feel close to the road. It’s important to remember that motorcycle tires are (almost) the only thing between you and the road. While this can be a freeing realization, it’s also a reminder to check your tires. As is all motorcycle maintenance, proper tire tread can be important to ensuring a safe ride.
Motorcycle Tires: Maintaining Safety
If you’ve ever seen a brand new tire next to an old tire, the difference is noticeable immediately. The grooves on your tire should be definite and distinct. The depth of the tread is a good way to tell how much life a tire has left. Some motorcycle tires have tread wear indicators. Once you see these, you know it’s time to get new tires.
The air pressure in your tires is important. A tire with good tread can be unsafe if it is over inflated. Similarly, if a tire is under-inflated, it can be even more dangerous. Check your motorcycle tires regularly with an accurate pressure gauge. Some recommend once a week and definitely before any long trips.
What to Avoid
When it comes to motorcycle tires, it’s best to avoid mixing and matching brands. If you have two different kinds on your bike, you could become unstable and uneven. However, rear tires will wear out more quickly than the front, so you can mix and match new and old tires. You will likely go through two rear tires for every front tire.
In addition to avoiding mix and match brands, you should also avoid old motorcycle tires. A set that has never been mounted but are more than five years old are unfortunately no good. Over time, the chemicals in the rubber wear down. After this point, the “sticky” tire becomes hard and brittle.
To conclude, be safe and diligent about your tires. If your tread is getting low and the roads are wet, it’s best to not ride. Keep an eye on your PSI regularly. Check your brands and make sure the front and back matches. While these are all basic things, they can be crucial in a safe ride.