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When to Replace a Motorcycle Tire

by ActionLocal Apr 12, 2019

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Without any doubt, a tire is one of the most important parts of a motorcycle. Unlike cars, motorcycles have only two contact points with the road and that's why it is important they are appropriate for the way the rider uses their bike, the type of bike, i.e. dirt bikes vs.a touring motorcycle to get the best ride. A well-maintained tire ensures great performance, longevity and ride quality. In fact, good tires play an important role in rider safety.


Many people are not aware that motorcycle tires are not designed to last as long as tires on cars. It's a good practice to have your motorcycle tires inspected after five years. If a tire is eight years old, even though it looks in decent shape, the manufacturer may claim that the tire should have been replaced and not take responsibility should a failure in the tire occur causing injury to the rider.


Tire rubber of motorcycle is softer and more pliable as compared to that of a car or other vehicles. Hard tires on motorcycles do not grip the road. On the other side, soft rubber will grasp the pavement. and the extra grip comes at a cost because the motorcycle tire wears out quicker and becomes harder as it ages.


Tires in bad condition can damage the performance of your motorcycle and endanger your safety. Here's what you need to look for with your tires:


1. Spot Low Tread


Tire tread is the rubber that makes contact with the road. How can you spot low tread? The minimum tread depth of 1.5 mm is the same for a motorcycle tire as it is for a truck or car tire. But try not to be too anxious about it, many tires come with wear indicators. Look for tire grooves with a raised rubber section; that raised segment shows the lowest amount of tread left to remain safe.


2. Look for Unusual Patterns on the Tire


Unusual patterns can be small cuts, tracks, and cracks that appear on the surface of the tires. Normally, these patterns appear on the sidewall of tires and it's generally because of dry rot, and it is also a sign of an impending blowout in addition to slow leaks. If you ever notice cracking on your tire of the motorcycle, it's time to get new tires.


3. Tire Bulges


If it seems like your motorcycle tire is blowing a bubble, then it is time to change it! This indicates huge damage to the outer surface of your motorcycle tire. As a tire portion is weakened, the internal air pressure leads it to bulge outward.


4. Spot Scalloping


Scalloping is a wear pattern that comes from uni-directional rotation. It is also known as cupping. And cupping is especially frequent with dual-sport tires and off-road, which are mainly knobby. A small amount of scalloping is not a major problem. When you begin to feel enhanced vibration on the ground or road, it is time to replace the tires. If you are an off-road rider, keep an eye on your tread knobs becoming curved on all sides.


5. Age of Tire


All tires are marked with a manufactured date. To search for it, look for a three to four digit number at the end of the DOT markings. As discussed earlier, after five years, a motorcycle tire is on its way out.


6. Punctured Tire


Generally, tires are durable and they are designed in such a way to withstand road hazards. It's better to get inspected by a professional to confirm that your motorcycle tires interior chamber is good.


7. Handling


If you feel that your motorcycle is not gripping the ground properly, then you should replace your tires. Without proper handling, you and your bike are vulnerable to mishaps.


When replacing tires, it's usually not a good idea to mix and match different styles, or brands. There are many people who do it without any problem, but tires are designed to give the best results as a matching pair. That's why a combination of different models can result in instability while riding. Unless you really know what you are doing, avoid mismatched tires.