Your tires are the only things that con­nect your mo­tor­cy­cle to the road, so it’s es­sen­tial that they’re in good con­di­tion, for both safety and per­for­mance. There’s more to a tire’s road readi­ness than just air pres­sure and tread wear. Fa­mil­iar­ize your­self

Motorcyclist - - Garage - By ari hen­ning

1. Reg­u­lar Wear

Wear is the most com­mon rea­son a tire needs to be re­placed, and to help you de­ter­mine if your tires have enough meat left there are wear in­di­ca­tors molded into tread grooves. If the tread wear in­di­ca­tor bead is level with the sur­round­ing tread any­where on the tire, it’s time to re­place it. The le­gal limit is 1/16 of an inch, or about the height of old Abe’s head on a penny.

3. Dam­age

Roads are rife with de­bris that’s just wait­ing to dam­age your tires, so it’s a good idea to reg­u­larly in­spect for punc­tures, cuts, and tears. Holes punched in the tread by nails can of­ten be plugged, but many man­u­fac­tur­ers deem plugs to be a tem­po­rary, emer­gency fix at best. Any dam­age is cause for con­cern, as it could lead to a tire fail­ure.

2. Un­even Wear

Even if the tread isn’t worn to the limit, it might be worn un­evenly, which will neg­a­tively af­fect per­for­mance. The most com­mon type of un­even wear is “squar­ing off” of the rear tire. Nearly as com­mon is cup­ping or scal­lop­ing on the front tire, where the rub­ber ad­ja­cent to tread grooves is eroded. This con­di­tion can cause per­for­mance, trac­tion, and sta­bil­ity is­sues.

4. Age

Fi­nally, even if your tires have am­ple tread and look great, they might sim­ply be too old to ride on. Most man­u­fac­tur­ers say that five years is the life­span of a tire be­cause oils in the rub­ber evap­o­rate and the tire dries out and hard­ens. The tire’s birth­day is molded into an oval on the side­wall, with the four-digit code at the end rep­re­sent­ing the week and year.

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