Riding a motorcycle provides us with joy and pleasure, however we must not forget that operating a motorcycle comes with responsibilities. One of the most important parts of safe operation is the tires and it is our responsibility as riders to inspect our tires before every ride. Regular inspection can can ensure maximum lifespan of your tires and sustain ride safety. The following should help you monitor your tires throughout their lifespan.
1. Check pressure before you ride: Doing so ensures that your wheels are provide the best performance. Under inflated tires can wear out considerably faster, thus hurting your wallet and your chance of staying upright. Consider investing in an air pump and a tire pressure gauge. Inflate tires in the temperature you plan to ride, to put it simply, do no inflate tires in a warm garage if you plan to ride in cold weather and vise-versa. Refer to the tire manufacturer as pressure can vary (for example it may not be uncommon to differ between single and 2-up riding)
2. Check the manufacture date: Alongside the walls of a motorcycle you will see the word “DOT” followed by a four digit number. The first 2 numbers is the week of the year it was made whereas the last 2 digits are the year. General advice is to discard tires within 5 years of use and 10 years from manufacture date. For example the following picture shows that tire was manufactured in the 44th week of the year 2014. Provided that the tire is in good shape, there should be no problem operating with this wheel.
3. Check for wear: Most tires are developed with grooves in them to designate when to replace them. When the thread reaches the groove it would be in your best interest to replace your rubber. Below are a few pics that show tires with plenty of life left and the groove indicator.
4. Inspect for damage on a tire: nails, staples, shards of glass, etc. All these can puncture your tire and decrease the performance of your bike . Also look for cracks within the thread and sidewalls as this will make it unsafe to operate your motorcycle. The following is a picture of an unsafe tire that needs immediate replacement.
5.) Squared out tires: while not as dangerous to operate if using motorcycle for commuting purposes it will affect your handling. Consider replacing them when seasonal weather gets bad as roads will be slicker and wet. Notice how this tire is flat at bottom and doesn’t have the curve that motorcycle tires usually do.
This is a good primer in inspecting you tires. Obviously the life of your tires will vary with the manner in which you ride and the weather it is exposed to. When in doubt regarding the condition of your tires ask a tire technician or mechanic. Until next time, keep the dirty side down.
Here at AK Motors we are proud to offer one of the best used motorcycle selections you’ll find in the Bay Area. If you’re in the market for a used bike, check out our online inventory or contact us for an appointment. To see our current inventory and explore more details, check out our Inventory page! We are located in the heart of the Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, CA with easy access from all over the Bay Area. We offer financing for all credit levels! Apply online here, and contact us with any further questions.