Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys®: Check Those Motorcycle Tires!
All of us know that tires are a vital piece of any vehicle; they keep us on the asphalt, give us traction and allow us to move. But did you know that your tires age regardless of how many miles you put on them? Yes, they do get older, posing potential safety hazards for yourself and all others on the roads.
As marvellous as synthetic rubber is, it ages like any other material on this earth—whether it is used often or not at all. So what exactly happens during this aging process? Well, the material begins to deteriorate, which causes the tires to begin to stiffen. Less pliable tires results in less traction and a rougher ride. This deterioration takes place at chemical level, thereby making it unavoidable. It also happens regardless of the amount you ride your bike; because like everything else out there, rubber and other synthetic compounds used to make tires, have a shelf life. That shelf life is best estimated at about 5 years from date of manufacture. Something else to remember is that a “new” tire can already be a year or so old when purchased as many tire stores retain inventory that has some age to it. So buy the newest tire possible.
As a rider what can you do to minimize the effects and slow the deterioration? Make sure your tires are inflated to the right pressure. This helps tire wear and handling. Checking once a month or so will ensure your motorcycle ride is always safe and not draining your fuel tank unnecessarily. Always check your tires for signs of wear and tear. Road damage can also affect the shelf life of your tires. If the tire begins to show signs of aging like cracking, tread wear etc., it’s time for a replacement.
What type of tire should you have on your motorcycle?
Like most cases, knowledge is power and proper tire selection is no different. The more you know about your tires, your preferred riding style, the environment and terrain that you generally ride upon, the better you can understand your tire needs. For example, if you are riding on smooth asphalt, in generally wet conditions, your tire requirements will be much different on a structural level when compared to someone who rides off road in drier conditions. This kind of knowledge is vital when attempting to understand what type of tire suits your bike and your riding style. And when in doubt remember that the engineers who designed your motorcycle did so with particular tires in mind and who has more extensive knowledge of a particular bike then the engineer who made it? For the average motorcycle rider the manufacturers tires may be the best choice.
Understanding the function of your tires is also key to making sure your bike is outfitted correctly. The front and rear wheels are usually a different size for a good reason. The front wheel guides your bike in the direction you choose and therefore is generally larger than the rear wheel. That’s because the front wheel is the first point of contact with anything on or in the road surface and the greater diameter helps the wheel to roll over any small obstacles or fissures in the pavement. The back tire is usually smaller in diameter but wider in track as it is responsible for transferring the power from the bike to the road.
Manufacturers always sell their motorcycle tires with a matching pair, sized accordingly, and for the average rider like most of us, it is highly recommended that you purchase replacements in pairs as well. It is generally recommended to keep the sidewall height consistent between your front tire and rear tire. For the more experienced riders with a better knowledge of what they need out of a tire, some play can be had with different front and rear tires. Regardless of which tire combination you have, fresh tires are a vital part of a safe ride for everyone on the road. So be sure to check your tires on a regular basis to ensure you are getting the maximum ride value out of them.
Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys®
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