“As a result, the couple was thrown from their bike.”
This is a line pulled from a recent news report about a couple who died when the rear tire of their motorcycle blew out. Witnesses reported that the condition of the tire was “worn out”.
Don’t Forget T-CLOCS
T-CLOCS is the Motorcycle Safety Foundation acronym for “tires and wheels, controls, lights, oil, and stands.” It is the basis for their recommended pre-ride inspection. We all do this to various degree. Concerning your tires, it’s not sufficient to simply air them up. Take a close look at the overall condition. Look first at tread depth. Most tires have wear indicator strips 1/32” from bottom. Never ride past the strips. The tire is toast at 1/32” — get a new one. If you don’t have a tread depth gauge, put a penny into a groove, the distance to the top of Lincoln’s head is 2/32, which is where most tire manufacturers recommend replacement. Now look for any damage, cracks and impacted objects. Look over the contact patch, the sidewalls and the bead.
Tires on motorcycles are far more conducive to the safe operation of the vehicle than they are on cars or trucks. Here are some facts and tips regarding tire safety and maintenance. This information is handy when you are buying a used bike. You never know how keen the former owner is on tire safety.
- Warning signs: While you are riding, your tires often alert you when there is a problem. Loss of air will cause the bike to squirm or wobble. Sidewall failure can cause vibration, unstable handling or unusual noise. Do not ignore these warnings Slow down, pull over and check your tires as soon as possible.
- Feel the hardness of the rubber. If you press a thumbnail into the surface, it should leave a temporary dent. Every time you ride, the rubber goes through “heat cycles” They start out cold, heat up while riding and then cool down when you’re done. These continual temperature fluctuations deteriorate the rubber and cause hardening. As the rubber hardens over time, the tires have progressively less traction. Motorcycle tires with properly dense rubber and full traction will keep you upright.
- Front and rear tire matching: There is science behind the practice of matching tires to one another in terms of brand, model, speed rating. Incompatible tires can cause handling problems. Also, bike tires are marked either Front or Rear and have arrows for direction of rotation.
- Most street tires have a blue dot in the bead area to show where the tire is the lightest. Align the dot with the valve stem, and then balance the wheel.
- Air pressure is vital to the proper function of the tires. Under-inflation causes shaky handling, heavy steering, excessive stress and accelerated wear. Over-inflation causes a harsh ride and abnormally high wear in the center of the contact patch.
Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys®
Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys® – protecting riding on the road and in the courtroom for over thirty-five years. If you have been injured in a motorcycle vs car crash anywhere in the USA we can help. From Los Angeles, California to Syracuse, New York, Cleveland, Ohio to Houston, Texas, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Miami, Florida, a top motorcycle attorney will help you handle your motorcycle crash injury claim.