If you ride a motorcycle, odds are eventually you’ll need to change the tires. Whether it being from wear, or an unwanted nail or other debris. Tires are the most crucial part to traction and maneuverability when on a motorcycle. Improper tire pressure can cause serious handling issues.
Here are 5 basics for knowing when it’s time to change your tires.
Wear is the most common sign that hints that your tire should no longer be in use. For this, the tire manufacturers put a Tire Wear Indicator (TWI) mark on the sidewall of the tire. This sign comes with a triangular arrow that indicates the level of wear after which a tire should not be used further. If the curved surface of the tire wears out up to the TWI mark, then it is time for you to change it.
Uneven Tread Wear
Many times, a tire may not get worn out completely but that doesn’t mean that it requires no attention. The shape of a tire matters a lot in determining whether it would be suitable for use in future or not. The most common form of uneven wear is the squarish wear of the tire in which the tire gets worn out from the center portion of the tread, known as chicken strips.
Cupping or Scalping
Another common uneven wear is the cupping or scalping of the front tire. In this condition, the tire gets worn out along the length of the tread. This can be dangerous as it may lead to handling and stability issues. Scalping also depends a lot on a poor suspension set up. Next time you see your motorcycle tire getting scalped from the sides, invest in a new tire besides getting your suspension properly checked and serviced.
Too Many Punctures or Cuts
If you have too many punctures or cuts in your tire, it needs to be changed on priority as the damages can make it unfit for future use. Riding with a tire that has a lot of cuts could lead to creating an uneven contact patchiness that will hamper your ride quality and the performance of your vehicle.
Age of Tire
Even if your tire is not worn out and it doesn’t have cuts, there exists another factor that determines its usability for future and that is its age. Most tire manufacturers recommend that the tire should not be used after five years. The reason behind this is that the oils in the rubber evaporate over time causing the rubber to harden up. To find out the date of manufacturing of your motorcycle’s tire, look out for a four digit number on it. The first two digits represent the week number and the last two will reveal the year of its manufacturing. If you want to keep the tires in good condition and desire to make them last longer, maintain proper tire pressure and check it regularly. The life of your tire also depends on your braking habits.