Motorcycles continue to be a popular mode of transportation. In the United States, between the years 2014 and 2018, the number of households owning motorcycles increased by more than 1.5 million homes. Some motorcycle riders use their motorcycle as their only mode of transportation, and some ride their motorcycles with friends, or as an attendee of a major Bike Week event, such as those held in Daytona Beach or Myrtle Beach. For whatever reason they choose to ride their motorcycle, most, if not all motorcyclists take pride in their motorcycles. They enjoy washing and detailing their bikes.
Safety should be an important factor in a motorcyclist’s maintenance of their motorcycle. In the United States, 14 percent of traffic-related fatalities are motorcyclists. Considering that tires separate vehicles from the road, drivers of all vehicles should routinely change their tires. Motorcyclists can turn to top motorcycle retailers, such as Chaparral Motorsports, for reliable motorcycle tires for sale. If a motorcyclist is unsure of the right time to change their tires, there are signs they can look out for, to maintain safety on the road.
The Tires Have Aged
If the thought occurs to a motorcyclist to buy new tires for their motorcycle because they cannot recall how long ago they replaced the tires, it is probably time to buy new tires to replace the ones currently in use. Motorcycles do not have to rely solely on their memory, though, as motorcycle tires visibly display their age. Aside from any wear from the road, motorcycle tires manufactured after the year 2000 display their age via a Department of Transportation (DOT) Date Code. The digits of the code provide the manufacturer and plant code, code of the tire size, an optional manufacturer identity number, and the week of the year and the year the tire was manufactured. If the last four digits of a tire code are ‘4212,’ for example, the owner of a motorcycle would know for sure that the tires should be replaced, because these four digits tell them that the tire was manufactured in the 42nd week of the year 2012.
It is suggested that tires be inspected by a professional after five years and replaced between five to ten years after purchase and use.
Indication of Tread Wear
Some tires may end up looking their age or older than their age, and become unsafe if they have wear and tread damage. Motorcyclists are responsible for knowing their state’s regulation pertaining to the tread depth of tires. Some states require there to be between 1/32 inches to 2/32 inches of tread depth on tires. Many manufacturers suggest it is time to replace a tire when only 2/32 inches or 3/32 inches of tread remain on a tire. Old tires and tires with decreased tread depth increase the risk of tires splitting and blowing out.
Acquired Wear, Tear, and Damage
In some cases, tires can be damaged when motorcyclists ride on tires that have insufficient tire pressure or need to be balanced. In other cases, tires may be damaged by road hazards such as potholes, or sharp objects such as nails or pieces of glass in the road. A tire that is damaged beyond repair will need to be replaced regardless of its age. Irreparable damages include deformed and destroyed tread, punctures, and scratches.
For maximum safety and enjoyable motorcycle rides, motorcyclists should routinely check their tires and get new ones when they are needed. When buying tires, motorcyclists should make sure the tires are the right size and are in good condition.