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One of the things on a motorcycle that I have seen neglected time and time again over the years are the tires. It is way too easy to just hop on and “assume� that all is well in the rubber world on your two and three wheelers. Tires can literally save you, or kill you, so we wanted to take a bit of time in the dead of winter to share some of the tire basics with you. Now you will have plenty of time before the riding season hits to check them out and get your tires up to snuff before heading out on your first trip. One of the most common things to blow off before going for a ride is the pre ride checklist. I am at times guilty of this as well because we just all want to hop on and ride. Taking a little extra time though can save you money, time, and possibly your life. First should be a good visual inspection of the tire for signs of damage, wear, and tread depth. If there is any sign of damage including any weather checking, the tire will need replaced before the ride. As far as tread depth, the minimum is 1/32nd of an inch. If your tires are worn excessively or damaged, they are dangerous to the rider, the passenger, and anyone else riding in your group. Worn tires are more likely to be damaged by road hazards and cause problems, so replacing them sooner than later is a good idea. Also, we end up riding in various conditions which can range from super-hot pavement to wet roads in the rain, or even sometimes snow and ice. The better shape your tires are in, the better chance of maintaining control, and making it home safely. Long distance highway riding can also cause issues with tires as it tends to flatten out the middle section of the tread path. This can affect cornering as tread depth decreases, so account for this when replacing your tires. Another thing to check out on the visual inspection is to make sure that wheel weights are still where they should be. If you have balancing beads this is not an issue, but for the most part those little stick on weights love to come off and change the balance of your wheels and your ride.


they had the tire changed 4,000 miles ago. Depending upon the rider, it could have been two weeks or two years ago. Less than recommended tire pressure can cause major handling issues and make a bike almost uncontrollable. That is a terrible thing alone, as well as the increased wear on the tire and increased maintenance costs from premature tire failure. How much air should you run in your tires? The best bet is to go by the tire manufacturers recommendations. They are printed right on the side of the tire, Maximum pressure is based upon maximum loads, which means two up with bags and such loaded. You may need to adjust your pressures based upon your load that you carry, comfort, and handling. No two tires will be the same, but there is a range that they can run in safely and be adjusted for your desired effect. Under inflated tires will be damaged rather quickly, as well as exhibit terrible handling. Fuel economy will suffer and cracking of the rubber will occur due overheating of the tire. Overinflated tires can also cause major issues. Overinflated tires are more susceptible to cuts and punctures if you strike solid objects, pot holes, or debris in the road. Check your tire pressure cold, and replace the valve stem caps.

One of the next things to check out is the air pressure. Countless times I have been on rides with other folks and someone in the group has a drastically While you are looking around at the tires, check out the low tire. wheels as well. Look at your rims and make sure there is no Usually it ends up with sign of damage. If you have laced wheels, make sure that the spokes appear to be in good shape, and also have them a question checked occasionally for tightness. Harley has had some to them issues in the past few years with the contoured rims with about their spokes coming loose. Not a good thing to have happen at air pressure highway speeds. and they state it was Some things that you cannot see are the tubes if used. It is a good when Thunder Roads Magazine of Iowa on Facebook

Thunder Roads Magazine of Iowa February 2015  
Thunder Roads Magazine of Iowa February 2015  

Iowa's Biker Magazine. About Iowa, For Iowa, From Iowa.