The Sick Cycles ATGATT Blog
Motorcycle Tips For Riders With Chops
How to Read Motorcycle Tire Wear
No matter what kind of motorcycle you ride, you should always pay attention to the quality of your tires. Whether you’re using slicks, off-road tires or those made for street bikes, you should know how to spot signs of wear. Tires are made of rubber, so every time you ride on the pavement, dirt or other surfaces, the friction erodes the material a bit. Eventually, the tires can grow bald, meaning there is no tread, which may make riding dangerous. This is why it is so important to keep an eye on your motorcycle tire health.
You will want to carefully examine the entire surface of the tire, from the areas that come into contact with the road to the sidewalls.
TREAD WEAR INDICATOR
The first thing you should check is the tire wear indicator (TWI), which is a triangle imprinted on the side of the tire. It points to a line of rubber that is built into the tire that runs across the tread. If you notice this line is level with the top of the tread grooves, you will need to replace the tire.
OTHER TYPES OF TIRE WEAR
Tire wear can indicate a number of issues. For instance, if the center of the tire is more worn than the edges, the tires may be over inflated. Conversely, underinflated tires will have worn edges. When your tires are underinflated, make sure to keep an eye on the pressure when you refill them. If it drops quickly, you may be dealing with a leak.
When the front tire has more wear than the rear, you may be braking too hard. If the front tire wear is mainly on the edges, try to take it easy on the curves, as cornering too hard can put added pressure on this section of the tire.
Tears and cupping, or scallop-like indentations, are other issues you should watch out for. They can be caused by the improper air pressure as well as shock springs or rebound that has been adjusted incorrectly.
WORN TIRE IMAGE GALLERY
The age of the tires can factor into their overall quality as well, and if you’re not sure how old they are, there are codes printed on them that allow you to determine their age.
HOW TO READ MOTORCYCLE TIRE DATE CODES
When it comes to motorcycle safety, the tires you use are an integral part of keeping your bike on the road. Knowing how to tell the age of a tire is extremely important. Everything from the type of tire and the tread can affect its ability to stay on the road, and its age plays a role as well. The rule of thumb is to replace tires when they are 6 years old, even if they appear to be in good condition. This is because the rubber can develop dry rot and other structural damage that you may not be able to see.
WHERE TO FIND THE TIRE CODE
You may be asking yourself how to tell when a tire was made, or how old are my tires? You don’t have to play guessing games to figure it out – the information is all right in front of you, on the sidewall of each tire. Look on the outer sidewall for the acronym “DOT,” which should be followed by a series of numbers. The last four digits are what you need to determine when the tire was manufactured. The first two numbers represent the week, and the second pair indicates the year.
DECIPHERING THE NUMBERS
You may need to grab a calculator to figure out the age of a tire. For example, a tire with the digits 2510 was made in the 25th week of 2010. Instead of grabbing a calendar and counting out the weeks to determine the month, you can simply divide the number of weeks by 4.3. In this case, the tire would have been made in June 2010. To determine the age, you can subtract the manufacture date from the current date, which would make this particular tire 2 years and 7 months old.
When you purchase tires from a dealer, you can expect that they will be between 18 months and 5 years old, so make a note of it to remind yourself when you’ll definitely need to replace them. The sidewall also contains information pertaining to the tire’s width and height as well as the size of the rim, making it easy to find a replacement that will fit. In addition to tracking the age of your tires, you also need to be on the lookout for wear and damage in between replacements.