Replacing motorcycle tires – when is it necessary?

Replacing motorcycle tires – when is it necessary?
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Every motorcyclist should know how dangerous it is to ride on worn tires. How can you tell exactly when your tires need replacing? Below we explain and point out the factors that oblige you to buy new tires.

When should I replace my tires?

The tread, sidewalls, beads, and tires seem simple enough, but there’s a lot going on under that smooth black surface. Your tires are the only thing connecting your motorcycle to the road, so it’s very important that they are in good condition. You already check your tire pressure regularly, but how often do you check your tires to make sure they’re roadworthy? And do you know what factors determine when a tire needs to be replaced?

Wear is the most common cause, but damage and age can also be grounds for replacement, so we’ll explore each scenario. Knowing how to check your tires and replace them at the right time is crucial for both safety and performance, so it’s worth having the information.

Check the wear on your tires

Wear is one of the most common reasons to replace a motorcycle tire and is the easiest to diagnose. Some tires are marked with the letters TWI (tread wear indicator) and if it is flush with any part of the tire, it is time to buy a new one. Also, there are bars molded into the tread of the tire. When these bars are flush with the outer layer of the tire, it’s time to replace them.

Even if the tread is not worn to the limit, it may be worn unevenly. The most common type of rear tire wear is when it becomes “square,” creating a flat spot in the middle. As for the front, look out for uneven wear on both sides of the tire, which is called bubbles or grooves. While you should replace your front tire as soon as possible, you should also dial in your suspension settings or service your system, as gouging is a symptom of suspension irregularities.

Check your tires for damage

While this should be obvious, you should check your tires for proper inflation and damage before every ride. Any damage to your tires is cause for concern and can lead to a blowout, which can be catastrophic

Know the age of your tire

Even if your tires have more than enough tread and no punctures or tears, your motorcycle tire may be too old to ride on. Most motorcycle tire manufacturers claim a tire life of about five years because the oils in the rubber will evaporate, drying and hardening the tire casing. Do you know how old your motorcycle tire is? Its manufacture date is stamped directly on the sidewall and is shown as a four-digit code. The first two digits represent the week of the year it was created, and the last two digits represent the year.

Remember that in professional stores such as, you will always be able to check the manufacturing date.

How many years do tires last

Even if your tires have lots of tread grooves and look like they are in great shape. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are safe. The chemicals in the rubber used to make motorcycle tires (specifically, those that give the rubber enough stickiness to provide good grip on the street) degrade over time. This happens even to tires sitting on the shelves of your local motorcycle store that have never been mounted. In this process of chemical degradation, called “de-gassing,” the rubber gradually becomes harder and more slippery, losing its grip and thus its adhesion to the road.

In general, for modern motorcycle tires, whether we’re talking about sport, touring or travel tires, you can expect them to last, as we mentioned above, about five years from the date of manufacture

If you’re experiencing one of the symptoms listed above on your motorcycle tire, it’s time to look and buy a replacement at Remember, your tires are one of the most important parts of your motorcycle, and keeping them in proper condition will help extend their life

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