Take care of your tires

When it comes to motorcycles, there are few things as important as the tires. Proper tire care will keep you safer on the roads, and help the motorcycle achieve top mileage and performance. Follow these tips to keep your tires in top shape.

Check for proper tire inflation pressure. For peak performance and fuel economy, it’s important that the tires are not over-inflated or under-inflated. Repeated under-inflation could signal a slow leak.

Test when they’re cool. The best time to check tire pressure is before you start riding while the tires are cool. Once the bike is in motion, tire temperatures warm up which changes the density and pressure of the air inside.

Watch the weight. Overloading places stress on the tires and can cause poor handling and excessive fuel consumption. Check your owner’s manual to determine limits.

Inspect for wear. Get in the habit of periodic inspections to be sure the tires are in good condition. Pay attention to tread wear indicators, groove cracking, knots and excessive or irregular wear. If you do find any of these conditions, immediately replace the damaged tire.

Look for signs of punctures. Under well-lit conditions, check for foreign objects such as nails and shards of glass, which might potentially lead to a loss of pressure or a blowout. Bulging or cracking may also occur on old tires. Be sure to roll your bike forward during inspection in order to see all surface areas.

Examine for signs of aging. Even fairly new tires can become hard with exposure to the sun. When tire rubber gets hard and stiff, it tends to crack and cannot grip the road. It’s wise to replace old or dried-out tires even if they still have plenty of tread.

Break in new tires. If you do need to purchase new tires, make sure you break them in properly. New tires should be ridden very cautiously for the first 100 miles to allow the tires to be “scuffed-in.” This provides the rider with an opportunity to get to know how they handle and react