What You Should Know About Motorcycle Tires
Tires are the foundation of a motorcycle, and when they’re neglected, they can lead to massive problems. While your tires give you traction, cushioning, and support, a worn-down tire can blowout, which will almost certainly lead to a wreck. It’s best to stay one step ahead and take care of your tires before they become a problem. This resource will hopefully provide a little bit of knowledge about motorcycle tires, and it will also show you how to know when it’s time to change them. If you need new tires for your Harley-Davidson®, stop by Bergen County Harley-Davidson® in Rochelle Park, New Jersey. We’re just a short distance from Clifton and Newark, and we can help you get some new rubber on your wheels today!
How a Tire is Constructed
Motorcycle tires today are a wonder of modern engineering. They have to combine the strength to support a motorcycle weighing upwards of 500 lbs with the cushioning ability to allow for a smooth ride. They have to be able to be strong turning at multiple angles, and they have to provide lots of grip at all times.
In the old days, motorcycle wheels used an inner tube to provide extra support to the tire. Today, most bikes use a tubeless system that involves a bead of rubber on the tire that interlocks with the wheel rim to create an airtight seal. Air enters the tire through a small rubber and metal stock known as a valve stem. This is a common site for leaks and problems to occur. The tire has an intentionally rounded shape to provide grip while the bike turns. The tread, otherwise known as the part that meets the pavement, is another key element to a motorcycle tire. This often provides one of the best ways to determine if it’s time to get new tires.
Choosing Correct Tires
Motorcycle tires come in all shapes and sizes. As many types of motorcycle as you’ll find, you’ll find an equivalent or greater number of unique tires to fit them. The first place to start when looking for new motorcycle tires is by type. It’s best to use the manufacturer specified tires for your bike, as these tires are often specifically designed to work with the other performance components on the bike. The team at your local motorcycle dealership or tire specialist should be able to provide you with that information.
If you want your tires to last as long as possible, you’ll have to put some effort into maintaining them. The number one place to start is air pressure. Check your tires’ pressure with a tire pressure gauge as often as you can. Note any patterns you find, such as consistently low pressure. Sometimes changes in atmospheric pressure or temperature can affect this, but for the most part, your tires’ air pressure will tell you a good deal of information about how long they will last. You should also make sure to wash your tires often. Salt and de-icing chemicals from roadways can be hard on tires and cause drying, cracking, and corrosion.
How to Know it’s Time to Change Your Tires
The best way to tell if it’s time to change your tires is to look at the odometer. When you reach 10,000 miles on a given pair, it’s time to start thinking about changing them. Once you reach 12,000 miles, you should make some concrete plans and limit your long rides. Motorcycle tires have much shorter lifespans than car tires. You can also look at the tread of the tire on some models. Sport bike tires generally have a feature known as a “wear bar” which is a bar that extends across the gap in the tread. When your tires are enough that it’s time to change them, this bar will become exposed and will intersect with the tread. It will look like there’s still plenty of tread left, but this is the point when you begin to push the limits on how many miles can be gotten from a tire.
Don’t let your tires get worn past their reasonable limit. Riding a worn-out tire can result in a blowout, which could then result in serious injury or death for you. Instead, stay ahead of the game by taking your bike to the professionals. Stop by Bergen County Harley-Davidson® today if you have questions about your motorcycle tires! Our experienced technicians serve the areas of Clifton, Hackensack, Newark, Ridgewood, and Paterson, New Jersey, and we’d be happy to help you!