Your tires are the only contact your bike has with the road. This makes them an extremely important but often overlooked part of your bike.
You already know they don’t last forever. But bike tires are not generally the cheapest purchase and not something you will want to change on a whim.
So how do you know when to change your bike tires? It is worth noting that most tire-related motorbike accidents happen due to old, worn out tires.
Instead of checking your tires yourself simply drop into Procycles and ask them to check your tires for you!
While this is a viable option, it is still a good idea to know how to identify when your tires need to be changed.
Motorcycle tires have a limited life, even if they are hardly used.
The majority of manufacturers will advise a visual check of the tire as soon as it is five years old. Once it hits 10 years, it should be replaced; even if the tire looks to be in great condition.
The reason for this is that bike tires are made of a softer compound than car tires. This allows them to stick to the road better. Of course, this also means they degrade quicker.
If you’re not sure of the age of your tire, you can always have the hardness tested to estimate its age and stickiness.
It is also worth noting that many tires actually have the date of manufacture stamped into them. It is usually shown as a code; three letters then four numbers. The code will read like 2412. This means the 24th week of 2012; over five years ago!
Your bike tire should have a wear indicator set into the tread. If you take a look at your tire, you’ll notice a standard groove with a raised section next to it.
This raised piece should be set off center. As soon as the tread is level with this raised bit your tires must be replaced.
It is also worth looking your tires over every week. You should inspect the side walls for cracks. This is known as dry rot and tells you it’s time to replace it; no matter how good the tread appears to be.
Ideally, you should use a bike stand or center stand if you have one to lift the wheel and slowly spin it. A worn tire will develop a flat spot; this should be replaced immediately as it will dramatically reduce your grip in corners.
You’ll also be able to see if there is uneven wear; potentially due to a bad shock absorber. This is another sign that it needs replacing.
Monitor The Wear
If you have owned your bike for a long time, then you probably have already developed a feel for when your tires are due to be replaced.
It is a good idea to log the dates. Then, alongside performing the appropriate checks, you’ll be able to see if your tire has performed better or worse than normal. You can then investigate why this is the case.