How to care for your motorcycle tyre
If you are like me and pay attention to your motorcycle tyre only when it has visibly degraded to baldness, then the list below will one day save us from a disaster. Although an inspection on a daily basis before you start the ride in this quick paced life is not always possible but it surely is advisable to check the only thing keeping you from and connected to the ground – Tyre. It’s the least one can do to avoid any skids or the worst case scenario ultimate crash.
Any tyres & tube manufacturing company in India will tell you that a tyre is made up of the following basic parts tread or the outer layer of patterned rubber, carcass or the steel and fiber cords placed in bands that define the tyre as radial or bias ply, bead or the part that sticks to the metal wheel of the motorcycle and sidewall or that makes up the area that defines the thickness of the tyre. Not manymotorcycle tyre suppliers will educate you about some of these basic tips to maintain your motorcycle tyres. Other than checking the tyre before you start, one should follow these checks regularly to avoid any pitfalls, literally, for a safe and smooth drive.
Radial tyres are better for city rides as they are manufactured to deal with heat stresses of riding on well-made roads thus lasting longer. They also flex better than the bias ply and provide better contact with the road. Bias ply are much stiffer and are more suited for cruise bikes where rigidity is required to support the greater weight of rider and their luggage. Never mix radial with bias ply tyres unless your bike manufacturer recommends it as it will affect your bike’s performance.
The right tyre pressure as per the manufacturer’s notation on the sidewall will ensure that your tyres have a longer life. A tyre with treads worn out on the outside more than in the middle is a sure sign of an underinflated tyre and similarly if it is more worn in the middle it shows that one has been overinflating the tyre often.
The perfectly inflated tyre will provide maximum grip and comfort to your ride and keep you safe. Note that usually the front and back tyres have different tyre pressures to ensure best handling and performance. Also a rapid decrease in tyre pressure say over a week is a clear sign of a leakage and is a sign to get your tyre checked and repaired or replaced at the earliest.
Do not wait for a tyre to go completely bald before heading to the motorcycle tyre suppliers. The optimum time to replace is when there is still a bit of tread left of around 1.5 mm on your tyre. Any longer is playing with your luck. The same goes for the age of your tyre. A normal tyre will last for 5 to 7 years and unless you have not used your motorcycle and stored it away from environmental factors, it will deteriorate and should be replaced for the sake of your life.
When changing the tyres always change them in sets although the rear tyre may look like it has gone bald and the front still has a bit of grip left. They have both gone through thick and thin equally and should be changed.