MBI Bike Doctor shares some tyre tips with you for safe and enjoyable motorcycle ride.
Your motorbike’s handling characteristics are largely influenced by the tyres on your machine as they provide the only contact with the road. It is therefore very important that your tyres are maintained in good condition at all times, as safety in acceleration, braking, steering and cornering all depend on that relatively small area of road to tyre contact or “contact patch”.
When the time comes to change them, make sure suitable replacements are fitted. It is your responsibility to ensure regular care and maintenance is undertaken to your tyres. The point at which a tyre is replaced is a decision for which you are responsible. Here are some tips for checking motorcycle tyres:-
Check with your dealer that the tyre you have selected is correct for your machine and your riding style, this is really important. Mismatched tyres can dramatically affect your bikes handling and safety, so check that both tyres are a ‘recommended fitment’. They should be of a compatible construction, usually made by the same manufacturer and have a corresponding tread pattern.
Also they should be of the correct ‘speed and load rating,’ a tyre fitted with a speed rating that is too low could be very dangerous, as it could fly apart at high speed!
Directional arrows on the sidewalls of your tyres should be facing the proper way, most authorised bike shops will ensure tyres have been correctly fitted, although it may be wise to take a minute to check.
Incorrectly adjusted tyre pressures can affect handling, increase the rate of wear and fuel consumption. Get into the habit of checking your tyres on a weekly basis, checking they are inflated to the recommended pressure and there are no cuts, bulges or uneven wear. Remove any stones or objects embedded in the tyre tread. You need to check your tyre pressures from cold, using an accurate gauge. Keep oil and grease off your tyres using detergent if necessary.
For bikes over 50cc, ensure that the tread pattern is not below the legal limit of 1mm, without this water dispersal is greatly reduced, making road holding and grip in the wet very poor. This is all good basic maintenance but will also give you early warning of excessive wear of either tyres or punctures.
The 160 km Run in period
If you have new tyres fitted remember to ‘go steady’ on them for the first 160km as they have a protective coating, which needs gentle removal before they will have optimal grip. Another reason is to settle the tyre onto the rim, for these reasons it is important to keep your speed and acceleration down. That’s why a ‘Run in’ period of at least 160kms is recommended; neglect this at your peril! Be extra careful when running in new tyres in colder zones, because colder weather means it takes longer for the tyres to reach optimum temperature and grip is therefore further reduced.
Replacement of cracked or bent rims should be immediate. Problems can arise where the damaged rim results in a poor join with the tyre – and a rapid deflation or blow out may occur! Pot holes on roads in India can easily damage wheels.
Always replace old or damaged valve stems, it is best to make sure new valves are fitted every time you have new tyres.
Ensure your tyre wheel assembly is correctly balanced, essential to ensure minimal wear and good handling.
Even if it costs a little more; always insist on new inner tubes when replacing tube type tyres.
Use dust caps to keep dirt away from the valve core and to act as a secondary air seal.
As a matter of safety if you are unsure on any aspect of tyre fitment, pressure or condition take your motorcycle to an approved fitting centre and speak to a qualified professional.
‘I would like to speak in more detail about tyre fitments, constructions and types in relation to getting the best performance and wear characteristics at a later date…. So watch this space for more MBI Bike Doctor Tyre Tips’.
Remember you can save money on replacement two wheeler tyres by taking advantage of the exclusive ‘MITYRES’ coupon code deal we have with Changemytyre.com
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