When Should You Change Your Tires?
When you ride your bike, the only contact you have with the road is through your tires. It is crucial to maintain your tires and know when to replace them. Worn or damaged tires can affect the performance of your bike as well as put you and your passengers in danger. It is a good idea to do a weekly inspection of your tires.
In your weekly inspection you should check:
- The overall state of the tires: Look for uneven wear or other unusual features.
- Tread depth: Look at the wear bars closely or gently place a penny in the groove – if you can see Lincoln’s head, it’s time for new tires.
- Any sort of damage: Due to impacts, including the sidewalls.
- Wear and tear: Any sign of unusual wear and tear.
- Tire pressure: Use a good tire gauge, not the one on the gas-station pump, and be sure that your tires have the correct pressure.
If you don't know anything about tires, you can always seek Motowheels expert advice! Just call, email, or post your questions below. We are always here to help.
Signs you need to change your tires
Tires are built to withstand various impacts however, they can get punctured. If your tire goes flat do a temporary repair to get you to the shop to get a new tire.
- The legal tread wear limit has exceeded
According to Federal and State regulations, the tread depth of your tire should be 1/32 to 2/32 of an inch. The middle of the tire usually wears out first, as it makes the most contact with the road. Most tires come with wear indicators (small bars that connect the sides of the tread grooves) that will become flush with the top of the tire when worn out. Tire manufacturers advise changing the tires before reaching that indicator point. Replacing tires will insure your tire is still at an acceptable level of performance and grip, especially on wet or slippery surfaces.
- The tire is aging
There is no specific lifespan for a tire. Their life depends on a variety of factors including tire pressure, load speed, weather conditions, storage and usage conditions, riding style, maintenance, and more. Before you hop on to your bike and start riding it, spend some time inspecting your tires for signs of aging, wear and tear, and deformations or cracks in the tread, shoulders, or sides. Check the date code (stamped into the sidewall in a small oval shape after the letters DOT); the last four digits tell you the week and last two digits of the year manufactured: for instance, “1218” tells you between March 18th and 24th, not December of ‘18.
If you are uncertain, it is best to consult a professional for guidance to find out whether you need to replace tires or not. Almost any motorcycle shop would be more than happy to help you with such a basic safety issue, or you can ask the experts at Motowheels.
- The tire is damaged
Pavements, blunt objects, or holes can seriously damage tires. Never ride on a bike with damaged or flat tires. If your tire is deformed, get it carefully examined by a professional mechanic and replace it as quickly as possible.
- You notice an unusual pattern of wear
Unusual wear of the tire treads (in places off the center or on the shoulders) is often a sign of a balancing issue, incorrect tire pressure, or mechanical problems (such as worn shock absorbers or even transmission issues). You can prevent unusual wear of tires by periodically inspecting your wheel balance as your tires wear. It will prolong the life of your tires and ensure a more comfortable ride.
- The wrong size tires
Invest in tires that are compatible and recommended for your bike. Tires are designed to work best in pairs, so be sure to mount the same make and model on both the front and back, preferably as a new set. Tires with different patterns can affect the vehicle's balance and stability. Also, never mix radial and bias-ply tires unless recommended by your motorbike's manufacturer.
These are just some of the things to look for to know if it's time to for new rubber. If you think it's the right time to change your tires, explore Motowheels to shop the right ones for your bike.