Motorcycle Tires: How To Inspect And Maintain Them

Motorcycle tires are the only thing that separates you, the rider, from the road. It is important to check your tire pressure during your pre-ride inspection and be aware of any visible wear or cuts in order to keep yourself safe. Check the tire pressure once a week as part of basic bike maintenance to prevent flats and blowouts while you’re on the road.

How To Check Your Motorcycle Tire Pressure

On motorcycles, tire pressure is extremely important, and tiny modifications may have a big impact on handling and ride quality. Tires that aren’t properly inflated also wear out faster, which is yet another reason to regularly check the tire pressure.

When the tires are cold, the ideal time to check tire pressure is before you start riding; as the bike is moving, tire temperatures rise up, changing the density and pressure of the air within. Always refer to your owner’s handbook for PSI guidelines. Use the pressure values written on the sidewall if you’re riding a bike with non-standard tire sizes.

How To Add Or Remove Tire Pressure

After inspecting the tire pressure, use compressed air to inflate them to the appropriate pressure. To deflate them to the correct pressure, depress the the center of the Schrader valve and let it bleed out. If you check the pressure in your motorcycle tires after a few hours of riding, anything more than a 10% increase might mean they’re working too hard. If this is the case, you should reduce your load and/or slow down.

How To Check The Tread Levels of Your Motorcycle Tires

If the tire is still relatively new, the next thing to look for is wear. Look at the tire’s wear bars to easily determine this. These tiny bumps in the tread cuts signify the life of your tires. To ensure your safety, you need to replace worn out motorcycle tires. The tire is worn out when the tread is level with the wear bar bumps.

In addition to ensuring tire stability, sufficient tire tread allows water to be diverted away from the contact patch, which improves grip in wet situations. You can also check if there is enough tire tread to reach beyond the top of Washington’s head when put within the tread groove using a quarter. It’s probably time to replace your tire if it doesn’t.

There are additional signs that a tire is nearing the end of its life besides wear. Tires heat up when in use and cool down when stopped, causing them to crack over time. The tread grooves and sidewalls are the most common places to find cracks. Sidewall cracks might also indicate low tire pressure, either now or in the past. Whether you’re looking at a motorbike with knobby tires, check the base of the knobs to see if they’re tearing away. Keep an eye out for any cuts or missing portions.