Whether you’re riding a sports bike or an everyday scooter, you should always be wary of the condition of your tyres. Checking their condition on a regular basis is one of the most important things that a motorcycle rider should do.
Tyres are made from a mixture of rubber and synthetic compounds, and friction causes them to wear. Over time the tyres will go bald, even faster if you’re using your motorcycle every day. When this happens, there is no tread anymore which makes riding your motorcycle dangerous.
There are signs that will tell you that your motorcycle tyres are worn out. You’ll want to carefully examine them, especially the areas that come into contact with the road, to spot these signs.
1. Check The Tread Wear Indicator
Motorcycle tyres gradually wear out with constant use due to the friction created when they come into contact with the road. Even the high-quality tyres made by well-known brands will wear down over time. All motorcycle tyres have tread wear indicators, especially the tyres that are sold by Tyreman M/C. All you need to do is to find the tread wear indicator since their appearance can vary.
Tread wear indicators are often marked with “TWI” or a triangle shape on the side of the tyre. Even though all motorcycle tyres have slightly different wear and tread patterns, they all show the same basic signs of wear.
Once you find the TWI or the triangle shape, it usually points you to a line of rubber in the grooves of your tread – this is its tread wear indicator.
The tread wear indicator is designed to become flush (or level) with the tyre surface once the tyre is nearing its serviceable life. Once the tread wear indicator is level with the tyre surface it’s time to replace your tyres with new ones.
2. Check For Signs Of Unusual Wear
We always want the tread wear pattern of our motorcycle tyres to be perfectly worn out around the entire tyre, but that will only happen in a perfect world. We also want the signs of wear on motorcycle tyres to be equal but that is also impossible because there are many situations that can cause uneven and unusual wear.
Check your motorcycle tyres for the following wear pattern issues that may require you to get a new set of tyres:
- There is additional wear on one or both edges.
- There is also additional wear found at the centre of the tyre.
- Front tyre has increased wear as compared to the rear tyre.
- There are tears.
- There is cupping (wear pattern of alternating hills and valleys on your tyre).
- There is bulging (usually caused by the interior of the tyre).
- There are unusual indentations.
- Wear on a single side only.
You also have to take note of the inflation of your tyres. Keep in mind that underinflation can cause your tyre to wear out quickly. If the tyres do not have enough air in them, it’ll increase the pressure on the sides of the tread pattern causing them to stretch, heat up and wear. Similarly, over inflation can also cause the tyres to wear out more quickly, especially at the centre.
If you’re using your brakes more frequently, expect to see increased wear too, especially on your front tyre.
All these issues can severely affect the serviceable life of your motorcycle tyres. If you start to see one or more of these signs you may need to replace them with a new set even though there may be some tread depth left. Once you do, make sure that you take the appropriate steps to correct these wear pattern issues, or else, your brand-new set of tyres will soon have the same wear issues as before.
3. Know The Age Of Your Tyres
Even though your motorcycle tyres still have more than enough tread, and have no tears, punctures, or other issues, it doesn’t mean that they’re still safe to use. Most motorcycle tyres have a lifespan of around five years – any more than that and your tyres are no longer guaranteed safe to use. You may be tempted to still use your tyres since the tread wear indicator is ok and there are no unusual wear patterns, but you have to know that your tyres have already lost their grip.
The oils in the rubber of your motorcycle tyres will evaporate over time regardless if you’re always taking your bike for a ride or not. It’ll cause the rubber to dry out and harden, which makes the tyre vulnerable to damage, cracking and cause it to lose its grip.
It’s quite easy to know how old your motorcycle tyres are. Look for a 4-digit code usually found on the sidewall of your motorcycle tyres. This will tell you the manufacturer date. The first two digits represent the week of the year the tyre was made and the last two digits represent the year it was made.
4. Uneven Tread Wear
The shape of the tyres can tell you a lot in determining whether they’re still appropriate for use or not. That is why you should also check your motorcycle tyres for uneven wear. The most common form of uneven wear is a squarish wear on the centre portion of the tread.
The same can also be said about punctures or cuts. Even though your tyres don’t have too much wear on them, but have punctures or cuts, you may need to replace them with a new set. Punctures, indentations and cuts can create uneven contact which will affect the performance of your motorcycle and ride quality and increase the risk of a tyre failure.
Whether you’re ripping your heart out on a motocross racetrack or just cruising on the city streets, you always need a reliable set of motorcycle tyres. Worn-out tyres are more prone to blow-outs, which can be really tough to handle. Learn how to spot the signs of wear in your tyres and do your inspection on a regular basis, and you’ll increase your safety and riding enjoyment.