The spring season is the start of the riding season for many motorcyclists around the world. But before a rider climbs aboard, many things should be inspected for a safe riding season.
And the most obviously place to begin inspection is where our motorcycles meet the road: the tires.
Think T-CLOCK from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation; this handy and easy-to-remember checklist begins with the all-important T, which stands for tires (C – Controls, L – Lights, O – Oil, C – Chassis, K – Kickstand).
Dunlop recently issued some tips for motorcyclists regarding the tire inspection for motorcyclists. The tire company says “two items are of vital importance: always check your tire pressures before you ride, and always know your load limit.” Below are some addiitonal tips from Mike Manning, Dunlop Motorcycle Tires Product Manager.
Mike Manning says: “Begin your springtime inspection by checking the tire sidewalls for signs of cracking-indicators that it could be time for replacements. Never apply tire sidewall treatments or dressings, which can actually accelerate tire cracking. Even if your tires look okay, this may be a great time to replace them.
“For showery springtime riding, it’s especially important to be aware that worn tires decrease the ability to dissipate water. Worn tires also decrease handling and become more susceptible to punctures, so always replace worn tires before they reach the tread-depth indicators (1/32 of an inch) inside the tread grooves. Be sure to check several points around the tire, including the center tread as this portion of the tire is especially vital for water evacuation.
“Summer brings heat, and with it elevated road temperatures. Heat is the enemy of tires, so in the heat of summer it is especially important to check tire pressures frequently to ensure proper inflation. Underinflated tires generate additional heat by flexing more than they should, while a properly inflated tire runs cooler.
“In addition, we’ve listed a few more tire tips for you and your motorcycle. We hope you enjoy the new riding season and that these tire tips are helpful. Ride safe wherever you may travel.”
Additional Motorcycle Tire Tips From Dunlop:
- Before setting out, especially on long rides, be sure to check your motorcycle’s load limit in the owner’s manual against the total weight of rider and passenger with riding gear, plus all cargo. Exceeding that limit could lead to sudden tire failure and can seriously compromise your safety.
- Maintaining the correct air pressures is crucial to the tires’ rolling efficiency, steering, grip, wear andload-carrying capabilities-for every 4 psi a tire is underinflated, you lose 80 pounds of load-carrying capacity. Remember, the air in your tires helps carry all of the load including your motorcycle, you, your passenger and all yourcargo, so check cold air pressures as often as possible with a high-qualityair-pressure gauge, and have it calibrated at least once a year. Checking tire pressures is the most important tire maintenance function you can perform.
For the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s T-CLOCK worksheet, which will help you further inspect your machine, click here.