Community Motorcycle Safety Dunlop: Winter Motorcycle Tire Tips

Dunlop: Winter Motorcycle Tire Tips

Motorcycle Safety

With the winter season upon us, Dunlop would like to remind riders that this is a good time to check your motorcycle tires.

While your motorcycle is stored for the winter, it is a good time to check your tires, maintain them and determine if you need new tires for spring.

If you live in a part of the country where you can keep riding, it’s best to ensure that your tires are in top condition because you may see your share of rainy days.

Dunlop Motorcycle Tires Product Manager, Mike Manning, offered a few tips regarding tire maintenance and storage.

Mike Manning says: "For wet-weather 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 tires before they reach the tread-depth indicators inside the tread grooves."

"On the sidewall of the tire, there are little triangles spaced around the tire. Looking in a tread groove at a point indicated by the triangle, you can see a raised-up bar. The surface of your tread must be higher than those bars."

"Listed below you’ll find a few more motorcycle tire tips. We hope you find them useful and wish you a safe ride wherever you may travel."

Motorcycle Tire Tips:

  • On a regular basis, check your tires all the way around. Rotate both tires completely and make sure there are no nails, or other objects penetrating the tire. If you find anything, do not ride until you have your motorcycle dealer inspect the tire and replace it if necessary.
  • Check the tire sidewalls for signs of cracking and never use sidewall treatments or dressings, which can actually accelerate tire cracking.
  • Checking tire pressure is the most important tire maintenance function you can perform. Maintaining the correct air pressure is crucial to the tires’ rolling efficiency, steering, grip, wear and load-carrying capabilities-for every 4 psi a tire is underinflated, you could lose up to 80 pounds of load-carrying capacity.
  • You’re not only riding on your tires, you’re also riding on the air within them, so check cold air pressure as often as possible with a high-quality air-pressure gauge, and have it calibrated at least once a year.
  • If you’re storing your motorcycle for the winter and/or if you’re storing spare tires, try to avoid frequent and varied extremes of temperature during storage. Do not keep tires next to radiators or sources of heat. Tires subjected to these conditions will age more quickly than those stored in a cool, constant environment.
  • Do not store tires where electric motors are present; the high concentration of ozone will accelerate tire cracking.
  • When buying new tires make sure you select tires that can carry your expected load, including the total weight of the motorcycle, the rider(s), luggage and any equipment. Always match front and rear tires.
  • After installation of new tires, check to make sure the arrows on the sidewall are pointing in the correct direction of rotation, and that the balance dot on the tire is lined up with the valve stem.

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

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