How-To Booklet and Video on Motorcycle Tires
The two components that are on the front line between you and the road are your tires. Apart from riding skill and judgment, perhaps nothing is more crucial to your safe enjoyment of your motorcycle than that set of tires – and there’s a lot to know.
The Motorcycle Industry Council has launched an effort to help educate riders on selecting the right tires for your bike, how to inspect them, how to maintain them, and when to replace them. That is the content of the MIC’s four-minute Tire Guide video, which is a complement to its Tire Guide booklet.
“Motorcycle tires, with their U-shaped profiles, allow motorcycles to lean in turns,” said MIC Chair Dennis McNeal. “The dynamics and forces at play are very different from automobile tires, making regular inspections and ongoing maintenance of motorcycle tires critical. Your safety depends on you becoming well versed at selecting, inspecting, maintaining and replacing your bike’s tires.
MIC’s Tire Guide video above shows you how to inspect your tires and what steps to take.
These materials help clear up long-standing misconceptions such as that the best place to locate your bike’s tire pressure requirements is to look on the tire’s sidewall, but that only gives you the tire’s maximum pressure.
Your bike’s owner’s manual has the specific tire pressure requirements for your bike. Requirements are also listed on the tire information label found on the motorcycle’s chain guard, frame or swingarm.
“If you were asked today about the current condition of your motorcycle tires, would you know how to answer without first running out to check your bike?” asked MIC President Tim Buche.
“How is your tire pressure? How close is your tread getting to the wear bars? Would you be able to speak knowledgeably about your front tire specifically? What about the back? Inspecting your tires regularly and maintaining/replacing them as needed is an important part of motorcycling. Your tires are all that stands between you and some very unforgiving asphalt.”
Inspection of your tires is just one aspect of the complete “T-CLOCS” pre-ride inspection prescribed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
T-CLOCS, an acronym for Tires and Wheels, Controls, Lights and Electrics, Oil and Other Fluids, Chassis, and Stands, was developed by the MSF to aid riders in remembering the steps required in a full pre-ride inspection.
In addition to the safety risks caused by missed inspections and poor tire maintenance, there are other downsides. Under-inflation can cause your tires to wear out and need replacing more quickly and can result in poor fuel economy. Over-inflation can reduce your traction and can make your ride extra bumpy.
“Our motorcycle tires are selfish,” said Buche. “They demand our attention, and if we don’t give them that attention through regular pre-ride inspections, they may just get our attention in ways most of us would rather avoid.”