You’re probably already familiar with safety tips for motorcycle riders such as always wearing a helmet when you ride, wearing the appropriate gear, following traffic laws, and riding defensively as well as alert and sober.
However, just as important as practicing safe riding while you’re out on the road is making sure that your bike is in good working order and safe to ride. To ensure that your bike is fit to ride, check the following:
- Headlight, taillight, and signals
- Hydraulic and coolant fluids
- Signs of oil or gas leaks
- Brakes, clutch, and throttle
No matter what kind of bike you own, the tires play a crucial role when it comes to performance and safety. You need to know how to check your motorcycle tires for safety and what to look for when checking your tires to ensure that you have a safe ride with optimal performance.
Checking your tires
When it comes to motorcycle safety tips for tires, you should familiarize yourself with your bike manufacturer’s tire inflation guidelines. You’ll most likely find the right PSI (pounds per square inch) of air pressure that is recommended for your tires in your owner’s manual. Test your tire pressure often –a minimum of once a week is recommended — and adjust it as needed.
It’s important to remember that the PSI recommendations of the manufacturer are usually dependent upon the weight of you and your passenger as well as any cargo. Therefore, you need to know your vehicle weight and the weight of any loads you’re carrying and follow the PSI recommendations that are specific to your bike.
Take the time to routinely check your tires for sidewall cracking or bulging as well as cracking of the treads, punctures, blisters, knots, cuts, and excessive or irregular wear. Look for signs of aging, including dry rot and cracking. Even if your tires are fairly new, they can become hard with exposure to the sun and frequent use.
So, what do safety experts recommend about when to replace your motorcycle tires? Most tire safety experts recommend immediately replacing a tire that is damaged in any way, but especially if the tire tread is worn down to the level of the built-in tread bars.
Getting new tires for your motorcycle
When going shopping for new tires, make sure that you’re getting front and rear matching tires for your motorcycle; at least make sure that the tires have complementary tread patterns, should both be either radial or bias play, and ideally should be the same make and model.
Choose replacement tires of the same size as your bike’s original equipment. And, remember — front and rear tires are not interchangeable because they are designed to perform different tasks.
Some tips for tire safety while on the road:
Avoid riding on the shoulder or near medians because sharp objects and other debris that damage your tires tend to accumulate in these places
Always monitor the way your motorcycle is riding and handling in order to detect any rapid air loss. Learn how to handle a tire blowout.
Looking for some more motorcycle safety tips? Check out “Are loud motorcycles safer?”