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Reading Between the Tires
by: Maricon Williams
you read between the tires?
Every rider must have knowledge about tires. They must know its
construction, its maintenance and care, how to mount and dismount it,
how to troubleshoot and to take precautions. To do it, here are the
areas that need to be known:
1. The right size. Sizing is the process of choosing the tire by
determining its rim width. This means that the tires must not be wider
or narrower than its original equipment tires because to choose
otherwise will distort motorcycle handling.
2. Pressure. Pressure increases with temperature. Thus, a rider must
check tires regularly especially during winter season. Advisable tire
pressures can be found on the manufacturer's reference table. Check
them out in order to have a safe tire pressure.
Never bleed air from a hot tire. Also avoid riding when tires are under
inflated because this can lead to premature wear, tire failure and
damage to the carcass.
3. The Wear. Regularly inspect the wear indicator in the tire grooves.
You will know that the tire should be replaced if the wear indicators
are leveled with the surface of the tread at any point.
4. The Valve. Always use valve caps to prevent air loss and to avoid
dirt from entering the valve.
5. Warm-up. Each time you ride on your motorcycle, always begin at a
moderate speed. This will gradually condition the tires up to their
normal operating temperature. If they have already achieved a full
warm-up then they will have an optimal grip.
6. Break-in. After warming up, avoid rapid acceleration or hard
cornering. Do this for the first 50 kilometers of your ride up to the
extent when the tread area is totally worn off.
7. Repairs. Try to learn the basics of motorcycle repairs so that you
will not be groping in the dark when discrepancies occur. Another
option is to consult tire experts to attend to tire repairs.
Learn the language of riding. Drive wisely. Travel safely.
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