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Reading Between the Tires
by: Maricon Williams
How do 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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