There are several aspects of caring for the tyres on your motorcycle, ranging from regular inspections of the tread and inflation to cleaning grime and oil off the surface and repairing any punctures to the rubber. The materials and tools needed to maintain and repair motorcycle tyres can be purchased in brick and mortar automotive stores or online through websites like eBay. By taking care of your motorcycle's tyres, both you and your bike can ride safely across the UK.
Caring for Motorcycle Tyres
There are several ways to take care of your motorcycle tyres. By doing regular inspections, checking for puncture marks and low air pressure, and fixing any damage, you can keep the tyres on your motorcycle performing better for a longer amount of time. Cleaning the tyres also prevents damage to the rubber and helps motorcyclists spot any holes or punctures in the tyres. In case of flats, there are emergency tyre repair kits that are handy to keep on hand.
Regularly Inspect the Tyres
Tyres can be damaged in the blink of an eye without even realising it. In one second, a ride can go from beautiful and smooth to extremely frustrating. By checking the tyres on your motorcycle regularly, punctures, flats, or other damage to the tread can be identified immediately and repaired before going for a ride. There are several items to look for when inspecting your tyres. These include punctures on the surface, reduced tyre pressure, damaged valves, and the quality of tread left on the tyres.
Scan Tyres for Puncture Marks
Tyres can be damaged after running over nails, broken glass, or even sharp, jagged rocks on the road or side of the road, puncturing the tyre's surface and compromising the rider's safety. By checking the motorcycle's tyres after every ride, these accidents in the making can be identified before risking one's life on the road. If there is a nail or other sharp object puncturing the surface, it is important to leave the item in place rather than pulling it out of the tyre. Pulling a nail out of the tyre unseals the puncture wound and causes the air in the tyre to escape, which ruins the tyre pressure and leaves the motorcycle stranded. If there is a puncture that is leaking air, tyre repair kits offer patching solutions to temporarily seal the hole and maintain air pressure until the rider can make it safely to a location where the tyre can be changed.
Check That Tyres Are Properly Inflated
Besides puncture marks, motorcycle tyre s can lose their air pressure over time from changes in temperatures, frequent use, and loose or damaged valves. When inspecting tyres, the air pressure should be checked. Under-pressurised motorcycle tyres compromise the balance and turning ability of a motorcycle, which can cause accidents on the road. The lack of air pressure causes a lot of heat to generate, and the tyre could blow out. The heat from an under-pressurised tyre also wears down the tyre more quickly than a properly pressurised tyre.
Over-pressurised motorcycle tyres are at constant risk of blowing out. Riders should check the maximum pressure required for their tyres by reading the sidewalls of the motorcycle tyres. Solo riders should stay three or four PSI below the maximum, while heavier motorcycles with passengers or luggage on board need more air pressure. In either case, the maximum PSI should never be exceeded.
By keeping a low pressure tyre gauge in one's saddlebag or other compartment when riding, a motorcycle rider can regularly check the air pressure in the tyres and prevent blowouts from occurring. The pressure of one's motorcycle tyres should be checked when they are 'cold', meaning that the tyre has not been ridden more than two kilometres or has been sitting for at least three hours, in order to obtain an accurate pressure reading.
Look for Damaged Valves
The air valves are the gateway for air entering or escaping a tyre in good condition. If the valve becomes damaged or broken, the motorcycle tyre is completely compromised, and this leads to low pressure and tyre failure. By regularly checking the air valves to ensure that they are still attached to the tyres and working properly, you can prevent tyre damage and eventual blowouts. The caps should also be secured on the valves at all times to protect the valves from damage and dirt.
Motorcycle tyres have a built-in indicator at 0.8 millimetres so that motorcycle owners know when the tyres are too worn and need to be replaced. Shallow grooves in the tread are indicative that the tyres should be replaced, as they lack good traction and can lead to easy accidents. Uneven wear on the tread depth of a motorcycle tyre can also be dangerous because the tread becomes shallow on one side much sooner than the other, and this leads to slipping and accidents.
One way to measure the remaining tread depth of one's motorcycle tyres is to use a coin and stick it into the grooves around the tyre. The coin should show somewhat significant depth in the tread, and the tread depth should be fairly even all around both tyres to show even wear. If the coin reveals that the wear is highly uneven or if the coin is barely hidden by the walls of the tread, then it is time to replace the motorcycle tyres.
Fixing a Flat Tyre
In case of a flat tyre on the road, tyre repair kits are available for motorcycles. These repair kits come with wet cement, tyre plugs, and a can of carbon dioxide in case the tyre needs more air. Once the puncture is found, the needle applicator is used to enlarge the hole so that the tyre plug can be fixed in place. Once the hole is large enough, the tyre plug needs to be coated in the wet cement and then pushed through the puncture mark in the tyre. Once the plug is inserted, the needle applicator can be removed from the tyre. A large portion of the plug is normally left sticking out, and this can be trimmed short. To allow the wet cement to dry, the tyre should be rotated so that the plug is on the bottom of the tyre. This uses gravity to make the cement pool before drying, further solidifying the fix.
Plugging the tyre's puncture mark is only a temporary fix. Riders should not exceed 80 kilometres per hour after using this quick fix, and they should replace the motorcycle tyre at their earliest convenience. The operation should be conducted with a sense of urgency, as well, since air is escaping from the puncture area until it is plugged.
Riding one's motorcycle all the time exposes the tyres to the elements as well as to harmful materials like petrol, grease, and oil, all of which deteriorate rubber. Regular tyre cleanings with mild soap and water can prolong the life and performance of motorcycle tyres by removing the grime from the surface. Motorcyclists can use damp cloths,, rags, or sponges to clean the exteriors of the tyres on their motorcycles. While there are cleaners that specialise in cleaning tyres, basic soap or dishwashing liquid are just as effective and are gentle enough not to damage the rubber.
It is important to take proper care of your motorcycle's tyres, and that means washing them on occasion, regularly checking the tyre pressure and tread depth, and replacing them when they need to be replaced. By caring for your motorcycle's tyres, you can improve the performance and reliability of your bike and increase your odds of enjoying safe rides. Checking for puncture marks in motorcycle tyres and watching for changes in tyre pressure are two simple ways to care for your motorcycle's tyres. Pressure gauges and emergency tyre repair kits are recommended to be stored somewhere on the bikes so that riders can be prepared for mishaps on the road. Motorcyclists should also keep an eye on the tread depth and the condition of the valves on both tyres. Worn tread or damaged valves are signs that the tyres need to be replaced. Cleaning the grime off tyres also prolongs tyre life.
Replacement motorcycle tyres, along with the tools and accessories one needs to care for motorcycle tyres, can be purchased in brick and mortar automotive stores as well as online using websites like eBay. Choosing to purchase these items online through eBay saves shoppers a trip to the store and gives them a range of options. Caring for a motorcycle's tyres allows a rider to worry less about the performance of the bike and enjoy the carefree life of a biker.