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Motorcycle Tires: Your connection to the Road

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Everything a motorcycle does relies on that little patch of rubber that meets the road. If your tires are not in peak condition, your motorcycle can’t steer, stop or accelerate as it should. Yet, the generally lack of concern over tires is mind-boggling.

Two items that should be checked on a regular basis are tire inflation and tread depth. Ideally, tires should be checked prior to every ride; but, at the least, they should be checked every week. A tire doesn’t have to deflate entirely to get you in trouble. An under inflated tire decreases stability, limits traction and has increased possibilities to complete failure…a blowout! An over inflated tire decreases traction and, of course, it wears much faster. Check your owner’s manual to find the right PSI (pounds per square inch) of air pressure for your tires. Keep in mind that these recommendations are usually dependent upon the weight of you and your passenger, as well as any cargo. Some manufacturers advise adding 3 or 4 PSI when carrying a heavy load. Know your vehicle weight and load, and follow the recommendations specific to your motorcycle.

As with tire pressure, it only takes a few minutes to check your tires for excessive or irregular wear, punctures, cracks, cuts, and often overlooked…tread groove cracking. Every time you ride is not too often to check your lifeline to the road. If you don’t have a way to raise your bike off the ground, have someone roll the bike for you to inspect the tires.

Most riders notice a tire that’s getting thin in the tread. Wear bars have made it easy to tell when the tread is getting down to its last miles. Adequate tire tread not only allows tire integrity, it allows water to be channeled away from the contact patch, which helps maintain grip under wet conditions. If you do not have a tread depth instrument, a simple “coin check” will work. Using a quarter, make sure the tread is not lower than the top of Washington’s head when a quarter is touching the bottom of the tread groove. If it does, it is probably time to replace the tire. For more safety tips click HERE.

Also, did you know that when you have a new tire, most motorcycle tire manufacturers recommend a “break-in” period of 100 miles to “scuff” the tire before being too aggressive with braking and cornering?

You should also watch for safety recalls. A reliable source for information on safety recalls for tires and vehicles is: http://www.recalls.gov/nhtsa.html

Don’t forget…regular inspections for correct air pressure and tire wear will add more miles to the tires and help provide you with many safe miles.

Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner Personal Injury Lawyers would like to remind you to “Ride Safe, Ride Often, Have Fun!” However, if you need us, we’ll be there for you. We’ve been focused on justice since 1971, fighting for your rights. With 7 area offices, we are dedicated to serving your needs if you or a loved one is involved in an accident. Log on to www.focusedonjustice.com or call 1-800-DIAL-BLS.