Big Ed's Workshop - Tyres
The winter period is an interesting time of year for a biker. Some relish the chance to take their machines out on a cold, brisk morning whereas others choose to hide their pride and joy away until the spring returns. Whatever your riding plans over winter it's a great chance to catch up on some routine maintenance on your bike. Over the next few months I'll be giving you some advice that will hopefully help you become a more rounded rider as you begin to understand more about your machine and how it works. This week I'll be starting with a breakdown on all things rubber.
You need to remember that the only contact the bike should have with the road is via the tyres, therefore it is incredibly important that they are in a decent condition. First of all check your tread depth, is there any sidewall cracks, rubber hardness or is the tyre worn flat in the middle? If any of those is a yes, it's time to buy a new set. Issues could cause your bike to become unstable and even worse potentially threaten a blowout.
Also, check your tyre pressure before you head out, always when your tyres are cold. If they are under inflated it can affect handling and breaking, with the tyre wall not being able to cope with the forces put on it. However if they're over inflated it can mean the surface contact is reduced, meaning braking is harder as there is less road traction. If you frequently ride with a pillion you'll need more pressure in the tyres!
There are many tyre choices out their all with their own benefits and downfalls. Large manufacturers and household names will generally have the tyres that last the longest and go the furthest but some great budget options are available too. Each tyre will have a number of thread variants too so you can be flexible on choice depending on how and where you ride.
I hope this advice goes some way into helping you understand your tyres and your motorcycle. More tricks of the trade coming soon, stay tuned!
29.12.14 - Big Ed