Your tyres are the only thing connecting you to the road so it is imperative that they are in great condition!
Motorcycle tyre rubber is softer than car tyre rubber because it has to be. A typical contact patch between your motorcycle tyre and the pavement is about the size of a credit card, while the contact patch on your average car is 373sq cm. Hard tyres are more likely to slip and slide, while soft rubber will grip the pavement. You need that grip to stay on your bike.
Unfortunately, that extra grip comes at a price. The softer rubber of a motorcycle tyre wears out and gets hard faster than a car tyre.
When should you be changing the tyres on your motorcycle? and how can you tell, exactly?
The tread on your tyres is designed to push water away, improving grip in even the worst conditions. As soon as this tread starts to wear, you begin to lose some of the grip and the bike will become more dangerous to ride.
Your tyres will have wear indicators, which look like little bumps at the bottom of the main grooves. When the depth of the rubber remaining gets to the level of these indicators (1.5mm), the tyre has reached its legal wear limit and must be replaced. You can also use a tread depth checker to monitor the rate at which your tread disappears.
Tyre wear indicators.
If you continue to ride on your tyres below the limit, their safety, grip and performance - particularly on wet roads - is not guaranteed. You will also be breaking the law.
The data on sides of tyres can provide allot of information about sizing and performance, they also advise the date of manufacture. Although the numbering system varies, there should be a series of numbers and letters in a box, the last four being the month and year of manufacture. Manufacturers recommend tyres over five years old should be checked, regardless of how much tread they have left. At 10 years old they should be replaced even if the tread is like new. This is because the tyre compound hardens over time, diminishing grip which relies on softness in the compound. You can tell a tyre is aging by the presence of small cracks.
Small cracks showing aging of a tyre.
Although the year of manufacture can be found on the sidewall it cannot always be depended on. Factors like conditions of storage, load, speed, inflation pressure, riding style and even climate conditions all affect the service life of a tyre. It is recommended you regularly check for visible ageing or wear.
If it gets to the point where you can feel that your bike is not gripping the road properly then you know you have to change your tyres. By this stage it has probably been left longer than it should have.
Other tell-tale signs are vague steering and slight handlebar wobbles as you ride over white lines on the road
Riding carefully and smartly will contribute to a longer life for your tyres. If you indulge in rash riding, it leads to unidirectional rotation of tyres, causing cupping., The leading edges of the tread shape face excessive deterioration and the trailing part of the tread remains less used with sharp edges.
Signs of scalloping on a tyre.
If you have dual-sport tyres or you participate in off-road riding, this could be a common problem for you. Scalloped tyres cause decreased on-road traction and increase in vibration, that is the signal for you to get a new pair of tyres.
While they are resilient to many bumps and bruises, your tyres could still be damaged by foreign objects in the road. Any perforations, cuts or deformations that are found should be examined by a professional mechanic who can advise whether or not the tyre remains safe to use.
We have some recommendations for road bike tyres from our Auburn superstore Road Spares department 2ic, Macca!
For general use and a sporty riding style we recommend the;
SPORTEC™ M7 RR
WET ROAD. DRY ROAD. JUST RIDE IT.
ENGINEERED TO EMPOWER TRUE RIDERS
SPORTEC™ M7 RR derives from our experience in Road Racing activities including the “Isle of Man TT” and the “Metzeler Ulster Grand Prix”, featuring completely new profiles, structure materials, compounds and tread pattern. SPORTEC™ M7 RR is engineered to empower true riders with a sporty riding style, using their motorcycles in all conditions, weather and temperature.
Because our roads are not always perfect like racetracks, we have to face unexpected wet patches, debris, temperature drop or uneven tarmac.
Introducing a new concept of water drainage and contact feeling thanks to dual-compound on the rear tyre combined with Interact™ technology and high silica compounds.
Sporty Handling: the combination of profiles derived from the Road Racing activities with high stiffness structures delivers an extremely agile handling for a sporty riding style on all roads.
Grip in all Conditions: 100% Silica compounds combined with a special tread pattern gives SPORTEC™ M7 RR the unique capability to keep the sporty riding stile also in cold conditions, wet roads and greasy and grimy tarmac surfaces.
Extended Mileage: 20% more mileage compared to SPORTEC™ M5 INTERACT™. A dual compound solution on rear sizes allows the use of a specific material on the central slick portion of the tread pattern to increase abrasion resistance and extend the mileage capability.
For Touring we recommend the;
The sport touring world has changed.
ROADTEC™ 01 is METZELER’s leading product in the Ride longer, ride further, ride safer
Sport Touring segment, ranging from Radial to X-Ply fitments.
ROADTEC™ 01 is the latest evolution in the ROADTEC™ family, METZELER’s product line dedicated to pure street riders and recommended for touring, sport-touring and urban use.
ROADTEC™ 01 is the contemporary answer to past and future needs.
PRODUCT MAIN BENEFITS:
- SAFETY ON WET AND LOW FRICTION ROADS
Unique tread design provides confidence and safety feeling thanks to mechanical grip
- EXCELLENT GRIP
Compound solutions ensure wear resistance and grip on a wide range of asphalts and weather conditions
- EXTENDED MILEAGE & PERFORMANCE CONSISTENCY
Innovative profiles ensure extended product lifecycle and long-lasting performances
- ENHANCED STABILITY, TRAJECTORY PRECISION AND COMFORT
Specific structural features promote adaptive behaviour across a wide range of motorcycles and riding situations
And for the track we Recommend;
RACETEC™ RR earns its name from the Road Races.
RR has been developed and put to the ultimate test with the winning teams and riders.
RACETEC™ RR IS THE TYRE WINNER OF 2014 SUPERSPORT TT ISLE OF MAN TOURIST TROPHY.
Road Races are one of the most difficult and challenging racing activities, due to the combination of circuit length, speed, altitude, temperature variation and variety of tarmac.
RACETEC™ RR has been engineered to cope with all these different situations in just one race, providing unmatched durability and versatility.
- Dual Compound rear
- 'in brackets' (W) speed index on all compound specs
- Racing grip all the time, thanks to compound versatility across a wider range of temperatures and tarmac surfaces
- Performance consistency given until the last mile
- Trajectory precision and high-speed stability
Information and images credited to the following websites;