Check your tyres

Get into the habit of checking your tyres on a regular basis they are the only thing connecting your motorbike to the road. Good grip and the correct tyre pressure are essential as they will affect how your motorcycle handles.

Correct tyre care is especially important during the spring as you may be going on your first ride of the season. If you’ve haven’t ridden your bike during the winter months the tyres can become damaged or unsafe whilst it is stored away. Make sure you give your tyres a thorough check before your first ride of the season. 

Why do tyres wear?

There are lots of different reasons why tyres wear and they may wear at different speeds, especially the front and rear tyres:

  • emergency braking
  • harsh acceleration or braking
  • under-inflation
  • over-inflation
  • cornering
  • age and storage.

What should you check?

Tyre pressures

  • Check at least once a week and before long journeys – 1 or 2 psi difference will affect the handling of your motorbike.
  • The correct pressure settings for your motorbike can be found in your motorcycle handbook.
  • Check you tyre pressures when the tyres are cold i.e. when you have travelled less than two miles.

Look for signs of damage, uneven wear, splits and cracks

  • Tyres degrade thorough exposure to heat, sunlight and rain. The amount of damage depends on the exposure and the severity of the weather.
  • Watch out for the signs of perishing. There may still be plenty of tread still left on the tyres but perished tyres are still unsafe due to the increased risk of a tyre blow out or rapid loss of air in the tyres.
  • Perished tyres have cracks that appear like 'crazy paving', with lots of tiny hairline cracks running this way and that, noticeable on the wall of the tyre, near the rim, where tread pattern begins or between the groves in tread.

Keep a watch on the tread depth

  • Tread depths are designed to dispel water on wet roads.
  • Most motorcycles have tread wear indictors in the tread groves – when the indicators are level with the tread’s surface you should replace the tyre.
  • The legal requirement for motorcycles over 50cc is 1mm minimum.

Make a PACT

Tyre Safe are asking motorcyclist to make a PACT with their tyres:

  • P – Performance, including grip, handling and fuel economy will all be improved with correct tyre care.
  • A – Air pressure is essential for maximum performance. Pressures should be checked at least once a week using an accurate pressure gauge.
  • C – Condition is critical to road safety. Inspect tyres for any cuts, bulges, uneven wear or objects embedded in the tread.
  • T – Tread depth is essential for safety on wet roads. Check that your tread depth is not below the legal minimum of 1mm (for bikes over 50cc). Bikes under 50cc must have the grooves of the original tread pattern clearly visible.