Tire Guide

Aug 9, 2022

Tire degradation and tire failures are a common factor whenever motorcycle trips are interrupted or come to a premature ending.

In order to help prepare your bike for your next trip or booking we have put together the following Tire Tips:

 

●     How long does a tire last?
Depending on the type of tire, the way the bike has been ridden, as well as maintenance of the correct tire pressure - tires can last anywhere from 3,000 to 15,000 miles. With (super) sport bikes and knobby tires lasting for much shorter lengths, and lighter touring and cruising models lasting longer.

●     When is a tire considered worn?
State and federal regulations state that a tire should have at least 1/32” to 2/32” (0.8-1.6mm) tread depth in order to be street legal. In general a bike should have no less than 2mm tread depth remaining. Some front tires will display a bumpy/wavy pattern (cupping) and rear tires will start showing a distinct flat spot. Look for this as another indication that the tire needs to be changed. For multi-day trips, it is best to see what distance the rider expects to cover and judge the tread accordingly so that the tire does not get compromised half way through the trip.

●     How to measure tread depth?
The easiest way is to use a depth gauge, but lacking that, a penny will also give you a good reading. The distance between President Lincoln's hair and the edge of the penny is about 2mm and indicates it is time to change the tire. Other good indicators are the wear bars that you can find inside the treads. These are little bumps in the bottom of the tread, and when they are flush with the outside of the tire it is time for a change.

●     When is a tire too old?
Manufacturers typically give a tire a life span of maximum 6 years, in practice you should be wary of tires over 5 years of age. Every tire has the manufacturing date printed on the side. This is a 4 number code where the first 2 numbers indicate the week of production and the last 2 the year. Remember to also inspect for dry rot, and other types of drying or hardening of the tire.

 

Finally, a special consideration on tire wear and tire construction. Tires are made up of rubber compounds that have different properties. When you wear a tire down to the bottom of the tread you will hit a less wear resistant layer that can literally wear away in miles. The tire will have  virtually no grip in wet conditions and will be extremely vulnerable to punctures. This could cause you to misjudge how many miles are left on a tire once you get down to the last few millimeters. You can not compare the mileage it takes to get from 4mm to 2mm, to the mileage it takes to get from 2mm to imminent failure!

 

Good Riders Share owners check tire pressures and thread before and after each trip to ensure their renters receive an awesome experience.

Some tire tips specifically important when renting out your bike:

 

●     New Tires
New tires are extremely slick and need to be broken in for about 100 miles after installation. It is good practice to perform this break in before handing the bike to a renter and to prevent adding any complications to the rental experience. If you are unable to break the tires in prior to the start of the rental, it is imperative to inform the renter of the condition of the tires and the precautions they need to take breaking the tire in!

●     Flat (Punctured) Tires: Occasionally, a Renter may accidentally run over something which punctures the tire. With tire punctures, owners are always covered. Either the Renter will be responsible for costs, or if they have purchased our Roadside Assistance package, we will cover them for the cost of the replacement.
 

●     Bald tires: Bald tires or those showing cords, steel, flush wear bars, etc, are a failure  under the responsibilities of the owner. In accordance with their agreement to properly maintain the bike for rental use, renters will not be held responsible to any tire damage or damages resulting from tire failure in these cases.