A Little Basic about Motorcycle Tires
It is very peculiar that so many riders neglect motorcycle tires even though it is no less important than the engine of a bike. You wonder why? Now answer me one question. No matter how many cc does your bike have or no matter how beasty is your bike, can you recall what is one and only thing that keeps contact with the tarmac while you ride? Yes, so the tire is the only thing that holds you on the road. It is responsible for speed; it is responsible for brake; it is responsible for cornering.
Again no matter what suspension system you have it is the tire that first absorbs the shock. You can check it by installing a very good quality wider tire. You will experience significant improvement in suspension.But we Bangladeshis seem to neglect tire a lot. This negligence comes from the lack of knowledge many riders have about tire. This short article covers some issue like – type of tire, things to consider when buying a tire and time of changing a tire etc. The topic will be discussed in very simply without going to technical side. Actually some basic common sense is enough for knowing your tire and having a safe ride.
Types of Motorcycle Tires:
Radial Tire vs Conventional Normal Motorcycle Tires
Radial Motorcycle Tires usually seen in Yamaha’s Fazer and Yamaha YZF R15 version 2.0 have those tire. Advantage of Radial tire is has flexible sidewalls so when ride you will have better cornering ability because the tires can support the leaning of the bike. Radial tire has low rolling resistance that means you will get better speed. Generally radial also reduces vibration because of its flexibility. Radial tires also heat up less so it has comparatively longer life.
This type of tire is seen in old generation of bikes like all bike of TVS, Hero, Honda used in Bangladesh uses this type of tire. Conventional Non-Radial Tire has no advantage over Radial tires; but still in a third world country like ours, Non-radial tires are popular because they are much cheaper. Anyone like Gazi Tire, Husain Tire can make them. So people get the tires in low cost. Again in off-road Non-radial tire has some advantages. Because of their harder sidewalls they are less prone to decay in off-road.
Tube Type Tire vs Tubeless Motorcycle Tires:
All modern bikes come with tubeless tire. Why? Because tubeless motorcycle tires has some advantage over the old-tube type tire. When tire is suddenly punctured then the tube-type tire go flat almost instantly. Now imagine the case when you riding at a speed of 100 kmph. There is a good probability that you will lose balance of your bike as your bike will start wobbling instantly. So this is much risky. In some severe case the tire can even lose from the rim; because tube-type tire is not set in the rim as strongly as the tube-less ones.
Tube less tire also gets punctured; but your tire will not go flat immediately. You can even complete 50 km by your punctured tire without wobbling. This is so much safe. Again, you will have enough road and time to reach to a garage to repair your tire. And your tire will not be separated from your rim. So this is enough cause to go for a tubeless tire.
What to consider when buying Motorcycle Tires?
You can go for any tire of your choice and budget. But always remember some things:
1. Do not buy second hand tire.
2. Do not buy new tire which is kept in store in more than 1 year. Yes tires also do have expiry even if you do not use them.
3. If you have a road bike then do not install off-road tires. Off-road tires are for excel bikes. Riding quality and safety will be compromised if you installed them on your road bike or racing bike.
4. Do not use over size or under size tires. See your bikes recommended tire size in your bike’s default tire.
5. Even though you use bigger tire then keep it on the limit. Check the highest size your bike’s Alloy wheel can support.
When to change your Motorcycle Tires?
Generally if you have normal riding pattern then your bike’s tire will last upto 20,000 km very easily. In some cases, it will last upto 30,000 km; but if you do frequent hard braking and burnout then your bike’s tire may be worn out at even below 5000km. Whatever your pattern, you should change your tire for the safety of you and your bike as well as for the joy of riding if the following things occur.
I hope I did not bore you dear readers. I intentionally leave the technical jargons so that the writing becomes interesting. Please give comments and feedback if you want to know more and want to give any suggestions about Motorcycle Tires. Stay safe, Stay a Hero. Take care.
-By Russel Rider