Check your Motorcycle Tires Before You Ride
Spring has arrived, and most of us in New York can’t wait to jump on our motorcycles at the first sign of good riding weather. But remember, let’s not jump the gun on safety either. Below are a few tips on why it’s so important to check your motorcycle tires before you head out on the highway.
YOUR MOTORCYCLE TIRES HAVE A “BORN ON” DATE
Tires don’t last forever and are only good for a maximum of 5 years from the date they were manufactured (not the purchase date). You can find the date your motorcycle tires were manufactured on the sidewall usually inside and oval shape. Every street-legal tire sold in the U.S. will have a Department of Transportation (DOT) serial number stamped into it. The serial number begins with the letters “DOT” and ends with a four-digit date code (if there are only three numerals, the tire was made before 2000 and should be discarded). The four digits represent the week and year of production. For example, a date code of “1011” (see photo) means the tire was produced in the 10th week of 2011, this means that this tire is now over 5 years old and should also be discarded.
MOTORCYCLE TIRE PRESSURE
When your motorcycle sits for long periods of time, or is exposed to temperature fluctuations, the pressure in them can be reduced. You should always check your tire pressure before every ride and they need to be cold (at least 3 hours from your last ride). If you ride daily, you may reduce your tire pressure checks to once a week, but still do a visual inspection every time you ride.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has a complete pre-check list that you can download to guide you in checking your tires, as well as other important motorcycle safety checks you should be doing on a regular basis.
Remember you only have 2 wheels between you and the pavement, so keep the rubber side down and check your tires.