They are probably the most important part of your motorcycle and yet you probably don’t think about them a lot. They are your tires, the sleeves of rubber that connect your go machine to the ground. You rely on the contact patches on your tires to grip the road so you can move forward and not slide off the pavement, but what do you really know about your tires? Luckily, you have the motorcycling attorneys at the Metier Law Firm to help fill you in on some interesting details about your motorcycle tires.
Motorcycle Tires and Things You Didn’t Know About Them
Did you know that every motorcycle tire has a series of belts built into them to help them handle different conditions? Some use steel belts while others use Kevlar and rayon and nylon. There are even some tires that have started using carbon fiber belting. If these belts are arranged in a radial construction, then your tire is going to be stiff and responsive. However, if you have a bias-ply tire, then the tire will be softer and better able to handle a load.
Another detail you may not know about your motorcycle tire is that they are not made exclusively out of rubber. Many tires use materials like silica—which helps the tire heat up and become sticky—but there are a few side effects to these materials. Silica can build up a static electric charge as you ride, so to dissipate that energy, manufacturers build what they call an antenna tread into the tire carcass. This strip of rubber has no silica and grounds the tire so it won’t shock you when you get off your motorcycle.
The various materials used in motorcycle tires also don’t last forever. Bet you didn’t know that most modern motorcycle tires have an expiration date. Turns out the various materials in the tires can harden and crack over time, and most motorcycle tire manufacturers recommend that you replace them after six years. On the sidewall, behind the DOT approval stamp, there is a four-digit number that will tell you when your tire was manufactured. The first two digits are the week and the last two are the year in which your tire was made.
Details like these will not only keep your ride going smoothly, they will also keep you riding safe. So, check your tire pressure every time you get ready to go out on a ride, and don’t ride on a damaged tire. Remember, your tire is the most important part of your motorcycle—It’s what connects you to the road.