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Welcome to motorcycle tires, tire construction and tips.

Motorcycle tires seem to get a whole lot of attention on Motorcycle forums. The best source of information for choosing tires for your particular motorcycle is the owners manual. Motorcycle tire engineers and test riders put a lot of time and money into selecting the best tire for you brand and model. So some yahoo posting his personal experience may get you into trouble.


Tire pressure - Try to keep the motorcycle manufacturer's recommended air pressure in both tires. This is an important requirement for tire safety and mileage. Your motorcycle owner’s manual will tell you the recommended cold inflation pressure. On some motorcycles, the recommended front and rear tire pressures will be different. The pressures stamped on the sidewall of the tire are only for maximum loads. Sometimes, these pressures will also be the manufacturers recommended settings.

Why check the tire pressure cold? Ok we're not going to go into Charles's law, Boyle's law and get all techie on you. You check them cold because they were designed to meet certain standards. You know the Lawyers and bean counters figured out what the tires could take and put the recommended tire pressure when it was cold, so they don't get sued. Ok it's killing some of you, the rest of you paid attention in high school...

Charles's law - "At constant pressure, the volume of a given mass of an ideal gas increases or decreases by the same factor as its temperature (in Kelvin) increases or decreases." - Huh? Pressure is higher when the tire's hotter.

Boyle's Law - "For a fixed amount of an ideal gas kept at a fixed temperature, P [pressure] and V [volume] are inversely proportional (while one increases, the other decreases)." Huh? You fill the tire at sea level, go up in the mountains the tire pressure increases.

Break in Period - New tires should be ridden very cautiously for the first 100 miles so the tread surface to be Scuffed In. Want to whine up on your butt, get on the throttle with a new set of tires. They are very slick. What do we mean by break in period - Be Careful!
Front and Rear Tire Matching - Don't mix Radial and Ply tires.
Motorcycle tire examination video - how to check your motorcycle tires, and what to look for.
Motorcycle Tire wear - Excellent description of motorcycle tire wear and causes by rattlebars (pdf)
Motorcycle tire Manufacture's Technical information links :
Avon Tech information -High performance tyres for motorbikes and motorsport
Bridgestone The tech behind Bridgestone tires
Coker vintage motorcycle tires
Continental Motorcycle tires for modern and vintage bikes 
Dunlop Dunlop info center
Maxxis up-to-date motorcycle tire  information
Metzeler Excellent technical information about motorcycle tires and Tire Construction
Michelin Questions and answers - no too techie
Pirelli Not much information here
we've often been asked what happens when you are riding a motorcycle and the tire blows. First off it doesn't happen that often. Motorcycle tires are stronger than car tires and they are designed to stay on the rim. At speed, you may not notice a whole lot difference if the air starts coming out. The steering will feel heavy and wobble on the turns, but Centrifugal force tends to keep the tire round.

If your front tire goes shift your weight as far back as possible. Try not to use the brakes (front or back), Don't let off the gas too fast - ease it down. Let the motorcycle slow and gently steer/nurse it to the side of the road. Sure it will feel a little heavy, You will get sizable wobble once the bike slows. Stay calm, don't tense up, and keep the bike heading straight. It's hard to control, but if you don't panic and steer the bike into the ground, it can be ok. Many, many riders have ridden a blown front tire to a easy stop.

Rear tires are not a problem. Don't use the rear brake, slow down gently, ride it to the shoulder.

Your best strategy is to not let it happen in the first place. Inspect your tires before you ride.

Survival Reactions will hurt you - Don't panic, Don't let your emotions control your motorcycle:

These will get you hurt:

1. Rolling off the gas quickly.
2. Tightening on bars.
3. Narrowed and frantically hunting field of view.
4. Fixed attention (on something).
5. Steering in the direction of the fixed attention.
6. No steering (frozen) or ineffective (not quick enough or too early) steering.
7. Braking errors (both over and under-braking).

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