Overhaul, Pressure, and Maintenance

With the arrival of good weather, it’s always a great time to ride your bike. However, high temperatures also mean we need to pay extra attention to our tires. While this depends on your location (inland, coast, humidity, temperature, etc.), proper maintenance and care are essential. Here are some tips to keep everything in order so you can focus on enjoying your vacation.

1. Tread Inspection

Even if you don’t need to change your tires, it’s important to check their condition before, for example, a long trip. We often use our tires to the limit, with the typical excuse of “I’m not going very fast anyway.” If you push your tires too far, you risk fines from authorities or, worse, a higher chance of punctures and crashes.

When we exceed the wear limit, grip loss is directly proportional to rubber wear. To avoid scares or serious problems, check the tread pattern regularly. All tires are designed so you can visually check the wear limit.

Look for the acronym TWI (Tread Wear Indicator) on the sidewall of the tire. The initials appear in several places on the sidewall. At the same height as these initials, inside the grooves of the tread, you will find small protrusions. If there is enough depth above these protrusions, you don’t need to replace the tires. If you are close to these signs or have exceeded them, you should replace the tires.

2. Tire Pressure

Heat greatly affects tire condition and performance because tire pressure varies with temperature. If we don’t take special care during the summer months, you could compromise the safe operation of your motorcycle and the final performance of the tires.

Therefore, on hot days when you plan to travel (whether short or long trips), it’s essential to check the pressure before starting the journey, with the tires as cold as possible, without moving the bike, and preferably in the shade. If the trip is long or with a heavy load, regular pressure checks are crucial.

Summer temperatures can vary greatly, with differences of up to 20°F between day and night. This can cause tire pressure to vary by up to 8%.

The recommended pressure is always available in the owner’s manual or somewhere on the chassis or frame of the motorcycle. Adjust the pressure when the tires are cold, and if possible, in the shade to prevent the sun’s heat from altering the basic pressure parameters. Do not make pressure adjustments outside the specifications provided by the vehicle manufacturer.

3. Maintenance and Care

Excessive heat is also important when parking or storing your motorcycle. Ideally, it should be in a cool, dry, and dark place. Parking your motorcycle in a garage is best, both during the sweltering summer and in winter. Ideally, the temperature should be around 77-82°F, although it’s normal for temperatures to rise significantly in many parts of the USA. If you don’t have a garage, avoid long exposures to the sun, humidity, or extreme temperature changes.

If you leave the bike unused for a few days, it’s advisable to wipe the entire tread with a cloth dampened with water. This will help you become more aware of the actual state of the tire and any dirt that may be present. It’s also good practice to give the bike a general cleaning with appropriate materials.

Always remember to monitor the tires frequently, including both the compounds and the bike’s general condition, especially tire pressure, to avoid damage.