Extend your motorcycle tire mileage following these tricks
Many believe that once you choose and buy new tires, you can forget about this field. Not at all! It is actually when you should pay more attention. You should check that the rubber is performing in the best conditions to fulfill your expectations, regardless of speaking about a sport, tourer, off-road or a commuter scooter use.
In all these cases, one of our main criteria is the duration of the tire. The longer it lasts, the better. It is usually the premise we have when choosing one or another option. There are no perfect tires in this matter, that is, the balance between performance and wear should be optimal and there are factors such as speed, temperature and more that come into play. There are tires with ‘softer’ or ‘harder’ compounds that allow more or less wear and tear or greater performance.
However, beyond the properties of each rubber, you can take note of the next tips for extending the life of your motorcycle tire. Here they are!:
It is the first thing we should keep in mind. Following the instructions and maintaining the pressure recommended by the manufacturer, we have already done the first step. Otherwise, we will be causing excessive and uneven wear as well as having a bad and dangerous performance.
There are light and heavy motorcycles and thin or fat people. Considering this aspect, we can increase the pressure of the tires to support more weight (within the recommended margins). If we add to it a passenger and load, we should add more pressure to the maximum limit recommended to support this heavy weight.
Anyway, try to lighten the bike as much as possible. The heavier weight is, the more is the wear, so we can follow some recommendations such as emptying the saddlebars and the top case or disassembling them when we do not need them. We also can reduce the weight taking out the unnecessary stuff from other boxes and the the underseat storage.
It seems a minor matter, but it is important that a specialist balances the tires to get an equal distribution of the mass throughout the wheel. This will avoid vibrations and a wasting wear.
Suspensions: Maintenance and configuration
Not only must you look at the wheels, but you should also pay attention to the suspensions, which plays a crucial role in the proper performance of the tire. If we follow the maintenance of the motorcycle’s suspensions correctly, we’ll be sure that its function will be rightly done.
There are suspensions with different adjustments, so it is also recommended to adapt the preload and the spring settings to the conditions of every single moment (weight, speed, type of surface …), something that will be positive for the tire life.
Breaking-in the tires
When braking-in the new tires, it’s not expected to have their best performance for the first 60 to 100 miles. Many manufacturers apply a protective film that can be slippery until it disappears after those first kilometers.
However, Continental has developed the TractionSkin technology that puts and end to tire breaking due to a micro-rough tread surface . It allows you to ride safely from the first meters.
Soft braking and acceleration
Time to ride. Two of the moments when motorcycle tires are most demanded are in accelerations and braking. The more aggressive we are, the more the stress is putting the rubber to test. Meanwhile, the wear produced is also higer. If we make smoother and more regular accelerations and, on the other hand, we take it easy with the brakings, the rubber will suffer less and we will be getting a longer mileage.
One of the key moments that affect the wear of the rubber are the trajectories. If we do abrupt changes of direction, we are demanding grip in a very tricky moment while many forces come into action. It also produces high wear. Therefore, it is better to make these changes of direction (when changing lanes, turning at crossroads and streets or taking curves) as smoothly and steadily as possible. If we keep a wide track with no hard braking and accelerations, the tire will remain in a very good condition.
The faster you ride, the more you waste. The tires have a speed code that indicates the maximum speed supported by the tire. However, this does not mean that it keeps its capabilities for a longer time in any slower speed. In other words, a ContiRoadAttack 3 tire with W speed code (up to 168 mph) will have more wear at 100 mph than at 60 mph. It may seem a trifle, but if we keep moderate speeds in general, the mileage limit of the tire rises considerably.
Each tire, on its surface
If a tire is on-road, it will suffer more degradation in off-road conditions; if a tire is off-road, it will have greater wear on asphalt roads. Such specific tires suffer more in performance and degradation terms when they get out their ‘comfort zone’. Imagine a ContiSportAttack 3 tire in a broken off-road path…
Nowadays, there are already some tires showing interesting capacities such as the TKC 70 that performe brilliantly both on asphalt and some off-road tracks offering a truly amazing duration.
We should not use cleaning products in the tire. The chemicals can react with the compound and weaken its properties. If we need to clean some area of the tire, water is enough.
The motorcycle, better in the garage
Extreme temperatura changes, sunlight and other severe weather elements can be aggressive with the tire compounds and other motorcycle components. It is recommended to keep your motorcycle in a parking garage protected from the weather.
This deterioration process is enhanced when we leave the motorcycle stopped for a long time. In this case, it is better to leave the motorcycle on stands so that the wheels do not rest on the ground. Otherwise, the rubber would gradually deform, making it more uncomfortable (vibrations) and insecure.