Pay Attention to the Tire Tread
When should I change the tires? It is one of the questions that you usually ask us, since the change can be caused by several reasons, but the main one is usually the wear. In many cases we fail to tune up to the limit, alleging the typical excuse of “I’m not going very fast either…”. If you push your tires to the end, you can greatly increase the probability of a puncture or a crash due to the loss of tire performance. How many of you have seen how the bikes move and slide in the last laps of a race? We give you all the keys so that this does not happen to you on the road.
When the limit is exceeded, the reduction in grip is directly proportional to rubber wear. On the other hand, the “grip/wear” variable is affected by other “physical/chemical” phenomena such as temperature differentials, i.e. the number of “warm-ups/cool-downs” that our tire has experienced. This causes a variation in the properties of the rubber compound and affects grip.
To give you an idea of what we are talking about, we have developed a graphic that you can find below. The y-axis (vertical) represents the level of grip with a level score ranging from 10 (maximum grip) to 0 (no grip). On the other hand, the abscissa axis (horizontal) will be the % of tire life, going from 0% (new) to 110% (100% would be the limit) which would mean exceeding the wear limit.
The blue line is the perfect grip level, that is, that the tire grips the same from new to the end of its life. The red line is the logical level of grip, in which, according to physics, the tire gradually loses performance as a function of wear and when the limit is exceeded it stops gripping. Fortunately, with all the advances and chemical components of the compounds, the baking of the tires, etc., grip is achieved with less drop in performance.
But How Can I Know Where the Limit Is?
The limit is neither when you can see the air in the tire, nor when you can see the wires of the carcass, nor, of course, when it seems that we have mounted slicks, that is to say, when we run out of tread. The tires come prepared to be able to visually appreciate the limit, so you will only have to make periodic visual checks. First of all you have to look for the acronym TWI which stands for tread wear indicator. You will find the initials on the sidewall of the tire. There are several of them all over the sidewall. Where you see the acronym, you have to look at the same height, inside the grooves of the tread, where you will find some protuberances as you can see in the photo.
Our advice is that you do not hurry the wear of the protuberance, because if you are stopped by the authorities and taking into account that the motorcycle tires are in sight, you can be fined without any kind of admissible excuse on your part. And we repeat the most important thing, do not endanger your riding! It is essential to keep a constant eye on the condition of your tires.
Contiental Technologies that Increase Durability
At Continental, we use technologies in rubber compounds that improve grip and durability. One of these is MultiGrip technology, which makes grip performance last up to the limit of tread wear, but not beyond it. It also incorporates less hardness in the tire shoulders, which ensures safety and provides maximum grip on inclines.
The BlackChili compound, patented by Continental, is another of the main reasons why our tires have more durability as well as grip. It is a compound that tries to get the most out of the three main areas involved in the performance of a tire, without affecting the performance of the others. We are talking about grip, rolling resistance and mileage. Tires with BlackChili have 30% more grip, 26% less rolling resistance and a 5% increase in mileage.
Also worth mentioning is the Performance over Lifetime technology. This has been developed to ensure a constant level of performance even after thousands of kilometers thanks to a combination of MultiGrip, casing construction and tread design. You can find it in tires such as the ContiRoadAttack 4 or the ContiTrailAttack 3.