Motorcycle Tires – Every Info About Them – Video Guide: Tip of the Week

Motorcycle Tires – Every Info About Them – Video Guide: Tip of the Week


Motorcycle Tires: Where The Rubber Meets The
Road Kyle Bradshaw from Cruiser Customizing here
with Mark Johnson from Parts Unlimited with your Cruiser Customizing Tire Tip of the Week. Alright, Mark, online and in our retail showroom,
we get customers that walk in everyday and say, “Hey, you know what? I’ve got tires
on my bike, I know tires are important–but when do I know that I need new tires and how
do I choose the tires that I’m next going to put on the motorcycle?” [Mark] The first thing is obviously the amount
of tread depth. If you don’t have an acceptable amount of tread left on the tire, it’s obviously
time. The second indicator is an unusual wear pattern, cupping possibly, that is ruining
the ride of the motorcycle or the steering of the motorcycle. If you’re taking a long
trip, you have 3,000 miles of tire wear left on a 4,000 mile trip, it’s probably better
to put on a new set of tires before you go out on your vacation. [Kyle] So when a customer walks in and says,
“Hey, I need a new set of tires,” what would you ask them? What are the initial set
of questions you’d ask to know which tire would be best for them? [Mark] Are you happy with the tire that’s
currently on the motorcycle? Is the first thing. And if you are completely satisfied,
again, there’s no reason to change just for change’s sake. The second one is, if
you’re not happy, what are your expectations? Are you looking for improved ride, improved
mileage, higher load capacity, and that. The third one is the riding conditions. If you
are a commuter in Dade County, Florida, it’s going to be a lot different than if you’re
a tourer that lives in Phoenix. So you want to choose a tire that’s optimized for the
conditions that you’re going to use it in. [Kyle] Is there any tread pattern indicators
that we’d want to look at in order to choose a tire? [Mark] Well, in general, tire companies will
refer to what they call a land-sea ratio, the amount of tread to the amount of rubber
that you have on the road, as a primary indicator. Again, a more aggressively treaded tire tends
to disperse water better. [Kyle] So one of the first questions you ask
is are you happy with your current tire? If I’m happy with my OEM, that’s cool, but
what if I’m looking for an upgrade? [Mark] The main reason you would choose an
upgraded tire is you’re looking for an increase in load capacity, mileage, ride quality, or
handling characteristics or a combination of those. The stock tire was designed for
one rider on the bike, where if you’re loading saddlebags, a t-bag on the back, and a passenger,
it’s almost certain you’re going to be needing an increased load capacity tire. The 491 was designed to be a heavy load capacity
tire and to offer higher mileage. [Kyle] Now while talking about upgraded tires,
Metzler has been one of the industry leaders when it comes to upgrading your tires in the
cruiser segment of the market. [Mark] Metzler’s 880 was developed with
a little bit different approach. It has a much more modern high-tech belt and package
that allows the tire to run cooler on the road while still maintain stability. And by
running cooler they’re allowed to run a softer rubber compound without getting the
wear from the excessive heat. [Kyle] Tire sizing is extremely important.
So, when we look at the sidewall of a tire, we’ve got lots of numbers up here. This
here is a 140 90 15 and it says 70H. What exactly are we going to glean from these numbers
on the side of the tire? [Mark] Well, okay, the numbers start with
the width of the tire, that’s 140MM. The second number is a percentage and that’s
the aspect ratio, so it’s 90% as high as it is wide. You have a 15 inch diameter of
the tire, and the 70 indicates a load raiting and the H indicates a speed rating. [Kyle] So tire pressure is an extremely important
aspect of motorcycle tires, motorcycle maintenance– [Mark] Proper tire pressure is the singlemost
important thing you can do to ensure the proper handling and the longevity of your tires.
An over-inflated tire will decrease the size of the contact patch and create accelerated
wear in the remaining area. An under-inflated tire actually creates an enormous amount of
flex inside the carcass which generates heat that generates much accelerated wear as it
cycles back and forth through a heat cycle. The pressure inside the tire at that point
is actually fluctuating up and down as the tire heats and cools. [Kyle] So the recommendation is actually to
carry a pencil tire pressure gauge with you wherever you go, or install some sort of TPM,
tire pressure monitoring system. Now just recently the Power Cruiser has really hit
the market hard. We’ve got bikes with huge motors, lots of displacement, putting mad
power out–is there anything new that we’re going to see in the market that’s going
to be able to conquer that? [Mark] We’ve recently seen the introduction
of the Perelli Night Dragon tire, which is the first high-performance cruiser-marketed
tire and it is to address those specific demands of a bike that is both a cruiser and a high-performance
machine. [Kyle] So what kind of characteristics can
we expect to see out of that Night Dragon? [Mark] So you’re getting better traction,
you’re getting better cornering. This new generation is made to run at higher limits
that previous cruisers never approached. [Kyle] Well thank you, Mark, for coming out
today and taking the time to talk about tires and what they mean to us as motorcycle riders.
We appreciate your knowledge and expertise. [Mark] Thank you, Kyle, for the opportunity.
I hope we helped clear some decisions up for people out there. [Kyle] There you go! Go to the garage, check
your bike–do you need new tires? Thank you for watching this week’s Cruiser
Customizing tire tip of the week. Until next week, take care and ride safe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *