A survey done by the Rubber Manufacturers Association suggested that only 15-percent of motorcyclists checked their motorcycle’s tire pressure. Proper tire maintenance ensures that tire grip and handling are not compromised, and also, prolonged tire life and better mileage. Here’s 5 things you need to know about tire maintenance.
1. Check tire pressure periodically
Checking your tire pressure on a weekly basis is a good habit to ensure tires are optimally inflated and handling is not compromised. Crouching down and checking the tire both physically and visually allows us to observe matters like chains or brake pads as well, enabling us to detect and rectify problems earlier.
2. Check pressures when tires are cold
Tire pressures should be checked when they are cold – when they have not been in used for the past three hours, or traveled less than a kilometer. Tires are heated up after riding, and may increase pressures by over 10 percent.
3. Check for other hidden problems
In addition to tire pressure, pay attention to the tire tread depth. It is recommended for tires to be changed once they have reached 2mm depth or lesser. While checking the tread, do look out for any foreign objects or cuts that might be causing any air leakage, as you will definitely not love the feeling of being stranded on the road with a flat tire.
4. Get your own air pressure gauge and air compressor, if possible
There are gauges available in all petrol kiosks, but there will be times when readings will not be as accurate. Owning a quality tire pressure gauge and preferably an air compressor is not something costly, and it will save you in times of emergency (or help someone out).
5. Consequences of incorrect air tire pressures
Both extremes of tire air pressures lead to undesirable consequences. An massively under-inflated tire could come off the rim when there is insufficient air pressure to force the bead into the wheel. Sluggish handling, heavy steering or bending of the rims are some other consequences of under-inflated tires.
Over-inflated tires are not recommended either, as it reduces the contact patch and increase the risk of skidding. Too much pressure also cause tires to overhead faster, as a result reducing the traction of the tires.