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DIY Tire Maintenance

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by , 07-22-2014 at 03:12 PM (579 Views)
For fully loaded or dual-riding touring-motorcycle applications, inflate tires to the maximum pressure recommended by the motorcycle manufacturer. And never exceed maximum load capacity indicated on the tires sidewall or the motorcycles capacity load found in the owners manual. A good rule of thumb is to use whichever maximum load recommendation is lower if the manual or tire sidewalls have different max capacities.

Underinflated tires can result in imprecise cornering, higher running temperatures, irregular tread wear, fatigue cracking, overstressing and eventual failure of the tire carcass, all of which could lead to, at some point, loss of control of the motorcycle.

Overinflating tires does not increase load-carrying capacity, but will result in a hard ride and accelerated tire wear in the center of the contact patch. Check cold tire pressure frequently with a good-quality gauge that holds a reading, and always before extended trips.

Loss of pressure may occur due to worn-out or badly seated valve cores. Check valve cores, and if necessary, tighten for correct seating, or remove and replace them. A metal or hard-plastic valve cap with an inner gasket should be used and installed finger-tight to protect the valve core from dust and moisture and to help maintain a positive air seal.

Tube damage, as well as cracked rubber tube or tubeless valve stem bases, may also cause loss of pressure. Inspect rim bands, tubes and valves. Replace if damage or cracking is noted.

Repeated loss of pressure may result from undetected tire damage. Visually inspect tires for punctures, cuts, abrasions, cracks, bulges, blisters or knots. It will be necessary to dismount the tire to complete an inspection for internal damage and any need for repair. Only certain punctures in the tread area may be repaired, and only if no other damage is present.

Always seek expert inspection of the dismounted tire following curb, chuckhole or other impacts, evidence of penetration beyond the tire surface, bulges or low pressure. You should not continue riding on such tires.

The appearance of stress cracks in the tread grooves is one indicator of overload and/or underinflation. If you find evidence of tread-groove cracking, you should remove and replace the tire immediately. This damage is permanent and non-repairable.

Tires with non-repairable damage must not be used again. Damage caused by impacts, penetrations or continued underinflated/overloaded use is progressive and can result in sudden and complete tire failure.

Always remove tires from service before they reach the tread-wear indicator bars (1/32 of an inch tread pattern depth remaining). Worn/unworn tire combinations and worn tires used in wet conditions can result in deteriorated handling.

When fitting a new tire on a rim requiring a tube, a new tube should be fitted at the same time. Always check the size markings on the tube to ensure that the tire size appears on the tube. Do not fit tubes in radial motorcycle tires, nor fit radials on rims requiring tubes, unless the tubes bear matching size and radial (R) markings.

Inspect your tires frequently for damage, and always heed warning signs such as vibration, handling instability, rubbing or tire noise that occur during operation of the motorcycle.

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