Tire Inspection Tips From The Guys Who’ve Seen It All.
The J&L Harley-Davidson Service Department knows when you hit the road this spring, you’ll likely be hitting more than just the road.
A lot of plans have been left sitting on the side of the road when riders don’t take the time to inspect their tire pressure and tread.
According to Ryan Miller, J&L Service Department Manager, tires are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to service emergencies.
With a little pre-ride check, most of those incidents could have been prevented. “You’d be amazed at how many riders I’ve seen take off with worn out tires, or tires that aren’t properly inflated,” says Ryan.
“We keep a lot of tires in-stock on the rack, but why risk it? Take a few minutes before your next ride and make sure your tires aren’t damaged, worn or deflated. If you’re not sure if your tires could be on their last leg, bring your motorcycle in and we’ll be glad to take a look for you. That’s why we’re here.”
Take a knee and with a flashlight, look for any signs of punctures which might potentially lead to a loss of pressure or worse yet, a blowout. Bulging or cracking might occur on older tires. Make sure you roll your bike forward a foot or so to get a good look at the whole tire including side walls.
Checking The Pressure
Tire pressure is crucial on motorcycles and handling and ride quality can change dramatically with minor adjustments. Tires will wear more quickly when they’re not properly inflated, adding yet another reason to check tire pressure regularly. The best time to check tire pressure is before your ride while the tires are cool; once the bike is cruising, tire temperatures warm up, which will change the density and pressure of the air inside. Since all motorcycles have different pressure recommendations, check your owner’s manual for proper PSI levels for your specific model and tire.
Checking The Tread
Adequate tire tread not only ensures tire integrity, it allows water to be channeled away from the contact patch, which helps maintain grip under wet conditions. If you don’t own a Tread Depth Indicator, here’s a quick hack: place a quarter upside down in the tread groove. If the tire tread extends past the top of Washington’s head, you most likely have enough tread. But if it doesn’t, it’s probably time to look at replacing your tire.