Where the rubber meets the road

motorcycleSafe motorcycling depends in part on how well the tires grip the road. These six pointers will help keep you safe on your cycle.

1. Scuff up new tires. New tires look great, but are slick until scuffed up. A bit of wear maximizes traction.

2. Inspect older tires. Regularly check the wear bars and tread depth, and also look for cuts, cracks and embedded stones or nails.

3. The road surface matters. Driving the back roads may be more scenic, but the older surface, polished from wear, offers less traction than the interstate.

4. Cold tires have less grip. Ride slowly for a few miles to let the tires warm before accelerating and cornering normally. This is especially important in the spring when morning temperatures are much cooler than the afternoon.

5. Check the pressure. Over-inflated tires have less road contact, traction, and amplify the effects of poor road conditions. Under-inflated tires make control sluggish. Get a true pressure reading when the tires are cold and follow the manufacturer’s specs.

6. Know the load limit. The recommended tire pressure changes when a second passenger or cargo is added.

Watch THIS video on tire safety.

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