Yes, our tires are what keep us going where we want to and prevent us from careening into a tree and certain death. Each contact patch is about a few square centimeter – not a lot considering how crucial it is to keeping us alive.
Here’s a fun trick: Have a look at the tires on the motorcycle of your friends and see how much tread they have. The old matchstick test is one of the most reliable – the head of the match is the minimum depth of tread you need for your tires to be effective – and it’s amazing how many motorcycles don’t pass.
I had a chat at a local motorcycle tire shop last week and just that morning a lady came in and asked what the furry stuff on her scooter tires was. The tire fitter went out and had a look, thinking it sounded a bit strange. But, upon inspecting the tire in question, he was incredulous. The furry patch was the canvas – yes, the tread had completely worn through. He explained the situation to her. Her question? ‘So, is that bad?’
It seems that people just aren’t being educated on tire safety. Usually, it’s passed down from parents to children, but with today’s busy life and throwaway society, kids just aren’t being taught how critical tires are to their daily lives. So why isn’t such information included in the driver’s license test, or even in schools for that matter? A couple of simple picture would do the trick. One with tire wear on the outsides, and one of tire wear in the middle. What causes the difference between the two? Well, if you’re playing along at home, it’s under-inflation and over-inflation.
Another question would be how often should tires be checked for pressure? And, of course, if you see canvas, what should you do?
It’s at this impressionable early stage that we can make a real difference. Otherwise, we end up with the scenario mentioned above. In fact, after the lady was told that she was lucky to have made it into the tire shop without the tire exploding, she complained that she didn’t have enough money to buy new tires, so they should only fit one. But, while the tire was being fitted, she went off to the local shopping mall and bought a new Samsung Galaxy S8 phone….
When it comes to those big,black, round, rubber thins, people have their priorities all wrong. Tires aren’t just a necessary evil, they are truly necessary.
Most big bike owners seem to be more aware of the importance of good tires compared to the group that rides 100 to 125cc motorcycles and scooters.Not everyone can afford fancy premium brand tires, but there are plenty of good brands out there that are affordable. Whatever tires you do get, make sure you look after them. Keep checking those pressures now-and-then. After all, doing just that could make a difference to life itself.