With increasing numbers of motorcyclists taking to the road this spring, TyreSafe and the IAM are advising experienced bikers and biking enthusiasts to help raise awareness of the importance of riding on safe tyres. During April’s Bike Tyre Safety Month, TyreSafe is reaching out to motorcyclists of all levels, including enthusiasts, with a reminder that correct tyre maintenance helps keep bikers safe on the road, and may ultimately save their life.
As the improved weather conditions attract thousands of bikers to rallies and race meetings around the country, TyreSafe advises checking the pressure, tread depth and condition of tyres before setting off on long journeys.
“Experienced bikers can help engage others within their owners’ clubs and enthusiast groups to remind them that two small contact patches provide the only contact between the bike and the road,” said IAM Chief Examiner Peter Rodger.
“Developing the skills required to ride a motorcycle in a safe and controlled manner goes hand in hand with a good knowledge of bike maintenance. Riding on correctly maintained tyres is vital to biker safety and can also help to prevent premature tyre wear. It also reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.”
Throughout Bike Tyre Safety Month, hundreds of garages will be offering free tyre safety checks to motorcyclists. TyreSafe advises bikers to make sure their tyres are inflated to the level recommended in the manufacturer’s handbook, adjusting the pressure level to account for any pillion or panier loads.
The condition of the bike’s tyres should be checked to make sure there are no tears, cracks or bulges, and any oil or grease should be removed with detergent. Riders must ensure their tread depth is not below the UK’s legal minimum of 1mm around three quarters of the tyre, with visible tread on the remaining quarter.
When running in new tyres, riders should not subject their bikes to high speed or power for the first hundred miles, particularly on wet roads. Bikers should also check that their wheels are correctly aligned in order to ensure smooth handling.
“By conducting a few simple checks, bikers can increase their safety on the roads, helping to prevent accidents caused by defective tyres,” explains Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe.
“Experienced bikers and enthusiasts can play their part by encouraging newcomers to motorcycling and less experienced riders to make tyre safety checks a part of their bike maintenance routine, setting the standard for the next generation of bikers.”
For further information about Bike Tyre Safety Month or to download a motorcycle tyre safety leaflet, please visit www.tyresafe.org. To learn more about the IAM, please visit www.iam.org.uk.
Top tips for motorcycle tyre safety
– Check your tyre pressures from cold at least once a week using an accurate gauge
– Inflate tyres to the level recommended in the manufacturer’s handbook
– Inspect tyres for cuts, bulges, uneven wear or objects embedded into the tread pattern and replace if necessary
– Use dust caps to keep dirt away from the valve core and to act as a secondary air seal
– If your rims are cracked or bent they should be replaced immediately
– Check that your tread depth is not below the legal minimum of 1mm (for bikes over 50cc)
– Replace old or damaged valve stems
– Select the correct type of tyre for your machine and riding style
– Check that both tyres fitted to the bike are made by the same manufacturer and have the same tread pattern
– Make sure that your tyre has been fitted the right way round by checking the directional arrows on the sidewall
– When replacing tube type tyres always use a new inner tube
– Make sure your tyre/wheel assembly is balanced correctly
– Keep oil and grease off your tyres using detergent if necessary
If you are unsure on any aspect of tyre pressure or tyre condition take your bike to an approved fitting centre and speak to the experts.
TyreSafe is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of the dangers of defective and worn tyres. TyreSafe has campaigned consistently to underline the importance of tyre safety for more than 15 years and was rewarded with the Prince Michael International Road Safety Award in 2001. TyreSafe receives positive support from many major tyre manufacturers and retailers, and has been credited with reducing the number of defective tyres in the UK over the past decade from 18% to 12%.
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