Before heading out on their first ride of the spring, motorcyclists are being advised to check the condition of their tyres in order to remain safe. Bikes that are not stored properly during the winter months can encounter rubber deterioration which can make the tyres unsafe or illegal. To help riders determine if their tyres are safe, hundreds of tyre dealers and specialist motorcycle repairers across the UK are offering free tyre safety checks as part of April’s bike tyre safety month.
“As the only point of contact with the road it’s critical that motorcyclists check that their tyres are in a healthy state before setting off on a ride,” explains Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “At the start of spring this becomes even more important as bikes can sometimes spend several months in storage over the winter. During this time their tyres can suffer from cracking and other forms of deterioration which can impact on the safety of the rider. By giving the tyres a thorough inspection, these problems can be minimised and riders can enjoy a safe return to their bikes.”
When inspecting tyres, riders should pay particular attention to the tread and sidewall areas. Any cracking found in these areas is usually an indication that tyres have been in service for an extremely long time, but rubber deterioration may occur as a result of poor storage over the winter. If cracking is evident, riders should seek professional advice or replace the tyre. Riders should also look for any damage in the tyre such as cuts, lumps or bulges. Any foreign objects embedded in the tyre should also be removed. The tyre should also be inspected to ensure it has adequate tread depth as this plays a vital role in removing water from the road surface, allowing the tyre to grip wet roads. Current UK law stipulates that for motorcycles over 50cc, they must have 1mm of tread depth across three-quarters of the width of the tread pattern with visible tread on the remaining quarter. For motorcycles up to 50cc, all the grooves of the original tread pattern must be clearly visible.