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Cheesebeast 02-27-2007 11:42 AM

Re: Tire Replacement and Safety: Prudence or Paranoia?
I suppose you could use a shore durometer to determine the (remaining) elasticity of the tire. That said, you would have to know the durometer reading for your specific tire when it was new.

Also, for methodology reasons would you have to take the tire off the rim to properly test it? I would guess you would. If you go through the trouble of removing a tire you may as well put a fresh one on.

Durometers are about $300.00 or so, but there may be cheap ones out there. I dunno.

You also have to factor in UV exposure, too.

Frankly I would listen to the 6 year lifespan and plan accordingly.

SRMark 02-27-2007 11:44 AM

Re: Tire Replacement and Safety: Prudence or Paranoia?
It depends on what the tire compounds have been exposed to in their life. A tire parked in LA is exposed to all sorts of stuff that a tire parked in a garage in the mountains isn't. Also, the riding style of the owner comes into play in terms of what he rides on, what he bangs into, how he has kept the tires inflated, etc. Too many variables. I replace the tires on any bikes I buy used for just such reason, unless I know the owner well. A few hundred bucks more at the time of purchase and I can cross one more worry off my list.

rmf3 02-27-2007 11:46 AM

Re: Tire Replacement and Safety: Prudence or Paranoia?
Great question!

I've heard 5 years for bikes regardless of tread wear. My '03 Super Sherpa is hitting 5 years of age

(built in '02, purchased in '04). There's plenty of tread left on the dual purpose tires. FWIW, I check

pressures before every ride.

Does the goat need new tires?


johnnyb 02-27-2007 11:49 AM

Re: Tire Replacement and Safety: Prudence or Paranoia?
when you can see the carcass and the rubber is flaking off like freshly dug-up egyptian mummy skin, then you haven't got more than a few thousand miles left.

ewok1 02-27-2007 11:51 AM

Re: Tire Replacement and Safety: Prudence or Paranoia?
I put street tires on my street bikes when they start to square off, or if they have little tread. I use the stickiest actual street tire, not a race dot on my street bikes from Dunlop. So I run Qualifiers now. They seem fine, but I don't think thats a big deal because I don't go fast enough on the street to make tires an issue. Ever.

On the racetrack, if I know my bike, I switch out when the bike slides or spins up at unusual times. If I have a new bike and don't have a feel for it, I ask my dunlop rep.

I lost the front twice in the last season due to a new bike and unknown tires. t least thats my current excuse. i hope to end that trend this year.

I sell my takeoffs to squids but I have some guilt about it because they warm up slow and do not work well in the rain. So I tell the purchaser exactly that.

I have heard tires get brittle but I have no experience with it.



manalagi001 02-27-2007 12:02 PM

Re: Tire Replacement and Safety: Prudence or Paranoia?
From my experience working in a shop, personally I think six years is absolutely too long for a motorcycle tire. After just two years sitting in a climate controlled room, a tire is noticably harder and crustier than its newly minted brethren, and it's only going to get harder and crustier as it lives out the remainder of its life on the bike.

I recommend buying a tire that has been sitting no more than one year on the shelf, and personally only use tires freshly delivered from the distributor. You can feel the difference in your hands.

By the same token, be aware that helmet foam degrades over time. I left the country in the 1990s for four years, and much to my surprise, when I came back I found that the foam in my protective gear (which included hockey gear and motorcycle gear, including helmets), which was about nine years old at that point, disintigrated to the touch. Disintigrated! A helmet I bought in 1997 fared better, but I stopped using it after five years and threw it out entirely a couple years ago-- I wasn't going to wait for it to get to the disintigration point.

The point is that deterioration of rubber products is real, tangible, and a danger to someone using a product at the edge of its service life. Keep your tire rubber fresh and your helmets too-- don't ride with either when aged over five years. That's my recommendation.

Fenton 02-27-2007 12:17 PM

Re: Tire Replacement and Safety: Prudence or Paranoia?
I hear a lot about "heat cycles" being more of an issue for how sticky the tire will remain. Sounds like ewok1 may have more experience than most with that issue. Street riding will most likely not get your tires too hot.

For me, if the bike has been sitting for a few years, I'll replace the tire no matter how good it looks. One of the magazines had a very comprehensive guide on what all those little numbers on the side of your tire mean. The one I found most useful was the week and year of manufacture. ie. 4805 would mean the 48th week of 2005.

Good question, btw.

everiman 02-27-2007 12:29 PM

Re: Tire Replacement and Safety: Prudence or Paranoia?
Regular tire replacement is a good idea. I see lots of bikes that get very little use, and old dry tires with lots of tread left. I have a 35 year old bike with the original tires on it (they are getting replaced).

Having said that, There is no substitute for common sense. I rode on the 35 year old tires. Carefully. No problems. Original tires may add value to a classic. Origninal pattern tires may not be available any more. A classic is usually ridden gently on nice, warm, dry, days. On the other hand, brand new ultra sticky tires aren't going to help you if there is sand, gravel, or oil in the middle of the corner where you are perfecting your knee dragging technique.

maladg 02-27-2007 12:37 PM

Re: Tire Replacement and Safety: Prudence or Paranoia?
I'm fighting the urge to comment on British rubbers.

sarnali2 02-27-2007 12:56 PM

Re: Tire Replacement and Safety: Prudence or Paranoia?
Please do continue to fight....

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