7. That tire’s still got some life in it


We’ve all heard variations of the old warning that 90% of tire failure takes place in the last 20% of tire wear. I’m not here to argue with the truthiness of that statement since catastrophic tire failure is still relatively rare – even with a mostly used up tread. Instead, let’s consider all the other things that tires do to keep your bike shiny side up. Obviously, the deeper the grooves in the tread, the better the tires can channel water away and prevent hydroplaning. Folks who live in areas where it doesn’t rain much don’t get off scott-free, however. The grooves also help the tread to maintain contact with the pavement in dirty or sandy conditions.

Tire manufacturers expend a ton of effort in designing tire profiles. Since a tire’s shape affects a bike’s turn-in characteristics and its willingness to change lines in a corner, if a front tire is worn on the sides, it can become less willing to hold a line different from the one that fits the worn profile. Similarly, applying the front brake while leaned over on a worn tire can cause an abrupt change in attitude, like standing up and sending you wide at the worst possible time. Also, a rear tire worn flat in the middle will tend to self-center as the bike transitions from leaned over to upright, rather than letting you control the transition.

Don’t cheap out. It could get expensive. Also, new tires add a great smell to your garage when you first walk in to it.

  • Kevin Polito

    If I buy a motorcycle, I can save money on gas. 🙂

    • Evans Brasfield


      • Kevin Polito

        Well, I saved money on gas by riding the bike to work instead of using the car. But then… I went riding after work, and rode the bike about 300 miles over the weekend. And that ride to the coast didn’t help. And those Iron Butt rides…

        • Evans Brasfield
        • Dan

          Those extra curricular rides would mostly likely be replaced with other hobbies that could also cost money so I think it’s ok. Unless the alternative of all those other rides is just sitting at home watching tv. Then yes, much more expensive.

        • Mike

          I saved money from going to therapy!

    • Jeremy

      Yup, I get asked/told that all the time. Sure, you absolutely do get better gas mileage over a car… but the total cost of ownership/riding is definitely higher. Sport bikes all require premium gas, my 1-liter typically gets only 28-32mpg street riding (about the same as a passenger car), oil is 400% more expensive, tires only last 6k instead of 40k-70k, tires cost $350 instead of $600 total, all the riding gear will run you $500 to $3500 depending on all the stuff need to buy, registration and taxes on yet another vehicle, you have to have a private locked garage space if you want to keep your bike from being stolen/vandalized, motorcycles are recreational vehicles so they do not qualify for multiple car insurance discounts… and all it takes is one drop and you kiss many thousands away. Traffic tickets are optional.

    • Wan Stpl

      I ride 135cc moped so your statement is totally legit for me..

  • fastfreddie

    If the drunk riders only adhered to just one more;)

  • Joe Elliott

    I’ll change the oil….tomorrow!

    • James Glissan

      I was waiting for that one!

  • malcolm66

    Cagers are only part of the problem it’s called proper speed for the road condition before you. Heavy traffic is just stupid to ride through with a hand full of throttle.

  • malcolm66

    I had 3 motorcycles at once and I dumped the one I neglected the most and now I regret it? Wow, I’m afflicted!

  • malcolm66

    found this out in a little town called Bowie Arizona and I’m beyond fumes as the gas light was on for what seemed like an hour and a 100 miles and as soon as I was redirected by the patrons at the only establishment in the fly speck called Bowie I ran out of gas 2 miles from the gas station! Thankfully a Good Samaritan stopped with a gallon of gas and refused my five dollar bill saying that he was trying to make his was to heaven by helping others? Maybe some guilt or similar circumstances. Anyway, at 85 to 90 MPH on my Road Glide Ultra for 239 miles was plenty!

    • Kevin Polito

      I bought a new motorcycle in 1975. As I got ready to ride it home, I asked the salesman how much gas was in the tank. He said, “Enough to get you to a gas station.” I rolled out of the lot and headed to the gas station a half block away. The bike ran out of gas before I got to it, and I had to push it into the station and up to the pump.

  • malcolm66

    Been there done that!

  • Guest

    Every year I’ve come back from Sturgis feeling barely a live! LOL

  • malcolm66

    Every year I come back from the Sturgis Rally!

  • malcolm66

    Some of the dumbest of mistakes are made within a half mile of your house!

    • Kevin Polito

      That’s why I moved.

      • malcolm66

        FUCK OFF troll!

  • BK50

    I always say “It’s not gonna rain ” but I always carry my rain gear… Haha

    • fastfreddie

      I’m not that prescient

  • DL Nielsen

    It’s only one more bike . . . I’ve said that so many times that the garage runneth over into a second one. So when you have 13 are you just afflicted or is it worse than that? I don’t really want an answer to that.
    And that other lie, it’s not going to rain . . . if that’s so, what are those little water droplet things doing falling out of the sky as you back a bike out of the garage? Then the other lie comes into play, it’s not going to do anything . . . . and within a couple of blocks from home, you get drenched because you didn’t want to put the rainsuit on.

  • boscoe

    Was feeling smug until the last one. After five decades of riding, I don’t tell myself motorcycle lies – except that I can always have one more bike. Of course, I pay to maintain them, so I’m not sure it applies.

  • Doppler Effect

    You missed the most common lie…. “I had to lay it down.” Translation: You panicked, locked the brakes, and FELL down.