American Motorcycle News

How much has the tire been used – here’s how to tell

Most people who ride motorcycles don’t pay much attention to their tires. However, this sort of attitude can leave you on the road with a flat tire. Luckily, there are plenty of ways that you can tell the age of a motorcycle just by looking at it.

In this guide, we will not only be going over how to check tire tread depth or tread groove, but we will also be going over how you can tell when it is time to get new tires. So if you’re worried that you need to replace your tires, this guide can certainly help.

Using tread depth to find out the age of a tire

Sometimes, looking at the tire is not enough to tell if you need to be replacing it. Instead, You need to properly check tire tread depth to see if the tire needs changing. Now why would you check the tire tread to find out the age of a tire? Better yet, how would you check the age of a tire by looking at the tire tread depth.

The tire tread depth gauge

One of the best ways that you can effectively tell the age of a tire is with the help of a penny tire test. The penny test is a very effective way to tell the age of most tires, and all you need to do is put a penny into a tire’s tread depth, or as some call it, the tire’s tread groove.

The penny test itself is very simple, since you only want to see how much of the penny you can still see when inserted into the tire. While it may sound silly, this one of the best ways to tell a tire’s age and generally measure tread depth and tread wear.

Adding a penny into the tire tread

First, you need a penny. Once you have one, you want to insert it with Lincoln’s head upside. If Lincoln’s head is visible from through the tire tread, that means you need to bring out the replacement tires and it is time to replace your old tires.

While the results can slightly differ depending on the tire size, this remains one of the best ways to see the tread remaining on your tire. With this easy coin test, checking the tire tread will never be difficult.

Doing the Quarter Test

You can also use a quarter to similar effect, which many call the quarter test. If the tread touches Washington’s head, that means there is about 4/32 inches of tread left. This quarter test can work if you don’t have a penny.

Reading the code on the top sidewall portion of a tire

Other than using the penny tire test to find out the age of your tire, there are other ways to see if your tire is old. These digits and letters are a code that give you all of the relevant information about the tire that you need to know.

This code is also the tire identification number, and it is the second way that you can tell the age of a tire compared to checking the tire tread depth. While checking the tire’s tread groove is an accurate way of telling the age of your tire, looking at the entire tire identification number can also help you find out the age of your tire.

What are the different digits and symbols

Each of the digits and symbols represent a specific characteristic of the tire, such as its width, aspect ratio, and even its age. More specifically, it shows the date when the tire manufactured.

While this age doesn’t necessary tell how much a tire has been used or its general wear, it can show other signs of aging, such as dry spots or cracks in the tire.

The symbols can also show the tire’s speed rating, and can even tell the tire’s rim diameter. Of course, none of these symbols give any information about the tire’s tread depth.

What do these symbols look like and what do they mean

New tires, when they come fresh out of a hot tire mold, it will always have this tire number imprinted on it. The partial tire identification number indicates things like the tire’s width, speed rating, aspect ratio, and if it is radial or bias ply.

You will often see the tire number look like this: 180/55ZR17 73W. All of these digits and letters represent a specific characteristic of the tire.

The first digits are the diameter of the tire, with the second ones being the aspect ratio of the tire. This aspect ratio is the length of the tire in ratio to the diameter. The first letter represents the speed rating of the tire, which is the maximum pressure speed that it can reach safely.

The final digits of that you can see are the rim diameter in inches, and the final letter is the total weight that it can safely manage. Be sure to check these symbols before you buy tires.

How to make a motorcycle tire last long

Some people will often buy winter tires, so that they can have better performance during the colder months of the year.

However, if you’re just careful and can manage your used tires well, you might not even need to buy specialized winter tires.

Steps you can take to make your tires last long

The first step to making sure that your tires remain in a usable condition, you need to check on the tire pressure regularly. You always want to check if the air pressure is running low, and if you need to refill.

The next step that you can take to keep your tires in good shape is to avoid bumpy roads wherever possible. These roads can wear down the tire tread much faster, and put your tires at a much higher risk of blowing out.

Finally, you want to check if your motorcycle tires are both balanced and aligned properly. If they aren’t you could be putting yourself in a lot of danger as you ride your bike.

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