Whether you own a commuter bike or a sports bike, you want to maximise its performance, right? And believe it or not, your bike tyres play a significant role in this. For instance, the right quality of bike tyres provides you with safe handling ability. This is why the maintenance of your motorcycle tyres becomes critical as it determines how well your bike is behaving on the roads. But for many owners, the dilemma lies in not knowing whether to change both the tyres, or simply repair them. Or should you replace both the tyres of your bike together or only the one which has worn out?
Let's clear these doubts, shall we?
Changing both the tyres simultaneously
One of the primary questions about bike tyre maintenance is that ‘should you change both the rear and front tyres of your motorcycle?’
Experts vote unanimously on the recommendation that you should not replace both the front and rear wheels of your bike. This is true even when the two tyres have covered the same distance! Wondering why?
The wear rate of the front motorcycle tyre is always lesser, compared to the rear wheel. This means that your front wheel enjoys a much longer life, so why change it at all it’s not a must?
However, you should definitely replace your front tyre at the same time as the rear wheel in the following extraordinary cases:
- The front tyre suffers from any visible injury.
- The front wheel has a manufacturing date of more than five years.
Otherwise, your front wheel can last much longer than your rear wheel, so relax.
If you are troubled by the question - “why does the rear tyre wear out faster?” - here is the answer:
- In its daily application, the rear tyre bears the weight of the engine, chassis and the rider/pillion.
- Motorcycle engines are driven by rear bike tyres.
On the other hand, many bikers don't replace the front tyre even after five years of use. Or if it has been 5 years since the tyre was manufactured. Now that can be a tad dangerous. Delaying the replacement of your front bike tyre can lead to compromised safety while riding, as the tyres give a lousy grip. After constant use, the tyres tend to lose traction. So even if your tyres aren’t showing visible signs of wear, if it has been more than 5 years since they have been in use, you should pay attention to them. You can find the manufacturing date on the sidewall of the tyre. It is a 4 letter code indicating the month and year of production.
One important thumb rule followed by most bikers is “replace the front tyre during the second replacement of the rear tyre.”
That is, you should change your front wheel along with every second change of the rear wheel.
So how do I know it's time to replace my motorcycle tyres?
The easiest way is to learn to watch for the signs of wear and tear in your tyres. For that, here's what you should keep in mind:
Check for wear and tear of the tyre:
a) This is a no-brainer. Even the best tubeless bike tyre undergoes wear and tear. Always check for signs of wear in a tyre. The easiest way to do this is to look for the TWI (tread wear indicator). This is a visual indicator found inside the tread grooves that certifies the degree of tread wear. If the tread reaches that physical mark on the tyre, you should consider a replacement.
However, it's possible that due to maximum wear, the indicator may vanish over time. In this case, it’s not safe to ride on such a tyre. It clearly lacks the required grip and will affect braking primarily.
b) Uneven wear is another indication of the need that the tyre needs to be changed.
What is uneven wear?
When one side of the tread looks used up while the other appears new / used less, it means that the tyre wear is uneven. In some cases, both sides of the tyre look unused, while the central part looks worn out. This happens mostly in commuter bikes. Uneven wear generally happens for two reasons - underinflation and overinflation. Underinflation leads to the sides wearing out faster than the rest of the tyre. While overinflation may lead to premature centre wear.
c) Frequent punctures
→Recurring punctures and visible cuts around the tyre sidewall or tread area reduce the life of bike tyres.
→Riders who prioritise superior performance and safety, replace the tyres after two or three punctures. Tubeless tyres are better for such conscious riders. Tube-type tyres deflate instantly after a puncture. Whereas, tubeless tyres retain enough air even after a puncture to provide buffer time for the rider to get to a repair shop safely. To counter this puncture-problem, CEAT bike tyres come with an advanced rubber compound. This compound is less prone to leaks, and ensures better ride quality and handling along with longer tread life.
d) Tyre aging
There are times when the tyre won't show age. That is, you won't be able to spot any visible cuts and cracks. However, according to tyre makers, the maximum age of a tyre is 5 years (froṁ the manufacturing date).
After this period, the tyre tends to get hard and the essential oils (used during the making of the tyre) fade away. This leads to a loss in grip and stability over the road’s surface.
With these tips, the replacement of your bike tyres should be easier as you can take a more informed decision. Besides this, the internet is obviously a great tool to research. Find and compare the bike tyre prices and grab some great offers.
Many digital tyre stores today offer a wide variety of unique tyre patterns for bikes of all types. Or you can skip the hassle and simply buy tyres . Find the best bike tyres online easily, right away!