Tyres 2
  Send in a Tip

Tyre Tips 2

Tyre Manufacturers Technical Helplines

General Rules for Tyre Safety

Worn Tyres

Legal Tyre Fitments

Tyre Repairs 1

Tyre Pressures 1

Tyre Speed Ratings

Tyre Load Ratings

Date your Tyres

Tyre Fitting 1

New Tyres 1

Tubed Tyre Repairs 1

Tyre Pressures 2

Date your Tyres

This applies to car tyres too.

All tyres manufactured for USA & Europe have to show a DOT (Dept. of Transport) code. That's for quality control, from the code they can trace any tyre back to factory, machine, mould tool, batch etc. which is good for a product recall.
Within that code look for the 3 or 4 number sequence. They're normally easy to spot, being in a small oval separate from other numbers because they have to keep changing them. The first two are the week and the other's the year.

A tyre made in the 1980's will have something like DOT 108 That's the 10th week of 1988.
A tyre made in the 1990's will have something like DOT 028 That's the 2nd week of 1998
A tyre made in the 2000's will have something like DOT 2700 That's the 27th week of 2000

So, 3 numbers and no it's '80's ! (Yes I've seen them still fitted), 3 numbers and there are 's it'll be '90's, 4 numbers is 2000's.

Now, remember the compound "goes off" and the recommended life of a tyre is only 6 years (2yrs shelf life if stored properly and 4 years on the bike). Those "super-sticky's" with good tread, on that bike you're buying might actually offer little grip. They might have died years ago.
Ride safe Oz.
Back to top


Tyre Fitting 1

Not as daft as it sounds.
Make sure the tyre is fitted with the direction arrow (it's on the sidewall) facing into the wheel's rotation when on the bike. We've seen too many fitted the wrong way round; the fitter should mark the wheel before removing the old tyre. If put on wrong the result can be lethal, the tyre carcass will fail very quickly.

Around the tyre there'll normally be a line, so the fitter can check it's evenly seated on the bead. Check it, they don't always seat properly first time.

Check your tyre pressure and re-check daily for the first week, a newly fitted tyre tends to lose air around the bead until it's settled down. After that, you go back to checking on a weekly basis. Get an accurate gauge, and check the pressure when cold. Remember, even a couple of pounds can make a lot of difference to a bike's handling and fuel consumption.

With a new tyre, run it in at least for the first 100 miles. Tyres actually grow (another reason for the pressure to drop) and shape themselves on the rim. Gently increase lean angles, new tyres are shiny (it's the mould release wax and it's slippery), why not use some sandpaper then.

Especially with the rear on a powerful bike, again take it easy for a while. The fitter will have soaped the rim before fitting the tyre. 100 brake horsepower sir ? That'll turn the tyre on the rim which makes balancing it a bit of a waste then.
Back to top


New Tyres 1

Well apart from the info on tyre fitting (which includes a bit about running it in) here's something that may be new to you :-
What's a tyre made of ? You may be surprised to learn that the biggest single components of tyre rubber are oil and graphite. Both are lubricants. It's not actually made of rubber, that's a myth. It's man-made (that's what the vulcanising process was about and incidentally why disposal is a problem), for us the problem's more immediate.
All oils are made up of lighter and heavier elements. If you subject a new tyre to excessive heat (that's 100 bhp at the rear wheel sir) you can "sweat" out the lighter oils. That'll degrade your tyre, so it won't last long but that won't matter because if you sweat oil across your tyre then you won't be on it for long anyway. That's another reason to run-in your new tyre, it'll keep your arse off the road.
Back to top


Tubed Tyre Repairs 1

Don't have the tube repaired, it's not worth it and the failure can be too sudden to keep control. Fit a new tube, they're cheap enough.

A lot of people (and tyre shops) will simply fit a new tube. The tyre needs repairing too, just as a tubeless tyre would be, 'cos there's a hole in it. In use, water and muck will get squeezed through the hole and abrade between the tyre and tube. It'll fail again so have the tyre repaired as well. Have it re-balanced, that patch and new tube will have changed the balance. Oz.
Back to top


Tyre Pressures 2

Tyre pressures are normally quoted for an only 10 stone (140 lb./ 65kg) solo rider and are considered ok for + or - 10kg. So if you're over 11 ½ stone (that's most of us then) you will need to study the handbook. If you can't get good info on this, try slightly raising the pressures by up to 3psi but keep the same differential between front and rear. Oz.
Back to top