Motorbike Tyre Safety

Tyres are the only part of your motorcycle in contact with the road surface. Safety in acceleration, braking, steering and cornering all depend on this relatively small area of contact. It is therefore of paramount importance that tyres are properly maintained and in a good condition at all times.

With correct care and attention, your tyres will help you achieve the maximum performance, enjoyment and safety from your riding without disruption and with minimal cost.


The correct inflation pressure is vitally important for safe handling of motorcycles. The recommended pressure for original equipment tyres will be stated in the motorcycle owner’s manual. Pressures must be adjusted appropriately for solo and for pillion and pannier loads. It is dangerous to re-inflate a tyre which has been run flat or seriously under inflated. Such tyres should be removed for inspection by a specialist. Prolonged under-inflation causes excessive flexing, deterioration of the casing and rapid wear of the tread edges. .

Your fuel consumption may also be adversely affected. Over-inflation may result in an uncomfortable ride, a reduced area of contact with the road, accelerated wear on the tread centre and makes the tyre more susceptible to impact damage. Inflation pressures should be checked once a week when the tyres are cold using an accurate and reliable pressure gauge.

Running-in Tyres

The running-in period allows the tyre to settle itself onto the wheel rim, serves to “scuff-in” the tread surface and allows the rider to adjust to the feel and handling of the new tyres. When new tyres are fitted, the motorcycle should be ridden cautiously and the tyres not subjected to maximum power or speed for the first 100 miles.

Avoid sudden acceleration, maximum braking or hard cornering and particular care should be taken on wet or greasy road surfaces. After 100 miles, the tyres should be checked to ensure the correct seating and inflation.

Inspection and maintenance

Motorcyclists are strongly encouraged to be aware of their tyres’ visual condition such as tread depth, cracking of the tread or sidewall rubber, cuts or bulges, foreign objects, as well as being alert to any change in dynamic performance or behaviour such as air loss, noise or vibration. Driving over potholes, kerbs and speed bumps, even at low speeds can result in the weakening or fracture of the tyre structure.

Riders experiencing an in-service impact should ensure immediate inspection by a tyre professional. Lumps and bulges can indicate internal damage and should be examined by a tyre specialist without delay.

Safe Tips for Checking your Tyres

  1. Check your tyre pressures from cold at least once a week using an accurate gauge.
  2. Inflate tyres to the pressure recommended in the manufacturer’s handbook.
  3. Inspect tyres for cuts, bulges, uneven wear or objects embedded in the tread.
  4. Check that your tread depth is not below the legal minimum of 1mm (for bikes over 50cc).
  5. If your rims are cracked or bent they should be replaced immediately.
  6. Replace old or damaged valve stems.
  7. Select the correct type of tyre for your machine and riding style.
  8. Is recommended that both tyres fitted to the bike are made by the same manufacturer and have the same tread pattern.
  9. Use dust caps to keep dirt away from the valve core and to act as a secondary air seal.
  10. Keep oil and grease off your tyres using detergent if necessary.

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