Latest Department for Transport figures suggest that in 2008, there was a 28% increase in the number of motorcycles involved in a collision where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor.
So we asked Product Manager at Pirelli UK, Steffen Baum to offer some sound advice about tyre choice and maintenance. . .
“Tyres are a pretty crucial element of your bike . . . You have all that power to hand and yet it is transmitted to the road through a tiny contact patch. On the race track, tyres are often the deciding factor between winning and losing. On the road, good tyres can be the difference between safety and danger. When you next buy tyres, consider the following;-
- Tyre choice – It is important to get the right tyres to suit your bike and your type of riding. The latest technology allows us to manufacture tyres to suit very specific riding needs and surface conditions, for example; tyres for touring, sports bikes, off-road terrain, track days and race bikes.
- Performance – The right tyres work better in certain conditions; you will get far better mileage from a sports-touring tyre, but a pure sports version will offer better grip at steeper angles of lean.
“Tyre maintenance is as crucial as tyre choice. You must check them regularly;
- Tyre pressure – is often overlooked. Check your tyre pressures against the manufacturers’ recommendations. Ideally, before every ride and especially before long journeys.
- Remember to increase the tyre pressure when carrying luggage or a pillion as this can effect weight distribution and handling AND reduce it again when you ride without the extra weight.
- Tyre condition – visually inspect the tyres for cracks, tears, holes and any foreign bodies in the tyre surface. Check that wheels are not damaged, especially around the rims adjacent to the tyres.
- Tyre tread – ensure that tread is adequate and consistent across the whole tyre carcass. Know the legal requirements for tread depth, for your tyres (they do vary from one type of machine to another).
“Take it steady for the first few miles on cold tyres and allow more time for them to warm in winter. If you are in any doubt, refer to the motorcycle manual or handbook or seek advice from your local tyre specialist or reputable motorcycle dealership.”
For more information about Pirelli tyres, go to www.pirellimoto.co.uk