T-CLOCS Break Down Part 1 - Tires
T in T-CLOCS Stands for Tires and here is somethings you should be looking at.
Some of us are just now getting good riding weather but there places that weather is not yet riding conducive. So today I wanted to cover things we can do for Motorcycle Safety while at home.
Every year we cover T-CLOCS as a check you should do before going for a ride to check over your Bike. But you can use it now at the start of your riding season to make sure everything is ready to go. Now is a good time do it because if you can’t ride right now you have time to get parts shipped or appointments made at your shop.
Today we will cover the T in T-CLOCS and that is for Tires. Checking tires is not just checking air pressure. There are other things you will need to check. Tires are very important. Not only can you die if a tire has a problem but if you are riding with others, you can kill or injure others.
But checking air pressure is important. The pressure that should be in the tire is printed on the sidewall of the tire and most times it is also on a label on the frame and of course in the owner’s manual. You can just use any common air pressure gauge but if you have a bagger you may be ahead to buy one of the gauges that has longer tube to make it easier to use. (I will provide a link at end to an example). Also on a bagger it may be hard to find the air pressure written on the tire with the bags on so you may be ahead to once you find it write it down and maybe tape it to the gauge so you have it.
You also need to check the tread. You can get a tread gauge but it is simple to just use the “Penny Test”. Take a regular US Penny and put top into the tread. Then look from the side of the tire and if you can see all of Lincoln’s head you need to replace your tires.
You also need to check the condition of the whole tire. A few years ago there was a wave of bad tires that would crack and chunks would come loose from the tire, It seems that Dunlop tires are having an issue lately about tires cracking at low miles. Check for Cracks, chunks missing, slices, and of course anything stuck in the tire like a nail or screw.
You also need to check the wear on the tire. If the wear is uneven it can be a sign that there is something wrong you don’t see. It can be a sign of bad wheel bearings, warped rotors, or even a bent or loose spoke if you have wire spokes. One of the best way to check besides looking is to run your hands over the tires. You can feel if there is a problem.
You also need to check the rims and spokes. Look for cracks or holes. If you have wire spokes you need to look for loose, bent, or missing spokes. Ryan F9 did a youtube video talking about pre-ride checks and showed a cool trick to check spokes. He takes his air gauge and just runs it around the spokes and if any of them sound different you know there is a problem. I will include that link as well.
Another good thing you should do is roll the bike around so you can look at all parts of the tire. If you do not have motorcycle lift or jack that can be a pain to check the rear wheel. You may have lay on the floor and have someone else roll it around while you look.
Another part of the Tire check is Brakes. You need to check the brake pads, and also roll the bike test the brakes in the garage, then at slow speeds, and then under regular conditions. If they are making noise or not stopping the bike you may need to add brake fluid. Remember some bikes have two places to add fluid. The fluid may not be the fix but it is worth checking. Your brakes can also stick and not release so check for that.
I am not going to go too far into what type of tire you should buy. There is too much to cover to do it in this article. But I do want to make some suggestions. 1. Put a motorcycle tire on a motorcycle. The Motorcycle engineers have worked very hard to design them and car tires are not designed for motorcycles. 2. Your tire tread should match. If they don’t your ride may be a bit uncomfortable. 3. Don’t skimp on Tires your life depends on them.