Your tyres play in important part in keeping you and your bike safe on the road – so it’s really important to make sure you give them the respect, care and attention they deserve. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the things you can be doing both on and off the road to ensure you get as much out of your tyres as possible – because let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than parting with a few hundred quid to buy a new set every six months or so.
Before setting off
Just as an airline pilot would run pre-flight checks before setting off, it’s important for bikers to carry out a similar procedure. It may feel like a bit of a chore, but checking your tyres can really go a long way when it comes to keeping you safe – so it’s well worth ticking everything off the list below:
• Tread carefully: the law states that all bikes over 50cc must have 1mm of tread 3/4 across the width of the tread pattern, with visible tread on the remaining 1/4. This legal requirement is enforced to keep you safe, so if your tyres are looking particularly bald, don’t ride.
• Warning signs: from cracked sidewalls to visible cuts, there are a few things to look out for when inspecting your tyres. These defects reduce the tyre‘s life expectancy, not to mention its grip, so they’re well worth keeping an eye on.
• Under pressure: if everything’s looking ok, it’s time to check your tyre pressure. Underinflated tyres can misbehave just as much as overinflated ones, so always be sure to check back to your user manual when setting the appropriate Psi.
Out on the road
“What’s small and thin, generally made of steel, usually worth less than a penny and yet can cost well over £100? That’s right, a nail.” For David Dyet – a loyal member of the Carole Nash Customer Panel – the perils of the road are all too familiar. In fact, this issue alone ended up costing him hundreds in tyre bills – and the worst bit is, his story is by no means an uncommon one.
Keen to avoid the perils of the road? All it takes is a few minor tweaks. . .
• Left of centre: riding just to the left of the centre of a chosen lane is normally the best place to situate yourself when out on the road. This should help to keep you in the tracks made by other vehicles. Not only that, it’ll also help you to avoid any loose gravel, nails or glass that gets flicked towards the gutter.
• Perilous potholes: potholes are a real nightmare for bikers. Not only do they pose a real safety risk, they also have a nasty habit of puncturing tyres. Luckily, this website has listed loads of the UK’s potholes – with the option to add any that haven’t been reported – so it’s well worth checking out.
• Take it easy: while we’d all like to think that the motorways, A roads and country lanes of Great Britain are as smooth as the circuit at Donnington Park, the fact is that they are awash with hazards. Unfortunately, some are unavoidable – but reducing your speed and driving with extra care is the best way to ensure you’re in the best possible position to deal with a hazard head-on.
We’re always keen to hear what our readers have to say about their bike, so if you’ve had a nasty experience with a nail or a pothole, or simply want to share a story with the Carole Nash team, be sure to get in touch on Twitter or Facebook.