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I want those TIRES

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Motorcycles

I want those TIRES

Maricon Williams
March 2, 2006

Tires are many things. However, some individuals have misunderstood the process of choosing tires.

Tires are important. In fact, your choice of tires can affect comfort, handling, safety and more.

There are two kinds of tire construction. The first is the bias-ply and the other is called the radial. Bias-ply construction is generally used by cruisers. On the other hand, radial construction is used by sport bikes. You can easily distinguish one construction from the other for bias-ply has round profile while radial has a flatter and shorter version.

Bias-ply uses a carcass that is made up of overlapping layers of nylon or rayon cords. The flexing action produces heat which contributes to a good grip. The drawback of this construction is that it reduces performance and hastens tire wear because too much heat can be generated.

Radial tire construction acquired its name because its plies are running at a 90-degree angle. As oppose to the bias-ply, this construction reduces heat generation. As a result, tires are cooler and not susceptible to hastened tire wear. The drawback though is that the sidewalls can effortlessly be flexed. Thus, the sidewalls are given a shorter profile.

Tire pressure really matters to the tires. Therefore, it has to be checked regularly.

Aside from tire construction, we must also be knowledgeable about tire wear in relation to choosing tires. Softer compounds are good in producing more traction however, they wear out quickly. Harder compounds have fast wear but they may not cause a good grip.

Moreover, OEM or aftermarket motorcycle parts manufacturers and distributors must consider dealing with effective grip coupled with longer mileage when it comes to tires. This is of course to prolong the life of motorcycle tires.

One factor that can affect tire wear is the rider’s riding style. Aggressive riders usually have their front tire to wear out faster than the rear. Why is this so? This is because tires tend to brake late using mostly the front brake. In contrast, cruiser riders, normally wear out the rear tire first. This is because they have more weight at the rear portion of the bike.

To know when to change your tires, you can perform the ‘penny test’. Simply put a penny into a tire groove with its head pointing down. You have to change your tire when you can see the top of the head of the person in the coin. It can be an hint that the tread depth has already reached 1/32 of an inch. Remember, new tires will have a very different contact patch and lean-over edge..

Please visit Aftermarket Motorcycle Parts site at http://www.aftermarketmotorcyclepartsnow.com/AftermarketMotorcycleParts.html for comments and inquiries regarding this article.

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