Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Where the Rubber meets the Road

Saving money.... we all want to do it, Bikers
included. But to a Biker the term does not mean "cut corners" - especially where tires are concerned.

As someone new to motorcycling, one of the first realizations is that it can get expensive buying the bike & the parts to customize it. Usually the first 'add on' is a Stage 1 Performance upgrade (i.e. exhaust, hi-flo air intake & computer download). 
He thought he was saving a sh*t ton of money, but he nearly cost him & his girl their lives.
Then comes all the riding gear = leather jacket,
Good riding gear = always worth it
helmet, nylon jacket, rain gear, boots, gloves, etc. Over time it adds up, however it's definitely not a place to skimp on.

The same thing can be said about your motorcycle tires. Depending on your tire maintenance, how you ride, how many miles you ride, and how the tire was made, they might only last one or two riding seasons. At about $150 for a front tire, and around $300 for the rear tire (before labor), some 'newbies' look for a cheaper deal.... just remember you get what you pay for.
Old school new tire delivery

We once had a rider with a passenger traveling from NYC, riding a Dyna Super Glide Custom, stop in because they felt a "slight wobble" at highway speeds (FXCHD is right next to Exit 42 off of I-81).

This owner was very cost conscious and believed that getting tires from an auction sight online and having his non-biker friend/home mechanic put them on was saving him a sh*t ton of money.... but it nearly cost him & his girl their lives.
Just remember: you get what you pay for.
Car & motorcycle tires come with a date code because, even if they're not used on a vehicle, there is an 'expiration date' you should know about. In other words, there was a reason the tires this guy bought online were sssooo cheap.
How many birthdays have your tires had?
Check the date code!

The date code on a tire can easily be decoded - the four digits translate into the week and year; so 4708 is the 47th week of 2008. The older the tire, the faster the rubber degrades and likely to fail. Any tire over six years old is best used as a tire swing. 

As a motorcyclist, when you only have two wheels instead of four, you should want them to be the best they can be!!
Money doesn't buy happiness.... but it can buy a Harley - and that's just about the same thing!
Can you believe this guy didn't want a new tire??
Not only was the tire old, but it was the wrong size for his bike (too small), and his friend mounted the rear tire so that it was traveling in the wrong direction. Add in the fact that the tires were grossly under-inflated and steel belts were showing - yes, steel belts! - we were all wondering how they'd manage to survive the 300+ miles getting to us.

Can you believe this guy didn't want new tires?? He thought we were trying to scam him into something he didn't need.... It was only when we were insisting he and his passenger sign a release, that their families weren't going to sue the dealership, that he realized we were literally trying to save both their lives.

So, before that first ride in Spring, check out your tires: How is the tread depth and wear? Tire pressure ok? How many birthdays have your tires had? 

Should you need new motorcycle tires, you can always contact our Parts Department online or by calling 315-583-6177.