Sunday, May 25, 2008

Motorcycle Tires Tips...

Please don’t ever make the mistake of thinking all motorcycle tires are the same. Each motorcycle requires its own type of tire that’s even further deemed appropriate by its specific use. While that’s all explicit and I talked about it in my previous post about choosing motorcycle tires, there are some general caring practices that can be applied to all tire types.

Good working tires will considerably contribute to the wonderful experience that only motorcycling can afford as well as to a safe ride. Motorcycle tires can also be expensive so you’re well advised to take good care of them.

Below you’ll find 10 tips that will help will help extend the life of any motorcycle tire regardless of its type or use.

Tip #1 - Keep your tires at the right pressure. They will perform better and last longer. Always carry a pressure gauge in your bike and check air pressure at least once a week. Under inflated or over inflated tires will wear out faster and can compromise your safety.

Tip #2 - When mounting new tires, always balance the tire and rim. This will avoid vibration while riding as well as premature tire wear.

Tip #3 – Always “break in” new motorcycle tires. Every new tire could use a good break-in period. This will enhance your tires’ performance over their lifetime of service. After installing new tires on your motorcycle, take the bike out for a few easy and light rides just for the purpose of breaking in the new tires. After the first 100-200 miles, the new tires should be stable enough to accommodate fast accelerations, hard cornering and sharp breaking. Otherwise you could be faced with imbalance, low tire life and differing profiles on both the front and rear.

Tip #4 – When possible, keep new tires out of direct sunlight. Whether they’re on a motorcycle or not, direct sunlight (or more precisely, UV radiation) will chemically change the tire compounds and weaken bonds, dry the tires, and make them brittle ahead of time. The ozone in the air can react with the compounds in the tire too and cause additional unwanted changes. Electric motors contribute to ozone production, so in addition to keeping tires out of sunlight, keep them away from things like large generators or air conditioning units.

Tip #5 - Never mount a front tire on the back of the bike or a rear tire on the front. The front and rear tires of a motorcycle have completely different design profiles.

Tip #6 - Replace motorcycle tires at the same time. If you ride a motorcycle with an old worn tire in the front and a spanking brand new tire in the back, the bike’s stability will decrease and create dangerous driving environment.

Tip #7 - Don’t mix radials with bias-ply motorcycle tires. Each one of these different types of tire gives a motorcycle a specific type of handling characteristic. Mixing them on one vehicle will only create an unstable condition, a rougher ride, and it will decrease the ability to hug corners.

Tip #8 - Clean tires with mild soap solution and rinse with plain clear water. Clean your tires frequently and especially after a long ride or after riding on rough terrain. Oil, gas, and street debris can degrade the tire’s compounds faster than usual. Take the time to clean off the tires so that their treads can a) move the way that they were designed to move, b) maximize grip and friction, and c) stabilize the bike. While cleaning your tires inspect them carefully and look out for cracks and embrittled surfaces.

Tip #9 – During long periods you don’t use your bike - as in winter - don’t outgas the bike’s tires because that will eventually make them brittle. Even if they’re not used, keep your tires at the right pressure.

Tip #10 – Do not overload your bike. Heavy add-ons can have a significant impact on the lifetime, the durability, and the performance of motorcycle tires. If you are planning to add a sidecar, saddlebags and/or other heavy accessories, ask your motorcycle dealer about your bike’s tires and which ones would be most appropriate for the intended purpose.

Well, that’s it for the moment…

You have other motorcycle tires maintenance tips you would like to share with our readers? I invite you to leave them in the comments of this post.

Enjoy the ride!


How to prevent accidents

Before starting with my post let me tell you how I see things…

For me, there are two kinds of motorcycle riders: the ones that have had (or will have an accident) and the ones that don’t ride. It’s like bicycling or skiing, one time or another you will go down. Sad but true…

Now, not every motorcycle accident should have serious consequences and it is my intent with this post to provide some guidance to minimize the risks and, with some luck, to help you become one of the very few motorcyclists that actually ride and don’t have accidents.

Back to my post…

A few tips to prevent motorcycle accidents

First, here are some basic things you can do to prevent motorcycle accidents and increase your safety level.

  • Be responsible not only for yourself, but also for all the other motorists and drivers out there as well. Respect and follow the rules of the road.
  • Make sure your motorcycle is in good working conditions
  • Never forget to wear proper attire. Bare minimum: helmet, eyewear, gloves, and riding jacket.
  • Never ride past the speed limit and avoid riding in adverse weather.
  • Make sure that all your safety and signalization controls are within easy reach and operable in both day and night.
  • Don’t drink and ride. Although drinking and driving warnings are heavily promoted to car drivers, it’s no less important to motorcycle riders. Each year, the number of motorcycle accidents gives us a new statistic to evaluate, and it almost always includes accidents that involve alcohol consumption.
  • Look out for bad drivers. Car drivers aren’t always as observant on the road as they should be and as a result, their careless driving skills contribute to the current quality (and quantity) of motorcycle accident statistics that we already have. That’s why it’s so important, as a motorcycle rider, that you not only ride on the offensive, but on the defensive as well.
  • Stay alert. Beware of road hazards and traffic jams.

Motorcycle accidents and your skill level

The more experienced you are at motorcycle riding, the less likely it is that you’ll have an accident. Experience really is the best teacher and from this experience, you’ll understand why complying with the rules of the road is so crucial to safety. But that doesn’t mean experienced drivers are off the hook. Even the most experienced motorcycle rider can have an accident and it doesn’t seem to matter how many riding years are behind him.

New motorcycle riders who aren’t too confident in their skills should stick to paths that aren’t heavily used by major traffic. That includes busy streets and highways - two sources of heavy and dangerous traffic to the motorcycling “newbie.”

Preventing motorcycle accidents by making good choices

The only things that seem to really protect riders are things like good equipment and good choices.

For example, a good choice would be to use signal lights as a way to communicate with others on the road and indicate that you’re trying to get around them or that you’re within a close proximity. In this situation, another good choice would be to ensure these signal lights are in tip-top condition as well. Signal lights aren’t available on older bikes so riders of older models should use hand signals to communicate with other travelers.

Other good choices involve making the decision to correctly assess distances between you and other drivers — especially at night. It’s reasonable to expect that two visible headlights belong to a car, van, or truck, but what if there’s only one light visible? A single, shining headlight could belong to another motorcycle, but it could also belong to a bigger vehicle with only one working light! Maintaining a good distance between you and any vehicle regardless of what kind it is or how many working lights it has will help prevent what could be a tragic event.

It’s not that all accidents are avoidable, but then again, a good majority of them can be prevented just by following the advice herein, obeying laws, and use good ol’ common sense. By doing your part as a responsible motorcycle rider, you’ll increase your chances of keeping the roads safe for everyone and enjoy motorcycle riding for many years.

Do you have other tips or comments that can help our readers to prevent motorcycle accidents? Share them in this post.

Have a good and safe ride!


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Road to Borneo International Big Bike Fest 2007

All this photo taken last year at 8th BIBBF (borneo International Big Bike Fest 2oo7,8th edition) at Pontianak Indonesia at Kalimantan Barat District. A tribute to Krist Joey,a member of Victoria Arms Big Bikers Club and member of KMDC bikers..this photo is taken from KMDC forum/


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