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Breaking in new tires on your motorcycle

Breaking in new tires

Today my son was moving my motorcycle into the garage with her brand new tires and the ground was a little wet. The back tire kicked out on him a little bit when he came around the corner because they were a little slippery. Fiona and my son are fine but I thought it would be a good blog post discussing why and what to do about it! Breaking in new tires on your motorcycle is an essential but often overlooked aspect of maintaining optimal riding performance and safety. Here's a detailed guide on why and how to properly break in your motorcycle tires.

Why Break in New Tires?

  1. Remove the Release Agent: New tires are coated with a release agent, a type of lubricant used during manufacturing to prevent the tires from sticking to their molds. This coating can make the tires slick when they are brand new. The break-in process helps to wear off this slippery layer, improving the tires' grip and stability.

  2. Increase Grip and Stability: Once the release agent is worn off, the tires start to offer more traction as the shiny and smooth initial surface is replaced by a rougher, grippier texture. This is crucial for safe handling, especially during turns.

  3. Even Wear: Gradual break-in helps the tires wear more evenly, which can extend their lifespan. Abrupt and aggressive riding on new tires can lead to uneven wear patterns and reduce the overall life of the tires.

  4. Safety: The initial 100 (I'm extra careful for more like 150 miles, oh wait I'm always careful) miles on your new tires are crucial for safety. New tires may react differently under braking and cornering. A proper break-in period allows you to get accustomed to the feel and response of your new tires in various riding conditions.

How to Break in New Tires

  1. Start with Gentle Riding: For the first 100 miles, avoid aggressive acceleration, hard braking, and sharp turns. Gentle riding during this phase allows the tires to gradually adapt to the road and your bike.

  2. Gradually Increase Riding Intensity: After the initial gentle phase, gradually increase the intensity of your riding. Start introducing more typical maneuvers, such as moderate turns and braking, to condition the tires for regular use.

  3. Check Tire Pressure: Maintain the correct tire pressure as recommended by your motorcycle’s manufacturer. Proper inflation is crucial during the break-in period to ensure even contact with the road surface and prevent uneven wear.

  4. Inspect Tires Regularly: Keep an eye on your tires’ condition throughout the break-in period. Look for signs of wear or damage. Regular inspections can catch issues early, preventing further complications.

  5. Avoid Wet Conditions: If possible, try to break in your tires on dry roads. Wet and slippery conditions can make new tires unpredictable and increase the risk of accidents.

Conclusion

Breaking in your motorcycle tires is not just about preparing the tires for the road; it’s about ensuring your safety and optimizing your motorcycle’s performance. Take the time to properly break in your new tires, and you’ll enjoy a smoother, safer ride and potentially longer tire life. Remember, the way you treat your tires in the first few miles can significantly impact their effectiveness and longevity. Happy riding!

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