Monday, September 9, 2013
Motorcycle tyres greatly influence the functionality and longevity of a motorcycle. Thus, it is vital to choose good tyres. There are various factors that contribute to the greatness of a motorcycle tyre.
The rolling resistance is a vital factor to consider when choosing a motorcycle tyre. It determines the grip of the tyres when they roll on different surfaces, whether rough or smooth.
The deformation of surfaces and the slippage affect the rolling resistance and have to be taken into account when constructing the tyres. This means using materials that will provide adequate grip for the surfaces intended for use. Rubber is a great component in tyre making. Usually soft rubber provides greater grip than hard rubber.
The chemical components in a tyre also contribute to grip. This is because tyres are made to achieve maximum grip at certain temperatures. When temperatures are lowered, the grip lessens. Soft tyres take relatively longer to increase in temperature than hard tyres. However, acceleration, bends and brakes all work to effect temperature change. Weather patterns also affect grip. Some tyres offer good grip on wet surfaces while others only do so in dry surfaces. A good motorcycle tyre is thus the one that can offer considerable grip on various surfaces and in all types of weather conditions.
Tyre pressure impacts on the grip and longevity of motorcycle tyres. Manufactures normally recommend the tyre pressures for the different types of tyres. Lower pressures add to the grip of tyres on uneven surfaces. They ensure the tyres generate more heat thus enabling them to increase their contact patch. However, lower pressure also has its negative impacts. It works to lower the life span of tyres.
When you use motorcycle tyres with low pressures, you will find that they wear out unevenly. This means you need newer tyres more frequently than if you had used higher pressures. The danger of uneven tyres is also well known as it may cause accidents. A wise move is to become proactive in your pressure control. This means you actively vary the pressures depending on the surfaces, climate and temperatures. Thus, you will attain tyres that work well and are well protected from wearing out.
Different tyres have different carrying capabilities. It is thus vital to first determine the amount of load the motorcycle tyres can carry before making a purchase. The weight of the riders, luggage carried and equipment determines the weight load. It is important to ensure the total weight does not exceed the load capacity of the tyres. You can find out the load capacity by searching through the manufacturer’s manual or by viewing the tyre sidewall.
However, caution must be taken as some motorcycles can be overloaded despite the capacity shown by manufacturers. Overload may lead to accidents due to sudden tyre failure. Trailers and sidecars contribute to the stress on motorcycle tyres and should only be added when recommended. A good motorcycle tyre is able to carry the load intended without putting undue stress on the tyres.
Tyre speed makes the difference between a bad motorcycle and a good motorcycle. Most motorcycle owners prefer high speeds for their different uses. Riders must ensure that they do not exceed specified tyre speeds in order to avoid tyre failure. Numerous manufacturers’ rate tyre speeds but this is usually done in controlled environments. Your motorcycle’s performance on the other hand does not occur in ideal conditions but occur in diverse conditions.
Factors like load, pressure, condition of the motorcycle and driving capabilities all affect tyre speed. Ratings on tyres that have undergone repairs should thus not be taken into account. Do not look at the ratings alone but also at the time frame in which the rating is sustained. This means you would want to ensure you can achieve the same speed at different time intervals. You may decide to choose a tyre rating above what you may be in need of to ensure you achieve the maximum speed.
The cornering force of motorcycle tyres is especially important when it comes to navigating bends and corners. It is generated adequately by the tire slip and determines the relaxation length. A good tyre achieves great cornering force to enable the rider make twists, turn corners, and make breaks without difficulty.
Cornering force depends largely on the material and tread of the tyres. The purpose of the tyres determines the tread. Aggressive riders usually spend a large amount of their riding negotiating corners thus require better traction. Deeper treads are needed for tyres used on off roads as they need better cornering force and grip.
Tubed or tubeless?
Another factor contributing to the usefulness of motorcycle tyres is whether it is tubed or tubeless. The determining factors are construction, tyre type and nature of riding to be done. Tubeless tyres are rarely suited to adverse conditions. This is because they tend to lose their shape and they cannot seal properly against the rim. However, they do repair easily in case of a puncture and they achieve high speeds.
Tubed tyres are made for rough roads and different conditions. Their spokes are hardier and last longer. But their speeds are rated lesser than tubeless tyres due to their increased danger of sudden punctures. Also the tyres can come off the rim, a problem not associated with tubeless tyres.
One cannot discuss qualities of a good motorcycle tyre without mentioning longevity. Whatever the purpose, use and type of motorcycle, you want one that has lasting motorcycle tyres. Of course the riding, materials and conditions all affect longevity. Thus, you should be able to take into account such factors when deciding on the best tyres for your use. Hard rubber tends to outlast soft rubber in terms of motorcycle tyres longevity.
It is important to note that while some of the factors sound very good when looked at alone, it is the combination of factors that is useful when it comes to finding a good motorcycle tyre. Thus, tyre pressure, load, material, longevity and tyre ratings should all be studied together in order to choose a good motorcycle tyre.
Janis Hobbs is a fun-loving motorcycle enthusiast from Sydney, Australia.