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Are you seeing cracks in your tire? Then the rot has started to set in – quite literally.

Tune in to discover:

  • What tire dry rot is
  • The biggest causes of dry rot – and what you can do to keep it at bay


Hello, and welcome to another episode of 30-minute motorcycling – a podcast for those riders who are at the beginning of their own Dual Wheel Journey, where you’ll discover something new about how your motorcycle, moped, or scooter works – in less than 30 minutes.

Have you looked at one of your tires lately and noticed a few cracks in the side of it? Then, you have something known as “tire dry rot,” and it’s bad news.

But just what is tire dry rot, why does it happen, and most importantly – what can you do about it?

That’s what we’re about to tackle in this episode. So without further ado, let’s start by talking about what tire dry rot is. 

Anyway, as I just mentioned, tire dry rot is a phenomenon that causes cracks in the sidewall – that is, in the sides of the tire.

It’s sometimes possible to detect with the naked eye, but you can also detect cracks in the sidewall by running your finger along with it – many times, you’ll actually feel the cracks.

No matter if you can see them or not, the important thing to remember is that you should NEVER ride your motorcycle or scooter on a tire with dry rot.

If you ride on a tire with even mild dry rot, that tire might blow up when you least expect it. Therefore, replace any tires with dry rot on them.

So now that we’ve established what tire dry rot is, why does it happen?

There are a couple of things that cause this phenomenon. The first one is heat and UV sunlight. If you’re tuning in from one of the more hotter areas of the world, like say, Arizona, Tunisia, or India, odds are that you know all about this.

Either way, the thing to keep in mind is this – the hotter it gets, and the more UV light a tire is exposed to, the more the chemicals inside the rubber deteriorate – which in turn, causes cracks in the tire.

But an underinflated tire can also cause tire dry rot – that’s because tires with low tire pressure will generate excessive heat, which as we’ve just seen, causes cracks in the sidewalls.

So with all this in mind, maybe the best way to avoid dry rot is to not ride on your tires at all? Well, no. That’s because every tire will eventually deteriorate with age – it doesn’t matter if you’ve been using them or not – once a tire gets too old, dry rot will set in.

But don’t despair too much because there are a few things you can do to slow down the growth of tire dry rot. 

You can do this easily by 

  • Inflating your tires to the correct pressure level
  • Storing your tires in the shade
  • Preventing corrosive chemicals such as gasoline or petrol from coming into contact with your tire
  • Riding your motorcycle or scooter regularly – think of it as regular exercise for your tires

And that’s what tire dry rot is, what causes it, and what you can do to keep it away from your tires for as long as possible.

Until next time, keep your helmet on and your eyes on the road. Bye!