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No matter if your bike has modern tubeless tires or old-fashioned tubed tires, you can still experience a blowout, or your tires wear down faster than normal.

And it’s not just because of bad luck – there are a few reasons why this happens.

Tune in to discover:

  • Some common reasons for tire blowouts and uneven tire tread wear (including one that ironically doesn’t involve tires directly)

Transcript

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.

 

If you remember Episode 30 of this podcast, where we talked about the differences between tubed and tubeless tires, you’ll remember that tubed tires are more likely to have violent blowouts than tubeless ones.

 

But that doesn’t mean that tubeless tires are completely immune to blowouts. What’s more, neither tire type is immune to uneven tire tread wear. 

 

In this episode, we’re talking about both tire blowouts and uneven tire tread wear – specifically, some common reasons why they happen.

 

But before we get started, there’s something you must know about tire wear.

 

And that is this – all tires will eventually wear down the longer you ride on them. No matter how well you look after them, it’s normal that they will wear down with time.

 

But this episode is not dedicated to preventing “normal” tire tread wear – we’re talking about the kind of tread wear that is uneven or even abnormal.

 

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get started. 

 

The first common reason for uneven tire tread wear is tire pressure that’s too low.

 

Perhaps you saw this one coming, but it’s a known fact that riding on tires with too low tire pressure equals increased and abnormal tire tread wear – on top of death wobbling, instability, and a worsened fuel economy.

 

However, I won’t harp on about why tire pressure is important since I already dedicated Episode 52 to answer 6 common FAQs about tire pressure.

 

But the bottom line is this – check your tire pressure regularly and inflate your tires if you need to.

 

The second common reason for an abnormal tire tread wear pattern is because the tire’s best-before-date has expired.


Yes, both of your tires have one of those. Case in point – have you seen a tiny sequence of four digits on the sidewall that reads something like “4421?”

 

Well, not so fast – these digits are NOT the “best before date” – rather, this sequence represents the week, and the year the tire was made.

So, if it says “4421,” it means that the tire was made on Week 44 of 2021 – or around November 2021.

 

Now that you know that, all you have to do is do the math – if the time between the tire’s manufacturing date, and today’s date exceeds the tire’s lifespan, it’s time to replace that tire

 

Which leads us to the next question – what’s the average lifespan of a motorcycle tire? 

 

The short answer is “it depends.” The long answer is “it depends on what kind of tire you’ve got.”

 

For example, sport bike tires are known for having a short lifespan of “only” around 3 years.

 

On the other side of the coin, we have cruiser tires, which have a longer lifespan of about 5 years. 

 

Now that we’ve talked about two of the most common reasons for uneven tire tread wear, let’s now move on to tire blowouts – and one of the most common reasons for that is tire dry rot.

 

Just like with tire pressure, there’s an entire podcast episode dedicated to tire dry rot, so if you’re interested, check out Episode 44.

 

But as a brief summary – remember to check your tires for cracks in the sidewall regularly. If your tires have these cracks, it’s best to replace them ASAP.

 

Of course, cracks aren’t the only thing you should check for – which leads us to the next common reason for a tire blowout: sharp objects plunged into your sidewall. 

 

These sharp objects range from nails to sharp rocks, to pieces of glass. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why this is a problem – these objects create a small hole in the tire, which the air inside will escape from.

 

If you have a nail or some other sharp object in your sidewall, remove it carefully. Then, check your tire pressure again to check that it hasn’t dropped, and inflate it if you need to. 

 

Finally, the last reason for a tire blowout we’re going to talk about in this episode ironically involves something other than the tire itself – and that is the wheel rim.

 

Specifically, a wheel rim that is either dented or bent out of shape (and I mean that literally). 

 

No matter how much the rim might bend, it’s bad for your tires and certainly for you. And the reason why is that a bent rim will pinch the tire as it rotates around it, which can cause the tire to deflate.

 

Or in some cases, it can even cause your entire tire to go “POP!”

If you have a bent rim, there are two ways you can solve it – the first way is through a method known as “wheel trueing.” 

 

However, this requires a special tool, and even more importantly, special knowledge. If you don’t have either or even none of these, the most effective way to solve a bent rim is to replace it with a new one. 

 

And that covers some of the most common reasons why your tires might wear down quicker than normal or why you might experience a sudden tire blowout at the most inconvenient time. 

 

I hope you enjoyed listening, and above all, that you discovered something new. 

 

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