{mosimage}As people begin putting their motorcycles back on the road, it’s time to do a little preventive maintenance. With today’s modern technology and proper care of your bike, only a few things can leave you stranded. Number one thing: the wheels and tires. If something goes wrong with the tires on your car you will probably be all right. However, on a motorcycle, a bad tire can make it a whole lot worse. All there is between you and the pavement is a thin piece of rubber, so you must take care of your tires. 

To properly check your wheels you should put the bike on the center stand and then put the bike in neutral. This will allow you to rotate both tires 360 degrees. You will also need to check the bike from both sides. Check the wheel for cracks or damage. If your bike has spokes, make sure they are tight. You should grab the tire on opposite sides and try to move the tire back and forth. This action will tell you if the bearings are loose.

Continue your inspection by looking at the tread. Treads are affected by a variety of factors. These include mileage, road condition, temperature, speed and riding style. Next you need to check your tread depth. This is an important factor when riding in the rain. The less tread you have, the greater the chance of hydroplaning.

 Tire pressure is something that needs to be checked often. Tire pressure changes with temperature, altitude and weight. Motorcycle tires are not like car tires where you can often look at them and tell if they are low on air. Today’s motorcycle tire can look normal with little to no pressure in it. To check the pressure, take the bike off of the center stand and keep the pressure at the proper pounds per square inch (PSI). If your bike is like mine, you will need a light and a magnifying glass to find the recommended pressure on the side wall of the tire. Remember that each tire may require different pressure.

 Getting a flat can be a scary event if you are driving. You may not know what is going on when it happens. There are several things that can happen. The bike is hard to control. If so, ride through it. Stay in control and keep your cool. Slow the bike down and get off the road. If the bike feels heavy or sluggish you probably have a flat. Again, take control. When you check your bike, check the tire pressure.

I always carry my own tire gauge, tire repair kit and CO2 pump. I know a lot of people who debate the pros and cons of riding with a patch in their tire. I have done it after a flat, but only until I can get a new tire on it. For me, I go for the new tire. Although a patch may be OK for some, I would rather pay for the peace of mind of knowing I have good tread underneath me.

 If there is a topic that you would like to discuss, please send your comments and suggestions to motorcycle4fun@aol.com. PLEASE RIDE SAFELY!

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