Tire Age - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-26-2010, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Tire Age

I'm sure all of you know that a tire can need replaced just because of age even if it has decent tread left. I've been wrestling with replacing tires on 3 of our bikes, the 919, 599 and FJR. I put tires on the 919 when I bought it, Conti Road Attacks which have held up great, have over 10k on them and are just now down to the wear bars and the rear is a bit square. The 599 and FJR have Metzlers on them that came with the bikes when I bought them, both still have decent tread but I was concerned about their age, figured they were probably the OEM tires.

Found this article on Canyon Chasers about choosing tires, has a very helpful section on how to date your tires:

.: Motorcycle Tire Tips | Canyon Chasers Motorcycle Sport Touring :.

So how old of a tire should you use? The answer for this is easy. It depends! If you need to get the most out of your tires, then the fresher the better. If you like a tire to last longer, then the age of the tire is less critical. But you should never buy or use a tire that is more than six to seven years old. But how do you know how old your tire is? Carbon dating? Serial number cross-reference with manufacturers? Actually, your tire has the date of manufacture, or the "born on" date. How nice! If you look closely you will find a four-digit number stamped into the sidewall of your tire. It will read something like 4408 or 2101. What do these numbers mean? Well, a 4408 means the tire was manufactured during the 44th week of 2008. 2101 means the tire was manufactured the 21st week of 2001. Years prior to 2000 have a one-digit number to reflect the year, and after 2000, a two-digit number is used. This is a simple and easy way to figure out the age of a tire.

I just went out to the garage and crawled around with a flashlight looking for the build dates, the Contis on the 919 were made in '06, I bought them in '07, about what I expected. The 599 is an '04, its Metzlers were made in '03, obviously overdue for replacement. The FJR is also a 2004 model, but its Metzlers had a build date of '02!

That revelation made up my mind quickly, have three new sets of Michelin Pilot Road 2's on the way!

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post #2 of 7 Old 05-26-2010, 10:42 PM
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4-5 years max I'd give them or even less if the bikes have just been sitting unused.

I had a bike a few years back that I'd used very little over a 2 year period, got back into it and I could not remember it handling so shitty! I went through everything - fork oil, bearings etc etc and nothing improved - I was complaining to a dealer I know and he asked how old the tyres were - they had heaps of tread - I changed them and hey presto the bike was transformed.

Basically the rubber hardened from lack of use.

With motorcycle tyres being so critical to keeping you the right way up, my motto is if in doubt change them!

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post #3 of 7 Old 05-27-2010, 03:13 AM
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Good info Scott, thanks. I have Michelin Pilot Road 2's on my 919 (after my flat rear) and so far like them a lot.

"No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
---Thomas Jefferson 1776.
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post #4 of 7 Old 06-06-2010, 12:04 PM
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Dunlop will tell you tires are good for ten years if tires are stored properly. Ozone is the monster in the picture. Lots of things put of ozone. Just keep them in cool dark place if you are storing them.

Also check your tires on a weekly or monthly basis. Check for dry rot or weather checking. Some of this is normal on some tires. Dunlop 404's you will see some cracking inside the tread and this is normal. ME880's and Avon's you will see some cracking on the sidewalls but I have never seen one fail.

That being said, Would I run a tire over 5 years, No. If the tire feels unsafe then change it. Tires will get the feeling of being hard the older they get. Check your "born on date" see how old they are and check your air pressure.
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post #5 of 7 Old 06-07-2010, 04:42 AM
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The Honda hawk I bought has some avon's on it that are 9 years old, they look brand new have all the little nibs still on them. Unlike other old tires I've encountered these show no sign of ozone deterioration and still feel rather supple. Will probably replace them this year though there isn't a huge choice for the front if I plan to stay with the stock size. Good thing I only ride it on the two lanes here in Michigan and really don't get it going all that fast.


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post #6 of 7 Old 06-21-2010, 06:45 AM
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Great info, Sbeau. Thanks and glad to hear your having good luck with the contis. My Dunlp is starting to stripe down the rear so I gotta replace it. But with another dunlop? Not real impressed with this tire. likes things on the warm side. Even a cold dry morning make them fussy. Like my michelins better.
Looking at those damn shinko ravens so I can do both tires.

Questions for anyone who knows:

How quickly do tires heat up and cool down on an "average" temp day, and,

how quickly do tires cool when it rains on a hot day (wile riding) and

how do these heat cycles affect tires?

Thanks all

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post #7 of 7 Old 09-30-2011, 08:00 PM
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Good tire info for anyone with original tires, good reason to replace them.

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