How to maintain your dirt bike tires
Are you guilty of waiting till your tyres are almost bald before paying them any attention? If you love dirt biking and invigorating sense of freedom it gives you, then you do understand the importance of maintaining dirt bike tyres, even if you do not always do so. Your tyre condition plays a massive role in your overall bike performance and also has a direct impact on your safety. By creating a simple tyre maintenance routine it will become a habit rather than a chore.
Know the type of dirt bike tyres
The key to developing your own maintenance routine is to know your specific type of dirt bike tyre, such as if you are using soft terrain, intermediate or hard terrain tyres. Based on this you will be able to create an easy maintenance routine that will help your tyres last longer and continue to perform well, giving you a better bike ride and helping with your safety.
Soft terrain tyres have high aggressive lugs to help grip the soft earth and are usually made from a hard rubber compound. Thanks to this tough rubber the lugs keep their shape while pushing deep into the soft terrain. However, this is the very reason it not suitable for hard terrain, as it causes chunking where the lugs get ripped off the tyre.
In reverse, hard terrain tyres are softer and designed to be used on tightly packed soil and such hard surfaces. They have a tightly woven tread pattern so that more of the rubber touches the ground as possible for a better grip. The softer rubber compound is also more flexible so that each lug provides increased traction when negotiating terrains such as well worn tracks and bare slick rocks.
Perfect for middle terrain that falls between the two types of terrain mentioned before are the intermediate tyres. These tyres work well on a variety of terrain, which is why they are the most popular type. They provide the perfect balance between stiffness and flexibility allowing the rider to negotiate different terrains with confidence.
Consider what type of terrain you ride on
It is important that you have the correct type of tyre for the terrain you ride on. Generally, using the correct tyre for the type of terrain you ride on regularly, will help you enjoy a better and safer ride. The correct tyre type together with the points mentioned below will help you keep your tyres in good condition for longer.
Checking air pressure
Faulty air pressure not only affects the performance but also the longevity of your tyres. Check your tyre pressure regularly, especially if you bike often, ideally before each ride. Weather conditions affect the pressure level of your tyres. An easy way to tell that your tyres need to be inflated more is to judge if the sides of the tread are more worn out than the middle. If instead, the middle is more worn out than the sides, then your tyres have been overinflated. Riding on over inflated tyres is unnecessary, provides no benefits and only makes your tyres wear out quicker. It is worth investing in a tyre gauge to maintain you keep your tyres at the correct pressure level.
Ensure the chain is adequately lubricated
A well lubricated chain with the correct tension will aid with the performance and protection of your off road bike. It also keeps the chain safe from the elements for longer. It is best if you can check your chain at least once every month.
Follow proper guidelines when cleaning tires
If you are not sure it is easy to find proper guidelines on how to clean your bike tyres and be aware of the does and don’ts relevant to your tyre type.
Proper place to park the bike when not in use
Avoid if possible, parking your bike outside, subject to the elements. If you do not have space then look to investing in short term or long term bike lockers to keep your bike shielded when not in use.
Knowing when it’s time to change tires
Depending on the type of rider you are, either your rear tyre or front tyre may show more wear and tear. Replacing your tyres at the correct time will significantly reduce your chances of slipping or skidding, both of which could lead to serious accidents. Investing in quality new tyres when the time is right is very important.
If you make tyre care a habit maintaining the performance and quality of your tyres for longer becomes easier which will be better for your safety and easier on your wallet.