Motorcycles - Ernie Dube - Tech Tip: Tires

For general non-specific make questions

The first thing that anyone notices when they buy tires,

Whether they are bicycle, motorcycle, or automotive is the shiny stuff that is on side walls & treads. This stuff is called release agent.
This is not your friend!

If the roadway is wet, this stuff will put you down faster than a room full of marbles.
Release agent is applied to the molds before the rubber is injected allowing the molds to be removed after the tires are cooled.
To remove the agent, there are a couple of ways, clean the tires with tire cleaner or car wash (mixed a little stronger). You can always scuff the tread with 80 grit sandpaper until the shine comes off.

This is my preferred method. Some manufactures will void warranties if stuff like “Tire Shine” is applied to the sidewalls. If you have the need to put it on (like me) apply it to a small rag then wipe the sidewall only. If you get it on the treads, you are back to the slippery tires again. This stuff don’t come off too easy (don’t ask how I know).

How do you know when you need a tire? Take a penny and place it on the wear bar with Lincolns head toward the bar. These are raised “ribs” that cross the tire tread. If Lincoln’s head is touching or below the tread it’s time for tires.

While the wheel is in for a tire, ask them if they can install a metal (chrome) 90 degree (angle) air valve. Have them install it on the high side of the tire so it’ll be easier to check air pressure. Ernie

The Author - Roger Chartier