Tires on motorcycles, like any vehicle, play a vital role in the performance, handling and safety of the bike. Many times we tend to ignore the necessary maintenance needed to keep the tires safe. With motorcycles, there are only two small contact patches for the rider to rely on, so it is extremely important to keep the tires in top condition.
Any tire, no matter how well constructed, may fail in use as a result of punctures, impact damage, improper inflation, overloading, or other conditions resulting from use or misuse. Tire failure may create a risk of property damage, serious personal injury or death. To reduce the risk of tire failure, we strongly recommend you read and follow all safety information contained in this brochure.
It is recommended that riders do a periodic inspection of their tires and have any imbedded objects removed by a qualified service person. Serious personal injury or death may result from a tire failure. Many tire failures are preceded by vibration, bumps, bulges or irregular wear. If a vibration occurs while riding your motorcycle, or you notice a bump, bulge or irregular wear, have your tires and motorcycle evaluated by a qualified service person.
It is not often that a properly maintained tire will "blow out" while you are riding. More commonly if air is lost, it will be gradual. If you do experience a blow out or sudden tire failure, the following information should be helpful: When the failure occurs, slowly decrease the amount of throttle, hold the handlebars firmly, and steer to maintain your lane position. Once the motorcycle has slowed and is fully under control, apply the brakes gently. Gradually pull over to the shoulder and come to a stop.
Always keep the motorcycle manufacturer's recommended air pressure in both tires. This is an important requirement for tire safety and mileage. Your motorcycle owner’s manual will tell you the recommended cold inflation pressure. On some motorcycles, the recommended front and rear tire pressures will be different. The pressures stamped on the sidewall of the tire are only for maximum loads. On some occasions, these pressures will also be the manufacturers recommended settings as well.
Riding on tires with too little air pressure is dangerous. The tires will build excessive heat. This can cause a sudden tire failure that could lead to serious personal injury or death.
Underinflation may also:
Riding on tires with too much air can be dangerous. The tires are more likely to be cut, punctured, or broken by sudden impact. Serious personal injury or death could result. Do not exceed the pressure indicated on the tire sidewall. Consult your owner’s manual for the recommended inflation and other tire information.
Never inflate a tire unless it is secured to the motorcycle or a tire-mounting machine. Inflating an unsecured tire is dangerous. If it bursts, it could be hurled into the air with explosive force resulting in serious personal injury or death.
Consult your motorcycle owner's manual for the motorcycle load limits and proper tire inflation that applies to your motorcycle and tires.
Never exceed the maximum load rating stamped on the tire sidewall of your tire or the maximum vehicle load rating, whichever is less. Before a trip, determine the total weight of luggage, equipment, and rider(s) to be added to your vehicle.
Never exceed the accessory restrictions and motorcycle load capacity found in the owner's manual, or the maximum load molded on the sidewall of the tire.
Pulling trailers behind your motorcycle is not recommended by Bridgestone/Firestone as trailers may contribute to motorcycle instability and overload.
After striking anything unusual in the roadway, ask your local dealer to demount the tire and inspect it for damage. A tire may not have visible signs of damage on the tire surface. Yet, the tire may suddenly fail without warning, a day, a week, or even months later.
Inspect your tires for cuts, cracks, splits or bruises in the tread and sidewall areas. Bumps or bulges may indicate a separation within the tire body. Have your tire inspected by a qualified tire service person. It may be necessary to have it removed from the wheel for a complete inspection.
Inspect your tires for adequate tread depth. When the tire is worn to the built-in indicators at 1/32nd inch (0.8 millimeters) or less tread groove depth, or the tire cord or fabric is exposed, the tire is dangerously worn and must be replaced immediately.
Inspect your tires for uneven wear. Wear on one side of the tread or flat spots in the tread may indicate a problem with the tire or vehicle. Consult your local dealer.
Inspect your rims also. If you have a bent or cracked rim, it must be replaced.
Excessively worn tires are more susceptible to penetrations and road hazards. Always remove a tire from service once the wear reaches the tread wear indicator bars (indicating 1/32 of an inch of tread depth) located in the grooves of the tire.
Riding on an improperly repaired tire is dangerous. An improper repair can cause further damage to the tire. It may suddenly fail, causing serious personal injury or death. To be safe, go to your local dealer for proper tire repairs.
Before having a tire repaired, tell your local dealer if you have used an aerosol fixer to inflate/ seal the tire. Aerosol fixers could contain a highly volatile gas. Always remove the valve core outdoors, away from sources of excessive heat, flame, or sparks and completely deflate the tire before removing it from the rim for repair.
A tire's speed rating is void if the tire is repaired, retreaded, damaged or abused, or otherwise altered from its original condition. Thereafter, it should be treated as a non-speed-rated tire.
Speed should not exceed 50 mph (80kph) in the first 24 hours after a repair is made and the repaired tire should never be used at speeds above 80 mph (128 kph).
Always stand well clear of any tire mounting operation. This is especially important when the service operator inflates the tire. If the tire has been improperly mounted, it may burst with explosive force causing serious personal injury or death.
Removing and replacing tires on rims can be dangerous. Attempting to mount tires with improper tools or procedures may result in a tire explosion causing serious personal injury or death. This is a job for your local dealer or other qualified tire service location only.
Serious personal injury or death can result from: