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What tells you its time for a new tire? When its almost totally bald and riding in the rain is an adrenaline rush? When the tread is below a certain amount? When it reaches a certain number of miles? Or do you just wait until it gets a flat or otherwise becomes unusable? How do you do it?
 

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Gone.
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I usually go with the wear indicator unless we're going for a putt. Then I put on fresh tires if it looks like the old ones have less then 5-6,000 left on them.
 

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Age or wear bars. If it's a bike I just got then it's time to check how old they are if they look good and aren't showing the wear bar. That's my criteria. Also if they are scalloped for some reason. Time to find that reason and replace. You won't know if you fixed it with the old tires. Generally if it's a used bike I don't really care if the owner says they only have 1k miles. I'm probably going to replace them anyway but I will check the date codes so I'm not throwing money away.
 

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A lot depends on your usage. If you commute a few miles through town to go to work, then it would probably work on a bald tire maybe up to 40 mph, after that, good luck. A tubeless tire doesn't like bald or sidewall cracking. A tube type tire may let you run a worn out tire longer.

How much is your life worth? Replacing a tire a little early is a good idea in every way.

I learned this the hard way. I started a trip to Sturgis on my Electra Glide, with a rear tire that I thought looked okay for the planned trip from Southern, Calif to Carthage, Missouri, through Iowa and west to Rapid City and then after the rally, went west through Montana, Wyoming, and into Boise, Idaho when the rear tire that I thought would be fine for the entire trip was found to be bald and showing a few cords!!!! I had it replaced at a Harley Dealer there and proceeded through Oregon to the coast and down to CA again.

The point is that tire worried me from the time I left home. If I'd had enough sense to start with a new one I wouldn't have had to wait a day to have it replaced on the road.

If you have or cause a wreck because of a bald tire failure, it could become an insurance issue and law enforcement issue.

Sam:coffeescreen:
 

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The bike l just sold, when l took it in for its 7,500 mile service the mechanic told me it was time to start thinking about new tires. A few weeks later, when l sold it, l took a good look at them, especially the back. It still had some tread, but it had lost its grip. It felt smooth and worn. I had no confidence that it would hold a corner. It just screamed "It's time"
 

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Aging & Worn
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I watch for evidence of dry rot, and tread that is no deeper than .100 or so.

Other than that...........a BLOW OUT is a GREAT reason to replace a tire!!

It's worth it, when possible, to change the tires as a set, (IMHO), with tires that match.

-Soupy
 

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Usually though it's one front to two rears.

Soupy, please do a "road test" write-up for us when you get the time:wink:

Sam:biggrin:
 

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Porky: Is that right? The fronts get more wear? Interesting!

As for a "road test write-up is concerned......are you serious? I've never attempted one of those and wouldn't know how to start, or what to include.

-Soupy
 

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No soup. 2 rears to 1 front. That's the norm.:)
 

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Save them all!
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If I don't think a tire will safely get me through the season I replace it during my pre-season maintenance. I hate messing with that stuff during the riding season.

Bald tires are scary in the rain!
 

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I use the wear indicator unless I see excessive cupping. If I see excessive cupping, that tire has to be replaced.
 

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Wear Indicator. On the rear tire, when it looses it's round shape and starts to become too flat across the center of the tire. I also get a lot of miles out of a set of tires due in part to checking the pressure in them regularly.
 
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