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Thin cracks in front tire. Safe to ride?

1753 Views 35 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Scooterduder
It's only on the front tire. I don't know how old the tires are, bought the bike used a year and a half ago.

2015 Triumph Speed Triple

Thanks everyone!

Leo
Tire Wheel Automotive tire Tread Synthetic rubber
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As for safe vs. unsafe... Now what causes tyres to slide on streets is NOT LACK OF GRIP! Sliding is just result or side-effect of actual cause that happens 1st. That cause or problem that starts it all is a rider mistake: selecting improper lines (thus going over double-yellow on exit and running out of space), going too fast for conditions such as rain, or improper use of brakes, etc. All these mistakes initiate chain-of-events that causes bike to do some maneuver that overcomes traction limits of tyres. Doesn't matter if you have new, old tyres or racing-slicks stickier than bubble-gum, you're still gonna crash because of that mistake. No amount of tyre-grip would've saved these guys, and I bet their tyres are less than 1-yr old.


Whereas rider skillz lets you do amazing maneuvers on average tyres.
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I'm amazed your 20 year old tires were still usable, I had the opposite experience, the 20 year old brand new tires that were on my Honda when I bought it were awful, hard as a rock, I rode a few miles and slid the rear wheel around every corner, scared the **** out of me, so I carefully rode it home and bought a set of new Dunlops.
The old tires were essentially new, still had molding nipples on them and looked clean as a whistle, the previous owner told me they had about 50 miles on them, the rest was sitting in the garage, but they might as well have been made out of stone. They may have been cheap tires to begin with though, as I recall they were Chen Shing, a brand I know nothing about.
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They may have been cheap tires to begin with though, as I recall they were Chen Shing
They are Chinese tyres. I ran them a few times on my Hog when I was low on liquid capital. I used to call them Skinned Shins, but to be fair, they were ok for the money for a cruiser. Cheap, but not high mileage and they gave reasonable handling.
As mentioned, condition matters more than age. So you cannot use age as indicator of functionality or safety. Saying 3-yrs is stupid because tyre may actually be unsafe. While 10-yr old tyre may be perfectly OK.

Here's tyre that came on my 2008 Ninja 250 commuter I bought in 2018. It was already 9-years old at that time. As you can see, tyre is in good condition with original moulding hairs and no cracks. I used it for 4 more years and put 15K-miles more on them before wearing them down to cords @ 13yrs old. Even did couple of trackdays on them when track-bike was not available.

Uuuuummmm...that's not the tyre manufacturers date stamp. They look like this:

Tire Plant Automotive tire Bicycle tire Automotive lighting
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Hmm, no longer have that rear tyre, so I went to look at front. Date code = 5007 which matches production-date of 2008 bike. I figured rear was within a month of two of this date which makes tyres 2-yrs older than I thought. Thread cupping caused by using it on track at same low-pressure as Alpha13. Nope, this dual-compound tyre doesn't like low-pressure, although it stuck just fine.

I'll update original post with proper date.
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I'm amazed your 20 year old tires were still usable, I had the opposite experience, the 20 year old brand new tires that were on my Honda when I bought it were awful, hard as a rock, I rode a few miles and slid the rear wheel around every corner, scared the **** out of me, so I carefully rode it home and bought a set of new Dunlops.
Did you use the mythical 36/42 psi pressure suggestion? No one really knows where that comes from. Both Ari and Dave Moss have articles disputing that. Good to see that manufacturers are now doing their own testing and coming up with more appropriate pressure recommendations that optimises grip and wear. On light 300lb bike, I use 29/27 F/R cold and on heavy 500-lb VFR, I'll use 32/32 or 32/35 with passenger. So much more grip & better handling!
No, on the lightweight Honda I used what they recommended back in 1978, I don't recall exactly but it's something like 28 front, 34 rear.
Works GREAT with the D404s I have on it now.
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As mentioned, condition matters more than age. So you cannot use age as indicator of functionality or safety. Saying 3-yrs is stupid because tyre may actually be unsafe. While 10-yr old tyre may be perfectly OK.
Wow! I can not agree with that statement AT ALL! ... As I've mentioned before. A four and half year old front on my bike that was kept in my climate controlled shop, up off the concrete and out of the sun lost traction and did a scary PUSH when I was just starting to scuff in a new rear. No cracks, checking, had plenty of tread and I know how to ride a bike Fast, the right way.

As for safe vs. unsafe... Now what causes tyres to slide on streets is NOT LACK OF GRIP! Sliding is just result or side-effect of actual cause that happens 1st. That cause or problem that starts it all is a rider mistake: selecting improper lines (thus going over ...........
.............
All these mistakes initiate chain-of-events that causes bike to do some maneuver that overcomes traction limits of tyres. Doesn't matter if you have new, old tyres or racing-slicks stickier than bubble-gum, you're still gonna crash because of that mistake.
I'm a MUCH BETTER rider than who ever that told you such as the above, MUCH BETTER !
" NOT LACK OF GRIP! "
IS TOO.., Assuming the rider is ME.

Don't need tire warmers? Next time at the track I'll pass that bit of information along. It'll save virtually every RACE TEAM out there lots of money. You know, people that actually do roadrace motorcycles in competition.
Have you ever ridden a bike with REAL horsepower at speed? That will learn a guy about traction... Just sayin


I only responded here because there is a chance that someone might believe what is said here and GET HURT because of it.

S F
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Don't need tire warmers? Next time at the track I'll pass that bit of information along. It'll save virtually every RACE TEAM out there lots of money. You know, people that actually do roadrace motorcycles in competition.
Have you ever ridden a bike with REAL horsepower at speed? That will learn a guy about traction... Just sayin
Supercorsa SC and other race-slicks do need warmers. I use warmers on my Dunlop KR slicks.
I was saying Supercorsa TD and Metzeler TD don't need warmers.
I think lots of people are having issues understanding what I'm saying.
And are jumping to incorrect conclusions and putting words into my mouth.
Even performance tyres like Supercorsa TD or Metzeler TD have more grip than outright racing slicks from couple decades ago. And they don't require warmers and don't degrade with each heat-cycle either.
If you launch your self at track, I'm still saying that's a rider error/mistake!!! Does Marquez have inferior tyres than everyone else because he crashes more than them? Who in their right mind whacks open throttle on cold unknown tyres? Proper procedure is where you approach limit gradually until you determine where it is exactly. Gradually increase speed 0.11s faster per lap and you'll find limit safely. Same procedure works with touring, road, super-sport, trackday or race-slick tyres. Only difference is at what speed these tyres reach their limit. You'd be surpised that touring tyres are only seconds slower than outright racing slicks.
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I only responded here because there is a chance that someone might believe what is said here and GET HURT because of it.
Nuff Said

S F
I only responded here because there is a chance that someone might believe what is said here and GET HURT because of it.

S F
Exactly! Don't believe what others with reading-comprehesion problems said I said when I actually didn't. Here's summary of my main points:

As mentioned, condition matters more than age. So you cannot use age as indicator of functionality or safety. Saying 3-yrs is stupid because tyre may actually be unsafe. While 10-yr old tyre may be perfectly OK.
Again, I don't care about age, but inspect them carefully for cracks. None that I could find, so I gradually took them to limit.
Again, age is not useful indicator of anything; many 2-yr old tyres are unsafe. Taking into account tyre's condition given its past usage
DO NOT ONLY USE TYRE-AGE AS INDICATOR OF FUNCTIONALITY AND SAFETY is my main point. Many 2-3yr old tyres are unsafe and I've returned them all. Also take into account its history: storage-conditions and previous use as well as current condition, no cracks. AND regardless of type of tyre or riding conditions, gradually increase load/speed until you find its limit safely.
TONS of editing above. So just to avoid confusion. My post below was responding to: (As best that I can remember the way it went). :unsure:
Supercorsa SC and other race-slicks do need warmers. I use warmers on my Dunlop KR slicks.
I was saying Supercorsa TD and Metzeler TD don't need warmers.
I think lots of people are having issues understanding what I'm saying.
After a second look I believe it was something more like this:
Don't believe what others with reading-comprehesion problems said I said when I actually didn't. Here's summary of my main points:
Right, Whatever. :rolleyes:
We're done

S F
And that's that for that
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My friend still has the dirtbike that he bought around 1990 (I got a 1979 Yamaha and he got a 1980 Suzuki within weeks of each other.) We assume the tires were changed shortly before he acquired the bike, but they haven't been changed since at least 1990 and he's still riding it!

Of course it is garage kept and never left out in the sunlight.
Of course the consequences of having a spill due to sudden tire failure on 150 pound single-cylinder dirt-bike when you're riding on a dusty trail at 25 miles an hour ...

are a lot less severe,
less serious consequences,
than having the same thing happen on a real motorcycle out on the road....
Tires kinda age like milk. If they are stored properly either one will last a lot longer than when not stored properly. The other advice I give to my tire customers with questionable tires is "rubber is cheaper than plaster" if ya know what I mean. I would advise you to put a new tire on now so you can enjoy it for the new riding season.
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It's only on the front tire. I don't know how old the tires are, bought the bike used a year and a half ago.

2015 Triumph Speed Triple

Thanks everyone!

Leo View attachment 79075
It's only on the front tire. I don't know how old the tires are, bought the bike used a year and a half ago.

2015 Triumph Speed Triple

Thanks everyone!

Leo View attachment 79075
It's only on the front tire. I don't know how old the tires are, bought the bike used a year and a half ago.

2015 Triumph Speed Triple

Thanks everyone!

Leo View attachment 79075
Here's set of brand-new Dunlop K205 tyres that came with VFR700 that I was given. Still has moulding hairs and even colour stripes showing ZERO miles!!


Date code shows 2001!!! That's 22-yrs old!!


I took bike out for warm-up/shake-down ride to see how everything works. Not bad for sitting +20yrs in hangar! I was able to take it to safe limit by grinding pegs and scratching exhaust pipes on both sides with no grip issues. Will need fork-rebuild with new seals, springs and oil along with an adjustable-shock upgrade (to raise rear-end) before I take it to track and really work it! :)

Again, age is not useful indicator of anything; many 2-yr old tyres are unsafe. Taking into account tyre's condition given its past usage (none) and storage in hangar with no sun/UV exposure, I concluded tyres were OK to use. Test ride confirmed that and I anticipate no issues at double speeds I used on streets.
It's only on the front tire. I don't know how old the tires are, bought the bike used a year and a half ago.

2015 Triumph Speed Triple

Thanks everyone!

Leo View attachment 79075
A long proven adage is鈥︹漀ever use another Man鈥檚 Rubber鈥!!!
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