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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I saw some folks were talking about changing their own tires in another thread. Probably a lot of you are aware of what I'm saying here, but it bears mentioning for those who don't know.

New motorcycle tires may be coated with a substance that makes them slippery.

A friend of mine learned this the hard way, when a new rear tire ended his riding career. He called me and shared the story, an unexpected spin of the brand new rear tire leaving his own driveway, a side slip, a fall, and a planned surgery to replace his shattered hip. He asked me to research new tires to see if this was a contributing cause, and I found various confirmations of this issue in various forums on the internet.

It seems that, to preserve the rubber and prevent oxidization while on dealer shelves, such they maintain their pleasing NEW appearance, some tires may be factory coated with a protective substance. If left on the tire, it can cause surprises and even spills in the first few miles. Some riders said the stuff will wear off over a few miles, others said it can be washed off with hot soapy water. One person, as I recall, suggested riding on rough surfaces to wear off the coating. Another said he would take a file or wire brush to the tire to scuff it up prior to riding.

I don't know what manufacturer uses coatings like this, and I don't recall what make of tire my friend installed. I haven't experienced this personally, I just did some internet research for my disabled friend. He tried to get an attorney interested in suing at that time, but that went nowhere. He sold off his bikes and bought a Porsche, so life is still worth living.

Just wanted folks to be aware that this is a potential issue, and to take it easy on those new tires, or take a few minutes to make sure the tire is clean and ready for service.
 

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The shop where I have my tires changed used to have me sign a paper saying I was aware that new tires can be a hazard because of the mold release compound. They didn't last time, but who knows why not. They did make sure to remind me to ride them in before expecting best grip.
 

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I have been told often by the bike shops, that new tyres can be slippery. At the track, we often used a file on the tyres.
The other day on my XS400, I used a bit more tippy than normal, and the rear tyre slipped a small amount. Remind me to file the edges before I do that again.

UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Ahhh, thank you! Mold release. I know what that is from being peripherally involved with injection molding of plastic. Used on various molding processes, even when casting lead bullets, a waxy or oily substance that helps the item being cast or molded to release cleanly from the mold cavity. I do recall now that somebody had mentioned the use of mold release, but yours was the first time I've heard of anyone ( the shop) acknowledging it was a potential danger.

The idea that it was to preserve appearance was probably just speculation that I read and repeated here.

It's good that you were warned. I suppose that once they have a signed release on file, it's good for life. You can't say you weren't warned. My friend was not warned.

The strangest thing to me is that the tire shop is assuming liability. By warning you, they become liable should they fail to warn somebody else. And they are accepting liability for something that the factory is putting on the tires and could be removing from the tires, or at least could be factory attaching a 10 cent sticky warning label that the shop leaves in place for the buyer to peel off. I'm thinking my friend needs a more ambitious lawyer.
 

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One shop I used to use to change tires (an art I never learned) had a big ol` stamp they put on the receipt/invoice that the owner had to initial acknowledging that all new tires may not provide expected grip (or something like that) for the first 100 miles... Always thought that was a good idea -- liability as well as giving useful information to the rider...

On the other hand there were those poor souls who wiped down their bike tires with Armour-All, cuz it looked good on car tires...
 

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I knew this from hearsay and was always careful about new tires but my wife proved it one day, we put new tires on her bike, this was the old house with the dirt alleyway, anyway she took off to try the new tires, in light drizzle, between the bit of mud and the slippery new tires she accidentally did a nice burn out and power slide up the hill after leaving the alley onto asphalt and turning left. She came back a few minutes later saying that she thinks the tires still had their mold release on them..yup.
 

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I had always been told that you needed to be extra careful for the first 50 or so miles. This thread is very timely for me since next week I am getting new tires for my Goldwing, and the shop is about 20 miles from my home. If it is raining that day I likely will change the appointment. I would not want to ride home on brand new tires on wet roads for 20 miles.
 
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Yup, I've known about this for many years.

Any time I put a new tire on the bike, I take it out for an easy ride on back roads to wear the "new" off it. And since I tend to be a bit aggressive in the corners, I have to remind myself to go easy on the turns for while until I wear the "new" off of the edges too.
 

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I've known about this for, quite a while, I guess. Just always took it easy for the first 50 to a 100 miles, but then, its been a long time since I was an aggressive rider. :)

This is very timely though as I have two brand new tires, still in their boxes, sitting in the spare bedroom. Thinking about getting a tire machine to make tire changing a bit easier.
 

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A good indicator, for me at least, was to run the tires easy until the little 'spiky' things wore off the tire. Once they were gone, the tire was broke in. Only took abut 50 to 100 miles and you were good. But I don't ride that aggressive anymore, so it really doesn't make that much difference to me.
 

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For me, it's not so much not riding aggressively, but being defensive enough to not need a hard maneuver. Then, ease into the corners, until the chicken strips slowly narrow.
 

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It always seemed to rain when I went to the dealer back in Alabama. The last time I got a new tire I rode it home in the rain. Was extra careful. Didn't know it was "mold release," but did know that new tires are slippery. Didn't notice anything bad about the new tire, but I tend to ride conservative anyway. Maybe the rain helps wash the goop off the tires.

Probably won't have the rain issue as much here in San Antonio, but will still be extra cautious with new tires.
 

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I don't think tires are made with mold release anymore, but they still have a slick surface from the mold - and may have a coating for storage, as well. Try to get a tire maker to 'fess up on this one, though. ;)

UPDATE: I did some searching around, and found that mold release is still used, but it's not the old greasy stuff from days gone by. Many makers of it advertise how their stuff stays on the mold, and may be used for a day's production without reapplication, implying not much sticks to the tire, if any. Modern molds are more highly polished than years ago, too, which may be why the tires don't grip until worn a bit, but 100 miles may be more than needed. The exception is when the tires come with that grayish-white gunk on them (which I've only seen on auto tires, so far); I think that keeps the surface from ageing in storage, but I haven't found any comments on it, except it is nasty looking.
 

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I had always been told that you needed to be extra careful for the first 50 or so miles. This thread is very timely for me since next week I am getting new tires for my Goldwing, and the shop is about 20 miles from my home. If it is raining that day I likely will change the appointment. I would not want to ride home on brand new tires on wet roads for 20 miles.
It always seemed to rain when I went to the dealer back in Alabama. The last time I got a new tire I rode it home in the rain. Was extra careful. Didn't know it was "mold release," but did know that new tires are slippery. Didn't notice anything bad about the new tire, but I tend to ride conservative anyway. Maybe the rain helps wash the goop off the tires.

Probably won't have the rain issue as much here in San Antonio, but will still be extra cautious with new tires.
I like it if it's raining when I get a new tire. Yes, it does help to wash the stuff off. Just be extra careful getting to a freeway or Interstate and ride. I would never ride the twisties in rain though. Just the straightest roads you can find. I also wouldn't want to do it during rush hour traffic either. Even on Interstates. People just drive too crazy. But in general I actually like washing the stuff off in rain right off the bat. You do have to pay attention but we ride motorcycles so that's what we do. Right?

20 miles is the minimum though. I'm an hour away so I get a good 45 miles of a straight 65mph ride, depends on how heavy it's raining, on 75mph Interstate conditions. Now if it's just misting I'm extra extra cautious but after 45 miles I'm good to go even in mist. I also have 3 miles of gravel road I have to go down as well. A lot of folks just rinse the tires off anyway and that's basically what you are doing by riding in rain at some interstate speed.
 

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From what I've been reading most major tire manufacturers do not use a release agent on their tires. They may do so on the sidewall so the writing is totally legible but not on the riding surface of the tire.

It is still a good idea for a break in period, usually 50 to 100 miles depending on the compound of the tire. The most important reason for break-in is to scuff up the tire to develop better traction. New tires tend to be slippery because the tires are cold and the rubber is very smooth from coming out of the mould. If you just ride in a straight line for a hundred miles and then go into a corner expecting the tire to have good gripe, you will probably be in for a surprise..It's best to ride a road that requires leaning and changing of speed to get the tire properly scuffed in...

I know we all think that tires have been slathered with something slippery to release them from the mould, and that was true way back in the day.Today major brands use highly polished moulds as well as Teflon or some other non stick surface to release the tire from its mould. That sheen that can be seen on fresh rubber when it come out of the mould is just the way rubber looks when it was first produced.

Heat is also a big factor in how your tires will handle and most should know that. The texture of the rubber is as well, soft rubber will heat up much quicker than a hard compound tire. Some people still try to hurry the break-in period by using sandpaper of steel wool but that really is not very effective, nothing beats the actual riding of the tire to break it in..

I avoid riding in the rain whenever possible, it's just something I don't enjoy doing, and riding in the rain with new tires is not conducive for safe riding, But that's me, and my bike is not geared for touring, performance and acceleration only.

Yeah, I used the British spelling of "mould" (the American spelling "mold") I think that is Krusty rubbing a bit of his UK speak off on me. Grin...
 

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Resist TR. resist! If you don't do it now, the next thing you know you'll start talking funny.
Since I live on the outskirts of Amish country and Pennsylvania Dutch is spoken here, I have been accused of using it at times, even though I try hard not to. But I'll probably resist the UK effect better than I can PA Dutch. Krusty is one of a kind and hope he keeps this forum alive with his witticisms and use of the English language, such as it is..
 

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I keep trying to convert UK but to be successful II would need to be closer to buy him a beer or two. But his language will get more colorful as he constructs that building he's about to start on. Couple of fat fingers or splinters and look out.:devil: :devil: :devil:
 
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