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Tires are an important part of a motorcycle.
But they cost a good amount of money, and need to be replaced regularly.
So, it is natural for you to worry about how long they last in storage.
We’ll discuss the issue of how long motorcycle tires last in storage and how to properly care for your motorcycle tires.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a universal answer to this question since the life of a tire in storage depends on several things including:
- How it is stored.
- The temperature of the storage area.
- How old the tires were when they were stored.
Considering all these things we can generally say that the motorcycle tires can last up to five years in storage in ideal conditions.
This logic holds whether you store individual tires or a motorcycle with tires.
How long do motorcycle tires last in storage?
While your motorcycle tires are not technically a perishable item, they still have a shelf life.
They will not last forever, even if they’re not being used.
The lifespan of a tire in storage depends on several things eg. how it is stored, the environment of the storage area, etc.
A properly stored motorcycle tire should typically last up to 5 years in storage.
The compounds of the tire rubber react with the oxygen in the air and this leads to their deterioration (the rubber can become hard and brittle).
The deterioration is a slow process but will be accelerated in a humid and hot atmosphere.
The deterioration will be minimized to a large extent when the tires are properly protected and stored in a cool and dry place.
Tire Manufacturing Dates
Before discussing further, it is important to know the manufacturing date and year for your motorcycle tires.
As per the US DOT (Department of Transportation), every street-legal motorcycle tire sold in the USA must have a TIN (tire identification number) on the sidewall of the tire.
The TIN is an alphanumeric code that starts with the alphabet “DOT” and ends with a numeric four digits date code.
If the last four digits are “3517” it indicates that the tire was manufactured in the 35th week of 2017.
If the manufacturer of your tire has manufacturing plants in more than one place, the TIN will tell you the manufacturing plant where the tires were manufactured.
We can divide our discussion on “how long do motorcycle tires last in storage?” into two parts: when individual tires are stored at a dealer and when you store your motorcycle with tires for a longer period.
Tires Stored at a Dealer
Tire manufacturers normally recommend that motorcycle riders don’t ride on tires that are older than 5 years.
But the new tires that you purchase from a dealer are at least a few weeks old (considering the transportation from the factory to the place of the dealer) and in some cases, they may be as old as a year or more.
If you come across such situations, you may have to consider the following before purchasing the tires.
Consider the reputation of the dealer and how they store the tires.
The rubber in the tires reacts with the oxygen in the air and this leads to their deterioration.
This deterioration will be greatly minimized when the tires are properly protected and stored in a cool and dry place.
A properly stored tire can last up to five years in a cool and dry store. However, it should be inspected thoroughly before mounting on your motorcycle.
Storing your Motorcycle Tires for a Long Time
If you are storing your motorcycle for 2 or 3 months, then there is no need to worry much about the tire life.
Cover your motorcycle properly and store it in a cool and dry place and it should be good to use when you take it out for riding.
However, if you intend to keep it stored for a year or more you need to take the following additional precautions:
- Clean the motorcycle thoroughly (including the tires) and dry it. Remove sand particles and small stones from the tread grooves.
- Inflate the tires to medium pressure.
- Store your motorcycle in a cool and dry place, away from moisture, and with no fluctuations in temperature.
- Ensure the tires of your motorcycle do not rest on the floor. Doing this prevents the weight of the motorcycle from resting on the tires and the moisture of the floor front reacting with the tires.
- Cover the motorcycle completely.
- Inspect the stored motorcycle tires once a month, and add air as necessary.
- Before using the motorcycle again, inspect the tires thoroughly for cracks and other defects. If you are not confident or notice some defects, take the advice of a tire expert.
You can visit the following website and download your copy of the Motorcycle Tire Guide compiled by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association:
How to Care for your Motorcycle Tires
Do the following to prolong the life of your motorcycle tires:
- Always purchase the tires recommended in the user’s manual.
- Make a habit of inspecting your tires regularly.
- Many tire manufacturers advise motorcycle riders to replace the tires when the tread depth reaches a level of 2/32 inches. This advice has logic behind it and can be followed. You can also keep a watch on the TWI (tread wear indicator) markings on the tires.
- If your motorcycle tires become five years old but physically look fine, take the advice of a tire technician. The tire technician may advise you to use them for some more time.
- When you purchase new tires, carefully verify the warranty terms of the tire manufacturer.
Do you want to know when you should change your motorcycle tires then please go through this article “when should I change my motorcycle tires?”.