Why finding BMW Motorcycle Tires can be such a challenge ...
By Karl Drew, an Australian-based business writer with 20 years experience in entertainment, transport and security.
BMW motorcycle tires are often a more complex shopping
task than your average two wheeled machine, given that
devotees of BMW Motorrad cover such a broad range of
riders all around the world. Those riders cover all kinds
of road surfaces in all sorts of weather conditions.
Whether you're a dirt road warrior or the kind that likes your road surfaces paved, there's something for everyone and at good prices if you're willing to look hard. To understand why the BMW Motorcycle's tires are so important, you need to understand the history of the machines. And, just so that you keep your eye on the ball with this subject matter, I'm going to discuss a few of the things that can go wrong. So, first thing is first, I'm going to fill you in on why so many different tires have seen duty on so many different types of BMW motorcycle. Then, strap yourself in, we're going to take a ride on the BMW Motorcycle time machine.
Well, how thick is your skin...literally! For a BMW motorcyclist (or any other motorcyclist), tires are the only thing separating the rider and the road surface. Selecting the right tire for your motorcycle is extremely important and depends largely on the type of use you have in mind for your machine.
In 2008 alone, BMW produced over a hundred
thousand motorcycles, the most popular being
the R1200GS. The full range of bikes available include
shaft, chain and belt-driven models with engines that
start at 450cc and continue through to the 1300cc. Tires have to cater to off-road,
dual-purpose, sport, and touring needs.
But it's not just the current range that tire dealers have to cater for.
The first BMW Motorcycles go back to the 1920s and there's been some real classic bikes produced in the years that followed, as well as some unique ones (think about all those great side-cars). BMW has even produced scooters for those out there that want the thrill of the wind in their hair and the safety and economy of a small machine.
BMW do spend a lot of time determining which tires work the best for each of their models. So it's natural that many devotees rely on their testing when deciding which would be the best tires for their machine.
Having said that, BMW has been around for a lot of years and tire technology may have been improved since your motorcycle's release. A good tire dealer can be an asset in these situations, but finding one that has your best interests in mind and not just their bank balance can sometimes be a chore.
Tire inflation is very important for a number of reasons and many people still overlook it as a critical part of a safety check routine. By maintaining correct tire pressure levels on your BMW Motorcycle tires, you'll increase the life of your tires as well as ride quality.
It's very important to check tire inflation as part of your routine, but no rider should just stop there. A thorough examination of tires for things like cuts, nails, cracks, splits, bulges or any other abnormality should be something you do before each ride. Start scanning your bike as you approach it each time and get a really good look at those big round rubber things you depend so much on.
You can find inflation guidelines on the tire sidewall or, if you're running the same type of tire as your bike was originally fitted with, you might find specs in your owner's manual. However, do keep in mind that a lot of BMW Motorcycles don't run the original type of tire they left the showroom with.
You should inflate your tires when they are cold
rather than do it when the tires have had time to warm
up, as warmer tires can give deceptive inflation
readings. A lot of people check their tire pressures only
when they fill up with fuel and this will work fine so
long as you haven't been riding for a long time. Try not
to make the mistake of ignoring tire inflation or the
need to check inflation at the right time, which would be
when the tires are still cold. In fact, hand held tire
gauges are a great idea so you can check you tire
inflation pressure before you even get on.
When you are inspecting your tires, make sure that you check the tread wear indicators (TWI) that are located on the tire sidewall. Checking the center of your tire, you should also locate the tire wear bar which will be located in the tire's tread groove. The tread groove indicates the level of safe rubber you have on your tire. When the tire is worn down to this level it is time to start looking for a new one, and it should be sooner rather than later. The remaining amount of rubber is actually deceptive when you look at and you might be tempted to think that you still have plenty of tire rubber left, but don't go fooling yourself into believing that. As soon as you reach the tire wear bars it's time to start shopping for a new BMW motorcycle tire.
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