Unless you’re an enthusiast yourself, it’s hard to understand the freedom of spirit experienced when riding a motorcycle. Tires are an important safety and performance feature of your bike, so pay as much attention to them as you do any other part of your machine.
Whether you’re heading out for a cruise for the day or embarking on a tour that might last weeks, you need to focus on your tires before, during and after the ride. Remember that they are the only thing separating you and the road.
Purchase your own pressure gauge and check your tires religiously. Remember to do it when the tires are cold, otherwise you’ll get an incorrect inflation pressure reading.
It’s not uncommon for a rider to cover 500 to 1000 miles in a day trip, so you need to treat your tires well. Consider that you may encounter a variety of conditions and different road surfaces. If your bike is loaded up with gear and a passenger, a lot of extra weight is on that rear tire.
You can easily check when it’s time to change tires, the "penny test" has been around for a while and is a great way to tell. If you put a penny into a tire groove, pointing Lincoln's head down, and you can see the top of Lincoln’s head, it's time to change that tire.
A lot of riders put fatter or larger diameter tires on their bike. Those wide motorcycle tires might look fantastic, but remember that manufacturers spend a lot of time and money testing tires and wheels to get the mix perfect.
Changing the tire size could affect how your motorcycle rides and handles. It could even result in an unsafe motorcycle. Trust the engineers on size and diameter and concentrate on things like speed ratings and conditions you expect to experience.
Often a high quality cruiser or tourer tire is one that combines extra load carrying capacity with a deep tread for longer tire life and good handling in wet conditions. However, if you’re not planning to encounter wet weather you might want to focus on other things like durability.
I don’t know of a motorcyclist who doesn’t dream of someday just getting on their bike and riding until they run out of road. It’s a great dream that’s been made a reality by many people.
In 2004, British actor Ewan McGregor (AKA the young Obi Wan Kinobi from Star Wars) and his pal Charley Boorman rode around the world on their BMW motorcycles to bring attention to the humanitarian efforts of UNICEF. It became a cult road series with its fair share of hiccups. This includes McGregor’s mystery insect bite that caused his head to swell up in Turkistan and strange, stalker-like police and other followers in Kazakhstan offering strange parties and gifts of fermented milk.
Both the bike enthusiasts then repeated in 2007 with the Long Road Down.
While the first journey was from London to New York, Boorman wanted to return to Africa after competing in the Dakar rally. The 2007 adventure was also captured for a television series which commenced at John o’ Groats in Scotland and finished in Cape Town, South Africa.
Charley Boorman made his acting debut in Deliverance, which was directed by his father, John Boorman.
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