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I suppose you could use a shore durometer to determine the (remaining) elasticity of the tire. That said, you would have to know the durometer reading for your specific tire when it was new.



Also, for methodology reasons would you have to take the tire off the rim to properly test it? I would guess you would. If you go through the trouble of removing a tire you may as well put a fresh one on.



Durometers are about $300.00 or so, but there may be cheap ones out there. I dunno.



You also have to factor in UV exposure, too.



Frankly I would listen to the 6 year lifespan and plan accordingly.



























 

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It depends on what the tire compounds have been exposed to in their life. A tire parked in LA is exposed to all sorts of stuff that a tire parked in a garage in the mountains isn't. Also, the riding style of the owner comes into play in terms of what he rides on, what he bangs into, how he has kept the tires inflated, etc. Too many variables. I replace the tires on any bikes I buy used for just such reason, unless I know the owner well. A few hundred bucks more at the time of purchase and I can cross one more worry off my list.
 

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Great question!



I've heard 5 years for bikes regardless of tread wear. My '03 Super Sherpa is hitting 5 years of age

(built in '02, purchased in '04). There's plenty of tread left on the dual purpose tires. FWIW, I check

pressures before every ride.



Does the goat need new tires?



Bob
 

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I put street tires on my street bikes when they start to square off, or if they have little tread. I use the stickiest actual street tire, not a race dot on my street bikes from Dunlop. So I run Qualifiers now. They seem fine, but I don't think thats a big deal because I don't go fast enough on the street to make tires an issue. Ever.

On the racetrack, if I know my bike, I switch out when the bike slides or spins up at unusual times. If I have a new bike and don't have a feel for it, I ask my dunlop rep.

I lost the front twice in the last season due to a new bike and unknown tires. t least thats my current excuse. i hope to end that trend this year.

I sell my takeoffs to squids but I have some guilt about it because they warm up slow and do not work well in the rain. So I tell the purchaser exactly that.

I have heard tires get brittle but I have no experience with it.



regards

ed



 

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From my experience working in a shop, personally I think six years is absolutely too long for a motorcycle tire. After just two years sitting in a climate controlled room, a tire is noticably harder and crustier than its newly minted brethren, and it's only going to get harder and crustier as it lives out the remainder of its life on the bike.



I recommend buying a tire that has been sitting no more than one year on the shelf, and personally only use tires freshly delivered from the distributor. You can feel the difference in your hands.



By the same token, be aware that helmet foam degrades over time. I left the country in the 1990s for four years, and much to my surprise, when I came back I found that the foam in my protective gear (which included hockey gear and motorcycle gear, including helmets), which was about nine years old at that point, disintigrated to the touch. Disintigrated! A helmet I bought in 1997 fared better, but I stopped using it after five years and threw it out entirely a couple years ago-- I wasn't going to wait for it to get to the disintigration point.



The point is that deterioration of rubber products is real, tangible, and a danger to someone using a product at the edge of its service life. Keep your tire rubber fresh and your helmets too-- don't ride with either when aged over five years. That's my recommendation.
 

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I hear a lot about "heat cycles" being more of an issue for how sticky the tire will remain. Sounds like ewok1 may have more experience than most with that issue. Street riding will most likely not get your tires too hot.

For me, if the bike has been sitting for a few years, I'll replace the tire no matter how good it looks. One of the magazines had a very comprehensive guide on what all those little numbers on the side of your tire mean. The one I found most useful was the week and year of manufacture. ie. 4805 would mean the 48th week of 2005.



Good question, btw.
 

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Regular tire replacement is a good idea. I see lots of bikes that get very little use, and old dry tires with lots of tread left. I have a 35 year old bike with the original tires on it (they are getting replaced).



Having said that, There is no substitute for common sense. I rode on the 35 year old tires. Carefully. No problems. Original tires may add value to a classic. Origninal pattern tires may not be available any more. A classic is usually ridden gently on nice, warm, dry, days. On the other hand, brand new ultra sticky tires aren't going to help you if there is sand, gravel, or oil in the middle of the corner where you are perfecting your knee dragging technique.



 

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I'm lucky to get a season out of my tires so it's a moot point I guess. The '02 Bandit I just bought has original tires on it so 5 years old, but they're about toast anyway so I'll be replacing them soon.



I tend to put a lot of miles on my vehicles because I have a 75 mile round trip commute. Car tires I don't worry about too much, I usually buy softer compounds as opposed to the 80k mile tires because it's wet here and hard compounds in the cold and wet aren't the best option.



For bike tires I figure on 10k, either Pilot Roads or Avon Azaro's. I don't buy discounts and the manufacture date is right there on the sidewall so you can check before you buy them anyway.
 

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1. Really sticky car tires don't last very long either (especialy if your using them - you'll go through them faster than bike tires)



2. "MOrons purchase used bikes every day, often without knowing the history and/or age of their tires." - uh it says the date the tire was made right on the tire..... so only people that don't bother looking don't know the age.



3. On my race bike I change the tires after 16 heat cycles - there's still plenty of rubber left on them (it's a 125cc) but from what I've heard after 16 full heat cycles they start getting quite a bit harder.... not sure how true this is but it seems all the fast 125 guys pretty much agree.
 

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It's pretty simple to me. Tires are a lot cheaper than hospital bills. There are so many environmental factors aside from tread wear and age. Is the bike stored in a hot Arizona garage? Are you running triple digit speeds on poorly paved roads? How many burnouts and/or wheelies on those buns? Frankly I'm surprised 6 years is a suggested time parameter. If you haven't worn out the tread by then, you've probably got cracks and dry rot on the sidewalls. If you're even wondering...replace.
 

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I know of no real authority on this subject. The problem is that there are lots of rumors started by people that sell tires. Of course the tire company and the bike shop are going to tell you to replace the tires as often as possible.



They'll even tell you that you have to replace both tires with matching tire models each time. Such claims are completely bogus. Don't mix radial with bias tires and don't put a sport tyre on one rim and a touring tire on the other.



I bought a Magna once that had ten year old tires. They looked fine and I put about 3K on them before they wore out. I've had dirtbikes with old tires but never had one blow, even if the rubber was getting cracked from age. I just replace them anyhow. They really aren't that expensive.



Don't ever use armorall. That will destroy any rubber or vinyl. I found this out the hard way by destroying the seat of a brand new bike within 6 months through using armorall. If you just bought a bike from a guy who used armorall to make the tires look good better think about replacing them soon IMHO.



If any of this is going to worry you then just replace them. I'd definitely replace any road bike tire that showed signs of degradation.



Isn't it nice with certain people gone?
 

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"The Regiment would prefer to have it repaired."
 

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Yet, the half-life of a styrofoam coffee-cup is something like 10,000,000,000 years...........
 

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That oxidization is called "Blushing".
 
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